To celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary, we spent a week at a romantic inn in Stowe, Vermont at the foot of Mount Mansfield - the tallest mountain in the state. We had a wonderful view of the Green Mountain range from our room situated at the top of a hill in the "Cliffhouse" at Ye Olde England Inne. The Inne is owned and operated by a Brittish family that has made the Stowe area their home since discovering it on holiday some years back. The tudor style inn is very well appointed with the charm of an English country manor. We already miss the authentic English Bangers at breakfast and the fish and chips for lunch.
The first order of business was to visit the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory for a tour and tastings of their latest flavor creations.
One of the most beautiful sights was the full moon rising over the mountains from our private suite. After a restful night, we headed for the mountain trails and climbed to the very summit of Mount Mansfield, nearly a mile into the sky!
The Stowe Mountain Resort also has an exciting alpine slide that you can ride down after taking a chairlift to the top.
There are plenty of covered bridges in Vermont. This picturesque pedestrian bridge was near the center of the village, where all of the shops are located. We spent a day browsing though the many craft and antique shops that line the village streets. Authentic country stores and even a ski museum are also available along the village walk.
One of the most famous covered bridges in Vermont is in Stowe. It is famous because it is haunted! This bridge was a bit hard to find because it is located away from the busy village in a hidden area along an old dirt road. The bridge has been nicknamed "Emily's Bridge" because a woman name Emily hanged herself from the rafters of the bridge a century and a half ago. People do not go near the bridge at night because of the eerie sounds that come from inside and beneath the bridge. Even during bright daylight, the ghost of Emily haunts visitors. Her presence can be felt as one merely approaches the bridge from the road. Many people claim to have felt a clawing feeling and a feeling of being pulled down the steep bank into the water below. In fact as Amy and I arrived at the bridge, I put the car in park and we opened the doors and began to step out of the car only to feel the car roll forward toward the edge of the steep bank. I fell back into the seat to step on the break. Oddly, the gear shift had somehow been shifted into reverse.....yet the car was moving forward as if it was being pulled toward the water below. I quickly moved the car farther away from the steep drop-off and away from the bridge. Many unexplainable events have occurred at this very location over the past 150 years. If you look closely into the bridge you can see the damage caused to the rafters from the rope that Emily used to hang herself.
Vermont is home to the best maple syrup manufacturing. We enjoyed tours of several maple farms and hiked the maple trails to see first hand how maple sap is collected from the trees and brought back to the sugar houses where it is boiled down to make syrup and maple cream!
No visit to Vermont would be complete without a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. Here tourists see how the bears are lovingly created by hand and offered for sale (err....adoption) in the Bear Shop and on the Internet. Somehow, its not possible to escape from there without adopting one or two of the fluffy souvenirs. The hard part is selecting an outfit for your bear to wear home.......
Here "Shelburn" and "Marigold" model their "outdoor" fashions on one of the mountain trails.