Getting the flavor of...
The National Music Museum
Vermillion, S.D., has only 10,000 full-time residents, but it’s home to a museum “brimming with things you’ll never see anywhere else,” said John Reinan in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Located in a former library at the University of South Dakota, the National Music Museum regularly puts 1,200 rare instruments on display, part of a 15,000-piece collection started by local enthusiast Arne Larson and built out by his son over four decades. Many of the priceless instruments are adorned with carvings and precious inlays, and the information labels are “rife with descriptors such as ‘first,’ ‘oldest,’ ‘best,’ and ‘only.’” The world’s oldest cello is here, and the oldest playable harpsichord. Stradivarius violins share the building with a 1,000-pound Thai drum, a dozen saxophones crafted by inventor Adolphe Sax, and antique trombones “with so many twisting tubes they look like a Dr. Seuss creation.” It’s “stunning how many treasures are packed into the place.”
Snowshoeing in northern Vermont
“There’s something incomparably rewarding about snowshoeing,” said Adam Gollner in Travel + Leisure. I’m no stranger to snow sports, but I hadn’t realized snowshoeing had become a popular pastime until shortly before my girlfriend and I headed to Mad River Glen, Vt., last winter to try it. It’s strenuous exercise, I learned, especially for a clumsy novice. But because of the pace of travel and the steady crunching of footsteps, a snowshoer becomes “one with the elements, tramping through the frozen countryside in a state of calm exhilaration.” We were so blissed out by the end of our outing that a rentalshop staffer urged us to keep the snowshoes for a late-night trek. That adventure proved “even more transformative.” Choosing an old sugarhouse as our destination, we stopped for hot cider before turning back. “An infinite universe of stars” lit our path home as we made our way— “slowly, happily”—through the snowy night.