Happy Monday my lovely blends!
I am settling back in from 2 trips in 7 days so I thought I’d bring you a guest post on an uber cool mini-vacay my bestie took. Enjoy
Vermont is not just Berkeley with more trees
Hello blogger buddies! It’s S’s infamous bestie A here. I love that I’m infamous and it’s for something not related to venereal disease! (And yes, I know my humor is a bit crass. What can I say… I’m not a flower.)
I’m here to educate you on the wonders of New England (most notably New Hampshire and Vermont). Last we spoke (or, er, blog-comment-communicated) I said I knew nothing about Vermont and just thought it was like Berkeley, CA, except perhaps larger and with more trees. And now I know what it’s like! So like a child who’s just found out that soap does not indeed taste like candy even if it smells like sweet apples and flowers, I’m going to vomit all my new found information onto you, oh captive readers.
My hubby Ilya and I just spent a weekend in Vermont after spying a groupon for half off a night at the Castle Hill Inn and Spa. And really, what good story doesn’t start with “So we saw this groupon and…”? It’s like the new “And this one time, at band camp…”. So we bought the groupon and made a whole weekend around staying at the Castle.
First we had to fit in a run, because we’re training for a half marathon, and my body no longer allows me to abuse it by running 13 miles without a proper amount of training. So we thought, since we had to drive through New Hampshire to get to Vermont from Boston, why not stop in New Hampshire and get to know it by running 10 miles through the forest! Yes, it did sound like a good idea at the time. And yes, it will turn into one of those stories that I retell over and over “So we saw this groupon and then…” It turns out, the New England winter forcing me to mostly run on treadmills for my training has allowed me to build plenty of running-on-flat-surface muscles. However, it has not allowed me to develop running-over-roots/rocks muscles. So of course around mile 3, I rolled my ankle over a rock and took a header into the lovely forest floor of NH. After a few choice words, I slowly started limp-walking and then limp-running to finish up the 10 miles. Why you may ask? Because we were already 3 miles out, meaning it was going to be at least a 6 mile run, and pain is pain right? Or at least that’s what I told my mom. Well we finished up the 10 miler right as a thunderstorm was pulling in, and we were both a bit muddy, definitely salty, and in varying degrees of pain. So, saying that I can’t wait to go back to enjoy more of NH means that it must have been super gorgeous right? It totally was! A bit dream-like actually. And it only got better as we rolled into Vermont.
Vermont is home to the Castle Hill Inn and Spa, which is actually a historic mansion (much more mansion-like than castle), that boasts the first in-home elevator in the US, as well as the first rudimentary fire sprinkler system and intercoms. It was actually super duper cool staying there. And it has an Aveda spa on-site, so Ilya and I were able to get massages straight away upon our arrival (take that, Mother nature’s misplaced rock!!) After our massages, we got dressed all fancy for a fabulous dinner in the dining room of the Castle. I got a ton of complements on my dress (probably because I looked like death when we checked in after the 10-miler), and I fit right in with the fine china and ornate wood paneled walls.
The food was also fantastic (although a bit pricey), and Ilya and I thoroughly enjoyed our 3 course Prix Fixe meal. I only have pictures of the entrees, because that’s when I decided to slow down enough to get the camera out. Did I mention the 10 miles of running?!?
Once we bid the Caslte adieu Sunday, we took the Volvo out to criss-cross the countryside of Vermont. We saw many rivers, and lush green fields, and quaint, cute hamlets, and sampled cheese and maple syrup at sprawling farms. It turns out Vermont has cheese and maple tasting the way California has wine tasting. Who knew? (hint: not me). We hit up Taylor Farm near Londonderry and Sugarbush Farm just east of Woodstock. Sugarbush was my fav because Taylor Farm didn’t have maple tasting (just maple syrup for sale), plus Sugarbush was more interactive and had more animals. Although we ended up buying cheese from both, we also bought (and tasted!) Maple syrup, buffalo and venison sausages, pumpkin butter, maple bbq sauce, and many other tasty treats at Sugarbush. Win!
It was all very idyllic touring Vermont. And the only hint at my preconceived notion of Vermont being Berkeley’s older, fatter cousin, was our lunch at the Moon Dog Cafe.
It was very eclectic and delicious (I had a hand-made veggie patty with curried yogurt sauce on whole wheat bread…it was sooooo tasty!!), and the place just screamed “aging hippie trying to dole out the granola.” But alas, the pretentiousness of being “Berkeley” was not there, so I can only say the people of Vermont are healthy and love all things nature. But there is a lot of nature there to love and live in, so it all seems, well, natural. Not like a bunch of city folk not combing their hair because they think it’s cool. On the drive home, Ilya and I actually toyed with the idea of one day buying a vacation home in Vermont where we could bring our kids and fur babies to frolic on the weekends. What can I say, we’re dreamers.
So there you have it, blog friends. The east coast is seducing me with all its wiles, and I’m not even trying to resist. In fact, I’m displaying all the wiles here so you will come join me. I have no shame.
And now some questions! (So you can comment…so I feel like enough people have read my guest post that I’m not a loser. Like I said, no shame)
Have you ever been to Vermont? Do you like to take a run/walk/bike through a new location to get to know it? What’s your favorite kind of maple syrup? (I know, I didn’t know there was more than one kind either.)