Lantern Tour

On Saturday night, two friends and I went to a lantern tour in Stowe, Vermont. Stowe is a beautiful little town, though because of the ski industry, it’s one of the most expensive and popular places in Vermont. However, each September and October for over twenty years, there has been a lantern tour where groups walk through town holding lanterns to hear the guide tell about the history of Stowe and a few ghosts stories.

We’d planned to go to dinner before the tour, we tried to get reservations, but this time of year with the fall foliage at its peak, everywhere was booked or had long waitlists. We went to this one Thai restaurant that I hoped we could get into. The food and service is usually really good, but I’ve never seen more than two or three people in there. Not so on Saturday night. There were a few tables open, but when we told him we wanted a table for three, he said, “I only have one cook.” Then he said the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard a restaurant host say. He said, “Just go,” and shooed us out the door. I know he was flustered, and his English is not the best, but any time I’ve been there before, he’s been very nice.

After that, we went into Waterbury to see if there was place to eat there. We’d have loved to eat at Prohibition Pig, but they won’t take reservations and the waitlist was around two hours. Everywhere else had a wait of at least thirty minutes. The lantern tour was at 8 pm, and it was already nearly 6:30. Stowe is about twenty minutes from Waterbury. Finally we gave up and went to the one place we were able to get into: Subway. I had not wanted a sandwich from Subway, but we were hungry and did not want to wait until after the tour to eat.

After we ate, we headed to Stowe for the lantern tour. I had read a lot of good things about this tour, and I like a good ghost story. So, I was excited. I had emailed Tuesday for reservations for Friday night, but was told they were booked. The website said that tours were limited to twenty-five people. When we got to the Stowe Visitor’s Center, we found out that there would be two simultaneous tours. One was led by the man who usually does the tours, and the other was by a woman who I assumed was his wife, who obviously didn’t do the tours on a regular basis. We ended up in the woman’s group along with a screaming child. Apparently, the child was screaming and crying because he wanted to be the person in his group to carry the lantern, but his brother was carrying it. Finally someone gave the kid their lantern, and he finally got quiet.

The tour was all right, but nothing special. The woman didn’t speak loud enough and walked way too fast. What I could hear of the stories she told, they sounded interesting. The best part of the tour though was this guy who was from the Midwest who was in the group with his girlfriend. Well, it wasn’t so much him, although he was handsome enough, but a bit too skinny. However, he had one of the most amazing asses I’ve ever seen, especially on a tall skinny guy. It was much more interesting walking behind him. The tour lasted about an hour, and it was a nice night for a walking tour. It was cool but not too cold. The only hiccup we had along the route was a skunk joined our tour for a bit, but we got away from him without him spraying anyone.

After the tour, we went home. One of my two friends and I plan to take the Burlington Ghost Walk, which I’ve heard is very good. I’m looking forward to hearing about the tales of spooky Burlington. That will be sometime this week or next.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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