I’m not in favour boycotting the US in response to Trump’s horrid remarks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denigrating our country I want to continue to travel to California where my two daughters live. And I definitely want to continue traveling to Vermont. Let’s not forget that this is Bernie Sanders country! And remember neither state had a hand in electing the ….. ! (You fill in the letters.)
This visit to Vermont had special meaning for me. I was meeting Paola, 25, the daughter of my dear friends in Havana. Paola immigrated to the US over a year ago and cannot leave the US until she receives her residency card. We decided to meet in Burlington so that I could show Paola all I love about this town.
The four days we spent there in early June did not disappoint. We stayed at the Anchorage Inn, a tradition for me dating back some 25 years.
Anchorage Inn has been renovated and in its latest edition is clean, comfortable and friendly boasting a good size indoor pool and a microwave, fridge and table in the room in case you want to do indoor picnics.
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Unitarian Church of Montreal
On Church St, Paola and I chanced upon Discover Jazz, this year’s ten—day outdoor jazz festival.The weather was perfect, which made for many stops at cafés and restos for beer, coffee, snacks and salads.
We often found tables facing or near the performers and delighted in the opportunity to hear good music, some of it quite quirky including one singer who had everyone dancing in the street. I was eager to take Paola to my favourite and oldest haunt, Henry’s Diner, for brunch one morning, the word “brunch” having recently been added to Paola’s vocabulary. What a treat to go back to this old-fashioned eatery I had frequented with three husband/boyfriends (including the present one) at various times.
I was also reliving, with Paola, the “shopping” trips my daughters and I would take to acquire US bargains and that is exactly what Paola and I found in the most unlikely place, University Mall, across the street from the Inn.
We entered through JCPenney and lo’ and behold, discovered the red dot racks with designer clothes up to 90% off: Jeans, tops, tank tops, dresses. I’m now wearing my trendy red jeans that cost me $5.35 reduced from $54. Wow! Paola and I had a ball trying on clothes for her and her sister and mom back in Havana and of course for me because yah, right, I need more clothes…
There was other great shopping, specifically at Hatley on Church St. which is mainly a children’s shop but features great summer dresses and fab rain jackets for a mere $20.
A hot tip: there is no tax on clothes, shoes, food and other necessities in Vermont, which makes the bargains super-duper deals.
Next in line for fun in Burlington are the dogs. Big dogs. And bigger. And biggest. Paola fell in love with them and wanted a photo with almost all of them and a video of a big one with his teddy bear in his mouth, which he wouldn’t let go of.
Paola acted like she had never seen flowers. She took pics of almost every flower in Burlington. Guess the flowers in Florida are just not as beautiful!
We parked a few blocks from the downtown in a residential area and each day we would marvel at the gorgeous old mansions lining the side streets, wooden, painted and ornate, some featuring children playing outside with their parents on lawns.
Let me not forget to mention two great haunts: Stone Soup, a by-weight mostly veggie place on the side street off Church St. and Muddy Waters, my favourite coffee shop for its rustic, comfy décor and fabulous coffee and nibbles.
Oh yes, there was also a short trip south on Route 7 to the Teddy Bear Factory where Paola took selfies with many a bear but avoided buying the high priced teddies.
Lots to love here for kids though but be prepared to spend $25 up to $100US for the bears should you bring your grandtot. There’s lots of space to play and explore at this fun spot.
Paola thought once about moving to Vermont from Florida until I described the winters. She’s even ready to turn down the offer of $10,000 that Vermont has made to workers anywhere in the States to settle in Vermont. Lovely place in the summer, Paola says, but Florida is balmier in the winter even if they did vote for Trump.
I can hardly wait to bring Paola to Montreal to show her how different we are. I think she’ll love it, but only in the spring/summer/early fall.