A day in Burlington, Part 1: Photos in the chill

One hand on the phone, the other trying to fix her hair in the wind, she sits on the rocks next to Lake Champlain, trying to line up a selfie.

I ask if I can help.

She hands me her phone, explaining that she’s in town on business, and that she always takes pictures on her travels to send to her mother.

I snap a couple shots. She seems happy with them.


I’m not in town on business, but Suzi is, attending a convention. I decide to tag along — because what else am I going to do at home on a random Thursday? — and make Lake Champlain my first stop so I can see before the rain or (gasp) snow comes.

”Sit once more and spin a yarn”


“Down our way”

Each of the benches along the lake has a little plaque with messages, I assume, chosen by people who made contributions.

A sign in the park asks to “Imagine yourself in the late 1850s. The lake is crowded with traffic. You see steamers busily puffing across the lake, graceful schooners racing with the wind, and squat boats weighed down with lumber heading south to New York markets.”

Lake Champlain’s days as a major shipping venue are long in the past, but it’s not hard to imagine a balmy summer evening, after a nice dinner, passing the remaining hours of sunlight gazing at the lake, with my home state of New York to the west and Quebec to the north.


This, however, is not that day. It’s weather to wear your hoodie up and pull out the gloves that you fortunately remembered to pack in your pockets.

But even the mid-fall weather in northern Vermont doesn’t keep all the joggers, walkers, would-be selfie-takers and wanderers away. Over at the skate park, a young man and woman are on their boards until she leaves in her sport-utility wagon.


Photos taken, the woman and I chat as we walk. She’s from Maryland, near the water, but no mountains.

”Have a nice trip,” she says as we part.

”I hope your mom likes the photos.”

She says her mom will probably ask who took them.

”Oh … some random dude,” to which she responds her mother will probably tell her to be more careful.

To the concerned mom of a Maryland daughter, my intentions were pure, and your daughter friendly.

I hope you like the photos.

As the “Part 1” in the title indicates, there will be a Part 2. Be on the lookout for that one tomorrow.


7 thoughts on “A day in Burlington, Part 1: Photos in the chill

  1. Pingback: A day in Burlington, Part 2: A husband’s landing place – A Silly Place

    1. The interesting thing about that is how I was kind of taken aback, since I never thought of it as anything but a friendly interaction and knowing that I’m a basically friendly guy.

      But as I thought about it more, I realized I was looking at it as a 47-year-old guy (although, to be fair, one whose mother worries about him a lot, too), and not as a young woman traveling alone and her mother.


      1. That is interesting. I always think too much when I interact with people so I find your straightforward and friendly approach very refreshing. I wonder if it’s also a gender thing. Females seem to be on guard more often, I don’t know about males though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A day in Burlington, Part 3: A little career advice – A Silly Place

  3. Pingback: What have I enjoyed writing about? – A Silly Place

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