Wednesday, December 8, 2010


So sorry for the late posting! I've been feeling a little under-the-weather.

This past weekend, I brought in December with a visit to Vermont to visit Karina and our friend Charlie, who drove up from Philly to spend his birthday with us in the mountains!  We went to Bennington, where Karina goes to school in the foothills of the Green Mountains, and it was goooorgeous. The views from everywhere are just breathtaking— the mountains are grand and it's just so picturesque. On our Friday morning walks through the Bennington College campus, the town of Bennington and the woods, I just couldn't stop taking pictures. It all looked so Jane Austen!

The Bennington view

In Bennington, it seemed everyone was so environmentally aware! There are little stations with free coffee  all over campus, but no disposable cups provided. Instead, we took our mugs with us everywhere. When we went on a little hike, we left our mugs sitting on a little stone post next to the road— it was so sweet! And the funny thing was, carrying our mugs with us everywhere was no trouble at all.

After hearing one of Karina's friends, Stephanie, deliver a presentation of her recent research on newts, we went to Complaints Choir.

Complaints Choir involved the collecting of students' general complaints about life. Then a group of student singers composed the complaints into a song that they performed. Above is the room In the Bennington Visual and Performing Arts Center (VAPA) where Complaints Choir performed before walking campus (caroling-style) to sing the complaints. It was quite funny.

The ever-present mug.

In the afternoon, we met up with Karina's friend Lauren and Lauren's boyfriend Victor (visiting from Montreal) and went into town to look into the cute little shops and restaurants. At a local bagel company, we ate these apple-and-cheddar calzones. So very Vermont, so very tasty. I should say here that I was delighted to sample all sorts of awesome Vermont foods— in addition to apples, apple cider and great cheese (including an awesome sage cheddar), we ate our pancakes with real Vermont maple syrup. (Wow.)

Friday evening, Karina and Charlie and I went to Bennington Monument. It's a big obelisk on a hill above the town (the tallest structure in Vermont!) and it honors the Green Mountain Boys' Battle of Bennington during the Revolutionary War. Just after nightfall, we drove down the road a bit from the monument to Robert Frost's grave, in a creepy old cemetery. Karina and Charlie put pennies on Mr. Frost's grave (I was sad to not have brought any change) and we read lots of old tombstones.

In our dark drive back to campus, we managed to get supremely lost for a full 30 minutes in Green Mountain foothills. Back at campus, we went down to Karina's friend John's house for a fabulous party to celebrate her upcoming graduation! (Side note: John lives in Shingle Cottage, which is a house in which Robert Frost himself lived for a while.) Anyway, there were lots of cute decorations honoring Karina, including a poster with a fantastic drawing of Karina on which her friends wrote her sweet notes. On the whole, it was a ridiculously fun time, getting to talk to lots of Karina's Vermont friends, singing music and trying to contact Mr. Frost via a Ouija board.

On Saturday morning, we explored the campus some more, including a visit to the great campus library. The shelves are set to slide along tracks, so you can crank them together and apart and fit in more books. Totally cool.

Our Saturday morning walk took us to the cemetery on Bennington campus, which totally felt like Halloween. There were tombstones leaning into each other and falling over— even one being held up from behind with a stick!

Karina's pretty hair!

The lake on campus was partially frozen-over and so pretty.

Here's the three of us, right before Charlie left!

After Charlie left, Karina, Lauren, Victor and I went to nearby Brattleboro. On the way, we stopped at this beautiful look-out point.

As we got into town, we picked up Karina's boyfriend Jacob from his work. In town, we stopped by Clayworks, where my friend Claire used to work, and then explored a used bookstore, Brattleboro Books. We also looked in nearby shops and visited the food co-op and a coffeeshop. It was a charming little town.

Victor and Lauren

Jacob– photo by Karina =)

Sunday morning drive to Albany

Saying goodbye to Karina at the airport

the sky on my flight from detroit to indianapolis was unbelievable. It was so much more vibrant in real life. The stripes of color on the horizon showed the full spectrum.

What a welcome home. As soon as we got to our gate in Indianapolis, the pilot announced the Colts score over the PA system. When I got into the terminal, every TV was playing the game and there were huge crowds gathered around to watch.

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