vermont is lush green mountains, wide open spaces with pastoral settings, diners and eateries and tea houses and antique shops clustered around sweetly antiquated town squares and farming communities. even when it wouldn't stop raining, it was beautiful. all that green, with big red barns trimmed in white, like something out of a picture book, and black and white dairy cows wandering around like lost children, nibbling on grass absentmindedly and counting the cars as they drifted by.
there were moments when it felt as though we were driving through a cloud -- so high up, with our ears popping, losing the radio station and then suddenly getting it back. it can certainly be posh, in a very old money new england way. victorian houses sit against the road like something out of an ancient pop-up book, some of them in rampant squalor and disarray, some grand. all of them, breathtaking -- especially the ones that were on the verge of falling apart.
charleston, sc has that same undertone of starchy tea-sipping english civility that cloaks new england like a well-worn hand-stitched quilt. i recognized it instinctively. there were moments when my nose twitched at the familiarity of it. the element that's missing is a distinctly african one. honestly, charleston feels as haunted as new orleans. but then again, i suppose any old town has it's very own creep factor. oh -- and charleston has the sun's constant presence pressing down on you, year 'round. vermont can get as cold as alaska. it's the chill that kills.
you can stay in a former dignitary's palatial jewelbox of a home, lovingly restored and converted into a hotel, like this one. still and all, bed and breakfast options abound.
but then it started to rain.
(so perfect for nana!)