Burlington was not my favorite place. I don’t know why—maybe it was the cold gray weather—but I just couldn’t get into it. I liked our motel, the Bel-Aire, the kind of lodging Todd is very good at finding—small, older, not-chain. Even though it was twice as expensive as most of these kinds of motels—Burlington is a college town—and even though it didn’t serve breakfast, it did offer coffee all day long, the proprietor was willing to chat whenever I came by, and it was within walking distance of downtown (about a mile). It was also within walking distance of a Lake Champlain Chocolates store, but I didn’t discover that until the last day.
Perhaps my funk had something to do with the need to finish an editing job that had taken twice as long as I told the author it would take. I was stuck in the tiny hotel room a lot, while Todd was off shooting a roller derby regional tournament. I was able to bird Delta Park on Lake Champlain (an adventure in itself because of the confusing layout of that neighborhood and the Vermont habit of providing streets signs only for the roads you’re approaching) and Green Mountain Audubon Center, which was moderately birdy and very beautiful. The woods were mysterious, even if the fall colors were much less showy than what we’d seen in the Adirondacks.
That Saturday in late September, I walked downtown to have dinner and use up the rest of my Macy’s gift certificate. As I strolled down the pedestrian mall, I noticed several bears that had been painted by local artists. It must be a trend: Denver has its painted cows, and Burlington has it bears.
At first I had difficulty choosing a restaurant. I didn’t want to be the middle-aged woman eating by herself in a restaurant full of undergraduates. I rejected two or three because they didn’t look single-friendly and instead settled on Mr. Crêpe, a fast-casual joint. It wasn’t very crowded, and I felt comfortable there. I ordered the Super Spinach, a larger crêpe filled with spinach, a little cheese, diced tomatoes, olives, and cilantro, along with two fried eggs. Although the filling wasn’t traditional, the vegetables tasted fresh, and I was happy that they were willing to fry the eggs (which are usually scrambled).
After dinner and shopping, I stopped by the Lake Champlain store for another round of chocolate indulgence (the day before, I had their peppermint hot chocolate). That and the Audubon Center were my favorites during my short visit to Vermont.