The main purpose of my Nov 6th-8th trip was to see Zoe Keating in concert at Higher Ground, Burlington, VT. Zoe Keating is one of my favorite musicians – a fantastic cellist who uses a looping peddle and nifty computer programs to record and sample up to 16 layers of cello, weaving a truly remarkable sound. It was amazing to see her perform live – she was charming and funny in between songs, and absolutely captivating while playing. While I enjoyed all of her own pieces, it was particularly amazing to see her perform a section of Beethoven’s 7th, 2nd movement, which she ironically referred to as a “cover” (here’s a youtube video she uploaded awhile ago of it – the quality isn’t great, but you get the idea).
The concert alone was well worth the 8 hour drive from my home to Burlington, but in addition I got to spend time with two of my sisters who live there, and a good friend of mine came with me – together we concocted a grand adventure, definitely taking the long way round.
After stopping to visit the statue of Paul Bunyan in Rumford, ME, we drove up through Grafton Notch State Park, where we checked out Screw Auger Falls and Moose Cave, before heading on over the mountains into New Hampshire. We crossed both it and Vermont on westerly roads that lay further north in the states than I had been before, passing through many small towns and pretty bits of countryside. It was a spectacular day – relatively warm and deliciously sunny. The maples had mostly shed their leaves, but the oaks (which have been surprisingly gorgeous this year) were still hanging on to golden and russet leaves in many places. Sunset (which came dreadfully early) brought with it exciting and colorful clouds that chased us into Burlington, and off to the concert.
The morning after the concert was spent downtown. Coffee was sipped at Speeder and Earl’s Church Street location, a narrow tunnel-like space made huge by a wall of mirror. Afterward, I couldn’t resist picking up a few more NYRB paperbacks at Crow Bookshop, and was happy to discover a shop I had overlooked last time I was in town called Trinket – located delightfully at No.32 1/2 Church Street. Lunch with my sisters and my friend was conducted at Duino!(Duende), where the highlight of the meal was sweet potato Poutine with a curry gravy. (Looking this place up just now, I am amused to discover that the name of the restaurant comes from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies and Federico Garcia Lorca’s The Duende: Theory and Divertissement – such an interesting place!)
In the afternoon my friend talked me into killing some time at a TJMax so that she could look for work pants, and while I was initially less than thrilled about it, I ended up leaving the store in a state of glee after finding and purchasing a pair of blue Converse All Stars for half their normal price. These shoes make me particularly happy since I have been geekily desiring a pair ever since noting that the 10th Doctor sported a couple of different pairs – although he preferred trainers, and opted for cream, black, or red ones!
Joyously decked out in my new shoes I then took off with my friend and one of my sisters to check out the Lake Champlain Islands. We found a blustery beach and a bunch of bird houses, and caught another great sunset.
The evening was a complicated affair that involved a homemade pizza party, a kitten, and some bad open mic sessions.
The following day was, if anything, even nicer than the two days preceding it as far as weather goes. My flip flops even made a reappearance. The drive back to Downeast Maine seemed very long this time, but we got to visit America’s oldest general store in Bath, NH – The Brick Store – where we ate macaroni and cheese on the front porch before going around back to see the covered bridge. Eventually, after traversing once again the wilds of Route 2, we found our way home.
This has been a remarkably lovely November, and this trip held just the right amount of adventure to tide me over until my winter travels and get me through my last few weeks of work. I usually find plenty to gripe about in November, but this year I have no complaints. Hope it’s treating you just as well, and if it’s not all you could hope for, I highly recommend finding something new to see and do, visit and explore, whether it’s in your own hometown or further afield. Have fun!