Heaven in Vermont

We’ve just spent the last six days experiencing a slice of heaven in one of the states we were really looking forward to visiting – Vermont.  It was everything we had dreamed of for the last four years as we’ve been planning for our two-year road trip adventure, and then it was infinitely more!  The primary reasons are our new friends, Pam and Stan.  We met them a couple of weeks ago in Pennsylvania and they graciously invited us to come stay with them when we visited Vermont.  Such a generous offer was too good to pass up, and so ten days after meeting them we showed up on the top of their mountain, parked Charley and gave him some power to keep the refrigerator running for several days, then moved into their exquisite post and beam home where they immediately welcomed us and took us in.

Over the next several days we enjoyed cocktails and meals together – both cooking in and dining out.  They shared their incredible mountain with us as we hiked on their trails and they showed us the area where they snowmobile and snowshoe in the wintertime… such incredible views – we can only imagine them in a blanket of white!

Enjoying Stan's cosmos & hoping not to get Stan Flu in the morning!
Enjoying Stan’s Cosmos

On Labor Day they took us kayaking on Silver Lake in their quaint little village of Barnard.

Hover your cursor over the photo, below, and click on the arrows to see a few pics of our kayaking fun on Labor Day:

A great way to ride down the mountain (with Josie the dog!) to the park
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory Tour
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tour

When they went to work, we visited the nearby Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and the Billings Farm and Museum – see my M-B-R NHP post.  At their recommendation, we also visited the Simon Pearce glass factory and had a lovely lunch overlooking the Ottauquechee River.

We left them for two days when we drove to Burlington, VT; stopping by the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury for a tour and a sample.  While a bit campy, we just had to visit as it’s such a Vermont icon.

Hover your cursor over the photo below, and click on the arrows to check out our photos from the incredible Shelburne Museum:

The Shelburne Museum

While we enjoyed an overnight in a hotel room that was three times as big as our living space in Charley (television!, a king size bed!!, a huge bathroom!!!) Stan & Pam babysat Charley for us.  [Boy did checking into a hotel seem foreign to us – and to think we both were in hotels nearly weekly for a lot of our working days!]  We thoroughly enjoyed strolling down the pedestrian mall that is Church Street in charming Burlington.  Lake Champlain is beautiful – our hotel was across the street from this enormous lake that separates upstate New York from northern Vermont, and we spent some time reading in a park overlooking it.

We ate lunch, dinner and breakfast at some nice restaurants in Burlington, including finally, the Penny Cluse Cafe.  I’ve heard about this place for years from Daddy & Joan – it’s their neighbor’s daughter’s place, and it happens to be the #2 restaurant in all of Burlington according to Trip Advisor!  We had a delicious breakfast there before visiting the Shelburne Museum a few miles away in – you guessed it – Shelburne, VT.  In a word, it was incredible!

Breakfast at the Penny Cluse Cafe

A bit of what we saw while there – the steamboat, Ticonderoga, that once ferried people across Lake Champlain; a round barn; an old-time carousel; a lighthouse; a working blacksmith shop and printshop; Monets and Manets and Cassatts and Degas and Remingtons; and collections of collections acquired by Electra Havemeyer Webb in the early 1900s.  It’s really a must-experience for anyone in the Burlington area – but plan on two days here to really enjoy it all.  Our four hours allowed us to scratch the surface of most of the exhibits and buildings but there was so much more to see – for another visit….

Dinner with Stan & Pam
Cheers to Pam & Laura
Pam & Laura – New Sisters

We can’t come up with enough superlatives to describe how kind Stan and Pam were to us, and we look forward to returning their most-amazing hospitality someday when we’re settled down in a home of our own back in Wisconsin.  We look forward to Pam coming to spend some time on the road with us and Charley (we’re sure we can talk Stan into it, too).  And we pledge to come back to join them atop their mountain when it’s covered in a peaceful blanket of snow.

Thanks, Pam and Stan – you two are the best and we are happy to now consider you family.  xo