Reporters: Janell Gray and Malik McCullough
Devotion: Proverbs 12
It was raining today in Albany, New York, but it’s the Fourth of July. Happy Independence Day! The first place we headed to was the Ben and Jerry’s Factory in Vermont. Before we got to Vermont we drove through Whitehall, New York the birthplace of the U.S. Army. At 11:05, we crossed the state line of Vermont and stopped at a visitor’s center. Everyone picked up a Ben and Jerry’s Tour Brochure. It is safe to say that we were all excited about getting some ice cream. There are some interesting facts about Vermont. 14 million people visit each year. 1.3 million gallons of Maple Syrup was produced in 2014 and there is one cow for every 3.8 Vermonters. Thanks to Sister Joyce we read a book about Vermont and it informed us that the American Indians learned to make maple syrup by boiling tree sap. It takes about 40 grams of sap to make 1 gram of maple syrup; that is why pure syrup is so expensive. In autumn, people come to look at the brilliantly colored leaves on the trees (leaf peepers). One last fact is that The Windsor covered bridge is 450 feet long and it connects Vermont to New Hampshire. It is the longest bridge in the country. We rode through Burlington, the largest city in Vermont. While passing through we witnessed a lot of people enjoying an Independence Day lunch in parking lots, grasses, and parks. When we drove into South Burlington, it looked the same.
At 1:32pm we arrived at Ben and Jerry’s. As you drive on to the campus of Ben and Jerry’s you can see cows both staring at us and eating grass. While we waited for our tour, there was stand that provided free Spin Art. We all took turns, some people liked there’s, others didn’t. As we made our way inside, there was a display case of euphoric flavors. The tour started at 2:10pm. First, we watched a video of how Ben and Jerry’s came together. They went across the country in their cowmobile, but when coming back to Vermont, the car caught on fire 1986-1986. An interesting fact is that when they first made the vanilla ice cream, Jerry was the one who would taste the ice cream. He kept telling Ben it needed more vanilla but the problem was that he had a sinus problem and he couldn’t taste the vanilla so the ice cream became too sweet, in the end, they kept it. In the next room was the actual factory where the ice cream was made. For each Ben and Jerry’s factory built, they use premium cows within a 100-mile radius that does not have any GMO. Unfortunately, we were not able to see any ice cream being made because it was the weekend and a holiday. On the last leg of the tour, we were taken to the taste room/ packaging area. At the end of our tour, we received a sample cup of ice cream. The featured flavor of the day was “Spectacular Speculoos”. It was a vanilla based ice cream that had ginger and sugar cookie. Some liked it, some didn’t saying there was too much ginger. Our tour only lasted 30 minutes. We collected our spin art and returned to the bus. The next stop we headed to was the state capitol building of Vermont, which is Montpelier. We took a few group photos on the steps, and then Ms. Tinika took a photo of us in front of an old canon and a Statue of Thomas Chittenden-The First Governor of Vermont. Afterwards, we arrived at our hotel. It wasn’t one of the best hotels we’ve stayed at. At 4:45pm we left to do our laundry. It took 3 ½ hours. Because Montpelier is a small city, everything was close by. We left the laundry place and had dinner right around the corner at Julio’s (July’s). Even though it was the 4th of July, we had Mexican food. It continued to rain after we left the restaurant and we concluded our evening turned in for the night. Tomorrow was are headed for Concord, New Hampshire.