As I look back on a full 2015, I can’t help but reminisce about some of my favorite moments. One of my top picks on the list was a full weekend that I haven’t even posted on the blog yet!
Time gets away from (blah, blah, blah). So let’s jump right in and flashback to my trip to Vermont in October!
Want to kick back and just watch the weekend? Watch the vlog here:
I think it’s called a hen weekend in certain circles, but I call it a much needed girls weekend – a time to just get together with my recently appointed bridesmaids, t0 celebrate the upcoming nuptials and just plain catch up on the months and months since we last saw each others’ faces.
I’d planned this Vermont retreat since spring and made the trip from Florida to Boston midweek to mix and mingle. Arriving in Boston midday in the midst of a fall workweek meant that I had a bit of a wait before meeting up with my hard work friend, A. I Uber’d it over to Copley Square to enjoy some extra time meandering around the area before catching an open bench seat in the warm sunshine.
After meeting A for a quick few bites of tapas for dinner, I hopped a train west to central Mass where my bestie and her daughter (adorned in ninja turtle PJs) welcomed me with sleepy faces and big hugs.
Following a solid night’s sleep, Cyn and I struck out on our little road trip adventure to Vermont, leaving the rolling hills and valleys behind as we wound our way into the mountains of Vermont.
Within about four hours, we arrived at the Airbnb I’d rented for the long weekend – a restored old barn complete with chickens, sheep and a stunning view from its perch on a hillside.
I happily bundled up in some extra layers as we explored the house and grounds, so thrilled to feel that slight edge to the cool autumn air.
We came across some excellent finds in our perusal of the grounds, including an extra shower…
Which really cracked us up for some reason and brought out the inner goofs…
If it was a good 40 degrees warmer, it would have been great to take advantage of!
We also got acquainted with the locals, some of whom seemed oddly suspicious of us…
The chickens didn’t much seem where we went though.
While these innocent faced fuzz balls… they were another story.
Once we got the lay of the land and picked two bedrooms, from the four the house offered, we hit the local town of Moretown for sustenance, stocking our fridge with yummies in preparation for the rest of our party who would be arriving the next day.
We even came across this guy…
Just a little breathing room for a friendly fella.
I awoke the next morning fully refreshed before the rooster even started its crowing, taking some time to whip up a french press of coffee and lounge around the beautiful outdoor bedroom, that was just a tad to cold to sleep in at night. A crisp mixture of leaves, smoke and that indescribable “fall” scent served as a soothing cure for my typical fall homesickness.
By noon we were fully ready to head out for a big brunch and exploring. We started in neighboring Waterbury at a small cafe before heading back to Moretown to scout out some local shapes and bakeries. Tasting and giggling our way through, we discovered the beautiful local sites.
So beautiful, that it was entirely expected to see cars pulled over on the side of the road to snap pictures of the breathtaking foliage that popped up around ever corner.
Our outstanding two guests arrived as dusk began to fall on our hillside. We snacked on cheese until finally cheering our final girl into the house (after what she said turned out to be a 5-hour drive from Boston that night).
We celebrated our reunion with a trip to Hen of the Wood in Waterbury after my friend Dez promised an outstanding meal of Vermont cheeses and other locally sourced ingredients. Laughing and toasting as a group, we devoured our way through three courses, finished of course by a decadent chocolate tort that I still don’t remember us ordering.
Filled to the gills, we climbed our way through the hills up dirt roads back to our house. Despite wanting to chat through the night, however, we didn’t last long once we made it back to our warm beds. Opting for a good night’s sleep, we called it a day with all the promise of a full day together the next day.
By the time I got out of the shower the next morning my lovely ladies had fixed up a whole little mimosa bar and gift presentation! Those sneaky little…
We all jumped on the chance to mix up some morning bubbly (with the exception of Cyn whose pregnant belly served as a resting perch for her juice), and I dove into a basket of sweets and other naughty bits to enjoy.
When asked what I wanted to do first that day, my response was simple. “Cider donuts.”
Dez, who I’m waiting to run away to be a permanent Vermontian any day now, knew just the spot so we all piled into Linds’s car so she could chauffeur us to the legendary Cold Hollow Cider Mill. I practically swooned when we pulled up and parked in wide field that was rapidly filling with visitors. The main store and cider mill building smelled of hot donuts and spices.
People crammed every open space, but we somehow made our way through the maze of aisles, sampled some fresh pressed cider and picked up some gifts before circling back to the start and meeting up for a bag of hot, fresh cider donuts… each.
If you have not yet experienced the magic of the elusive fresh cider donut, put it on your bucket list.
Though we all kept saying “last one!” we somehow demolished most of them in our first sitting, just beyond the mill’s front door. No regrets.
From there we followed a line of leaf peepers to the heart of downtown Stowe. We stopped for lunch and plotted out the remainder of our day over hot plates of seafood, burgers and sandwiches.
A stop to the Cabot Annex Store was a must. Linds and I practically had to peel our jaws off the floor as we saw the seemingly endless crowds of people surrounding bowls and tables covered in beautiful cheese.
In the same lot as the Annex was a Lake Champlain Chocolates shop. Having visited the factory in Burlington years before, I made a beeline from the cheese shop straight for the lovely chocolatey aroma wafting out the doors.
Stomach full of cheese and chocolate, we headed home with every intention of spending a couple hours by the fire…
Unfortunately our fire only lasted about 15 minutes following the previous day’s rain. We improvised with s’mores over kitchen burners, which surprisingly turned out amazing.
Our last morning in Vermont, those of us who could (C stayed behind seeing as she was almost 8 months pregnant) trekked out in our hiking gear to the trails in Stowe.
Passing yet more incredible sights on our way…
We opted for one of the two-hour trails, which promised us spectacular views. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, we set off.
Our hike, quickly turned into a climb.
We had to fight hard not to detour…
Yet, we finally reached the top (in a little over an hour!) and all the hard work became magically irrelevant by the views.
Jumping for joy despite the body-pushing winds…
We were beyond words at such a reward and memory.
Bundled up in every speck of clothing we had, we began our descent back towards civilization. A few slips, trips and races later, we were back at our car.
An hour later, we were packed up at the house saying our best wishes and goodbyes. No bittersweet tears though, as we all knew we’d be reuniting for the wedding in several months! Instead we toasted to a wonderful weekend packed with memories and all agreed, “Let’s do this again!”
And that is definitely a promise I think we all look forward to keeping. Vermont, I’ll be seeing you again before you know it!