Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Smiths Go Northeast Day 7: Franconia, NH---Montpelier, VT

There was more fun on tap as we drove to Vermont to visit Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory AND Vermont Teddy Bear Company!
Josh and I had loved our visit to Ben & Jerry's on our original trip, and Graham was excited about everything, but Jackson truly was excited to see the ice cream be made!
Everyone needs this vehicle...!
The samples at the end of the tour are the best part!!!
The Flavor Graveyard!
Jackson decided he was most sad that the Fossil Fuel flavor was no longer around.  
We all loved the ice cream tour and tasting, and Jackson now points out Ben & Jerry's ice cream anywhere he sees it!
Josh and I did NOT visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory last time, so this was new to all of us!
There was an amazing play and picnic area spread out in a field in front of the building.  PERFECT for a picnic lunch and burning off some steam before the tour began!
Obstacles made out of pool noodles!
Various toys to try out
And, fun photo ops!
Just like our bride and groom teddy bears at home!
The first stop on our tour was the cutting area.  The sign lays out each individually cut-out piece of a teddy bear.
Then, the pieces are sewn together...
This showed the bears coming out on an assembly line and a map for where they are shipped to.  We also saw the hospital where bears in need of repair are sent for patching up, as well as the design area for any special requests.
Just lounging in the gift shop with these big guys!

A little side trip on our way to Burlington...
Another webcam cache along the waterfront in Burlington, VT!  We're not quite as easy to spot, but Jackson is on Josh's shoulders...

We set out to do a multi-cache that was super-fun to work on (all the stops along the way were unique pieces of art), but we were stumped at the end and couldn't find the final.  We thought it was pretty clear where it should be hidden, but we looked high and low and all around, but came up with nothing...except a parking ticket when we got back to our car a few minutes too late.  Double bummer!
But, then we found some whale tails totally in the middle of a big field/park across from an office complex.  Random, but really pretty!
This was also a cache, with an opportunity for some fun posing!

Josh had come across the listing for this ENORMOUS cache, so we searched it out.  The oldest of us three thought it was awesome (definitely the biggest we've ever seen), but it was about now that the littlest cacher let us knew he had enough :(  This ended up being quite a long fit lasting through a drive to dinner, being seated at dinner and lots of attempts at distraction... Finally, Graham calmed down, and we all enjoyed a pizza dinner! 
We took a little walk after dinner to this neat statue...for a cache... before heading to the hotel!
Obviously, bedtime was imminent for Graham, so I kept him in the room, gave him a bath, unpacked and set up beds while Josh took Jackson swimming.  Perfect timing for some Daddy-Jackson time!

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