We left Cold Hollow at about shortly before . That put us ahead of schedule. Our destination was our hotel for the night, The Trapp Family Lodge. The name may sound mildly familiar. It comes from the family who started it, George and Maria Von Trapp. You remember the ex-submarine Captain and his eight children, who were joined by a novice nun, to act as a nanny, and then the Captain and the Nun married? The hills are alive with “The Sound of Music”. That’s them. They really existed. When the Von Trapps fled Austria during World War II they went to America. There they had a singing career and eventually bought property in Vermont and started the lodge. They chose Vermont because it reminded them of their home back in Austria.
The Trapp Family Lodge
But, returning to our regularly scheduled program. It was only a leisurely 20 minute drive from Waterbury to Stowe, VT, where the Lodge is located. We had not gone north on VT-100 very far, when we came across several businesses. One of them was a glass shop, Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio The sign under the sign said “Glass Blowing Today” Now who could pass up a man molding molten glass with just his wind and will?. We turned around and in a few minutes we had walked through the door. The owner and glass blower, Glenn Ziemke, was at work in the back. He had set up an observation area where potential customers could watch him create his works of art.
We watched for about twenty minutes as Mr.
I think our toom is the middle of the picture.
Ziemke would heat the glass, roll it, shape it, and use the blow pipe to make what looked like a vase take shape. I don’t know anything about blowing glass, but it was obvious that he did. It was fascinating to watch it take shape, and to see how he created the whirled design. After we finished watching we walked into the store portion of his shop and looked around some. There were a lot of pretty items, but they were a bit pricey. But, as there was another customer inside placing a big order, I got over my guilt of not buying something pretty quickly.
We left Waterbury, tuned left when we got to Moscow (which is below Stowe, and not in Russia) and headed deeper into the Green Mountains. The directions that I had printed out from Mapquest did not correspond to the signs directing us to the Lodge.
We wisely chose to follow the signs and we arrived in short order.
I’m not sure what I was expecting when we pulled into the parking lot, which sits across the street from the hotel. Maybe something made of large logs or perhaps something resembling a Victorian mansion. What I saw was somewhere in between. Not complaining, mind you. The Lodge is very large and has beautiful grounds. It sits up on a hill overlooking a pasture (with Ben and Jerry cows, no doubt), a valley, and the scenic Green Mountains.
We checked in and I immediately inquired about the documentary they show. It is called “The Real Maria” and told Maria’s story, with Maria Von Trapp herself (who looks nothing like Julie Andrews) doing much of story telling.
The Trapp Family Graveyard
I knew Margo, who loves the movie, would very much want to see it. They had two remaining showing for the day. The first one was at and the 2nd at 7J0 PM. We planned to do the one, so as not to waste our valuable daylight hours. But first we had to find our room.
The lady who checked us in summoned a bellman and cart for us. I’m not used to that. I usually carry my own. But as we had plenty to haul up, it was on the third floor, and it sounded like quite a convoluted path to get from the desk to our bed, I didn’t hesitate long before accepting the offer.
Baron George Von Trapp
Once up, I discovered to my horror, that the smallest bill I had was just one single, and then $20s. I wasn’t going to tip a $20, and Margo couldn’t come to me rescue either. I ended up giving him the single, and apologizing. I promised to catch up with him later. He acted like it was no problem in the least, so I didn’t feel too bad. I did get the front desk to break a larger bill and I got him a $5 for his trouble.
There were four things we wanted to accomplish at the Lodge. We wanted to see the Maria documentary. A visit to the Von Trapp Family cemetery was a must. We wanted (needed) to eat dinner, and we (as in my Margo and her imaginary friend) had to get souvenirs. Sundown was about . The film was at 7 PM. Dinner could be had until at The Lounge. But, the gift shops closed at , and we would be gone before it reopened.
Maria Von Trapp
It was now about . That put the gift shop number one on the Hit Parade. About an hour, three shops, and $160 later we had gotten something for everyone who even might be interested in “The Sound of Music”.
Next up was the Von Trapp family cemetery and the beautiful grounds of the lodge. I have a fascination with cemeteries. I always feel when I’m visiting a historical grave that I am somehow closer to the person. It’s like finding the monument puts the stamp of reality to them and the stories told. The cemetery here is very pretty. The Lodge spends a great deal of effort on the flowers and other fauna. We easily found the graves we were looking for, as there were only about ten people buried there. The only disappointing part about the visit to this graveyard was Maria and The Baron’s (George) markers were the old German iron crosses.
A cabbage disguised as a rode
While traditional, and reasonably rare in the United States, they don’t allow for much information, nor do they look as impressive as a heavy granite memorial. But that did not stop us from snapping a few pictures or paying our respects. We did both and were soon on our way.
With our shopping done and respects paid, we took a short look around the front grounds looking at the plants, shrubs, and trees that add luster and beauty to the place. Margo noticed that they were using cabbages as a decorative plant. They had pruned the leaves in such away as to make them look like large roses. It was like some large tropical flower, in the heart of Vermont. But our stomachs were complaining loudly. We had taken a quickie lunch in Waterbury, and now we wanted real sustenance.
The other flowers accented this nicely. The grounds were filled with treasures like these
The Lounge beckoned.
There are three places to eat on the Trapp property; The Main Dining Room; The Austrian Tea Room, and The Lounge. I like to eat, but I’m not a foodie. My idea of high cuisine is a thick steak. I am of the opinion that sushi is for cats or bait and that most French food sounds a whole lot better than it tastes. I know this makes me some sort of barbarian, but someone has to do it. After looking over the menus (none of which really would have offended Bill the Barbarian), the dress codes, and the prices, The Lounge looked like our best bet.
It was still pretty early in the evening for Dinner (shortly after ), so we nearly had the place to ourselves.
Margo loved this hand carved bench
We got settled in and looked over the menu. I decided to order the Wiener Schnitzel and Margo had the Trapp Potato. Wiener Schnitzel means Viennese Cutlet and is a breaded veal cutlet. The closest American dish would be a Chicken Fried Steak. I learned all of this after the fact. I ordered it because I had heard of the dish, and while I am a barbarian, I do like to at least try new things. Sometimes these culinary daring-dos work out, like today and the yummy cutlet served with Lingonberry Sauce. And sometimes they don’t, like when I tried Poi in Hawaii. Poi’s closest American dish would be wallpaper paste. Anyway, Margo’s entrée, the Trapp Potato, was a large Baked Potato (think half a football), split wide open, and filled with Beef Tenderloin, Onions, Peppers, Cheese, and Sour Cream. It tastes as good as it sounds. I know, because Margo couldn’t finish it all, and us barbarians have large appetites. We, (mostly me) finished off with a slice of Black Forest Cake. More yummyness.
We finished up and paid the tab.
The Lounge inside the Lodge
It came to $71.25. That included the 15% tip that they automatically added in. That bothered me a tad bit, but I usually tip at least that much, so I didn’t let it bother me too much. I don’t think the waiter was too pleased that I didn’t add more to it, but he was only average, so I thought 15% worked out OK. I usually round my tip to the next dollar, but I thought adding 45 cents would be more of an insult than leaving the line blank.
We still had 50 minutes until our documentary started, but after wandering the hotel for a little while, we headed to St George’s Hall to wait for the movie to begin. St Georges Hall is one of their meeting rooms. It had a large projection screen set up at the front and a few dozen chairs set in front of that. We got seats up front and figured that the rest of the crowd would be very jealous. The other six people that showed up didn’t seem too disappointed with what was left.
The film lasted about an hour. I learned a number of things about Maria Von Trapp. First the movie got the basics about her and the Baron’s life pretty much right. The actual courtship was closer to an arranged marriage than the love story in the movie. They did flee Austria because of the impeding trouble with the Nazi’s. But rather than leaving in the middle of the night, they took a bus. Maria did not organize the children (none of whose actual names matched the movie) into a group. None of them had any training until a local priest began working with them. They did all have an abundance of natural musical talent, and they eventually began performing in Austria.
By the time the movie was over Margo and I were both dead tired. It had been a long three days with little sleep.
It was easy to get used to this view
So we ended up in bed by . It would have been back home. I don’t think I’ve been to bed that early since I was a baby. I would like to say that we slept like a baby, but our next door neighbor had both a cell phone and alcohol induced hearing loss. When he and his companion got back from a late dinner, we were kept apprised of his travels and conquests on their vacation, while he was out on his balcony. No doubt he was sent there so his wife could get some sleep. That started at about 11 and lasted until after . But after he finally went to bed, we drifted off again and didn’t stir until our alarm went off.
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