Burlington, VT

The quote of the day yesterday went to C. When she walked in for breakfast at the motel she said “Do we order the breakfast” after looking around. The breakfast was actually laid out but it was so sparse she really didn’t notice. Basically you could have a bagel, bread (or toast), yogurt and either oats (in a packet) or bran flakes. That was it. And everything was disposable – plastic knives, spoons, plates & bowls, paper and plastic cups (for coffee and orange juice) etc. It has really struck us how it doesn’t seem to matter about packaging and disposal of plastic etc in this country. We are really aware of it in SA (and so are the UK) but recycling and trying to limit plastic and packaging here in the US seems irrelevant to them. I’m not a big “climate” person but I do still think limit plastic waste would be a good thing for everyone living on this planet (that’s my preaching done for today!).

After we have packed up and checked out we headed into town as we had seen ‘Gap Outlet’ the previous day and wanted to see if they had anything of interest in the store. We quickly discovered they did and basically everyone except O found something they wanted to buy at vastly reduced prices. When I paid for what H, C & I had bought, the discount was $160 and the total was $120. I don’t understand why anyone buys from a normal store! We discovered a few more outlet stores including Polo/Ralph Lauren (I bought a jacket at 44% discount) and for the ladies – Kate Spade – apparently famous but I had never heard of her until yesterday (H & O each bought bags).

By this time it was midday already and so we started to make our way toward Burlington which is further north in Vermont. We made a stop in one of the towns on route at a Dick’s sport store (yes lots of innuendos and comments around that name) as the boys wanted to buy baseball gloves. They found some but too expensive but that didn’t stop them messing around in the store while they were there. H bought some Nike shoes while they were messing around though.

Another quick stop to get lunch for those of us that didn’t have cold pizza saved from the previous night. It was one of those towns where everyone knows everyone so at the checkout the cashier was having a long discussion with one of the customers and then closed the till to help her take her bags to the car. Just a stereotypical example of small town America.

We eventually only arrived in Burlington at 4:15pm and quickly realised that it was a big town and not a small quaint place like Manchester. Our expectations had been set quite high after finding our first nights accommodation. It was clear very quickly that we weren’t going to find something similar. M & O went into the tourist centre to find out what our options are. Burlington is on Lake Champlain so we were hoping for a place on the lake shore but it became clear that we weren’t going to find that at all. We did find one places in the islands above Burlington but after calling them we discovered they only had 3 rooms available and those could accommodate only 6 of us.

Eventually at 5:30pm I told them to book the Hampton Inn at Colchester (it is a Hilton brand and I have a Hilton Honors diamond membership) and so that is where we have ended up staying last night. We had dinner at a restaurant right across the parking lot – Lighthouse Restaurant. The food was pretty good value compared to previous nights. With the main meal you could get a soup (Clam Chowder or Cheddar Soup) or unlimited salad bar. Given we were in New England I went for the Chowder which wasn’t the best I have ever eaten and so I’m hoping for better in the days to come. M had the King Crab legs (as you can see).

H wanted to go to a pharmacy and we saw a CVS across the road. Only problem was that it was a double lane road and no pedestrian crossing. I doubt anyone walked to that store ever before last night!

Until tomorrow …

P, M (for his efforts to find us accommodation last night), H, C (for her breakfast comment), S (his navigation is becoming a little sketchy), K (drinking straight out bottle of apple cider), O (for saying it was funny to see me running across the road!)

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