Between all the weddings and events lately, Laura and I haven’t had too much time to go on an adventure. We mixed it up this last week by packing up and taking Ellie and Finn to Vermont. We have made it a point to go to Vermont every year together since we’ve been dating.
Our first trip to Vermont was meant to be a way of finding something to do in the winter months. Laura and I tend to be very active during warmer months but go into hibernation when the weather gets chilly. Our first trip to Vermont back in 2018 was geared around us trying out a new winter sport: snowboarding.
We booked a room at a Best Western in Waterbury for one night. We got all fancy and booked a room with a fireplace to make it feel more cozy, so when we drove six hours to get there, it would be the perfect safe place from the cold. The following day, we drove up to a mountain resort and did some snowboarding lessons. A trainer took us on the bunny slope and showed us all the tips and tricks of snowboarding. It ended up being way more intense than I expected but it was a great time and Laura and I shared laughs in between falling on our faces.
We decided to make it a yearly tradition. We would go to Vermont once a year in the winter and try to keep the winter activities alive. Unfortunately, the snowboarding tradition ended after the first year but we continued to stay at the same Best Western in Waterbury and visited the same restaurant each time, The Reservoir in Waterbury. Besides Walt Disney World, Vermont is our most traveled place. It’s a little bit like a home away from home. Lately, we’ve been talking about visiting Vermont during a different season of the year. We like staying warm and cozy during the cold months in Vermont but we wanted to see what the other seasons had to offer.
We decided to take off the last week in June and go away. We didn’t know quite where we wanted to go yet. We were thinking about visiting a National Park. We bought a National Park pass last year during the quarantine with the hopes that we would go explore the country over the summer with an Airstream travel trailer but we hadn’t done that. We looked into some camp sites but everything was booked up for last week. After losing hope, we decided it was time to go explore Vermont again, but this time in the warmer weather.
Late Wednesday morning we packed the car and made our way up to Vermont. We arrived in Vermont around 7:00 at night and went to a brewery in Stowe, which was about twenty minutes from our hotel. The brewery was called Idletyme Brewing Company. Laura got butternut squash ravioli and I got a burger. The food was really good and it was a nice, cool night to relax after a long drive. Many restaurants in Vermont (at least the Stowe/Waterbury area) include where their meat and cheese products come from so you can see how their food is locally sourced. It’s a really fun touch that I excitedly share with everybody because it feels like a reminder of how Vermont supports local businesses. All the food I’ve ever eaten in Vermont tastes incredibly fresh.
Thursday morning, we took Ellie and Finn to a waterfall. Laura and I have a thing with waterfalls (I even proposed to her in front of a waterfall). It was a rather short hike through the woods (probably around 15 minutes); but there was a problem. You couldn’t actually get up to the waterfall without walking through the stream to get there. The walking path ran out and there was no way to proceed further. Laura decided to walk along the side of a hill that looked kind of sketchy. I didn’t want to walk along it and accidentally slide down and hurt myself. Plus, I had Finn with me. Finn is scared of water and heights so I knew it would be tricky. Finn has a serious sense of adventure (you should see how he reacts when we shout out “adventure”) but there’s some things that make him anxious and these were some of those things (you should also see how he reacts when we say “bath time”). I decided to step outside of my comfort zone (literally) and took my shoes off and started walking through the stream barefoot. I hadn’t come a whole 15 minutes to just turn around. Surprisingly, Finn came with me too and we walked through the stream together.
The waterfall was beautiful. Pictures never do waterfalls justice. They always look smaller in photos than they do in real life. It’s the nature of a wide angle lens. But it was a sight to behold. The sound of water crashing in the middle of the forest is so soothing and relaxing. And the feeling of rocks and sand on my feet felt just as freeing. We all had a great time.
We spent the rest of the day exploring a few places, including Burlington. Burlington is such a beautiful place. It’s right on the edge of Lake Champlain and is also a college town. We enjoyed crepes at The Skinny Pancake and got ourselves some creemees (what Vermont calls soft serve ice cream). We spent some time by the lake and enjoying time as it passed us by. After that, we went to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and custom built the baby his first stuffed animal and named it Maple. We sure hope he loves his new best friend.
Finn at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company having the time of his life
We later went to Ben and Jerry’s and got ourselves some delicious ice cream. We actually went again the day after too because we couldn’t get enough (and it was also 2 minutes down the road). We ended the night back at The Reservoir where we started our Vermont tradition. I got another burger and worked on my food critic skills and compared it to my first burger at Idletyme Brewing Company. It was a close call. I’m still not sure which one I liked more. They were both delicious.
We couldn’t get enough Ben and Jerry’s
Friday we drove back. The drive back to reality is never very exciting. We stopped twice to charge the car. Laura got a peanut butter and banana smoothie at a stop in Vermont at a Healthy Living Market and Cafe. It reminded me of a Whole Foods in New Jersey. On the way back home, Ellie and Finn slept in the back seat (they were totally wiped out). But we had an incredible time. Laura said going to Vermont in the summer is her favorite season there. I am starting to agree with her. We didn’t have to worry about getting snowed in or stranded (it’s happened before). We just had a chance to enjoy the weather and ice cream…lots of ice cream.