Another great night sleep, although I did have a hard time falling asleep. Which means that I have had time to start my new book The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell. And it has started good, so I’m very pleased, but I love me my British crime novels.

Since today is a holiday both in Canada, Jean Baptist Day or National Holiday of Quebec and Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden. So were a merry band of four today, Andy’s Dad is off from work and since the rain is pouring down in Montreal we decided to take a little trip to the US, where the weather is supposed to be a lot better. The weather in Montreal has become worse, but at the same time it has changed quite a bit from ALL sunshine, before we came to ALL rain. But it doesn’t really matter if one is spending a lot of time inside, I mean a little rain never killed anyone, right?

We ate breakfast inside for the first time this trip. The rain has always come after breakfast. Nice to just sit and talk and plan the days adventures. And all together is going to be fun. Last time we were here, during Christmas 2009, all of us, Andy’ Mom and Dad, brother Dr. SpiderPig, Andy and I had several spells of sickness. One person got sick and then the next and then the next and then it started all over again. So our ability to make a trip all together didn’t happen. We took day trips alone with Andy’s Mom and one with Andy’s Dad, but never all 5 together. So it’ll be real fun.

The whole reason for today’s trip is to make sure that we get ourselves green cards/Visa for the next couple of trips in and out of the US. As to make the in and out passages easier. We have 2 trips planned to the US and then possibly some more, you never know. Therefore it is good to have the green card out of the way so that we don’t spend time on ”real” trips for queueing for Visas. But at the same time Andy’s parents wanted to show us some stores in Vermont, that they have been talking about as ”Karoleen shops” =)

After breakfast we packed a backpack with the essentials and set of on our adventure. The rain kept on pouring down, but since we parked under the house we don’t really have to get wet, which is always nice. The In-laws car is a Nissan Murano so were fortunet that we won’t have any issues with place or comfort. The drive way was slightly wet when we came out but since we didn’t have to spend any time in the rain, it was really nice to just hear the smatter of the rain drops against the pavement.

The rain keep pouring down and there was pretty much zero sight. But since we knew where we were going and we’ve driven by here before, although it was real winter then, we didn’t really have to see anything. We took road 10 to exit 22 and started going south towards the boarder. We passed St-Jean sur Richelieu and changed to road 33 and then on to road 225 via Sabrevois.

Outside the city it stopped raining and we could finally see out of the car, lots to see and to marvel over. We made sure to stop of at a few spots for some geocaches and also a few photo-ops.  Although our first two attempts (geocaches) were futile, since we couldn’t find the caches due to the flooding along the side of the roads.

We reached the boarder crossing at Noyan/Alburgh and realized that there was a really long line. We had chosen a smaller crossing in the hope that we’d miss the traffic over the boarder but alas. The crossing took about 1 h 15 minutes and then we had our green cards in hand.

We passed through the Lake Champlain islands towards the town of Burlington. On the first island, North Hero, we visited a store, that the In-laws really like and call the ”Scissor-store”.

We had ourselves some coffee, I tried Hazelnut coffee with milk and it was really good. Then we began to inspect all the goods in the store. There were kitchen appliances and gadgets, candy, coffee, Scissors in every shape and size, dentistry equipment, clothes, gags, books, toys, jewelry, clocks and everything inbetween.  And they had set up their own Global Time Zone clocks =) I have lots of pictures from the store, but the’re coming later.

We drove on via the Grand Isle and South Hero islands and then over to the ”main land” in Burlington. On the bridge between the we found our first cache for the day, finally! We had decided to have lunch at an Australian restaurant called Outback, which was unfortunetly closed when we found it. So we headed on towards Stowe to find another restaurant for some lunch and some more shopping. On the way to Stowe you can visit the home of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Their original factory and the landscape around it was just like their tags on the ice cream.

Lake Champlain.

In Stowe we had lunch at another of the In-laws favorite. The Malt Shop. A 50’s-60’s diner with lots of fun stuff. We sat at the JFK table and the menu was wonderfully colorful. There were lots of choices of American 50’s-60’s food. Everything from burgers to floats…

We all ordered the same burger, the Blue Suede Burger, a meat patty grilled medium with blue cheese and bacon, served with fries. It was beautiful, soft and moist and very very tasty! Served 50’s style with baskets and grease-paper. Ah drool… I want that burger again!

Since Andy’s Dad and I both love onion rings we ordered a serving for the four of us. It was the largest serving of onion rings that I have ever seen. Andy and his mom ate some too but we didn’t finish them all. But they were really good and crunchy.

I was totally stuffed after the meal, and didn’t really feel like desert, but Andy and his Dad had some Moose Track Ice Cream, which is vanilla ice cream shattered with different kinds of chocolate, such as regular dark chocolate, regular milk chocolate, Reeses pieces and other dark tracks… =) It is a home made ice cream that is to die for!

The interior of the restaurant was very cute with pictures of famous Americans and lots of great signs and other 50’s memorabilia. Even an old petrol pump and a cigarette machine can be found.

After dinner we strolled, SLOWLY, around in Stowe. Jamie’s on Main was a great shop with lots of fun things and I love walking around in these stores that pretty much have everything and lots of strange things that you have never seen or heard of. More pictures will come from there.

Stowe is a very beautiful little town and it’s really quaint.

After Stowe we started to head back to the boarder and back to Montreal. We took the 108 road via Smuggler’s Notch, an impressive mountain range with such a magical forest. If the weather had been better, by now it was really raining, I would have loved to stop of and check out the forest and take some pictures.

We made the boarder crossing at East Franklin, that took about 2 minutes and then we headed home on road 237 and then smaller roads to the 104, east of Farnham. Then north on 233 and then road 10 towards Iles de Soeurs.

Back at home we got dinner ready, a must on Midsummer’s eve, Swedish herring and new potatoes, and of course some snaps.

A really lovely day, south of the boarder! =)

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