Despite living a few short hours away and spending my freshman year of college 20 minutes away, the great state of Vermont has always been a mystery to me.
People I know are always going there to hike and snowboard, and that’s about it. Last year my ex and I pulled Vermont as our next trip destination and we couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of the closeness. Out of a deck of 80 some odd states and countries, we pulled Vermont. Sure, we would drive a few hours and look at trees.
Oh, what adventure.
We found a few things to plan on seeing, but we never ended up going. So when Vermont was an option for a “girls weekend” in place of a bachelorette party for my friend Karen, I was excited to check it out.
I wanted my weekend getaway in the woods. I wanted to unplug and allow my surrounding to inspire me.
Of course, it snowed. We left Massachusetts on March 31st, and we were in New England. You have to expect there might be snow.
So I had a long drive ahead of me. The normal drive would have been two and a half hours, but I had to stop by Logan airport (right before rush hour) to pick up a few of the girls. So between the commute into Boston and the dreary weather, it took a lot longer. Luckily we didn’t hit any real snow — the stuff that sticks — until we were almost in Vermont, and by then our trek was almost over. Our destination was only a few slushy, questionable roads off the highway at a farmhouse in Southern Vermont.
Vermont charmed me even before crossing state lines.
And that house is incredible. I’d only stayed in an Airbnb once before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but it surpassed my expectations. There were lots of rooms, a cozy electric fireplace, board games and old books. The Matron of Honor had cooked us dinner and set up little welcome boxes with sweets and goodies inside. Outside there were buckets attached to trees to collect sap that’s turned into Maple syrup. A fresh layer of snow covered the grounds. It was perfect in so many ways.
Our first night we spent eating and hanging with a few people getting to know each other. We explored the house and gasped with amazement over and over again. On day two we had a lazy start. It was still snowing, so we spent our time eating breakfast and hanging out, unwinding. Then in the afternoon, we ventured out to see a covered bridge, a cute little basket store and Brattleboro, Vermont.
I love downtown areas. I love the cute, charming stores and coffee shops. I love local restaurants and bookstores. Brattleboro has that. By the time we arrived downtown it was around 5 pm and a lot of the local stores close around then, even on a Saturday night. Because of this, we were not able to go into all the cute shops, but we managed to find a bookstore and some building art to check out before dinner.
We went to a store called Basketville that was filled with – you guessed it – woven baskets, but also lots of other local things like syrup, candies, and tea.
The next morning we ate dinner at a train car diner that served farm to table food. Everyone ordered something different, and the friendliness of the wait staff amazed us. We walked through the woods and checked out the buckets of sap that would be made into maple syrup. I can’t wait to go back, I remember thinking. I didn’t even mind the drive home, alone. I listened to an audiobook and left feeling refreshed.
Vermont is a place I’d love to visit again. I didn’t see much of it, but I know that it’s my style (well, except for during the winter because winter is not my season).
Have you ever been to Vermont? What’s your favorite place there?