Sunday, February 21, 2010

White River Junction

Okay, everyone said it was gritty.

Everyone was right.

Some time ago, I was googling Jason Lutes, looking for the collected Berlin, when I discovered there is a cartoon college in White River Junction, Vermont, and Jason Lutes teaches there. Ever since then, I've been trying to make my way up there to check out the college and the town (always in the back of my mind is the dream of moving to Vermont).

This past week was February vacation for the girls, so we decided this was it. Unfortunately, the 7yo caught a cold, with a bad cough, so we were hunkered down here until she felt well enough for an adventure. Finally, Friday morning, she did. Time to head north. It's about an hour and a half drive from here, so I was mostly thinking it would be a day trip, especially since I thought the 7yo should sleep in her own bed. As we were driving, though, the girls let me know that they planned on staying overnight in a hotel.

When we got to White River Junction, it didn't look like much of a town. We stopped by the visitors' center to ask for lunch recommendations, and the woman there was less than encouraging. We wandered over to the Center for Cartoon Studies where my image of an idyllic cartoon campus was dashed by the glass of a simple storefront.

The girls and I went next store for some very greasy pizza, while we planned our next move. I knew there was going to be a talk at the college about a new Amelia Earhart graphic novel, but I didn't think that the girls would be interested. I knew they wanted to see the Vermont they've heard me describe, and I knew that Woodstock was nearby. We finished our lunch and went to take one last look around town. There were three students standing in front of the college, so I chatted with them a bit. I asked if Jason Lutes still taught there, and they said that he came to town a few times a week. When I asked where he lived and they said Woodstock, that was good enough for me. We said good bye to White River Junction, and at least for now, to the fantasy of moving there.

Then we headed for Woodstock.

We stopped in to this shop to visit with the cute tea set, and other handmade toys and gifts. I asked the woman working there if she could recommend a place to stay. Of course, every quaint Vermont town is littered with bed & breakfasts, and Woodstock is no exception. She said she was friends with the folks who run the Charleston House, and that's where we ended up staying.

In the morning, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, then we strolled around town. The girls decided the town is perfect, and would like to move there.

I'll start saving now.


Picture of CCS found here (read the whole piece for someone else's review of a first visit, almost exactly two years to the day before mine).

1 comment:

Isaac said...

Thanks for giving credit for the borrowed photo — I appreciate it. It's too bad you didn't stick around for the Amelia Earhart talk. I would have liked to read about your response to it. (My friend Ben Towle is the artist for the book.)

If you look in that post of mine from which you gathered the photo, you'll see a picture of Jason Lutes in his class from a couple of years ago. That was a fun visit, and I've been back to CCS a few times since then. (In fact, I'm going again in just a couple of weeks.)