Kieran and I visited his parents in Rhode Island last weekend. We drove up to Vermont to check out the fall foliage. Within an hour of being in Vermont, you’ll never guess who we bumped into!
You guys, Kieran and I had a whirlwind trip to Rhode Island this past weekend. Kieran’s parents live in Rhode Island so we made the trek to go visit them. I love traveling to the East Coast to visit Kieran’s family. They are adventurous people who love to travel as much as we do. On previous visits, they’ve taken us to Maine, Boston, and Cape Cod. When they asked where we wanted to visit this time around, I immediately said Vermont.
I’ve never been to Vermont and heard the fall foliage is a must-see. Although the drive to Burlington, Vermont is 5 hours away from Rhode Island, I figured the scenery would make up for it. As we left for the airport last Friday I nonchalantly told Kieran I hope we bump into Bernie Sanders. Knowing the odds of running into the Senator of Vermont were a billion to one, we laughed it off.
As you can imagine, flying from Oregon to Rhode Island is a long ass travel day. We flew from Portland to Providence with a tight connecting flight out of Chicago. Our flight ended up being delayed 40 minutes because it was pouring rain in Chicago. Before takeoff, the flight crew said our connecting flight was also delayed so we needn’t worry about missing our connection.
When our plane touched down at O’Hare International Airport a flight attendant made an announcement over the PA system. She informed all passengers to stay seated and allow travelers with connecting flights to exit the plane first. She said all connecting flights were on-time and boarding. Excuse me? All connecting flights were on-time and boarding?!? Oh. Shit.
O’Hare is one of the largest and busiest airports in the US. We had to sprint to the opposite side of the airport, through large crowds of people, in order to make our flight in time. We ran up and down escalators, through tunnels, and through multiple terminals to reach our flight. To add insult to injury, I was wearing high heel boots too. We reached our gate with minutes to spare. We hoped we had better luck on the way home.
Kieran’s father was at the airport to greet us. We landed after 9 pm and had to drive another hour before we reached their house. Kieran and I were exhausted by this point. We stayed up a little while longer to catch up with Keiran’s mom. Shortly thereafter we retired for the night. The following day we drove to Vermont.
Vermont was breathtaking. The landscape was rolling hills as far as the eye could see. The trees covering those hills had foliage in various states of fall color. I sat back in my car seat soaking up the scenery. I felt an overwhelming sensation of calm and contentment. Man, I hope we run into Bernie Sanders, I thought, that would be so cool.
About 7 miles from Burlington we stopped at a rest stop in Williston, VT, right off the highway. Kieran and I perused the travel pamphlets while we waited for Kieran’s folks to use the restroom. I had better go too, I thought.
I found Kieran leaning on the information desk outside of the men’s bathroom when I came back. He had a strange look on his face. Kieran turned to me and said, I think Bernie Sanders is in the men’s room.
I laughed, No, he’s not, stop fucking with me. Kieran didn’t say anything. His eyes darted back and forth from mine to the men’s room. I suddenly felt nervous, Oh my God is Bernie really in the men’s room?
A couple minutes go by and who comes walking out of the bathroom? Bernie Sanders.
Dumbfounded doesn’t cover how I felt at this point. My eyes popped out of my head and my jaw hit the floor. Bernie saw the expression on my face and paused. He met my expression with one that conveyed concern. He probably thought I was having a damn stroke! Internally, I was fangirling like crazy. I thought this is your one chance Christina, say something profound, say something intelligent, say something funny. I pointed at him and blurted out, Bernie, you’re the BEST!
Bernie threw his head back, laughed a big Bernie laugh, clapped me on the shoulder, and walked away.
I squeezed my eyes shut, put my fingers to my temple, and thought, I hope I win a million dollars, I hope I win a million dollars…
I didn’t ask Bernie for a selfie. The man just stepped out of the bathroom. In my opinion, that’s the equivalent of catching him with his pants down. If Bernie stopped and talked with me I probably would have asked for a selfie, but he didn’t. In all honesty, making him laugh was good enough for me.
Burlington, Vermont is a cool college town. We explored Chruch Street which is the main pedestrian thoroughfare in the heart of downtown. Church Street is an award-winning outdoor mall lined with restaurants, bars, adorable ice cream, and retail shops. I’ve heard good things about Vermont’s craft beer scene so I was itching to try their IPA.
We got an outdoor table at The Scuffer Tap & Table located on Church Street. I ordered a burger and an IPA beer flight. Sadly, I wasn’t impressed with my order. My beer tasted just OK and my burger was overcooked. Kieran’s beer, on the other hand, was amazing. Our server recommended he try Heady Topper by the Alchemist Brewery. If you love imperial style IPA beer this is the beer to try.
After dinner, we tooled around downtown for a bit before retiring to our hotel rooms. Kieran and I decided we weren’t finished exploring so we ordered a Lyft and proceeded to bar hop. The first bar we went to was dead. Neither the bartender or patrons were friendly or talkative. We finished our drinks then walked around to find a friendlier bar. After 20 minutes of walking, we stumbled across the Olde Northender Pub. The Northender is a dive bar. We found our kind of establishment. We stayed for a few rounds of drinks and played a game of darts while beaming over the Bernie Sanders experience. All around we have an amazing night.
The next morning we met Kieran’s parents for breakfast. We checked out of the hotel and piled into the car to head back to Rhode Island. We decided to take the long route home through the Green Mountains so we could explore more of Vermont. I think the route added an additional hour (or two) to our ride home, but it was worth it. The scenery, once again, was remarkable. We stopped off at Texas Falls to stretch our legs and snap some photos of the beautiful foliage.
The following day we visited with Kieran’s family and explored Providence, Rhode Island. Owen gave us a driving tour through the beautiful Brown University campus. He even took us to the cemetery where horror fiction author H.P. Lovecraft was buried!
I was utterly exhausted after cramming 3 days with nonstop exploring. Kieran’s mom and dad drove us to the airport and we took a flight back to Portland. Our connecting flight was through O’Hare once again. Our connecting flight was tight and the gate was located on the opposite side of the airport. Once again we had to sprint through the airport to catch our flight. Seriously you guys, why does O’Hare airport have to be such a dick?
Anyway, we got home safe and sound. Now that I’m back I have several Halloween recipes on the Shock Munch docket. I can’t wait to share them with you! I’ll also have an update on our kitchen renovation soon. We ran into some issues with our subflooring and dry rot that pushed back the timeline. It’s a pain in the ass but the hard work will be worth it in the end.
Alright, folks, that’s a wrap on this post! If everything goes well I’ll have a new Halloween recipe to share tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by,