31 August 2012 Burlington, VT, -
Apologies for sounding like a broken record but...we LOVED Burlington, VT. It's very artsy, earthy, university town, and inhabited by people who truly care about our environment. Our 3 night stay was far far too short. We could easily have spent a week there. I protested loudly when we had to leave and was dragging my heels all the way out of the harbor. My explorations weren't done. I needed another ride—which I got—but when I roared down the dock on my bike to our slip, Bill had already folded his bike and put it away. I wonder if he woulda left me?? We had a definitive departure time and I got there just under the wire. 2 of the museums that I really wanted to visit—there wasn’t time. We didn’t make a dent in the “acclaimed” restaurants. Burlington, known as the Queen City, is home to the University of Vermont, and Champlain and St. Michael’s Colleges. There’s also a large medical center, a teaching hospital, affiliated with the university. It’s recognized as one of America’s best small cities for experiencing the arts. It feels like a small artsy, “granola”, city that cares deeply about the environment.
It’s a shopper’s haven with a large mall—Macy’s is the anchor store—and numerous boutiques and vintage shops selling everything--old 33 LP’s, clothing, antiques—they’ve got it all.
There’s a very appealing waterfront trail for walking, running or cycling; benches for sitting to enjoy the view of the Adirondacks or watching sailboats or paddlers….
Bill spent an entire day at the Shelburne Museum and said he could’ve spent another. That is one of the nation’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. The collection of American folk art may be Vermont’s greatest cultural treasure, from quilts (some made by men) ranging from a Civil War soldier's quilt to innovative digital quilts and sculptures of quilts. Among the collection are also costumes to tools. A rare collection of 107 Vermont firearms made from 1790 through 1880—hunting rifles, target rifles, pistols and military guns—all on display. There’s a 220 foot steamboat, Ticonderoga, and you can wander through the staterooms on the restored passenger steamer. There’s a 1920’s carousel; 22 gardens; over 150,000 works exhibited in 37 buildings on 45 beautiful acres. Docents in period dress act as printers, blacksmiths and apothecaries. He enjoyed seeing extraordinary vintage snowmobiles from the experimental early days to the heyday of the 1960’s and 70’s. The exhibition also includes 19th century sleighs. There’s a U-shaped circus building where hundreds are wood carved animals, trainers, circus-goers, etc., are displayed. It took the carver 40 years to complete this task. Some of the world’s most precious painting are hanging there—Degas, Manet, Monet, and Cassatt. Shelburne Museum has something for everyone and all interests.
At this very moment we are approaching Waterford, NY, and our last of many locks. From that point on we'll be in familiar territory.
Bill and Laura Bender
Cruising south on the Hudson River
Aboard Kindred Spirit III