The wind howled into the night and so much so that we were all woken up by it at one time or another. When morning finally did come it revealed large patches of grass emerging from ice so buffed by the wind it seemed to glow from the inside. Our hopes for an overnight snowfall were dashed by the continuing rain.
We called the front desk and let them know Keenan wouldn't be in "class"' then we packed up and headed into Burlington. It was a really lovely drive. There are some seriously stately homes peppered throughout the countryside here. Our first stop was Starbucks, two venti Caramel Macchiato's later we headed over to Burton World Headquarters. We were there on the wrong day for a factory tour but it was cool to see their retail shop and witness "all" of their offerings in one room. They also had a history wall which was really interesting and their lobby boasts a gorgeous stone hearth and wood burning fireplace. Smells like camping commented Keenan! Head office staff came and went with their canine companions and everyone had the laid back attitude we were fully expecting. We came away with a few stickers and a dealer catalogue (major natsukashi for me!) and some advice for Sean regarding his boots which have been causing him some discomfort.
We headed in the direction of the Church Street Marketplace. Sean had heard from a local gal that it was a pretty cool pedestrian mall. Since we hadn't got lost on this trip yet, we naturally got lost trying to find this place. Guys, when your wife says "take the map" just take it. After a few laps through some of Burlington's seedy areas we finally found the friggin' place! It was well worth the wait as there was not only a Patagonia store but also an outdoor store called GearX. There I bought replacement for my much loved Black Diamond gloves which after 12 years are finally giving up the ghost. If anyone is in love with the simplicity of Snow Peak titanium camping gear, you can order it from these guys at GearX.com. Decent selection and the prices aren't that much more than in Japan. Elsewhere in the ped mall there are a lot of bric a brac shops and there's a mall that spills out into the market that boasts a Macy's and a Victoria's Secret. Plus they have that hip pornographic imaging shop called Abercrombie and Fitch which all the young people can't seem to get enough of. We didn't end up doing any malling but we did go for a artfully crafted slow food meal at Three Tomatoes Trattoria. Keenan had an exceptionally huge crush on our waitress who by the way has a sister in Ottawa. It's a small world after all! We needed to stock up on supplies and we didn't really have the need to go to Costco so we headed over to the City Market Co-op grocery store. What. A. Place. Totally made me nostalgic for Sweet Cheribum, Circling Dawn, Caper's and The East End Food Co-op in in Vancouver. We loaded up on yummy organic produce and milk PLUS you can buy beer and wine in grocery stores here so I picked up a nice imported bottle of Japanese Ume wine.
We drove back to the resort in the dark and once again we were amazed at how dark it gets here. We were on Interstate 89 and I had to drive with the high beams on. Absolutely no light pollution. All the way up the mountain we watched the thermostat praying for the temp to go below zero, it wouldn't venture colder than +1 C. At least it wasn't raining. Keeping our fingers crossed for cooler temps and snow on the hill tomorrow.