Category Archives: Vermont

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! 

Champlain College_0085
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.

Lake Champlain Waterfront_0090

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.

Switchback_0092

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

Mt Mansfield Summit_0121
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

Ford Model A_0208
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?

Vermont, Dairy, Cows, Franklin Country

Vermont Favorites!

This week, we are headed to Vermont! I’m so excited to be going home and introducing Spencer to the Green Mountain State! I may be bias but its my favorite! Fresh air, food fresh out of the garden, dirt roads, a sky full of stars, those Green Mountains, the best craft beer in the world, family, life-long friends, two little nieces – it doesn’t get much better!

Living away from home, there’s certain things that I really look forward to when visiting. Obviously, first and foremost is family and friends. Then there’s certain things that I crave when away or sights that you just miss seeing.

A creemee.
This soft serve ice cream is THE BEST and my favorite. I’m not kidding, I could eat one everyday. A variety of flavors, maple, black raspberry, and orange are a few favorites. Add on rainbow sprinkles and its the best dessert in the world. Yum!

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Being in the country!
Fresh air, few people, a night sky full of stars. Country loving.

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Standing on top of a mountain.
It’s some kind of a feeling standing on top of a tall mountain with the world below.
[Below: Mt. Mansfield hike with Green Mountain Man]

Mt. Mansfield, VT - 145

Covered bridges.
Oh Vermont, so scenic in every way. These definitely are not found everywhere!
[Learn more on the post on The Covered Bridges in Montgomery, VT]

This is not how it looks in May - don't be fooled!

This is not how it looks in May – don’t be fooled!

Cows and Subaru’s.
I’m fairly certain there’s an equal number of each in Vermont. I love them both equally!

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What are some of the images that first come to mind when you think of 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!

Maple Peanut Butter Pie 002