The Green Mountains
There’s a reason Vermont is called The Green Mountain State – and it has little to do with Green Mountain Coffee – a homegrown marketing ploy of Keurig – now owned by Dr Pepper/Snapple Group. And, don’t expect to tour the Green Mountain Coffee factory, but you can tour the old railroad station in Waterbury (across the tracks from some big buildings that may have something to do with Keurig and/or Green Mountain Coffee) – the tour consisted of some coffee samples and standalone exhibit kiosk’s. Don’t bother.
But, do tour Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream place, if only for the samples at the end. They have an interesting history, I like their social responsibility, and they made one helluva product, even though the company is now owned by Unilever. That gets mentioned in the tour, but the emphasis is on Ben & Jerry, who reportedly still live nearby in Burlington.
The hills around Stowe are alive – not only with music from the Von Trapp Family Lodge – but from bars, bistro’s, and coffee houses.
It’s really neat.
Over time the image of Stowe has changed – I guess – from a winter playground – to a 4-season getaway. I understand, hidden in the hills, are huge 2nd homes that include swimming pools, tennis courts, and the such. Getaways.
We stayed in one of the Von Trapp family facilities (The Von Trapps of The Sound of Music fame – although the tie to that story and the movies contain many mixed messages – a fact present family members recognize). The Von Trapp Family Lodge is a private hotel and 2300 acre development that is operated by the grandson of Maria (who was played by Julie Andrews in the movie). Sam’s dad, Johannes, was born near Philadelphia – so his tie to the Austrian countryside is one of history. And, Johannes was never one of the family singers. The name, and the history, and the images remain, but that’s about all.
Here’s what the lodge looks like now.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s a fabulous place – and if it was 2,000 miles closer to Albuquerque I’d think seriously about going there quite often.
The stay in Stowe, and nearby Burlington – was for business, not all pleasure.
More in a future posting about the visit to the world’s 2nd largest predominantly French speaking city, Montreal.