Monday, June 02, 2008

Random Notes from the Trip

COLCHESTER--This is a day where I didn't have an evening concert to review, so I'll use this post to chronicle a couple of interesting things that have happened thus far:
  • The water in Burlington is absolutely delicious, right out of the tap. The best that I've had so far comes from the water fountain in the lower level of the Flynn Center; it's cold and clear, as if it came straight out of Lake Champlain (which is just down the street, after all), but sanitized for our protection. I haven't seen too much bottled water in the vending machines yet, which makes sense; if my local tap water tasted like this, I'd keep one empty bottle with me during the teaching day and refill it right out of the fountains.

  • Vermont, of course, is famous for maple syrup (and maple everything else, for that matter). So it was ironic to note that, in our hotel, the little packets of syrup for the waffles at breakfast were manufactured in...Texas.

  • Speaking of that, one of the best places in the area to get all things maple (and all things Vermont) is Dakin Farm. I actually skipped lunch yesterday because I was sated by the wide variety of good stuff to sample there (it's not that I overindulged, either; there's just so many things to try), and I topped it all off with a maple frozen yogurt cone. Highly recommended, and it wasn't even too bad coming down from the sugar rush later.

  • Last time we were here, it was as if we brought our own weather with us; they were undergoing a ridiculous heat wave. This time, Burlington also reminds me of late February. (I've enjoyed checking out the weather forecasts online; the highs here line up pretty nicely with the lows in D/FW.) It was a little sunny out on Church Street today, but it was about twenty degrees cooler than it would have been back home.

  • Yesterday, we saw a warning sign along the side of the road for SCARIFIED PAVEMENT. I pictured the road trembling with fear as cars drove across it. But what does it really mean? I had to look it up, but it's pretty much like the annoying "grooved pavement" that is sometimes seen on Texas roads under construction. (I couldn't get a picture, but one of a similar sign can be found here, near the bottom of the post, complete with kids looking "scarified." Heh.)

  • Even on an intermittently-rainy night, there's still something to do on Church Street. Tonight, we chilled at Uncommon Grounds, a cool local coffeehouse, and caught some live jazz coming from outside of Red Square. I'll try to have pictures of the area up at random times during the week, as I realized that this is my first Burlington trip in the Digital Camera Age (I got mine about six months after I was last here), so the blog posts have been bereft of photos thus far.

  • Speaking of Church Street, one of my fellow Garlanders (-ites?) on the trip said, "This looks like Firewheel!" My reply was, no, Firewheel looks like this (or, more accurately, it's a fake downtown that had to be built because our "real" downtown isn't set up this way). I only wish we had a pedestrian-friendly area at home with ample sidewalk dining (which happens a few places in Firewheel, but not as many as I'd like) and live music wafting from many points on the block (one can only dream).
I'll have more random notes throughout the week, and probably a picture or two tomorrow.

And on a personal note: Happy anniversary to Mom and Dad! This is the second year in a row that I've been at a jazz festival on their big day, thus prompting a phone call to them from an exotic location (and the year before that, I was playing jazz for them).

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