December 23, 2004


Filed under: 足迹 — by Yilise @ 2:10 AM

Went for a road trip to Vermont with Shufen for the weekend of 11th and 12th… Vermont is beautiful in winter, calming wintry picturesque scenes wherever you look, freeways lined with silver-tipped frosted trees and rural villages covered in icing-white snow, warm lights shining through the windows… making the stress and excitement this trip generated worthwhile…

As natural with most of the road trips I take, we got lost on the way there, lengthening the car ride which was already too long by itself… Poor Shufen drove from 10am to 3pm! We passed by numerous towns and villages with names like Dublin and Berlin through the routes cutting through New Hampshire… The trees slowly turning silver as we ascended…

Our first stop was Weston, to visit the Vermont Country Store. The village was actually more a row of postcard-perfect houses, with shops like the Village Christmas Store and a Halloween-ny village store. The country store was homey, complete with a Santa Claus asking if you had being nice and selling stuff like quilts and home-made dips. As we skipped lunch on the way here, we helped ourselves with the free-tasting dips and sauces, and because they were so delicious, we couldn’t resist buying a couple of jars! The village store sells home-made fudge, which seemed to be made of nothing but sugar!

The sky turned rapidly dark when we left Weston, and the un-lighted roads seems more and more menacing as we winded round curves in the mist… under such stressful driving conditions… we decided against our original plan of Burlington and settled for the motel in White River Junction instead. But the motel was so elusive! We got lost twice before we found it… I hopped out of the car to ask for directions whenever we got lost, and I never felt cold at all each time due to the tension running through my veins! I was never so happy to see anything as the gaudy yellow and black sign that night…we had dinner, called my dad to wish him happy birthday… and went to bed…

The next day started off quite easily, we didn’t get lost at all today… but this is when the real excitement started… We decided to simply drive up to Montpelier to visit a cider mill and a maple sugar farm. The route was very straightforward… no driving around in circles like the day before… but we forgot about the icing on the road! The freeways were covered in frozen snow except for a single lane in the parts of the freeways that’s used more frequently…And it was at a very straight road that the car skidded… Shufen slammed on the brakes and turned the wheel, but we still went barreling towards the road barrier, banged it and went freewheeling to the other side of the road before the car hit the hilly side and stopped. Ha… it was the most exciting event of my life, I survived a car accident! Both of us were naturally quite pale after the event, but Shufen gamely reversed the car and we went with our trip 😛

The cider mill was very pretty, the red of the house setting off the snowy surroundings perfectly, there was even a red train model and swings… We missed the cider-making as it only operates on weekdays, but we saw the video and got a pretty good idea… basically, you crush the apples to make cider. Simple, ne? The minute we got out of the car at the sugar farm, we smelt the thick, sweet scent of burning sugar, although they only harvest the sugar sap in spring, the wide lands of the farm was still a wonderful landscape to take in…

Our last stop was Quechee, with its gorgeous gorge and village… The gorge was impressive but the village was fun with a small train running through the entire village. We had lunch at an authentic diner car, which was an experience. The village’s main attraction was its antique mall, which halfway through we thought had too much antiques…But there was a real stone house with a working chimney, supposedly to be a blacksmith’s shop but really selling stained glass items.. and there was a toy and train museum with huge train models and glass showings of toys from every era starting from the 1950s onwards…Everything was like a fairy tale… in a snowy fairy tale setting…

We finally left for our drive home at 4pm, a drive which turned out to be as eventful as our other long drives… we were stopped by a police car on I-93! As we didn’t realize that the car was following us (why would a police car want to stop two frail and harmless girls?!), we didn’t stop when they flashed their blue lights and sirens at us until they kept behind us for 3 miles. (in fact, we still didn’t believe they wanted us to stop and took an exit out to confirm that they were really following us). The state trooper was quite mad at us and went on and on about how we should have stopped long ago…they kept us waiting for quite awhile, we had 3 police cars surrounding us at this point (3 cars for 2 girls?!)…I started recalling all the horror stories I heard about the police in the states… it turned out that we forgot to turn on our headlights…. Haiz…

We finally reached senior house at about 730pm (quite a short drive, compared to our starting drive)… Shufen was quite simply blank at this point… driving for ages through the two days, the poor girl… Luckily, there was a study break for the finals, home-cooked food…we had dinner…and slept through the night before returning the car the next morning, where we were informed about the unbelievable car insurance system that requires us to pay anything less than 1k usd for damages to the car! We were sooooo tired at this point of time, that we really didn’t need anymore added stress… in the end, we put down 500 usd, which added to the 300 usd deposit we paid earlier, made 800 usd. And the guy called afterwards that since the repairs cost approx 750, that’s all he’ll charge us, including the 150usd for the car rental… at this point, we simply didn’t want to see him again…

Overall, Vermont was a wonderful trip…. with all the frost and snow and lights and country houses…it’s a perfect setting for Christmas… and we kept seeing cars on the roads with Christmas trees tied to the roof! We visited a few Christmas stores which were all bustling with people shopping for Christmas and filled with Christmas ornaments… It really feels like Christmas… although I’ve always celebrated Christmas when I was a kid… this was the first time I really felt it’s Christmas for real… a white Christmas with magic in the air…
Driving, despite all the problems we encountered, is a beautiful way of seeing Vermont, passing by all the charming village scenes that seemed to be straight out of the fairy tales I read as a child…even the ice-covered roads fraught with dangers had a pristine beauty all of its own…
So, I’ll do it all over again… for the experience of a lifetime, for the icy air filled with Christmas joy and the magical charm of Vermont…

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