Ben and Jerry’s and Back to Boston

Oktoberfest at night

Our final weekend of the road trip was so much fun. We found an Oktoberfest in Montreal. We stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont (it was packed—I’m assuming there were other people like us who had no idea what Vermont has to offer except free ice cream). We ate more nachos and more pizza. It was glorious.

That photo above is from one of my favorite road trip nights, the Oktoberfest. We sampled tons of flavors of German beer—my favorites included blueberry and apricot.

This Oktoberfest tried its best to elude us. We drove around forever just to get to it, and then drove around forever some more to find an ATM for Canadian money to get in. Then, all of the ATMs turned against us (maybe they just hate me?) and rejected our American credit cards.

Finally, we outsmarted the mysterious outside forces trying to keep us from the party and had a great time sampling beer, dancing, and singing the Oktoberfest song over and over (and over).


German Beers

Don’t those little guys look jolly and merry? I would be too, if my only job was to hold yummy beer flavors all day.

The festival was spread out in a fun, festive little area:

Oktoberfest at night Oktoberfest at night

As you can tell, I really enjoyed those strings of lights. It’s the little things. 🙂

After Oktoberfest, we ordered pizza and it took perhaps two hours to find our hotel room in the middle of nowhere (the festival was set outside the city), and it was maybe the best pizza I have ever tasted. I doubt this would be true any other time than after an Oktoberfest.

Our drive back toward Boston the next morning was another favorite part of the trip. We stopped at a perfect lookout point to see over the city of Montreal.

 Montreal City

Downtown Montreal for blog Montreal

I’m pretty sure Montreal is home to some crazy people (the nightlife convinced me of that), but the city is gorgeous from above!

Afterward, we made our way to the Notre-Dame Basilica, which completely blew me away. It’s a cathedral in Montreal that’s pretty famous. To me, usually a cathedral is a cathedral (very pretty, but they usually all look the same). Not this one! Here’s the sight that greets you right when you walk in the door:

Inside of Basillica for blog

That’s the main chapel part. Breathtaking. Here are some more of my favorites from inside the cathedral. The colors were so vibrant and every direction you turned, there was something new and beautiful to look at!

Pillars in Basillica de Notre Dame

Windows in the Basillica for blog

Jesus in the Basillica

The stained glass was beautiful, and provided gorgeous lighting inside the church. I wish everyone could see this cathedral in person!

Candles were everywhere.

Candles 1 for blog

Notre Dame candles for blog

There were a few people in the pews, just quietly observing and praying. It was so peaceful inside.

Basiliica for blog

Our tour guide informed us there are over 5,000 pipes on the organ. We got to hear it play and man, I definitely believe it. It was such a rich, lovely sound. They have several rooms just to hold the pipes.

Pipes at Notre Dame Basillica

It was kind of hard to get a picture of the outside of the basilica because it was so big, but it was beautiful too:

Notre Dame Basilica

I’m so glad we decided to stop at the cathedral. One of my favorite stops of the whole trip.

And then of course, since we had an hour or two of culture, we immediately jumped on board for the most uncultured stop we could find: the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont! Only, culture followed us there too! Ahh!

Did you know Ben and Jerry are a couple of ice-cream-loving hippies?

Ben and Jerrys sign for blog

Their motto is basically peace, love and ice cream. I don’t see how it could get any better. We watched a short video on the history of the ice cream team, and it’s clear they are passionate about more than just dairy cows.

By 2013, all of the ingredients in Ben and Jerry’s ice cream will be fair trade. Cool, huh?

We did a tour, ate our share of samples at the end plus some (some people didn’t eat theirs—this will remain one of life’s greater mysteries I have encountered) and took silly pictures.

Ben and Jerrys for blog

We are trying our best to get that darn ice cream there. 🙂

After Ben and Jerry’s, we headed back to Boston for the final night of our trip. We made a stop by the bar that inspired the TV show Cheers (they have three bars inside, including one that’s supposed to look like the set of the show).

The bar where everybody knows your name! (Did I get that right? I have seen the show maybe once. At the most, twice.)

Cheers sign

Then we ate dinner at the Mexican restaurant at our hotel because we couldn’t handle a full day without nachos. It was too dark inside for pictures, but it was delicious. I think over the course of 9 days, I’ve become a nacho addict. Detox coming soon.

We had a low-key evening in Boston, which gave us a beautiful sunset to wish us goodbye. I took this picture in the parking lot of our hotel and some bus trying to drive through was not happy. Clearly, that bus did not appreciate nature.

Boston sunset

We called it a somewhat early night and then got up super early for our flight. Flying out on 9/11 was a little nerve-wracking, but airport security was extra tight and we didn’t have any problems. Continuing to think of and remember those who lost loved ones on that awful day 10 years ago. ❤

That concludes my road trip recap—it was so much fun, and I think I’m ready to start planning another trip. 🙂 Where should we go?! I’ve seen a lot of the country, but Hawaii remains stubbornly out of my grasp…

Have a great Monday!

Notre Dame Basilica, Ben and Jerry’s, Boston, Montreal



  1. I drove by the ben and jerrys factory today when I was on my way hiking! Glad you got to taste vermont’s finest 🙂
    All of your recaps were great, your trip looked like so much fun!

  2. Isabelle@cheesymiteapples says:

    I didn’t realize Oktoberfest started early in Montreal! I know a lot of the German Pubs here in Sydney are getting ready but no real celebrations just yet.
    I’ve enjoyed reading all your road trip recaps 🙂

  3. Your pictures never cease to impress me! They are so clear and beautiful 🙂
    I used to go to school at UVM (I transferred from there after my freshman year) and obviously stopped at the B and J factory!

  4. Those lights are SO pretty! Montreal looks like such an amazing trip!

  5. Your photography is always so amazing.
    My favorite flavor of B&J’S is Oatmeal Cookie Chunk….and I haven’t been able to find it in YEARS. Which is probably a very good thing. 🙂
    Your trip looks amazing. I’m a little jealous. 🙂

  6. Man, you have some gorgeous pictures here. And that organ is GINORMOUS! The people sitting in front of it look like little ants

  7. Love all of your beautiful pictures!!

    Man, I BET flying out of Boston on 9/11 was stressful. Glad you made it home safe and sound!

  8. Beautiful pictures! I really want my backyard to look like that with all the string lights!

  9. What fun! ….The Oktoberfest, the cathedral, and the ice cream! Alllll so great! ….your pictures are so great and just looking that the pictures of the Notre-Dame Basilica makes me feel all peaceful inside! 🙂

  10. Thank you for the pictures of the Notre-Dame Basilica. It has been several years since I have been there and your photos brought back some good memories…

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