Monday, December 21, 2009

Newport, VT

As I mentioned in my last post, I visited some friends in Newport, VT on Friday night into Saturday morning. Though I lived in Vermont for 5 years if you include all my years in college, plus my first year after graduation I spent working up there, the vast majority of my time in Vermont was spent in the Burlington area, the only really civilized (in my humble opinion) area of Vermont. Most of Vermont is either the woods, mountains, or agricultural land. The capital, Montpelier had approx. 8,000 people according to Wikipedia and the year 2000 census. It's the smallest state capital in the nation. But, that's just how Vermont is, and you can learn to love it for its quaintness.

This was my first real trip into "real" Vermont (because most true Vermonters don't really consider Burlington to be a proper representation of what "Vermont" is). I drove all the way up route 2 from Montpelier up to Route 91 all the way up to the last exit before the Canadian border, Newport, Vermont. This is a fairly large city, by Vermont standards, with a population of approx. 5,000 people, according to the 2000 census.

My friends own a beautiful two family house right in the same neighborhood where my friend's fiancee grew up. They've got a big lawn and they seem to be slowly doing some renovations to the house to improve it.

Saturday morning I woke up early (as usual, thank you Macy's and your 6am-10am schedule). They were up pretty early too, but not quite like me, and so they decided to take me on a little tour of the town before I took off back to Burlington.

It's a pretty small town, so there wasn't much to see. But the first stop was the pier where the boats dock in the summer on Lake Memphremagog. This lake is a fairly popular summer destination, and the town is trying to capitalize on their town's beauty to bring in more tourist and more revenue for the town.

See that mountain in the distance? That's a ski resort in Quebec, Canada. That's how close we are. My friend also told me that those woods directly across is the location of an old Abenaki (Vermont Native American tribe) village. Every time they try to develop that land they wind up digging up all sorts of artifacts, so now they just leave it be.

Here's the boat dock where the boats dock in the summer. It was super cold up here, about -6˚F when we woke up (not including the wind chill) so I bet the ice is pretty thick here. But just in case, don't try walking out there. My friend and his fiancee do a "penguin plunge" into this lake every year. Of course, as cold as the water is, the air is much colder, so I can imagine it's probably pretty refreshing to get in... getting out of the water is another story I bet..

Me and my friend! I didn't realize the tassel on my hat was like that. If I had, I would have fixed it. Instead I look like an idiot. Oh well, I usually look like an idiot..

My friend and his fiancee! They are getting married in September! I guess I'm getting to that age when everyone starts getting married...

After this, we braved the cold to walk down Main Street which is right around the corner from here.
Building near the lake.
Typical view of Main Street.

After walking up Main Street (almost everything was closed because we got there before 10am) we came to the library. My friend's fiancee highly recommended we check it out, because they had a small exhibit upstairs.

Here's part of the exhibit. Very old taxidermy-ified animals from Vermont and around the world. Though these things can be a little creepy, it is interesting to see these animals so close. For example, they had a bald eagle and a golden eagle (both of which are found in Vermont) and they are much bigger than I pictured.

Our last stop was the book store. It's an old style bookstore, not a big place like Borders or Barnes and Nobles. But they also had a nice little cafe on the side.

Thomas treated me to some hot cocoa to warm me up. Can you believe this delicious hot cocoa was only $1.50? I guess we're not in Starbucks anymore....

After this I headed out back to Burlington on Rt. 100. They were kind enough to lead me out to the route, because it's not exactly intuitive to find. Newport is a really beautiful place and I hope to get back again and go skiing at Jay Peak which is right in the neighborhood!


  1. whooo hoooo!! it was great having you up, we miss hanging out with you all the time! hope to see you before you leave again!

  2. We LOVED having you JOJO.. and for your friends abroad, Newport is on the 45 degree parrellel which means were exactly half way between the north pole and the equater. We really should post some pictures of Newport in the summer time as its our BEST season... Im a native here and Im ashamed but happy to say I HATE THE WINTER... Love you jojo and thanks for comeing up this way!

  3. Mind you those stuffed animals were over 150 years old!!!!

  4. Aww, reminds me of where I'm from. In the US I live in New Hampshire right over the Vermont border. Very beautiful!