Today was yard sale day, or tag sales, as they're called in New England. Lauren and I were up around 9 and out by 10 to take in a couple near-by. Most of them just had knick-knacks, although one had a really nice collection of soft blankets and linens. Lauren bought a comfy blue plaid blanket and some hangers. (She says her parents are in perpetual need of them.) Otherwise, neither of us came up with anything. The one large estate sale mostly had dishes that were too fancy and fruit-painted for my taste, frilly pink linens, and a lot of books on Israel.
Finally headed into Vermont around 11 (after Lauren stopped for gas). Vermont is gorgeous country. It's moniker "The Green Mountain State" is well-earned. We rolled by endless forest-covered mountains, meadows carpeted with wildflowers in every color of the rainbow, historic ski lodges, ancient faded brown barns selling tractors or furniture, and whole families of horses frolicking in brilliant green fields. The view from the highway was amazing. You could literally see the mists rolling off the mountain tops. It was a glorious day for a ride, too, sunny, warmer than yesterday (but not out of line for August) and still dry.
Had lunch at Bennington Station. This restaurant is situated in a gorgeous restored stone train depot. It was noon when we arrived, but surprisingly for Saturday, they weren't that busy. There were a few other people in the glass-enclosed back room where we ate, a group of older women and a family of four women (including one middle-school-aged girl). Their sandwiches were huge and incredible. My burger patty was as thick as the stone in the walls around us. Lauren's Vermont Turkey Sandwich was stuffed to the top of the whole wheat bread crusts with turkey slices, apples, and local cheddar cheese. Other than it was really salty, my burger was amazing. I'm glad I passed up the condiments when the waitress suggested them. The lettuce, red onion, and tomato was more than enough!
Weston is a small village nestled snugly in the mountains in the heart of Vermont. It's known mostly for the popular Vermont Country Store. This venerable old building is filled with everything from Vermont plaid flannels to hard-to-find shampoos from the 70s to giant Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls to penny candy. They were elbow-to-elbow busy, almost as much as they were when we visited last year.
Lauren bought shirts for her dad and candy for herself and her parents. I don't have much money left. Even the sale items upstairs were either outside of my budget or too big to carry home. They sell their own brand of fancy milled soaps. I've seen sandalwood, lavender, citrus, rose, and oatmeal and honey scents in other stores...but I've never seen apple cider vinegar-scented soap! I also found a set of neon colored pencils
I love the Vermont Country Store's Cookie Buttons! They have samples of each flavor of cookie scattered throughout the food area. I tried a couple, but I fell in love with this year's new fall flavor, Apple Crisp. Wow! It's so spicy and sweet. (And, oddly, it comes in a bag, rather than a box like most of the other flavors.) I had to get it.
After we left the Store, we bought sodas at Mildred's Dairy Bar (named for the Orton family's long-time matriarch, who passed on in 2010), then went across the street to the Weston Country Store. Kind of the same thing, but with more Vermont-themed merchandise and slightly better prices. I didn't get anything here...and Lauren just wanted to go home.
Lauren had been having problems with her cell phone ever since we crossed the border between Massachusetts and Vermont. She was trying to text her parents and tell them we were at the Store, but it either wouldn't go through, or was taking forever. She'd grown increasingly frustrated the further we went into the mountains. Tired of the cell phone problems, she insisted we skip anything else and just go home.
We did stop at a small KFC/Taco Bell in Bennington to pick up dinner. She grabbed the large Doublelicious sandwich. I was still kind of full from that burger and just went with the Chicken Littles sandwich. We bought bought biscuits. I grabbed a Mountain Dew Baja Blast as well.
The van finally made it into the garage around 6. Lauren showed her parents her finds. I started to do a little packing and rounded up my two new CD's to sync them onto my iPod to listen to on the way home. We ate our sandwiches around 7, then went online.
Right now, we're chatting, listening to 80's pop music on an internet radio station, and sipping tea and eating soft bakery chocolate chip cookies. Tomorrow, I'm heading home at noon after Lauren's folks go to an early appointment.