After Andy joined us in Massachusetts, having finished his conference in Salt Lake City, it was time to head north to visit my brother. Aidan is kind enough to live in one of the coolest New England “cities,” Burlington, Vermont. It’s generous to call it a city, but for Vermont, it’s a bustling metropolis, and definitely one of my favorite spots to visit. Aidan went to college there and has stayed on after graduation. I definitely don’t blame him!
The six of us (Andy, my parents and my four-legged siblings) checked into our dog-friendly motel, then headed into town. Burlington sits on the shores of the massive Lake Champlain, which stretches 107 miles (172 km) all the way into Canada. Champlain even has its own Loch Ness Monster equivalent, aptly named Champ. Since the day was exceptionally hot, we decided to let the dogs cool off, but we stayed close to shore so they wouldn’t get attacked by some prehistoric denizen of the deep.
Taz would make a good appetizer, perhaps. Luckily, there was no sign of Champ.
A bike and pedestrian path weaves alongside the lake, heading out of Burlington. We decided to wander that way, finding any shade we could whenever possible.
Aidan was at work, so we were biding our time until we could meet up with him later for dinner.
Soon, I spotted a photo op that I couldn’t pass up. Luckily, Andy A-Dog has already learned it’s easier to submit to my photographic whims than decline. Just get it over with, right?
We found a dog park along the way, where Taz and Button could run without us worrying about one taking off and the other wandering blindly.
The view out over Lake Champlain towards the Adirondack Mountains of New York was beautiful.
Time for another cool-off.
Taz wasn’t too sure about the whole swimming thing, especially being plopped in deep water by Andy.
He decided to brace himself with as much strength as his tiny dog legs could muster and refused to get back in.
The view across the lake was fabulous, with a lone sailboat moored in the calm water.
We decided to turn back, knowing there was a great lakeside restaurant where we could cool off and have a drink at the end of our trek.
Can’t beat a restaurant with a view like this:
The dogs were a big hit, as usual, and we humans enjoyed our refreshing drinks. Any beverage tastes better with a great view!
Heading back to the car, we passed some beautiful blooms, especially wonderful considering we left behind NZ winter.
After dropping the dogs off at the motel, we met Aidan for dinner in town. I’m glad I have this one photo to prove we actually saw my broski.
All in all, it was an epic first day.
The next morning, we headed to a nearby hiking spot with the dogs.
It was lovely and cool beneath the trees, especially considering how hot the weather had been.
I’m not sure everyone was ready for that photo.
Our path took us to the top of some cliffs, where we got a great view of another corner of Lake Champlain.
We followed a path down to the water, and the dogs got another much-needed dip.
Ahhh, puppy bliss.
Before leaving, we were greeted by more beautiful flowers.
It’s easy to see why Vermont uses the slogan, I L❤VERMONT. Who wouldn’t?
That afternoon, we visited Magic Hat Brewery, a truly funky brewery that fits the truly funky city of Burlington perfectly.
We had another great meal that night with my bro, this time at a fantastic tapas restaurant, and played some card games back at our motel.
The next morning, we had a big ol’ breakfast (are you sensing a food theme here?) before jumping into the car and heading back south. We’re not done yet though, since there was a pit-stop on the way back. Stay tuned!