Category Archives: Breweries

Vermont, Lake Carmi, Scenery

Welcome to Vermont – Part II

If you’ve had a chance to view Part I of our trip to Vermont, it’s pretty obvious we were having a lot of fun with plenty of activities. With this being Spencer’s first trip to the Green Mountain State, there was ample opportunity to play the part of a tourist. Even if it’s your home state, there’s always ample opportunity to be a tourist – whether it’s something that you may have never experienced or visited, ask “why not?”!

Here are a few adventures we went on in Northern Vermont. If you’re planning a visit (or being a tourist for a day yourself), we highly recommend them all!

Wine Tasting at Borden Valley Winery, Cambridge.

Boyden Valley Winery, Cambridge, Vermont
Wine, cider, dessert wine and liqueur. Oh yes – for $10, the tasting included 7 tastings from a masterful list (of all of the above) and a very nice wine glass to keep. Afterwards, we took our glass, picked a favorite bottle to enjoy outside on the terrace and enjoyed incredible views of the Green Mountains and the vineyard grounds. Tours are available twice a day and in the fall there is a pretty great corn maze. I stuck to pretty much anything with the word “maple” – if you know me this is no surprise. That sweet stuff runs through my veins.

My personal favorite – Glogg. Holy moly! If you haven’t tried Glogg, you’re missing out. This is a  wine which you serve warm that tastes like a spice cake / loaf right out of the oven. Do yourself a favor and go to their website and just order yourself a bottle. I look forward to hearing how you’ll be ordering another!

The Old College Grounds! 

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My almamatra is Champlain College. I couldn’t have picked a better college to attend anywhere. Good ole Camp Champ as we like to call it. A lot has changed on campus since I attended and it is definitely a lot different than the University of Texas where Spencer went. We met up with an old college friend / prior employer / school mom while we were there and she took us on a tour including taking a peak into one of the dorms on campus. A lot has changed since I graduated. I can’t begin to talk about the flashbacks of this wonderful place (including being super excited to see the booths in the cafeteria for some reason). Sending photos to college friends while on tour definitely took place! It’s safe to say that some things haven’t changed. We still have the best view in town!

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Burlington – Oh Burlington.

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It’s funny how you don’t realize how much you miss somewhere until you hit up the old stomping grounds. If you’re ever in Burlington and can only do three things they need to include visiting the waterfront, experiencing a brewery (there are a ton of Pine Street now) and eating downtown.

The waterfront is one of a kind. This is where you can breathe and take in the amazing scenery. It doesn’t get much better. Find yourself a swing by the lake and sit a while.

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Breweries. The brew scene has blown up and they’re all great. Visit one or visit them all. We stopped by Switchback. I remember visiting this place when they had just opened. Tours were by phone call only. The owner received his degree in beer brewing from UCLA (who gave us the tour) and you could only find it in the bars downtown. Times have changed. Love their success.

Remember: Vermont has the best breweries in the country.

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Eat downtown. If a chain is on your agenda, it won’t be found here. Burlington has some of the best eateries around. This trip included a trip to Kountry Kart Deli on Main Street for a Rise and Shiner – the best sandwich you will have in your life. I’m fairly certain that I haven’t had one since college and maybe never one sober and it was still as good as I remember. Sausage, egg, hash brown and cheese on a bun fresh off the grill. Dinner was at American Flatbread. Yes, these are the same pizza’s that can be found in the frozen section at the grocery store but you really need to have one in Vermont. Fresh, local ingredients paired with a local craft beer and a dinner really can’t get much better than that!

The One and Only – Vermont Sugarhouse Experience

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Visit a sugarhouse and experience maple. The prime maple season is in the spring when everything begins to thaw. This is where liquid gold is made and the process is amazing (and so are the locations).

Get Outside – Hike

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The Green Mountains are my favorite mountains in the world. It wouldn’t be right to go to Vermont and not enjoy nature and be active outside. Spencer and I hiked Mt Mansfield, the highest peak in the state of Vermont. This trip, we took the Toll Road (read about my first hike to the summit here) and hiked two miles to the top. Lucky for us, we were the only ones on the summit. We had the whole top of Vermont to ourselves!! How incredible is that?

Mt Mansfield, Summit, Vermont, Stowe, Hike, Long Trail, Green Mountains

Spencer Takes a Ride

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My dad is an antique car enthusiast. That’s probably putting it lightly. The man loves his old cars. I think Spencer really enjoyed checking out the vehicles and going for a ride with him.

I think it’s safe to say Vermont was a success. It goes by entirely too fast. Way too fast.

What are some things that you enjoy most about going home?

Fredericksburg, Texas, VisitFredTX, Wine Trail, Hill Country, Fredericksburg To Do, Becker Vineyards

48 Hours in Fredericksburg, Texas

Last week, we headed to Fredericksburg, Texas for a little wine and relaxation. Although we were only in town for slightly less than 48 hours, we made the most of it and you can too! There will be a lot more information on our getaway in the weeks to come but in case you decide to head down for a quick trip (as you should), I wanted to share how we made the best of our 48 hours!

Our trip was a Wednesday evening thru Friday afternoon. Fredericksburg is a town where there is so much to do that it didn’t even matter that the weather was less than stellar. If anything, it provided more of a reason to pour ourselves another glass!

Step #1: Find yourself a great place to stay.

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We started our journey from Fort Worth after work on a Wednesday evening. Three and a half hours later, we arrived. This gave us time to unwind after the long drive and left us with a full day to really take in the sights!

We stayed at the Fredericksburg Inn & Suites, right off Main Street in the historic downtown. These accommodations were awesome!!! Not only is this a historic landmark, they provide a full breakfast in the morning, freshly baked cookies in the lobby in the afternoon AND our room was gorgeous. The icing on the cake – our room had a Luckenbach theme. It’s like they knew the way right to my heart!

Night #1: Check in, settle in, pop open a bottle of wine and kick your feet back and exhale – you’re on vacation!

Full Day #1
It was raining. Pardon me, pouring outside so a trip to the Enchanted Rock was out of the question. (If it’s not raining, definitely try to do this first thing in the morning!)

8am – Rise and Shine followed by delicious pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon and yogurt in the inn.

10am – We headed over to the Fredericksburg Visitors and Convention Center (CVB). This is a chance to find what it is we wanted to see. There is so much to do so we picked a few of our favorites.

11am – We were headed to the vineyard, Becker Vineyards that is. With little time to spare, it’s time to make it count! Becker Vineyards is about 10-15 minutes outside of town. Regardless of which vineyard you choose, use the morning to head out to spend time at an actual vineyard. We were the first to arrive! Oh the glory of having an entire tasting room to yourself!

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12:30pm – Time to find another winery. 4.0 Cellars was our choice. This was a slightly different adventure as there were three wineries in one location! That’s right – why have wine from only one winery when you can have three?! Easy choice!

2pm – Head back to town, it’s time to grab a bite to eat. We headed back to the Inn, parked and walked down over to Main Street. We are a little indecisive when we’re hungry but lucky for us the Fredericksburg Brewery is right on Main Street so we wandered right in. Grab a flight and pretty much anything off the menu. I’ve never had anything that wasn’t delicious!

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3:30pmShop This area is historic and there’s something around every corner. Peruse the stores. Everything from art, antiques, locally made goods. If shopping is not for you, there’s always starting the next event early…

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4pm – Downtown is also home of the Urban Wine Trail! The wine country has brought the wine to town! With at least seven tasting rooms within walking distance to each other, there’s no reason to drive outside of town, they’ve brought the good stuff to you! As we walked down Main Street, we made a stop to the Fiesta Winery tasting room.  How convenient it is to just pop on in and grab a glass.

Tip: Grab a glass to go! It’s legal to walk within the historic district of Fredericksburg with your glass.

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5:30pm – Peruse Main Street or explore the town! There’s so much to see and do that we really feel like we haven’t touched the tip of the iceberg. We found this gem in town while exploring.

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7pm – Dinner. Although we were in a German town, we went Italian and my belly sure was happy that we did. Pasta Bella, right off Main Street feels like a secret heaven, homemade Italian food. (Below: Seafood ravioli.) There’s plenty of options, search around and I’m sure you’ll find something you will love!

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Day 2

8am – Time to rise and shine, grab breakfast and check out of the hotel. A full day of activities ahead!

If there’s time before 11am, I highly suggest exploring the area. Take a detour off Main Street and explore! There’s so many historical buildings, the homes and B&B’s have an immense amount of character and the community of this town shines through and through.

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11am – Wine tasting – at it again bright and early. This had to be my favorite tasting of the entire trip – Lost Draw Cellars. Where to begin – there wasn’t a single wine that we didn’t enjoy, the hospitality and conversation was amazing (trust me – talk to Troy) and they’re authentic and focused on building a community.

Need an extra incentive, they have a tasting wall. Buy a glass and pay it forward or perhaps you already have one waiting for you. Hint: To the next Vermonter that walks in, your first glass is one me!

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12:30pmLuckenbach One of my favorite places in Texas, this is it. It’s not just a song, this place really exists. The post office, the bar, the stage, wild chickens, cowboy hats, BBQ and a dancehall. The best part is the authenticity and meeting people from all over! Stories are amazing! Reminisce in this little spot and enjoy the live music from those who step in (or join in yourself)!

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2:30pm – Eat lunch at the Hye Market. Just outside of town off Highway 290, lies the little town of Hye. The significance of the Hye Market location is that it is the post office that President Lyndon B. Johnson used for his entire life. (Read more about the history here from my last trip.) Today, it is still the functioning post office but it is also a market where you will have the best sandwich you’ve ever eaten in your life.

My recommendation: The Levi Local – Honey roasted turkey, swiss cheese, local herb aioli on wheat bread. I’m still trying to figure out how they made that sandwich so good. It disappeared right before my eyes!

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4pm – Garrison Brothers Distillery Bourbon you say? The scenery reminds me of Virginia. The country, rustic atmosphere, not a neighbor in sight and relaxing in nature…. add a glass of bourbon, have a seat in the rocking chairs and we’re all set! This tour was so interesting! We love hearing how businesses begin and this is no exception. The Garrison Brothers are passionate about their product. The tour walks guests through each step of the process including samples along the way.

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6pm – Time to head to the next destination or stay longer – that’s the best choice!

Tips:
– Swing by the CVB for information. Some pamphlets may have coupons for discounts or free products!
– Take advantage of visiting during the week!
– Most tasting rooms open around 11am.
– Give yourself about an hour at each tasting. Take your time, enjoy the wine, have great conversation with others. Some locations will even have cheese, meats and crackers available for purchase with your tasting.
– The majority of places close around 6pm (wineries and shops in town). If there’s somewhere you really would like to check out, research ahead of time.
– Looking for a B&B – see where I stayed on a previous visit.

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Rahr Oktoberfest 5k (and Discount Code)!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post however I did receive admission to the event. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Summer is quickly coming to a close and soon it will bring one of my favorite times of year. It’s time for Oktoberfest! One of the most widely enjoyed events in Fort Worth is the Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5k that will take place on Saturday, September 26th (and I have a discount for you)!

Come join us on Saturday, September 26th for a great run and tasty brews!

Activities include:

Run / Walk
Bier Garden
Live Polka Music
Bavarian treats
Dry Fit Shirts
Rahr & Sons specialty pint glass

Official shirt and finisher pint glass each registrant receives.

Official shirt and finisher pint glass each registrant receives.

I am LOVING these pint glasses!

To make this event even better, Down Home Traveler has teamed up with this event to offer a $5 discount to each registrant.

Discount Code: ‘DHT’ to save $5 on registration.

To help us all get into a better beer drinking and running shape, two social runs are also scheduled at the brewery – Saturday, August 1st and Saturday, September 5th. Check out the Rahr Oktoberfest 5k event page on Facebook (see the events tab) for more information!

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Who is going to join me?!