I am from Vermont, a state fiercely protective of her few specialties. The consensus in Vermont is that leaves only turn color there in the autumn, ski mountains out west are too tall, and Canadian maple syrup contains pesticides. Likewise, Vermonters believe that any ice cream which doesn’t originate from a certain factory in Waterbury is suspect in some way.
Drive though Lakeville on I-35W and you’ll see a great yellow billboard: “Hot Sam’s 10-Acres Antweaks & Photo Park.” It is a singular place: an antique shop surrounded by sculptures welded from scrap and other curiosities, presided over by Alley-Oop. Whether you would go to take photos with the myriad props or just drink in its uncanny energy, Hot Sam’s is well worth the trip.