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My Weekend in Burlington, Vermont

My Weekend in Burlington, Vermont

This weekend, I went up to my college city, Burlington, VT, for a short visit. Months ago, my friend Troy bought tickets for the two of us to see Barenaked Ladies downtown. Since the weather was nice and a lot of other alumni were going up, I was able to convince Matt to join me on the trip. Plus, a band he loves — Start Making Sense — had a show in Burlington on Friday, so it really wasn’t too hard to convince him to come.

I graduated from Saint Michael’s College, a tiny liberal arts school in Colchester, Vermont, which is practically spitting distance from Burlington. 4 years in this lovely place just wasn’t enough, and I find myself looking for every chance to get up there again. I haven’t visited since September, for my college’s alumni weekend, so my desire to get back to Burlington was at an all-time high. This blog post is dedicated to my weekend in my second home, Burlington. The weekend was full of too much food, great music, and reunions with good friends.

Friday, April 28

I took the full day off work — Floating Holiday for the win! — so we could take off before dark. Matt had to meet with someone around noon, so we didn’t end up leaving Boston until after 2:30. With 2 stops and a little traffic in Boston, we got to Matt’s friends’ place at around 7:00. Since Start Making Sense wasn’t taking the stage until around 9:30, we had a little time to relax and have a few drinks.

Start Making Sense, the contemporary Talking Heads cover band, got its name from Stop Making Sense, a famous Talking Heads concert movie. Their style of dress and movements was reminiscent of the Talking Heads, and their sound was pretty damn close. They played a lot of the big hits and even threw in “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (by Whitney Houston, but you should feel ashamed if you didn’t already know that). Higher Ground, one of the famous concert venues in the Burlington area, was a great setting for Start Making Sense, as it wasn’t too large but gave everyone more than enough room for dancing.

start making sense burlington vt higher ground vermont talking heads tribute
Concert lighting isn’t the best for a good couple pic

Saturday, April 29

We woke up on Saturday to a surprisingly nice day outside; it was projected to rain in the afternoon, but there was only a light amount of rain in the morning, followed by a warm, partly cloudy day. For breakfast, we were really craving a classic diner breakfast, so we hit Athens Diner, a favorite of St. Mike’s students. I got my usual, the All Meat Skillet and a few cups of coffee.

Athens Diner Colchester VT Vermont all meat skillet
Their skillets aren’t the most photogenic breakfasts but they’re incredible. The skillet is filled with homefries, Vermont cheddar, various toppings — sausage and bacon in my case — and topped with eggs (any style) and toast.

The Shelburne Museum had publicized an exhibition called Backstage Pass, which featured uncommon photos of famous musicians throughout the decades. The photos went in chronological order for the most part and could be fact-checked with a guide book that the museum provides. It was pretty cool and definitely made me want to listen to some old ’60s rock. If you want to check out the exhibition before it goes away, you have until May 7th!

Shelburne Museum Backstage Pass

Later that evening, Matt and I went to dinner with Troy, one of my favorite humans (and my companion for the BNL concert). Naturally, Our House Bistro was the choice for our meal. Our House is another local favorite, since it’s super close to campus and has a menu filled with “twisted comfort food,” as they proudly call it. I went for something I’ve gotten before and loved, the Chicken Pot Pie mac and cheese. Of the 4 or 5 different types of mac and cheese I’ve gotten at Our House, this has been my absolute favorite. We sat at one of their outdoor tables because it was still warm out.

our house bistro winooski circle vt vermont mac and cheese chicken pot pie
Chicken pot pie mac and cheese. I could only eat half!

After dinner, Troy and I grabbed another drink before the concert at Manhattan Pizza, a bar and pizza joint right by Church Street and the Flynn Center, the concert venue. I got my Citizen Cider fix, so all was good in the world. (Yes, they sell Citizen Cider at certain liquor stores in Boston, but there’s something so special about Citizen on draft.)

I’ve seen multiple shows at the Flynn before. I was a Theatre major, after all! Just to name a few, I saw the Broadway tour of American Idiot, a global music concert for a study abroad re-entry course, an acid trip of a show for an Honors Program course, and a concert performance by Patti Lupone for a Costumes course. I’ve never come close to seeing a rock show at this theater, so I wasn’t sure what the vibe would be. Rumor has it, the audience isn’t supposed to stand, dance, or sing along at the Flynn. However, as soon as Barenaked Ladies walked onstage, they rejected these rules. They said that following those rules would make it a pretty lame rock show; I couldn’t have agreed more!

The audience danced and sang along as they played hits and some of their more obscure songs. Toward the end of the show, BNL even threw in a medley of contemporary songs, from the Game of Thrones theme song to “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran. The guys of BNL had an incredible stage presence during and between songs; these funny guys kept the audience laughing as they tuned and prepared for the next song. Overall, being able to stand and dance made me forget about the rows of seats. The acoustics of the Flynn were great, even in the back of the theater. The venue kept the show loud without making me feel like my ears were ringing.

After the show, we made a few stops for drinks, at JP’s to listen to some karaoke, to Ri Ra, and to Ake’s Place, a Saint Mike’s student and alumni hot spot.

Sunday, April 30

I accidentally slept in later than intended, so I had to rush to get ready for brunch. I met with 2 of my friends from college, Mollie and Taylor. At school, I saw them both every single day (and actually lived with both of them). However, I hadn’t seen either of them since my last visit to Vermont in September. Crazy! We went to Sneakers Bistro, one of the most popular breakfast places in the area. (Fortunately, they use an app that allows people to make reservations. Definitely a much better alternative to a 2-hour wait!) I got the California Eggs Benedict and a cold-brew coffee.

california eggs benedict sneakers bistro winooski circle vermont vt
California Eggs Benedict: poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce over veggie sausage, spinach, avocado, tomato, and portobello mushrooms, served over a croissant and with a side of homefries

It was really nice to catch up again. There’s something about hanging out face-to-face — preferably with a delicious brunch in front of you — that beats texting any day.

We left for Boston at around 3:30 and got back to the city right around 7:30. I love Burlington with every ounce of my being, but I’m definitely more of a city girl now.

There’s still so much I haven’t done in this nostalgic city. Even though it’s a tiny city, I discover something new every time I go. I can’t wait for my next trip to Burlington! (Hopefully, if my schedule stays the same, it will be relatively soon!)


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