Vermont, Day Three –
After the usual breakfast (I could get used to giant warming trays of pancakes every morning!) we were off to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. We took the scenic route, which made us late getting there … but we lucked out as the owner hisself gave us a tour of their pressing room. Also lucky in that they don’t usually press this early in the season. Paul, the owner, is what could best be termed, a wag. Got very stroppy (in an amused way) when someone suggested there were worms in his cider apples. We got a taste of his cider, which was good, although I was brewing a headache and an iced cappuccino would have been preferable!!
Their other specialty is their cider donuts, which were indeed yummy! I picked up a couple of postcards and a pencil with a wooden apple on the eraser end.
Wandered around and shopped for a bit until it was time to get back on the bus. Actually, we sat on a wall for the last 20 minutes or so, and Mom was in hyper speedy mode this day and seemed to just want to get on to the next stop. My headache was still dogging me, so mostly I didn’t object to sitting still and watching traffic toodle by.
Then an hour shopping at the Cabot Co-op. By now my headache was really getting me down, so I didn’t get to enjoy the seven thousand cheese samples they had out. I bought some cheese more or less because I felt bound to, and then just sat out in front of the store in a comfy Adirondack chair and tried to mellow my headache out.
Then back up the road for the Ben and Jerry’s dog and pony show. This was the only place on the trip where photos were verboten – at least in their processing room, which you peer down into through glass panes on either side of a second story walkway. Then down to the sample room for the flavor of the day Triple Caramel Chunk (I might not have that completely right). It was indeed yummy, and I think I might even have liked it better if it hadn’t had the chocolate caramel chunks in it.
I would have like to have gotten an actual sized dish of ice cream, but my head was very bad and I didn’t feel like standing in a long line to get it.
It must have been about 3:30 in the afternoon, and I’m not exactly sure when the headache went away, but by 4:00 when we got to our next super extra special surprise stop it had gone, thank the gods.
We’d been told at the start of the day that they were going to add an extra stop to the day and take us up to see the Von Trapp Family Lodge. I didn’t quite believe it until we turned up the road that led up the mountain, but this made me so happy I nearly wept.
There’s a long version of the story having to do with Middle School, merciless teasing and oppression leading to my reading a lot of stories having to do with Nazis, and it all intersecting with my love of theater.
But the short version goes something like this. When I was a senior in high school, the new hotshot drama teacher decided that for the winter musical we were doing The Sound of Music. Now I don’t sing, but back during all the oppression based middle school reading, I remembered reading the book of the musical and remembered that there were a couple non-singing parts in it… so I set out to campaign for the largest of them … Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper.
I have not felt a lot of PURE JOY in my life … but I was FLYING the day I read that cast list posted outside the school office and realized that I had gotten the part I wanted … my first part in a show ever basically. AND IT WAS ALL MINE!!!
There was a lot of drama in the drama, and I don’t know that I was any good. I was taught to say MA-ria and not MER-ia by the choral director. And my bestie frenemy Jymm was the Butler and we had great times together.
The joy of the first show you do must be something like the first time someone kisses you…
I know it’s something I will never get out of my system. (gosh, I’m practically going to cry now).
In the course of doing the show, I did all the reading up I could do (pre-internet) and became something of an authority on the real life Von Trapps who didn’t have an easy time after their emigration.
So the opportunity to walk into the small graveyard where the Captain, Maria, and a handful of their kids are buried, well… ended up feeling a bit like a holy pilgrimage.
And the drive up was so beautiful. It was a calm clear day of blue skies. We saw a small deer nibbling on apple trees, and a flock of female turkeys wandering through an open field.
We only had 20 minutes, so I had to do my worshiping/sightseeing in hyper drive. I would have liked more time to just stand on the side of the meadow that fronts the Lodge, and look out over the mountains and just BE. But there wasn’t enough time.
But what time we did have made me happy. Happy tears. Tears I don’t exactly have words for, which threatened when our tour guide Sharon noted that there was a small patch in the middle of the impatiens that covered Maria’s grave as if something had laid there in the night.
Theater has given me so much … and it all started out with me in pigtails and a wretchedly ugly blue dress and apron!!
On the way back to the hotel Sharon sang “Edelweiss,” and one of the older members of the tour sang “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” which he’d done onstage in some cabaret thing… open mike on a bus. Yessiree Bob.
And we got yet another lecture on photosynthesis!!!
We got back JUST in time for dinner … which I see by my notes was mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing, meatloaf, cranberry sauce, and cooked carrots with a mixed berry pie for dessert. Oh, and beef veggie soup. Did I mention we ate well on this trip???
At 7:30 there was “entertainment” in the bar, which my mother insisted we get to at 7:29 on the dot. Turned out to be the husband of one of the hotel managers singing and tickling the…um… keyboard … but he did a lot of 40s and 50s stuff and the older couples danced. Very sweet. I just sipped my rum and coke and chatted with our tour escort. (not as sexy as it sounds.)
A quick dip in the pool, which would have been lovely as I had it to myself again, but after the hot tubbers left, one of construction workers came and sat and watched me swim which was creeping me a out a bit as I was in there all by myself. So back to the room I went to pack up and spend my last night in Vermont. Read for a long while as I was bound and determined to finish The Time Traveller’s Wife during the trip!