Ever one to live up to my responsibilities, I am writing this, on vacation with my family. Instead of the glitz and glamour of a cruise, a trip to Orlando, or Eurotrip, we chose a different path this year.
With a 17 and 13 year old child in the house, my wife and I realize there won’t be too many more family vacations to take. In less than a month my son becomes a senior in high school, and before you know it, off to college…and then he belongs to the world.
We wanted a relaxing trip somewhere that didn’t require a “go, go, go” mentality; some place where we could all just be a family…with no lines, and no mouse. Living in Massachusetts, the immediate thought is always to head to Cape Cod; but Cape Cod does not lend itself to relaxation. It usually takes three to five hours just to get over one of the two bridges just to enter The Cape, followed by an endless rabble of tourists at every turn, and over-priced seafood.
We decided to head north. We’ve done New Hampshire during leaf peeping season, and coastal Maine, (which is also a hidden gem of a vacation if you get the chance, York Beach is terrific…and close to Kennebunkport, where George and Barbara Bush still reside.)
But, we’ve never done Vermont. We felt that the summer would be a slow time before the craziness of the Fall and orange leaves arrived. We were correct. I thoroughly recommend it. We chose a quant cottage in a town called Colchester, directly on Lake Champlain. As I’m writing this I hear the waves behind me and a cool breeze through the windows. I see across the Lake to upstate New York, it is glorious.
You may say, “that’s great Cam, why are you boring us with a story that should be in some travel guide? Great question! The answer is, “because of what we did last night”. Although the vacation is meant to be like a Seinfeld episode, “about nothing”, within that nothing, we still need to do something.
Last night we chose to go to a minor league baseball game. We went to see the Vermont Lake Monsters…one of the best team names in sports. If you didn’t know, Lake Champlain is home to “Champie”, the cousin of “Nessie”, who resides in Scotland on Loch Ness. Folklore has it that a giant water beast scours the waters of Lake Champlain, similar to Nessie.
The Lake Monsters, with their mascot, “Champie”, and lime green and blue team colors similar to the Seattle Seahawks put on a great show. It didn’t hurt that the single-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s was having 25 cent hot dog night. Watching my son put away a half dozen dogs was a thing of beauty. It may not have been Joey Chestnut, but it was still awesome.
The field is on the campus of the University of Vermont where the college team plays. I’m not sure if it was the 25 cent dogs or that it was a beautiful night, but for a Monday, the crowd was impressive. It was standing room only, with over 3500 people in attendance. We left halfway through the 8th with the Lake Monsters comfortably in the lead, winning 9-3. There is a real sense that the Lake Monsters are a focal point of Burlington where they play their games, with UVT students taking a lead role in working the games. There is a shuttle bus service to and from campus parking lots to the field which makes it easy to get to and from the game.
Don’t be surprised if you see names like Greg Deichmann, Logan Farrar, and Aaron Arruda with the A’s in a few years…only to see Billy Beane trade them away for some new set of prospects.
Anyway, I have a new hat with the coolest logo and color combo in baseball. I have a new found love for the state of Vermont. And I’m having the best vacation that a proud husband and father can have with his amazing family.
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