First off. Thanks to everyone who has sent us sweet messages, emails and tweets after that last blog. It really means so much hearing from you as we go venture out into the unknown...it feels like you are here with us and that makes us feel less alone. So, thank you. It’s like you’re in our pockets with us and so you get to adventure with us.
Last week, right after posting that blog, we left for a weekend adventure in Vermont with two friends to celebrate both of their birthdays! YOU GUYS. I’m officially in love with Vermont. How is this magical place still a secret? I feel like Vermont doesn’t have nearly the street cred it should because...it’s quaint, lovely and everyone is kind. And the food. You know my love for food and cocktails and Vermont did not let me down.
Just as a preface, things that are important to me in life, but especially on a vacation are: beautiful aesthetics and surroundings, great food, great cocktails/wine & some sort of physical activity. There will be a lot of the aboveforementioned things in this blog.
We drove about 2.5 hours from New Hampshire and arrived in the dark so we didn’t have much context for the town, but arrived in Killington where we’d be spending the weekend. I (Kate) got super excited and giggly when I found the town name and proceeded to say: “we’re gonna be killing-it in Killington” and it was probably just as annoying as you think it would sound cause I said it any chance I could. All the other girls are from New England so they’re familiar with the town because it’s where people go ski, but I was new and LOVED my new catchphrase. #killingitinkillington
We arrived and got all checked in. We’d found this adorable mountain lodge online that’s nestled right in town. It had big leather chairs and over-sized couches surrounding multiple fireplaces, a giant hot tub, fire pits and a little cozy bar. We were either on a mountain vacation or on set for a new Hallmark Christmas movie (my literal dream.)
Obviously, we hit the bar first where I ordered an old fashioned (I know I’m an 85 year old man) but the bartender asked if I’d rather have a Manhattan. I’ve never had anyone ask me that and she proceeded to tell me that it would be the best Manhattan I will have ever had in my whole life. How was I supposed to say no to that?
She poured our drinks from their pretty fancy glasses into plastic ones so we could go sit out by the fire pit/hot tub area. It was a tad chilly outside but the fire (and whiskey) kept us warm.
Here’s the first thing that I loved about this place that I want to take with me. Fire pit culture. It’s a thing. People come and sit around the fire and they want to talk. We weren’t sitting there 10 minutes before we made our first new friends and it was awesome. It’s like when you come to the fire pit and pull up a chair you are expected to be kind, cool, and talkative. Everyone making small talk about where they’re from, what they’re doing in the mountains for the weekend...it is really quite lovely. It’s like there's an unwritten rule that you are not allowed to be an asshole if you take a chair around fire pit. People come and go as they please and it’s just casual but personable. Ya know? It was funny because a group of 4 women who were a little older than us came and sat down...they had us ROLLING in laughter. Sort of fun to see the 4 of them and the 4 of us. Anyway, we talked about Nashville, the adventure we’re on and when we told them that we were a duo they didn’t believe us and forced us to sing a line of a song to see if we were telling the truth. Bahaha.
We got up the next day and ate the hotel breakfast because it was FREE and amazing. Can you say homemade cinnamon and sugar donut balls? And 12 different kind of homemade jams to go on your homemade bread? Heaven. Nothing better than sipping pumpkin spice coffee and eating fresh toast in your sweatpants with your friends...am I right?
One of the things we all wanted to do was hike, so after breakfast we set out to find a trail. We knew we wanted something that would deliver awesome views but not something that was going to have us re-enacting any part of 127 hours if you know what I mean. The hike we picked was about an hour each way and so we decided to do it. Ok, it also had an Irish pub at the bottom. That is why we picked the trail. Good people, I cannot hide the truth-- that is why we picked this hike because we heard you can get a nice cold beer at the end of you hike. DREAMS PEOPLE, DREAMS. And by beer I mean cider because I don’t drink beer, but that’s a whole other blog.
The hike was gorgeous. Fall colors swirled all around us. Greens, reds, oranges...the first half of the hike had a serious incline that got our glutes burning but it leveled off after that. We passed other hikers and again, everyone was all talkative and friendly. We got to the top viewpoint and there were these massive boulders you could climb up and sit on. All I could hear in my head was my mother’s voice telling me not to get too close to the edge. Weird how those things come back so clearly.
We sat and took it all in. We tried not to wig out about how high we were or how one solid gust of wind could derail us completely. We took pictures and I took pictures for other people. Here’s a small side-note which Jill totally makes fun of me for. Anytime I see a couple or group of people struggling to take a selfie or taking solo shots of each other I will 100% offer to take a picture for them. If I pass you and you look like you’re struggling, I will offer to take that pic for you. It’s my contribution to the world :) Ha!
After spending some time at the top (and taking just a fewwwww pics) we hiked back down and passed these two older couples who were hiking down the mountain like BOSSES. It had sprinkled a little so the ground was sort of wet and we weren’t about to let any of these precious pies break a hip on our watch. No way. They were from Illinois and said that this was on their bucket list and they were crossing it off the list today. Whattttt? That’s incredible. Loved their spirit and I hope I’m climbing mountains, crossing things off of my bucket list in 50 years.
We promised to save them some beers at the bottom and did just that. We ate some nachos and drank some ciders--I sort of want all of my hikes to end in this manner from now on. (I took no pics of said cute Irish pub. That means I have to go back.)
The afternoon was spent in the hot tub, playing cards, napping...it was great. While we were playing cards the bartender even brought us a sample of her signature cocktail for us to test out. Again, is this real life guys? It was a Fall Sangria and it had cider, chardonnay, spiced rum, and a few other things in it….it was so good.
For dinner we went to a place that was recommended to us called Casey's Caboose and boasted a complete gin & tonic menu. Like, an entire page of the menu was just devoted to different types of gins and different types of tonics. It was incredible. Also, they had a cheese plate that had “bacon jam” on it...I don’t even know what bacon jam is but I was a total fan. I ordered the mac and cheese for dinner which I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered in my life but it was the dish that was recommended to us and I am so glad I did! The bowl was bigger than my head and sooooo good. We ended the night around the fire pit again and made all new friends. Seriously, fire pit culture needs to extend to other places.
I got Casey's Special G&T....highly recommend it.
The next morning we lounged around playing cards in the lobby and drinking coffee. We heard about a place with the best pancakes in town and Jill’s main request of the weekend was that she has an excuse to use real VERMONT maple syrup. I don’t particularly like pancakes but was willing to give these “best ever” pancakes a tester...when in Rome ya know? All the hype turned out to be true because when we got there it was going to be an hour and fifteen minute wait! We put our names in and headed out on a trail while we waited...how Vermont of us right? The trail we hopped on was actually part of the Appalachian Trail and it made me think of all of the people that have made the journey on that exact path. It made me feel connected to all those people who’ve done that journey and reminded me how we really all walk the same roads don’t we?
We worked up an appetite and scooted back to Sugar & Spice for what turned out to be one of the best breakfast experiences of our lives. The pancakes. You guys. THE PANCAKES. And I don’t even like pancakes but, really, they were incredible. Plus, can you even see the pancakes under that ice cream scoop of butter? Ahhhh! I got the special cinnamon and sugar ones and I may never eat any other pancakes again. Literally, so delicious. We had a good laugh because on the menu it said there was an extra charge for “fake syrup.” Haha.
Vermont, I love you. You delivered on so many levels. I even bought the beanie.
Oh and on our drive home we stopped at this gorge...you know, just breathtaking gorge’s to stop and ooooh and ahhhh over.
You know that quote about doing what sets your soul on fire. Travel. Music. Storytelling. Beauty. Literally sets our souls on fire.