October 10, 2005 - Monday
We spent a quiet Columbus Day weekend at the Vermont House, particularly compared to past years. We'd originally thought that there would be a reprise of the family group that used to come, but it seemed everyone got worried about the weather at the last minute and decided against coming. That didn't leave time enough to invite others with kids as we had recently and so it was just us. It did rain enough on Saturday for us to delay our departure in favor of the boys' morning swimming lesson, but we had good enough weather on Sunday and Monday for going out to look at the cows and visit Carlton for more of Jeremy's favorite maple syrup.
Given the fairly quiet weekend, the boys' mother and I decided on a stopover on the way home today. Polar Caves is a place that I visited just once some 30-35 years ago after going past it literally dozens of times as my parents drove us to and from the cabin. I think as kids we probably asked about it dozens of times, too, and I remember being pretty surprised when we actually turned into the parking lot. Harry and Jeremy aren't quite old enough to read signs or really know enough to ask about it, although Harry ask about the big parking lot with the big white bear statue once. I think we said it was a store, which isn't altogether false if you count the gift shop.
Still, the main attraction is the paths through the caves. They turned out to be much shorter than those of my childhood memories, but in the same way as the house I grew up in always seems smaller now. The caves are perfect for little kids like Harry, because there are seven of them (actually eight now) that they can go through one after another. I think that's more exciting for kids than one big long cave. This is the kind of activity where Harry likes to charge ahead and lead the way, "explaining" as he goes what's what and what he's finding. Jeremy had a little more trouble since his three-year-old body isn't quite as agile as Harry's five-year-old body, but he seemed to like it, too. In an interesting attempt to make this a repeat destination, the park has added a intriguing pheasant zoo, with probably more than a dozen different breeds of pheasants in cages, plus a small animal petty zoo.