Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition

Sugarhouses of Northern Vermont

This past weekend, The Vermont Maple Festival was held in St. Albans, Vermont. Vermont is well-known for producing maple syrup (aka liquid gold) and the tradition runs generations deep. Growing up, it’s one of the things that I remember with fond memories.  Collecting sap and sitting in sugarhouses socializing and embracing what helps to make Vermont, Vermont. In the spring, a sugarhouse is main point of connecting with others, catching up while working and there is nothing in this world like the smell of the sweetness in the air and tasting hot, fresh syrup.

Last year, I went home during sugaring season. This is when the sap is running, the syrup is boiling and the fresh made gloriousness that is maple syrup is sitting in barrels waiting to be sold. It had been quite a while since I had been home during maple season and was lucky enough to have my dad bring me around to some of Vermont’s sugarhouses. He is the World Famous Tim after all.

If you’re unfamiliar with sugaring, here is a quick explanation:

Each spring, when the world begins to thaw from the previously, frigid winter, the sap begins to run from the maple trees. Think of the sap like a sweet, sugar water. The sap is collected and boiled in evaporators using heat generated from wood or oil fires. (If simplified, think of a giant, rectangle pot boiling.) The purpose is to boil out the water to a certain extent and the remainder is maple syrup. Rule of thumb, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Maple syrup also had more calcium than milk and is a natural sugar – so it’s good for you! All of this is done in sugarhouses.

So in honor of sugaring season coming to an end and all the hard-working folks out there getting ready to clean their equipment, attend maple shows,  sell their products and wanting a break, I wanted to feature a few sugarhouses that I saw on my last spring trip home. They come in all shapes and sizes, traditions old and new. One thing is for certain – we all can’t get enough of the liquid gold!

Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition, Fairfield Vermont Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition, Richford, Vermont, Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition Sugarhouse, Maple Syrup, Vermont Maple, Vermont, Northern Vermont Maple, Tradition

Do you have a tradition in your home state? 

I’m strongly convinced that maple syrup and/or cheese can be put on any kind of food. I’ve yet to be proven wrong.

For a great recipe – check out my recipe for Maple Peanut Butter Pie!

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9 Reasons to Travel to Dripping Springs, Texas

There’s been a lot of buzz around Dripping Springs, Texas lately. Situated just outside of Austin, it really hones in on the Hill Country’s rustic feel just outside the big city. When visiting, these are the top activities that should be on any list when visiting Dripping Springs

  1. Stay
    When in town, go authentic. It’s time to embrace what makes Dripping Springs, Dripping Springs. Cottages, inns, B&B’s, take a pick! There’s so many to choose from but stay in a place which brings character. It’ll add a little pizazze to your story!
    Dripping Springs, Liney Moon, Cottage, Texas, Travel Texas, Accomodations (Above, The Liney Moon)
  2. Eat
    There’s so many great places to eat, the real question is where to begin? The Pizza Cave (below), Rolling in Thyme & Dough or Smoke n’Hops among other local favorites. Come !
  3. Get Outside
    Dripping Springs is the home to the Hamilton Pool reserve. Enjoy the famous Texas swimming hole over scenic limestone including a waterfall to help you cool off after a hike through one of the nearby parks.
  4. Texas Hill Country Olive Oil
    A growing crop, Texas produces olive oil! Stop in for a tour of the grounds and learn how the production of olive oil is growing in Texas. Inside, enjoy olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings and even pair them with a wine tasting from some of the finest vineyards in Texas.
  5. Explore the Wine Trail
    Did someone say wine?! Dripping Springs is home to vineyards of their own including Solaro Estates Winery and Bell Springs Winery. Looking to stay in town, swing by one of the tasting rooms or wine tours to expand the selection. Need a drive? That’s available too!
  6. Micro Brew Invasion
    Dripping Springs is home to Jester King, Twisted X and Thirsty Planet Brewing Company. Smoke’n Hops and The Barber Shop are the local watering holes to help quench your thirst. Sit back, kick back and relax! Have a cold one!
  7. Distilleries
    The beverages go on and on! Deep Eddy Vodka, Dripping Springs Vodka and Treat Oak Distillery are all in town. Staying in Austin and want to come out for the day? Completely possible with one of the many tours to and from, including the Austin Tour Company which will bring you and your friends to and from downtown Austin to Deep Eddy Vodka for some fun and games.
    Note: All tours at Deep Eddy Vodka must be booked in advance.
  8. Mercer Street
    “Take a step back in time on historic Mercer Street. Home to some of the first businesses in town, you’ll recognize that you’re on Mercer Street well before you see a sign. Historic buildings house the dancehall, perfect for the evening two-step, grab a beer or enjoy some frozen yogurt and ice cream. THere’s a place on Mercer Street for everyone.
  9. Drive
    This is the Hill Country. Explore it, embrace it, take it in. It’s best done behind the wheel with endless destination.
    Dripping Springs TX_0563

What’s your favorite attraction in Dripping Springs? 
What’s on the top of your to do list? 

Dripping Springs, Liney Moon, Cottage, Texas, Travel Texas, Accomodations

The Liney Moon – Dripping Springs, Texas

Disclaimer: The Liney Moon provided a complimentary two-night stay in exchange for sharing my experience with readers. As always, 100% of opinions, photos and content are my own. #ad

When traveling, its important to ensure items that are not on the “regularly seen” list, are seen.  I love character, originality and charm mixed in with a little simplicity and local flare. On a recent trip to the Hill Country, we decided to stay and explore Dripping Springs. We’ve heard so much about the area, it was time we had a first hand account of what there was to offer.

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In researching accommodations, I came across The Liney Moon. First, it’s not the typical B&B, inn or hotel that we all see pop-up in internet search results, but I was intrigued. I mean, look at the cottages themselves. Something out of the ordinary!

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The Liney Moon is two types of accommodations, a large home (The Stellar House) or small cottages to rent.

The Stellar House is home to the large party of guests. If traveling with many guests or if a wedding is in the works, this may be more accommodating or appealing. With over 2300 sq. feet of living space, the house holds 1 double, 10 queen and 5 twin beds. See what I mean? Large party.

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During our stay we stayed in one of the ten cottages on the property (two are handicap accessible). Now, these are pretty neat. Each cottage sit on their own section of the property in a horseshoe setting (we could not see The Stellar House). Each has their own parking space, a porch and face out into the center lawn area which houses picnic tables, a few chairs and a grill. On the outside, they all look pretty similar but on the inside is when the local flare takes shape.

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Each cottage has it’s own theme based on a local organization within Dripping Springs. We stayed in the Verde Cottage which is based on the Verde Restaurant in town. A tequila sign sits over the full-sized bed (how fitting knowing my love for the special beverage). Equipped with a TV, small microwave and refrigerator and other artwork showcasing the Verde Restaurant, the room came together.

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This cottage was handicap accessible with a ramp outside to come in, extra room along both sides of the TV / mini-fridge area and an extra large shower in the bathroom. There was plenty of space. This room had a full size bed (as opposed to a queen) with the additional roll-out twin size bed for extra guests. Liney-Moon_0526 LineyMoon_0530

The Liney Moon is just a short drive outside of town. During our stay and exploration of the area, we noticed there were a lot of weddings within a short drive (couple miles) so this may be a great option if in town for an event.

More so this is a great place to getaway, unplug and relax. I refer to it as elaborate camping. This still supplies electricity and plumbing with the ability to sleep comfortably at night in a bed and still check out of the everyday world. Sometimes, we don’t know how much we need to unplug until we’re forced to. Time to turn off the cell phones. A lot of people may find this a downside when staying somewhere but the cottages have no internet access and we had little cell service. There’s a phone inside, however no internet. Gasp! This really forced me put down my phone and embrace the time I had to be away from it all in the world.

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Sometimes, you need a one-of-a-kind place to really take a break. Be prepared for no WI-fi in the cottages and I would suggest bringing extra beverages and water. There are locations to check out nearby including some that we checked out including Deep Eddy Vodka distillery, enjoyed a great pizza in town and spent a day in Austin (a short drive away).

For more information:
The Liney Moon
5401 W Fitzhugh Road
Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Distance: About 30 minutes from downtown Austin and an hour from Fredericksburg.