This might be Day Two, but it was the first full vacation day. And we really enjoyed it!
Fortunately the kids actually slept in this morning! Woo-hoo!
Once all were awake we headed out for breakfast at about 11 (yes, 11!!! Can you believe we actually slept in so late?!) and found a cute diner for pancakes, French toast and the like. After that we walked back to the hotel, got the car and drove a few miles to the Lake Champlain Chocolates’ factory, which makes delicious chocolates.
From our seats we learned how chocolate is made, from cacao bean to store. The kids got to taste chocolate in its different stages and learn exactly how it is made.
My boys seemed entranced, but my daughter drifted off after about 20 minutes. She must not be the first child to lose interest, though, because they had a small coloring station set up which she enjoyed while we continued to learn about chocolate. I really appreciated the fact that the chocolate factory had already set up a spot just for kids like her. So many other factory tours don’t do much to accommodate wiggly kids with waning attention spans. This way the older kids got to enjoy what they were learning and she was thrilled to color. Perfect!
Of course we made a few purchases before heading out to our next stop, ECHO, the Lake Aquarium and Science Center.
At ECHO we sailed in without paying admission, thanks to our membership at the children’s museum back home, and the boys quickly remembered some of their favorite spots from last year.
I think ECHO is the perfect size for children’s museum and all of the exhibits tend to blend well. It’s easy to navigate and not miss anything.
We had a blast touching sea animals, playing with water, creating and recording our own weather forecast news stories (complete with TelePrompTer, green screen and props) learning about the history and landscape of the area and checking out huge robotic bugs.
I made a few purchases in the gift shop.
After that we wandered back up to Church Street, stopping at Bennington Pottery North, the pottery store I spotted the night before and my son suggested we return to the next day. (I know. Amazing that he SUGGESTED it!!)
We bought a funky pitcher to be shipped home.
The store had some beautiful pottery and I was amazed at how well my children behaved while I considered buying a new set of dishes.
I was really drawn to these:
But the next day I brought my husband back and he preferred these:
(Still thinking about it. Waiting for pitcher and catalog to arrive.)
At Church Street we enjoyed a very late lunch at Sweetwater’s outside while live jazz played nearby. Perfect!
Next it was time for some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. We all enjoyed chocolate sprinkled cones of it and, while admiring the artistic cows downtown, we met some very nice people from Burlington and listened to, yep you guessed it, more fantastic jazz.
We did a bit more shopping, a bit of wandering and just enjoyed the evening together.
My middle child would want me to include that he found a $5 bill in one of the shops. The employees let him keep it, so he was feeling quite wealthy.
Eventually we wandered back to the hotel, but after sitting there for a few minutes I decided it was too early to go to bed. And chocolate was calling.
We walked 2 blocks over to the Skinny Pancake, a crepe restaurant, tried a few crepes and then had chocolate fondue for dessert. A perfect ending to a very chocolate-y day!!Filed under Vermont | Comments Off