Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The New York Experience: Day 5 - Who Cut The Cheese?

Come on. Sing it with me! "Who cut the cheese? Who cut the cheese? I ask you please, now who cut the cheese? My mind is always up for learnin', tell me why my eyes are burnin', who cut the cheese?" Today's adventure takes us to a city where the pace is even slower than my hometown in NY. A place where lots of American history was made and where our family memories will be alive forever.

It's one of the coldest parts of the country but the people are warm and friendly and the landscape is some of the most beautiful you'll ever see. When you think about the four season, this place had definitely got it down. I'm talking about the Green Mountain State. Vermont. Specifically, Bennington Vermont.

Today's trip had three purposes. For my Mom, it was a chance to visit my Godmother. For my wife, it was a chance to go to the big Camelot Gift Gallery, a country and antique shop) for some shopping. For me, it was my annual check to Henry Salem's Vermont Market, a little hole in the wall store just down the street from my Uncle's old house, where as a kid, and even today, there is a product they sell that is pure heaven to my family. It's aged Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I can't remember a trip to Bennington without a stop at Salem's for cheese. In fact, I got 15 pounds of this delicacy for my friends and family.In my opinion, there is nothing better and the memories this cheesed brings are always warm and happy!

We had lunch with my Godmother, Mary Pat. A truly 100% Vermonter whose husband (my Godfather) died only days after my Dad did. My Dad and my Godfather (we called him Uncle Had their Birthday's in October. Entered the military together (although Bert chose the Army over my Dad's Navy). Both married girls named Mary in the Month of August. And sadly, both of these great men died together a year ago last August. Both my Dad and my Uncle Bert were proud of their military service. As an honor to him, we brought a flag case with an engrave plaque in which Mary Pat can store the flag that was given to her after his Military funeral.

We had a great lunch and my wife got to hear some of the old family stories about little Pete. Stories about our adventures in snowmobiling as a kid and many more. It was a good time for both my Mom and Mary Pat as they got to talk about their husbands whom both of them adored and catch up on the news and gossip of the state they both love. It was theraputic for both of them and I'm glad we had the chance to spend some time and share our memories with her. We had a lot of fun with them as kids. I just wish that somebody would forget the story about me telling a family friend about how his outdoor lights were all installed upside-down. But it always gets a good laugh!

We headed out of town and stopped at the country gift shops along the way, The spirit in this town is excited this year as the National Christmas Tree, which will be on the White House Lawn in Washington, DC will be coming from Bennington. They've got ceremonies scheduled for the tree cutting. A parade to escort the tree from Bennington to Washington, and many more events. It's something like this that gives additional life to this small depressed little town. The lack of an large industry has hurt the areas economy but tourism is at it's best due to the areas unique and breathtaking beauty. You cannot ever see better fall foliage than in Vermont. The heart of New England.

We had a nice ride in the late fall afternoon down old Route 7 back to my hometown. We didn't see any snow but according to reports there were little showers all around the area. Our trip to Bennington was a good one for all of us. Tomorrow we'll be just hangin' out getting ready for our big trip to New York City for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Stay tuned for this adventure.

Hopefully I don't owe Chuck Lorre and the writer's of "Two and a Half Men" any residuals for the little diddy at the top of this blog. Wait a minute. They're on strike. They're walkin' the picket line. But if they nab me I guess I can give them a small percentage of my Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese!