As I browse Expedia.com looking for inspiration and adventure, I’m reminded of our last foray into parts unknown in our quest to explore the great U.S.A. I had romanticized and envied the Vermont lifestyle ever since the movie Baby Boom came out. The beautiful scenes of fall foliage, the unspoiled blanket of white snow across the fields, the no-nonsense, hardy Vermonters all appealed to me, and I’d been daydreaming about visiting for quite some time before it all came to fruition.
I was shocked from the moment the plane landed in Albany, New York, and as we ventured forth on our driving trek to the magic scenes of the Green Mountain state. The short lines on the map, i.e., routes 9 and 7, did not do the up-and-down, curving-round-and-round, hair-raising thirty-nine-mile jaunt justice. The sun was setting, my teeth were on edge, and my palms were sweating in the cool air as we navigated the hills and dales to Bennington, Vermont.
Further culture shock awaited me after checking into our room. The time was approaching 8 p.m. and the search was on for sustenance. We had not seen the first fast-food joint on our drive in, so decided to look in the phone book for restaurants and eating establishments. Precious few were still open, and the phone book failed to reveal any names of chains familiar to us. We simply started driving, finally finding a little restaurant just a half hour shy of closing. Our first meal in Vermont was less than exciting. We did, however, encounter our first introduction to fauna that night. Seems as if each establishment we visited from that time hence had at least one resident large black fly. I don’t know if that is part of homeland security (spy fly?), a Vermonter’s watch dog (eye fly?), dress code enforcer (tie fly?), bouncer (bye fly?), or the fact that the weather was changing and each fly was scrounging for winter digs, but one obviously took a shine to us and made himself at home in our rental car for the trip’s duration.
The comfort level which the Vermonters seemed to have around large black flies, along with their obvious nonchalance regarding the fact that these same flies taste each dish before and while it is being served, was amazing to us. Deli cases and bakery treats were never free of flies tasting and lazing on various and sundry items being offered for sale.
Hubby and I got used to having our fly, whom we named Marv, accompany us on our daily jaunts to various places of interest in southern and central Vermont. He stubbornly stayed in the car as we got out and walked, visited, ate or slept, no matter how long we were absent from the car. All manner of entreating, rolling down windows, and attempted swatting with rolled-up papers failed to waver Marv’s determination to be our vacation companion.
The afternoon we left, Marv vacated the car—he probably didn’t want to end up in Albany. I don’t miss Marv; I’ve scrubbed any future plans to return at “sugaring season.” I can envision Marv’s whole clan packed tightly into a Ford Fiesta, which is enough incentive to book a vacation to San Antonio during August.