Waking on Monday it was hard to believe that we’d only set off from Birmingham 2 days earlier. I had accomplished so much in so few days and was beginning to feel a deep connection with Mary-Kate and Ashley’s TV series theme tune. They were so right; there truly is so little time yet so much to do.
Over breakfast dad planned out our journey for the day and amid much excitement we discovered that this was going to be the day that we visited Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. It’s odd to think about how people from our Shrewsbury travelled to America to start a new Shrewsbury and with this thought in mind we were looking forward to see what Shrewsbury number 2 was all about.
Soon we were in the car (although I did try to climb into somebody else’s car because I forgot what the Duranga looked like) and en route to Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury is quite central in Massachusetts so we had to drive a long way west to get there from Boston. All of this driving certainly gave me the impression that I was getting good wear out of Massachusetts which is reassuring because I wasn’t prepared to spend time learning how to pronounce Massachusetts if I wasn’t going to be there very long.
I’ll be really honest and say that I have no idea how long it took us to get to our first stop because I fell asleep in the car. I will say though that I think it was probably quite a long time because stepping out of the car felt like how I imagine stepping out of a rocket onto the moon is like. I wasn’t quite sure what the underfoot situation would be, so I stepped out cautiously and with both hands held firmly onto the car door. I’m sure I looked ridiculous but then again, I was looking pretty poor that day anyway (image below for proof).
Walking around Shrewsbury was very strange indeed. There were plenty of familiarities yet it was so very American. There were loads of (far too many) references to ‘ye olde times’ (my favourite being ‘The Shropshire Curiosity Shoppe’) yet every building was waving the stars and stripes. Disappointingly, much of the town was closed so we never got to speak to anyone and show off about being from the ‘original’ Shrewsbury. There was no time to dwell however as dad was ushering us into the Duranga for the next stop of the day.
Vermont was going to be the fourth US state that I’d visited and I was really looking forward to catching a glimpse of a moose. My initial plan for Vermont was to visit my old friends Ben and Jerry but since booking the holiday I’ve become lactose intolerant and felt that in the interest of all parties a belly full of ice cream was probably going to be a poor idea. After eventually accepting that my trip would be ice-cream free, I sat back and enjoyed the journey that we made through Vermont. We drove to a Ski-Vermont tourist centre and to Brattleboro (a place with not much more than an exceptional viewpoint) before arriving at my favourite place of the day.
Over the last couple of years I’ve managed to watch a fair amount of Little House on the Prairie with my mum and arriving in Weston was bringing my Little House dreams to life. Every building was perfectly chocolate box with great big windows and tall steps leading up to the magnificent doors. I was half expecting to see a horse and cart trotting down the road and to be honest I feel slightly let down that I didn’t.
In Weston we visited Vermont Country Store; a family run business that sells everything you’d need if you lived in the Vermont countryside. Cheese, pyjamas, sweets, diabetic friendly medicine, underwear, cleaning products- the whole shebang. I was particularly impressed with the maple syrup samples which were hands down the most delicious things I’ve tasted. I was so eager to bring a bottle home with me but I couldn’t trust that it would arrive home safely and I was not going to be the one to clean maple syrup out of a suitcase.
Monday had been another jam-packed day and despite not seeing any mooses (meese?) I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have seen so much in so few days. Full to the brim with candy corn we piled back into the car ready for the long journey home.