Honeymoon Day 4: Ben & Jerry’s, Rock Art, Mt. Mansfield, The Alchemist

So the fourth day of our honeymoon was spent hanging around Stowe for a little bit shopping.  We were looking for some hiking shoes, but didn’t find anything.  We decided we’d just head down the road to Ben & Jerry’s.  I had done the factory tour 2 or 3 times before this (the last time with Susan, her first time).  They changed quite a bit.  The video was different and the room where they show it was changed.  I think even the viewing area above the factory floor was changed.  It was pretty nice, though.  The best part, obviously, was the tasting.  They had a new flavor called Coconut Seven Layer Bar.  It’s, unfortunately, only available at Scoop Shops, but you can get hand packed pints of it.  We then wandered around the place.  They had a Flavor Graveyard that wasn’t there the last time.  I took tons of pictures, including this one of my former favorite flavor (may it rest in peace).

After Ben & Jerry’s, we headed back to Stowe and up to the toll road to drive up Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak.  The drive was awesome.  It was a dirt road winding up the side of the mountain.  It reminded me of Arlo Guthrie’s “Motorcycle Song”… “On one side was a mountain.  On the other side was nothing, just a cliff.”  That’s really how the road was much of the way up (and down I suppose).  Susan was flipping out (how can someone who loves roller coasters be so scared and someone who doesn’t particularly care for roller coasters be having a total blast?).  Anyway, we made it to the top after about 20 minutes of driving the 4.5 mile road.  The views from the summit were amazing.  Unfortunately, many of my pictures didn’t come out very well because my camera sucks with landscape shot like that, but the memories will last forever.  There was a nice CD that gave a little history of the mountain and the auto road (which used to be a toll road to a hotel on top of the mountain).  The flora is also alpine flora, which was really neat.

Finally, after coming back down, we decided to go to our 4th brewpub of the week to have dinner.  This brought us back down to Waterbury (where Ben & Jerry’s is located) to The Alchemist.  This was by far the best meal of the week, including the beer.  I ordered an IPA, which was very dark, but extremely tasty and better than most West Coast IPA’s (I had their other IPA as well, which was also very good).  For starters, we had mussels and then Susan got a shepherd’s pie and I had a crabcake sandwich with fries.  The fries were easily the best fries I have ever had.  The sandwich was also awesome and her shepherd’s pie was like no other she’s had before.  I bought a pint glass here as a memento.

That completes the fourth day.  I’ll write about our last full day later on or tomorrow morning.  Our ride home was pretty uneventful, aside from the gorgeous views of the mountains.  Vermont really is the most beautiful state in the country (at least in my mind).

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