11.09.22 — Travel
After having lunch down by Lake Champlain and then having a tour of the islands which lie on it with Maureen, I was getting pretty used to being down by the water and I was slowly falling in love with this gorgeous corner of the US. My first weekend in the states was to take my connection with the lake up a notch, as we’d arranged to go camping by the water with Breen and Aaron for a night!
The day of the camping trip began as me and Megan were tasked with taking the dogs out for a walk. Megan took care of Ellie, her family’s dog, and I was put in charge of Libby, Breen and Aaron’s dog. This quick route took us back around Williston in time to pack the car ready for our weekend in the wilderness.
We then headed off in earnest towards the campsite, located in a national park on one of the islands on the lake. We stopped off for lunch at Seb’s along the way so that I could get myself a corn dog, a disgustingly greasy snack that I once had in Florida and have been pining to have again ever since. Big thanks to Megan for accommodating my random requests!
Breen and Aaron joined us there for our deep-fried lunch, which was followed by a stop at a local brewery. I grabbed myself a “flight”, which turns out is the name for a tasting selection of small beers. Megan did the same but wasn’t too keen on most of them, so I wound up drinking for two.
As you can imagine, I turned up at the campsite quite content, and so relaxed whilst Aaron helped (see: did everything) us get set up for our night of bougie camping. If you’re like me, you’ll have never heard of the word “bougie”, but Megan uses it a lot and I have fallen in love with it. It comes from the word “bourgeoise”, and means just that – something which rich people do. I guess I could have easily said “glamping”, but “bougie” is much more fun!
I say it was bougie camping because really we weren’t that exposed to the elements, as Breen and Aaron had managed to snag us a fabulous spot with a lean-to (a wooden structure open on one side) and views over Lake Champlain. We pitched our tent inside the lean-to and then went for a wander down to the water’s edge.
We got a decent fire going to warm us up as the evening wore on. The blaze was, in fact, too decent – we wound up burning through firewood at such a speed that we (see: not me, other people who weren’t as lazy as me) had to head back twice for more. It did its job of keeping us cozy as we cracked open some beers and chatted the evening away, and then came in useful again as we toasted some hotdogs over the flames.
As the night wore on it was time for dessert and another American tradition: s’mores. These uniquely named creations consist of toasted marshmallow sandwiched with some chocolate in between two biscuits. I gave it my best shot – getting a hot toasted marshmallow off a skewer and into a sandwich is more of a logistical nightmare than it may seem – and tried my first s’more. It was nice, but I still maintain my opinion that American chocolate tastes like cheese, and so I wound up sticking to plain old toasted marshmallows!
After a trip to the toilet block to brush our teeth, we settled in for our single night of bougie camping. I slept surprisingly well, even if my nuisance bladder had me up a couple of times during the night. There was a silver lining, though, as latter of the two toilet trips saw me up to catch the sunrise over the lake.
Once I’d gotten up properly, preparations began on the breakfast of pancakes with chocolate chips which were – naturally – to be doused in Vermont maple syrup. Me and Megan were feeling pretty peckish and extravagant though, and so decided to crack the leftover hotdogs out. We toasted them over the fire and wolfed them down just as Breen finally had enough of waiting for her camping stove to heat up and popped the frying pan with the pancakes directly over the campfire.
With breakfast over, the four of us then packed everything away, extinguished the fire, and jumped back in our respective cars to head back to the mainland. Our original plan had been to stop at Seb’s for ice cream, but it didn’t open for another while and so we wound up grabbing coffee instead. In the café the four of us read the lonely hearts section of the local newspaper – it provided us with plenty of laughs!
Back at Maureen and Terry’s place, we unpacked our stuff and I sat down to write my postcards to my parents, my sister, and my auntie and uncle. In order to send them on their way, I’d only to head out into the front garden, pop them in the letterbox, and raise the little red flag up so that the postie would know to pick them up. It’s a pretty neat little system!
That evening was the last one I was to spend at Megan’s parents’ place, as the next day the two of us were to move into Megan’s new condo. We spent the last evening eating Maureen’s delicious chicken parm pasta bake and relaxing in front of the TV whilst Megan packed up the last bits ready for the big move.
We wound up watching America’s Got Talent on the TV, where a guy making pretty bad cycling jokes was booed off whilst the crowd went wild for a guy dressed as a pair of trousers made equally bad trouser-related jokes. I still don’t get American humour.