Burlington, VT: More Than Just Ben and Jerry’s

After ferrying the Lucky Charm across the water from New York, we arrived in Burlington, Vermont for a week-long stay. Sprinkles and I would hold down the (RV) fort, while Philip would fly back to the West Coast for meetings related to his Las Vegas project.

Burlington is perhaps best-known as the 1978 birthplace of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, that of the creamy goodness and mega-pun flavor names (to wit: Americone Dream, Truffle Kerfuffle, Oat of This Swirled, The Tonight Dough).

North Beach Park Campground is one of those coveted locations where aggressive, competitive reservation-making is required. In this case, on the appointed day of reservation-opening while in Texas’s Big Bend National Park, we got up at O-dark-thirty and drove miles in our jammies to a corner of the world with an Internet connection, to score this reservation.  You must be logged in, site picked, accurate-atomic-clock time employed, and hit “RESERVE” at the moment reservations open, or you’re not camping here, plain and simple. Being a public beach, it’s got lots of great amenities … spacious sands, bike path, kayak rentals, snack shack … it’s even got a Tiki Bar!  Squeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

What is called “soft serve” elsewhere in called “cremee” in Vermont.  The most popular (and unique) flavor is maple, but cremees can be key lime, strawberry shortcake, or a variety of other flavors. Cremees are so popular that they get their own window at the snack shack.

Cremees are everywhere, but traditional “hard” ice cream … not so much!  Perhaps nobody want to try and compete with local boys Ben and Jerry.  Ben and Jerry’s factory (with tours, and a “graveyard” of discontinued flavors) is outside town, but the street alongside their Burlington location was renamed from Cherry Street to Cherry Garcia Street, in honor of one of their most popular flavors.

The Church Street Marketplace is a pedestrianized shopping area not far from the University of Vermont, the largest employer in the state.  It has hundreds of shops, restaurants, open-air concerts, and special events like artists’ fairs.

The extremely popular “jewel of Burlington” is their Greenway Bike Path, running the length of the city and connecting with over 30 miles of public trails.

The Lucky Charm was surprised to find herself on a ferry, but even more surprising was a bicycle-only ferry!  The Island Line Bike Trail follows the route of an old railroad line out into the bay along a causeway, water on both sides all the way out  … 

… but (apologies to Houston), “Burlington, we have a problem!”  ‘The Cut’ was a 200-foot gap, left behind when the former railway bridge over the gap was dismantled in 1972.  

The age-old problem … I’m HERE but I want to be over THERE!

A citizen group eventually created a ferry system that takes bicycles and their riders from one side of The Cut to the other, allowing your two-wheeled outing to continue unabated!  Genius … a FERRY JUST FOR BICYCLES!

We propose that Burlington VT should be renamed Birkinstock VT, since no less than 80% of people here are wearing those ubiquitous sandals in every style imaginable.  We feel overdressed in sneakers! But it’s all good in the ‘hood here, with an easygoing, inviting, almost-hippie flair.

The feel-good vibes continued back at the campground, where a neighbor’s rig drew lots of attention.  Adorned with super-custom paint, tiles, gems, and more, this beauty (and their similarly-decorated Mini towed behind the RV) gets all the love!

It’s even adorned with pennies … my personal favorite since using 19,000+ pennies to redo our bathroom floor a few years ago.  Yet I had not thought of gluing them onto our RV … until now!


My stepdad and I did this penny bathroom floor together in 2017!

Our explorations of Burlington were not as exhaustive as other locations.  With Philip slaving away in Las Vegas, I was loathe to go out TOO much or have TOO much fun …. that would be just plain mean!  (Plus, a had a couple of good books calling my name.)  But I did drop by a very important landmark … behold … The World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet! 

It’s actually multiple 2-drawer cabinets all stacked together.  Stickers adorn it, at least as high as the average human can reach. Questions abound. What’s inside …?  And is it properly alphabetized …?  I stifled the urge to run to Office Max and get the necessary supplies!

 Lastly, I would be remiss to not mention the World’s Most Cleverly Named Bike Repair Shop …

don’t we all want to someday retire to the Old Spokes Home? 

Now, we’re heading to Old Quebec City, Canada, a taste of Europe on our very own continent!

Philip is hard at work teaching Sprinkles to say “Bonjour” since Quebec is mostly French-speaking!

Au revoir pour le moment!

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