My First Snowfall in Vermont

One of the traditions among graduate students in our group, Lifelong Kindergarten is to visit Eric Rosenbaum’s family house in Vermont once a year. Last week, Ricarose drove us all to Vermont. While she was driving, Chris seated in the passenger seat was helping with navigation and Alisha, Jennifer and I, in the back seat were busy chatting. On our way, we halted for breakfast at Tilt’n, which is a traditional 50’s style American dinner place. My taste buds are excited to recall the delicious onion fries and bread-omelette I had there. “Thou shall tip your waitress generously” was engraved in the ceiling walls of the hotel. This tipping system which is an integral part of the US dining culture is kind of annoying.

I always wanted to visit a countryside in the US and after reaching Vermont, a state surrounded by beautiful farms, meadows and coniferous trees, simply left me spellbound. It was a truly magical experience of the laid-back life of a charming, internet-less old world, and serene natural settings which gave a lost-in-time feeling.

Having sighted an animal grazing the fields, I shouted Yak! Yak! Look there it is! To my surprise, it was a multi-colored cow with its body covered with fur.

Eric’s house is constructed with wood logs with a wood-burning stove in the middle. This place reminded me of Ajjigade, which is a small town on the outskirts of the Bangalore city that I visited exactly an year ago. Eric’s welcoming note was super funny, “during this trip we will not talk about our research work and media lab projects”.

After relaxing for a while, we went for a hiking trail near the house along with four DSLR’s. Picturesque hillsides, chilly elevations, sunset ridge, beautiful seed plants and fancy garden tractors on the way drove us all crazy. I began comparing the scenic beauty of this place with Indian hill stations. Alisha and I sang Hindi songs on the way, “bharat humko jaan se pyara hai, sabse nyara desh humara hai”. Reaching the hilltop, we made all kinds of nasty poses (titanic, giggling, sleeping on the haystack, jumping etc.) for the photo shoot. As the are was well known for carrying out hunting activities, we heard gunshots on the way.

I am writing this post with an empty stomach and further mention of the delicious Indian veg cuisine (Matar Paneer, Tomato dessert, Fried potatoes, rice) prepared by Sayamindu and Alisha makes me feel so rumbly in my tumbly at the moment. This veg delight was like grabbing a cherry on the cake in this trip. While eating, Jennifer said, “if I knew how to make veg food like this, I would probably stop eating non-veg food”.

The most exciting moment of this trip was roasting the marshmallows in the dancing flames inside the wood stove.

Thereafter, we played Taboo and Cards Against humanity game (known as a free party game for horrible people). Wait! Are we horrible? :-) As it was my first time playing these games, some words and phrases were not clear to me but still I was enjoying every bit of it. I was even realizing that those feelings of discomfort I had while playing these games were vanishing too. Surprisingly, I won the game, but don’t you dare ask me about the card titles, I can’t read them aloud. Shhh!!!

Alisha and I decided to see the sunrise next morning. She gave me a wake-up call and as usual, I said please give me 5 more minutes to sleep. In excitement she uttered, Srishti wake up and look outside the window, it’s snowing, snowflakes are falling all over! Without wasting another minute, with overcoats and caps on, we left the house with mouth-wide-open carrying million dollar butterflies in the stomach. It was soothing to see soft cotton wool flakes making a white blanket on the ground. We danced on the ice floor on Bollywood songs; and boarded all kinds of garden vehicles to click pictures.

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