Today is the day of Burlington’s Mardi Gras. The parade is at 3, but people are already pouring into the city for celebrations. Our time in Burlington has been pretty low-key so far. We’ve been getting our bearings and resting up.
The first night here was spent scrambling for a place to stay. I had a radio interview to do in Colchester which wasn’t getting out until 1 in the morning, and it was tough to find a night owl to put us up for the night. Our one hopeful fell through, and so we found ourselves on the lap of luxury at a Super 8 watching “The Secret To My Success” (one of Michael J. Fox’s most under-appreciated movies.) We slept through the free continental breakfast, but convinced the nice girl behind the counter to reopen it for us. After waiting exactly 30 minutes we hit the pool and hot tub. From there we drove around until we arrived at Ethan Allen park. We walked around for a few hours and saw his tower and his gazebo. Apparently his homestead is also somewhere on the property, but it managed to elude us.
Our second night was spent at trivia at Nectar’s (the bar where Phish got their start). Our team didn’t win, but we did get a t-shirt that says “SOCO and Lime” which Chris was pretty excited about. From there we went to a bar called Esox. All of the bricks in Esox’s dive atmosphere have been written on by patrons. The furniture was sparse – a few rickety tables and chairs thrown haphazardly into dark corners. The bartender was a weathered middle-aged woman who was exceedingly polite. For a few hours we played pool and picked classic rock songs to play off of the juke-box. My brother decided to break the atmosphere by picking the juke-box’s only Avril Lavigne song, “Skater Boy.” This was immediately vetoed by the entire bar, as the bartender quickly moved to turn the song down. It was as if our cover was blown but we were past the point of caring.
Last night Chris and I parted ways for the evening. I stayed in and watched the Olympics with my brother and his friends. After some Bob Costas heckling and a lengthy discussion about the nature of curling, the five of us found ourselves watching the biathlon in complete silence. It was generally agreed that we had no idea what was going on in the sport, but it was mesmerizing nonetheless.
So now it’s off to Mardi Gras.