Four years ago, I geared up to live in a land of dairy farms, maple syrup and cold winters. I had lived in California my whole life, and I was going to Middlebury College.
I soon found out that the winters here are indeed cold — quite cold — and I've enjoyed my share of covered bridges and berry picking. But over the years, I've come across quite a lot I didn't expect from Vermont.
In fact, the surprises began on my first ride from the Burlington airport to Middlebury. I saw a camel in a field off route seven. After I did a double take, I thought to myself: OK ... apparently they do more than dairy here.
I hopefully have developed a somewhat more nuanced understanding of Vermont since then (or at least that's what I tell my editor here), but Vermont still has its surprises. I've heard stories about outhouse races, watched Quidditch matches and seen a good deal of alpacas.
I've also covered the chili contest and a meeting of the Vermont Ukulele Society for the Middlebury College newspaper. Talking to people who are doing unexpected things here is great. They're passionate, and more often than not, they're having fun.
So this summer, I'm going to continue to seek out things that you wouldn't expect to find in Vermont. I think I'll have a good time, and hopefully, this will also help me learn more about the area I now live in.
To kick things off, I decided to connect back up with the folks from the Ukulele Society. So I got a video camera, tuned my ukulele (I've played for a few years), and headed over to Bristol for a meeting of Vermont's only Ukulele Society:
If you want to find more about the Ukulele Society, check out their website. They're great people, and they won me over once again. I'm going to start going to their intermediate classes every other week.
Over the next couple months, I'm going to continue to look for surprises around here. I'm excited for the Bristol outhouse races on Saturday and I want to find out more about those alpacas. If you know of any surprises you think I'll enjoy, drop a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.