March 15, 2005

Vermont, the Green Mountain State

I have been to Vermont four times.

That is more times than I have been to New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles, and Seattle combined. I will surely go back to Vermont on pretty much a yearly basis for at least the next 30 years, I would imagine, but I will likely never ski there.

Vermont is an interesting place that sounds very far away. To tell you the truth, it is pretty far away from most things except New Hampshire. People have an idea of Vermont. To them, it's all skiing, maple syrup, and gay marriage (civil unions, really). If they like politics, they might know of Jim Jeffords. You also hear a lot about Patrick Leahy, since he's been a senator for a long time, and he likes to cause trouble for the more important states.

Like I said, people have an idea of Vermont, but they don't know the Vermont I know. The Vermont everyone else knows is medium sized mountains, overpriced hotels, and expensive maple syrup, with some Vermont Country Store thrown in for good measure. The Vermont I know is dirt roads, cool summers, and empty highways. When I say Vermont, the first thing anyone says is, "Oh, Vermont, it's beautiful there!" They say it without fail, every time. I can't tell them they're wrong, since they're not, but I think they have an idea of Vermont more than actual experience. The time I've spent there has been more like living there than a vacation, even if I've never been there long. I think that's because Springfield is no one's idea of a vacation spot, as there aren't a lot of hotels or mountains to ski, and they only get people for the telescope makers' convention in August.

You know what, though? A lot of the Vermont stereotypes are true. They are liberal, it is rural, and the maple syrup is delicious. It is also cold like you've never felt. That's ok, though. People that live in Vermont live there because of these things, not in spite of them, and it's not like they're out there trying to convince everyone else to move there. Heck, they wish less people would move there, even if it is the greatest place ever (in their minds). So I say, visit if you must, but know that your abstract idea of the place is a bit different from reality, but that's ok.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

vermont is not at all totally rural!!!! clearly you havent been up northen region before. Also not all people are gay. And we live here because its safe and people are always nice,
From a Vermonter who lives here year round.