The week we spent in Vermont was a refreshing and relaxing week to spend with Sarah’s parents. After the drive from Iowa to Vermont and the chilly nights of camping, the condo we stayed in was like a palace and we were so grateful to have been able to stay there. People told us we missed the peak of Fall colors, but our eyeballs were plenty happy with the feast of scenery.
Vermont is such a cool place and this is the first time that any of us had visited. We stayed in a centrally located area, near Killington, home of the largest ski area in the Eastern US. Just driving around from place to place was a treat in itself. The Green Mountains sprang up around us, filled with the splashes of yellows, oranges and bright reds. There are a bunch of small towns along the 2 lane highways, but not a Starbucks or McDonald’s within shouting distance. Did you know it’s the 2nd least populated state after Wyoming?
We visited the only unit of the National Park Service in Vermont, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. The three prominent owners of the estate that give the park its name shared the spirit of wilderness conservation and the park strives to emulate that same spirit. The grounds were lovely with miles of carriage roads to walk, but first, just imagine sitting down with a glass of lemonade and rocking away the afternoon on this porch with that view.
Of course, a trip to Vermont would not be complete without maple syrup, cheese and Ben & Jerry’s.
At Sugarbush Farms, we saw close up what it takes to harvest and process the sap into maple syrup in the spring. The sugarhouse on the right is where 40 gallons of sap gets boiled down into 1 gallon of maple syrup. They have samples of the different grades of syrup and lots of different cheeses they make. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to be outside in the crisp air, and once our blood sugar spiked from all the maple syrup, we were energized!
Ben and Jerry’s was just one of those places you have to go when in Vermont. We paid our $4 for a short tour and sample of ice cream, but probably the most entertaining of the whole place was the Flavor Graveyard where the spirits of flavors-past live on!
Of course, the rain and wind couldn’t keep us away from those mountains and we made it out a few days to hike. The view from the Overlook at Deer Leap was amazing in any direction, and we read somewhere you could see parts of 5 states and Canada from that vantage point. We were on part of the Appalachian Trail during one hike, and of course it conjured up ideas for a future adventure… (I better clarify, hiking the AT is NOT something that Marc has any desire to do and I don’t think I have strong enough persuasive skills to ever convince him, but if anyone out there wants to, I’m your girl…).
Unfortunately, one of our favorite parts of the week, we have no pictures of. In a lot of the towns we visited, there were incredible artists – potters, glass-blowers, and furniture makers – who open up their studios and let you watch them working and will answer any questions. It’s so inspiring to see people who have refined and honed their craft until it looks effortless. Marc could have watched glass-blowing all day if we would have let him.
For me, This was my favorite view of the entire week. You could see the colored leaves for miles and miles and don’t tell anyone, but I have a little-known unrequited love for Highland cattle. Seriously, I dare you to do a Google image search and not fall in love.
All things considered, it was an amazing week and we were so lucky to have spent time and created memories with these two people. Thanks Kirk and Coke!