Is there anything that says “Vermont” more than maple? Sure, we’ve got cows and mountains, but so do plenty of other states. Yes, we’ve got Ben & Jerry’s and Bernie Sanders, but those guys are big time now. Can we really claim them as our own exclusively anymore? No, they belong to the world. But what we do have is maple. Did you know that Vermont produces more maple syrup than any other state? That our state tree is the sugar maple? That you can’t drive with a BSC (Blood Syrup Content) of over .08%? No, juts kidding. That last one is not true. Everyone in Vermont has a blood syrup content of at least .23% and we all drive just fine.
With all of these facts in mind, you may find it hard to believe that our children had never been to Maple Open House Weekend! This is actually sometimes several weekends when the sugar houses open their doors to the public and we all swarm around them like flannel hummingbirds, searching for that sweet nectar. There are plenty of sugarhouses to choose from of course, but we selected, for this particular adventure, Palmer’s Sugarhouse in Shelburne.
What we found there was the state of Vermont, in one bowl. Here is a picture of it. It doesn’t get more Vermonty than this.
Mmmmm. Sugar on snow, a pickle and a maple donut. Yup, we got what we came for. And not one of those “sugar on snow”s that are really just maple slushies. This was the real deal. You know, with that thick sticky crust on top of pure sugar? Aw yeah.
Now, there were other fun things to do there, but many of them were outside. Since the weather clearly reads my blog and decided to bring winter back for me, we were not that into things like the outdoor playground. There were also wagon rides, but again, with the frigid wind whipping into our faces at approximately one billion miles an hour (and that was standing still!), we were not about to get into a one-horse open sleigh and start zipping around the forests and fields. Luckily there were inside things to do, like listen to live music!
I’m not including this day in my official adventure tally, partly because we are already ahead of the game, but mostly because we didn’t do half of the stuff due to being wimps. If we had gone on the wagon ride, toured the sugar shacks, and generally taken in the full experience, I might have labeled this as adventure number 5. Instead, I will call it a side quest on the year of adventure.
If you are ever in Vermont, and it happens to be sugar season, do yourself a favor. Find a place that will serve you warm maple syrup fresh from the boiler. Eat the maple cotton candy. Gobble up the maple popcorn. And for goodness’ sake, get some real sugar on snow. You won’t be sorry. And you might even learn something. Most likely your maple tolerance level. I sure found mine.