Category Archives: Scenery

Vermont, Lake Carmi, Scenery

Welcome to Vermont – Part I

We have recently returned back from a trip to  Vermont! Why does it feel like each time we head home, there’s never enough time? Does anyone else feel like this? Vacations are important and we all need that time to completely check out – which was done. The phone was on silent, I hardly checked email and to be completely honest I think it’s safe to say I forgot what email and what day it was for most of the trip. That must mean it was a success, right?

The exciting news – Spencer experienced his first trip to Vermont. I have a feeling this die hard Texan was a little nervous to travel north of the Mason Dixon line but I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed himself. This provided the opportunity to play the part of a tour guide and be a tourist in my home state. Because there’s so much that I want to share, I’m splitting this up into two parts! Here is the first part of our recap back home!

The trip home. Amazingly enough, I’m not sure if I have ever flown through Laguardia. Turns out, the view is pretty fantastic and there was a little surprise for us when we landed. Sights to be seen!

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I love visiting New York City. It’s amazing how much fills this little space down below. Oh the dreams and adventures!

When we landed in Vermont, there are priorities. First, it’s always a hello from whoever is picking me up. This trip it was my mama and oldest niece. It’s so amazing to see the world through a child’s eyes.

The second priority comes before we even make it home. We must stop for a creemee. If a creemee is unfamiliar, it’s soft serve ice cream. Actually it’s better than regular ice cream, it’s truly the best kind of ice cream, especially with rainbow sprinkles. They come in all kinds of flavors (usually there’s a special flavor of the week). My personal favorites include maple and black raspberry but who am I kidding, I really won’t turn one down. And for the record, there are places better than others – my recommendation is Devyns in Enosburg!

Devyns Creemee_0044

Since Spencer was new in town, he got the “grand tour”. This is pretty funny considering my area of Vermont is filled with dairy farms, cows, pastures and trees. There’s a “lot of nothing” as he put it but it’s my favorite kind of nothing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I mean, it’s pretty darn pretty! Along the way we drove by Lake Carmi and what a beautiful view it provided!

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Spencer was also lucky enough to take a ride in my dad’s old pickup. I think these two guys were pretty darn happy with themselves.

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Finally, what’s a trip home without attending a sporting event at your old high school. In Texas, it centers around football but in Vermont, we go for basketball or baseball/softball. This trip, it’s baseball season. The girls, currently undefeated and heading towards a state final and hopefully championship. The boys, keeping us on our toes! I think this brought up a lot old memories playing for Spencer, definitely my sister-in-law and myself.

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Stay tuned for the next post about popular spots to visit when in Vermont for every visitor!

What are the things that you look most forward to when visiting home? 

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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Dripping Springs Cover_0563

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 !
    ThePizzaCave_9627
  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.
    TexasHillCountryOliveOil_0558
  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.
    DeepEddyVodka_0565
  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?