We quickly packed our things up, jumped into the van and left Quebec

After a wonderful few days exploring the Eastern cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, it was finally time to cross the border and return to the USA once more.

So without further ado, it was full steam ahead to Vermont!

We'd barely left Quebec when we spotted these dinosaurs chilling by the side of the road! Everyone loves a dinosaur so we pulled over and had burgers for second breakfast whilst playing with the prehistorics.

The rest of the day was dedicated to visiting factories. First up was a chocolate factory where we peered through the glass to the factory floor from the warm, chocolatey cocoon of the shop.

Having lined our stomachs with a good deal of dairy and cocoa, it was time to head over to the Magic Hat brewery, a rather interesting beer company with an excellent selection of brews behind the bar.

But the next stop was one particularly close to my heart.

And my enthusiasm for this place still causes Michele to roll his eyes and consider disowning me even all this time later.

I present to you, the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont.

Let's just get one thing straight - I am a huge huge huge fan of Ben & Jerry. I still remember the first time I tried Phish Food on my eighth birthday at TGI Fridays. I remember lunchtimes sneaking out of school and into the supermarket next door to buy tubs of Fudge Brownie for lunch. I introduced a lot of my friends to Ben & Jerry's during those school years and they still shake their heads ruefully at me for forever ruining all other icecream for them. I once emailed the company and asked them to make their tubs bigger (they politely said no).

There are bigger fans out there, sure - but their numbers are low. I have been under the spell of their delicious ice cream for a good sixteen years of my life.

So you can probably imagine the extent of my glee. I pretty much demolished the gift shop, spending more money there than I had in the past week. I basically fan girled so hard, Michele could barely speak to me by the time we got to the campsite.

But it was worth it.

They even had the famous cows!

I was finally dragged away from my spiritual home and we drove to our campsite nestled in the beautiful Vermont countryside.

When we got there, we virtually had the place to ourselves.

Green stretched away in every direction. We had a lot of food and drink (and ice cream) to get through so we promptly set about concocting a final feast (including some rather unsuccessful popcorn that managed to get, urm, a little burnt...)

We drank, we chatted, we laughed and got a little merry - and then as the last of the light faded, we were suddenly left beneath a vast canopy of open, glittering sky.

We lay out on an old tarp and counted the shooting stars, slowly becoming quieter and more humbled.

It was an incredible feeling - to think of all that space we had crossed since starting a month earlier in Seattle. How it was all captured beneath this same dome of black and stars. Some people feel scared when they look up at the surrounding universes - to think of our insignificance within this inconceivable vastness is unbearable. But I've always found it so calming. Whenever things feel like they're getting to be too much, I like to sit back and think of all the things that will always remain no matter how much I screw up - the mountains (the Dolomites in particular), dogs, the sky. No matter what happens in life, they will always be there and I find their constant presence so comforting.

We did that stereotypical thing of lying there, feeling grateful for the journey we'd made together and having deep conversations, feeling the alcohol slowly fade from our systems. #gapyah

And then the morning came. And we washed and scrubbed every piece of equipment we'd used, bundled into the van and made our final stop.

A cheese and maple syrup farm! With so many tasters!

And then... that was it!

We spent the rest of the day in the van, making our way to New York City. NEW YORK!!!

There was traffic (lots of it) and toilet stops and I had combined all my remaining liquor into a very interesting interpretation of a Long Island Iced Tea which I guzzled excitedly as soon as I realised we were driving past Long Island (mistake).

And then we saw that unmistakeable skyline glide into view in the distance. And I couldn't quite believe that I was looking upon New York City for the first time in my life.