Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hooray for Vacay!

Hello everyone! Lots has been going on around here with me lately. The most important news, of course, is that I finished my oral exams. WOO HOO!! I am now ABD (all but dissertation). Ha! As if that were some mean feat...all that's left is the measly little dissertation. No biggie, right? Still, I feel like I have finished the preliminaries and can now get started on the cool part, y'know?

After I finished up, I did a little bit of traveling to celebrate. First, I visited some family in Florida, which was fun. I managed to go to the beach twice and not get horribly sunburned. I only peeled a teeny bit on the tops of my shoulders. This is a major accomplishment for me. The beach and I don't exactly get along famously. Anyway, after my trip to Florida I returned here for a few days, only to turn around and leave for Vermont shortly thereafter. I went up there to visit my old roommates from Atlanta, one of whom (Melinda) now lives in Burlington. The other roommate, Leah, and I drove from MD to VT, which was not a bad drive, really, except for a couple of things. First of all, it cost us approximately $20 in tolls each way. CRAZY. Also, Google maps is great at finding you the shortest route and, don't get me wrong, the directions were completely accurate. However, we ended up on some very, very tiny country roads, none of which were marked clearly or, um, at all, around the New York/VT border right at dusk. That was...challenging. Also, there were farm smells and at least one skunk. We affectionately named the area "New Vermork" since we were not terribly clear on which state we were in, exactly. New Vermork is not easy to navigate, so I don't recommend going if you can avoid it.

Vermont is REALLY pretty. I was kind of surprised by how rural it is! I suppose that's ignorant of me, but I was expecting Burlington to be a fairly big city. On the contrary, although it is the largest city in VT, it is not that big. The downtown was super cute and quaint with pretty little shops. We spent one day strolling around down there poking around. It was really nice. We also pretty much ate our way through the state. We toured the Cabot creamery where we got free samples of cheese, the Ben and Jerry's factory where we got free samples of ice cream, the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory where we got free samples of chocolate, and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill where we got, you guessed it, free samples of cider. I have no idea why people in VT don't weigh 500 lbs apiece. If I lived there, I guarantee you that someday someone would be prying the wall off my house to lift me out with a forklift while Richard Simmons cheered me on. It would be BAD.

Anyway, I'm back now, having successfully navigated New Vermork not once, but twice, and having eaten way more than my fair share of Vermont's dairy products. I was a very silly girl and did not take my camera with me, but when Leah and Melinda send me their photos, I will post a few for your viewing pleasure.

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