Today marks the first day of Fall Break, a strategically placed four- day break in the middle of the fall semester that gives everyone a chance to take a breather after the first round of midterms and papers and projects has been completed. For some, this break provides the chance to head home for a round of home-cooked meals and free laundry. Others take the chance to visit Boston, New York, Montreal or other nearby cities with friends, and still others choose to stay on campus and take advantage of the peace and quiet to catch up on sleep or work. Students and faculty alike appreciate this built-in pause in the middle of the semester as a way to regroup and refresh for the remainder of the semester, which includes such exciting events like Homecoming (next weekend), Halloween, the annual Fall Concert and finally, final exams.
This fall break, I’m embarking upon a mini road trip with a friend, starting down in Boston to visit a friend who graduated a couple of years ago and then winding our way back up to Middlebury, via several small towns with culinary establishments we’ve been wanting to visit. This trip combines two of the things that have been most important to me about my time at Middlebury; good food and good friends. Middlebury, and environs, offers much to its students in both of these areas. I’ve been fortunate over the course of my four years here to develop many close friendships that I know will last long after we’ve all received our Middlebury diplomas and Painter’s canes. These relationships enrich my life everyday and have made Middlebury more than just a school, but a home.
Also, for those of us who often have food on the mind, Middlebury has a lot to offer as well. On this trip, we’re hoping to visit the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory and the Cabot cheese factory in Waterbury, Vermont. If you haven’t yet experienced the wonders of Cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese, I encourage you to try it. We’re also hoping to catch the tail end of the Vermont foliage season, which never ceases to amaze me. Closer to home, the town of Middlebury also offers a lot to the foodie. The farmer’s market, which takes place every Saturday morning, brings together many farmers and producers in Addison County, offering apples, bread, veggies, meat, wine, cheese, and much more. The Middlebury Co-Op is a natural foods cooperative offering anything and everything your vegan, organic, gluten-free heart could desire. And American Flatbread, an iconic pizza establishment in Vermont, serves up delicious hearth bread pizzas, salads and desserts five nights a week in a wonderfully cozy restaurant with red-checkered tablecloths and tea lights. These places have been the foundations of my food life at Middlebury, and when I want a brief break from the dining halls, they always deliver.
So, on this trip, I’m looking forward to enjoying the best that Middlebury has to offer—good friends, good food, and a brief break from homework.