I spent a week in Vermont. Two nights in Brattleboro, home of hippie America (Can you say eco? Can you say organic? Can you say fair trade? Get out.) proved nice and laidback. I stayed in my first all-American motel and giggled at the perplexed receptionist's look when I said I didn't have a car (I walked two miles uphill in the rain out of town with my backpack and no raincoat to get to the motel at 7pm). I got weirdly into watching TV in that room, probably because for perhaps the first time since I started travelling I had possession of the remote control. It was such an easy couple of days, I just walked and looked at beautiful trees and fog and lakes and shopped for nothing at all.
I got the train to Burlington where, thankfully for my wallet, there is a new youth hostel. It's rather zen and interesting; in a warehouse space with canvas curtains hung for privacy and Eastern style furnishings and decorations in the common areas (and chilled-out music playing all the time except when one of the employees decides to put on the Chicago soundtrack at 10 at night). There was an awesome receptionist there that I really liked who loved to travel and thus had situated herself in a place where travellers would come to her (it reminded me of my hostess at the Heavenly Farm in a really nice way). The town was cute but small and I had so many things to figure out that I think I spent my mother's gift money on internet. The rest I spent on going to movies to stave off boredom and homesickness because I was in that kind of mood. It worked, to some extent, and on my last night I met some 30-something year old metal-crafters that were super cool and one of them had a kind of Fargo-like accent which I won't pretend I didn't adore. Along with the lovely receptionist, neither of the metal-crafters acted like it was weird that I stayed in on a Saturday night to read about Canada. Nice people, those.
So after sampling college towns and hippie enclaves in Vermont, I decided it was time for Quebec City. My heart had been back in Canada all along, I think, and thus far this place has no disappointed. It's beautiful physically and though those folks in Ontario warned me that the Quebecois can be snooty, everyone has been amazingly kind to me. I've browsed medieval shops and eaten crepes in cramped cafes, walked along the waterfront and glimpsed the lights of Place Royale twinkling in the early evening. I'm hoping to go museuming today and maybe learn a little something.
Could it be? Is my blog up-to-date? Oh my.
It's not a perfect metaphor.