I spent my birthday in Waterbury, VT with two of my friends Prithwish and Arun. Click Here to check out the pictures from the trip.
Day 1, Fri Apr. 13th - The weekend started on Friday evening. We finally got out of Boston around 7ish and started driving north towards Vermont. Fortunately there was no traffic. Once we were in NH, Prithwish took over driving. This is the first time that Prithwish drove my car on the highway.. I was a little apprehensive at first, but, then started to relax when he was doing just fine.. After about an hour or so of driving, we were hungry and took the first food exit off the highway.. The road was quite dark, and we were sure if we were going to find any restaurants. After about 2 miles, we saw a *bar type* restaurant called La Dolce Vita in a strip mall.. Since, we were so commited to having food, we decided to check it out. The first thing that Arun and Prithwish noticed when we entered the restaurant was that the bathroom doors were open and that everyone who left the restaurant used the bathroom before exiting. Hmm.. More suspicions about the quality of the food.. Finally, we sat down to eat and ordered our food.. I got Rissotto, Arun got stuffed trout and Prithwish got Steak Pizziola.. The food was very good and we didn't need to use the bathroom after we were done eating.. We started driving again and reached our B&B Grunberg Haus around midnight. Jeff Connor the owner of the B&B showed us around the place and most importantly told us that we could help ourselves to a night cap amaretto. People who know Arun, know how happy he was when he heard that.. So, after keeping our bags in our room, we went down to the living room to toast my birthday and enjoy the night cap..
That was about all the excitement that we could handle for the day, and decided to call it a night..
Day 2, Sat Apr 14th (My Birthday) - Woke up around 8ish and got ready.. By the time, I was done, Arun was also awake.. We didn't have that hard a time waking Prithwish up, who, is a night person, so doesn't like to wake up early. We all got ready and headed down to breakfast. We met Jeff's wife Linda Connor who had cooked us some nice hearty breakfast. We had coffee, orange juice, pumpkin bread, poached pear with cream and ricotta stuffed french toast.. Needless to say, we were stuffed.. To burn off all these calories we had just ingested, we decided to go snow shoeing. Jeff and Linda owned about 50 acres of land behind the B&B and had made trails there for outdoor activities. We headed out and spent a few hours just walking around in the snow.. We were warned by Linda that we needed to stay on their land and not wander off to the neighbor's for the fear of getting shot.. We initially tried out the easy trail.. After having conquered it, we were ready for the harder trails.. One of the harder trails was called *Vermonster*.. We walked and walked and walked.. And didn't find the trail.. Oh well.. I also made a snow angel in the snow.. Looked more like a snow ghost.. Of course, I was a little distracted by Prithwish throwing snow balls at me.. After we got back from snow shoeing, we had some hot cider and headed out to lunch.. We had some burgers and beer and a local pub, Arvads. Then we headed out for some local sight seeing.. We tried different kinds of cheddar cheese at the Cabot Factory Annex. Arun bought some chocolates at the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory, tasted some cider, donuts and dessert wines at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill.. If you haven't noticed the trend yet, we had been eating all day.. It was around 5ish now, and even though we knew we had to figure out what we wanted for dinner, none of us could even think about food. So, we decided to go back to our room and chill out for a few hours. The part of going back to our room during the evening is what I call my American Vacation. We actually, relaxed.. I read my book, Prithwish finished his work and Arun napped.. After a few hours of this relaxation we were ready head out again.. We drove to Burlington, VT for dinner.. It was a surprisingly "happening" town.. We couldn't find a parking spot and had to park in a parking garage.. We had dinner at American Flatbreads. The pizza was huge, but, we mangaged to finish it all.. We got home around midnight and discovered that Arun had arranged for two Birthday cakes, one for me and one for Prithwish.. He had also bought a bottle of Champagne..
So, we blew out the candles, cut the cake and opened the bottle of champagne.. The cake was yummy and so was the champagne.. But, we were beat from all the excitement of the day, and decided to retire for the night..
Day 3, Sun Apr 15th (Prithwish's Birthday) - Woke up again around 8ish and got ready, Arun followed suit.. Prithwish however, wanted to sleep in some more.. Seeing as it was his birtday, I wasn't going to let that happen.. So, after a bunch of pestering from me, he finally did rise and shine and we headed down to breakfast. Menu for today, was coffee, mimosas (made from the previous night's champagne), glazed bananas (Linda was kind enough to give me the recipe) and apple spice pancakes with maple syrup.. After the delicious breakfast, we packed our bags loaded them in car and headed out for the a factory tour of Ben and Jerry's. Unfortunately the tour route was undergoing renovations, so, we only got to see the video of the factory. We did get a free scoop of banana rum ice-cream, which the tour guide described as "not too banani". So, ever since we decided to go to Vermont, I knew I wanted to go to a Sugaring place.. Its just one of those hyped up things that I felt like I *needed* to do.. Hence, we (I) decided to go to Morse Farm. This place was recommended by Linda and Jeff. The owner of the farm, Harry (Burr) Morse Jr, was in the sugar shack boiling down the sap. He explained the maple syrup making process to us.. The farm was very picturesque with a barn, pine trees and snow in the background.
At the farm store we participated in a Vermont tradition of "Sugar on Snow" where you pour a small amount of maple syrup over ice, causing the maple syrup to freeze into a taffy like consistency, which is then scraped with a fork and eaten. This gives an instant sugar high, which is cut down a bit by biting on a pickle. Once we were done with our sugar high, we started driving back home. The road conditions weren't all that good due to all the snow and we saw couple cars that had broken down.. We made it back safe and sound to Boston in around 4 hours.. To end the trip, we celebrated Prithwish's birthday at a Thai restaurant Spice and Rice in Cambridge.
While we were in Vermont, we had spotty cell phone reception, so, I wasn't able to talk to my parents for long.. But, they also celebrated my birthday by offering the *shayan bhog* at our local temple in Bombay and then invited the family over for dinner..
All in all it was a wonderful weekend.. Never before in my life have my birthday festivities gone on for an entire weekend..
Thanks Arun and Prithwish for making my birthday a very special one!!!