I knew I liked Burlington, VT. We had been to this lovely city a couple of times but they were always short visits–a couple of hours or so. Just as our previous visits, we had not intended to stay in Burlington for long. In fact, we had not really intended to go to Burlington. But, somehow we ended up changing our very tentative itinerary and going there. Those spur-of-the-moment decisions usually prove to be great fun. And, this one did not disappoint.
It all started, of course, with our ice cream and farm tours. We also lucked out with our campground. The City of Burlington has a great campground just north of the city and on the shores of Lake Champlain. North Beach Campground is large and when we were there, it was packed. I was doubtful we could get a site having no reservations but we when we inquired at the office about availability, we learned there was one spot open for the week. We chatted briefly about our plans and decided to call Burlington home for the week. It was an excellent decision.
The sites were tight but the location of the campground and its amenities (laundry, beach, bike path, and proximity to downtown) made up for the closeness to our neighbors. (Not that we don’t love our neighbors….) We had lovely week. We spent our evenings walking down by the beautiful beach or in downtown at the pedestrian mall and waterfront. During the day Chris worked and I tried to keep Emerson content. It was her sixth week of existence. I had read that fussiness generally peaks at the six week mark. My child was right on schedule. At the beginning of the week she was fussier than normal. She spent a lot of time in her carrier tight against my chest (her happy place) and we walked around the campground. By Thursday, I needed to get away from the Airstream and campground but to some place other than the grocery store.
I had read in our tourist information about the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory and after a few days of little sleep and a somewhat unhappy baby, chocolate seemed like a good idea. So, I took a chance and Emerson and I made our way there. Just before tour time, I fed her and she seemed content. But, would she stay that way?
The tour was free and included a video and an explanation of how chocolate was made. From an observation booth, we watched ice cream being made and saw the chocolate waterfall. That’s right! They have a machine that has a chocolate waterfall. It’s the chocolate that covers the truffles. It’s obviously not the Willy Wonka type waterfall a chocoholic such as myself would like, but it was neat nonetheless. If I worked there, I’d be way too tempted to send random foods under the waterfall and then eat said random foods. (e.g., pretzels, nuts, berries of all kinds, turkey sausage, etc.)
During the tour, they also provide chocolate samples, beginning with white chocolate and ending with dark. These samples are passed around in small bowls and each person can take a spoonful of chocolate. I was the last person to get each sample bowl before it returned to the tour guide. My willpower was tested this day. I could have easily emptied those bowls of chocolate. I, however, was a good girl and only took one heaping spoonful. From each bowl.
I walked away from the tour a happy mom with a bag of dark chocolate, an ice cream, and a very content child. Seriously, after that day, she’s been very content and smiley. Clearly, she’s my child. (Although, she was also happy after Chris’ tour of Magic Hat Brewing and Otter Creek Brewing. Uh oh.) Again, it was a great week.
If you find yourself in Burlington, take the time to explore the area. It has a lot to offer! In fact, we’d love to go back and explore the region a little more if time allows.