This past weekend, I fell in love with the state of Vermont.
My husband and I had been talking about getting away for my birthday, but had a hard time coming up with dates that were feasible for both of us. My birthday was sandwiched in-between two out-of-state trips for my husband, and then the following weekend I had obligations with my church. We decided to hold off any plans that would try to keep up busy, and this past weekend we made our way to Barnard, Vermont.
Along with having never gone to Vermont, my husband and I had also never stayed at a Bed & Breakfast, even though I have always thought they were romantic and charming. So for our weekend, I booked us the “Sweet Dreams” room at The Maple Leaf Inn. The owners, Mike and Nancy, were incredibly sweet and answered all of my questions prior to booking.
When we planned our trip for the end of October, we were expecting a beautiful fall weekend–instead, I took this gorgeous picture on our way in.
The night before we arrived, Barnard got 8 inches of snow. There was not a leaf left on the trees. When we started up the driveway, my husband was very verbal in his displeasure of the situation. And the funniest/strangest part was that not even 15 minutes south in Woodstock, there was only a dusting on the ground, and many leaves left on the trees.
But The Maple Leaf was absolutely lovely. Mike took us on a tour of the house when we arrived, even going so far as to explain how to use the Keurig. There was a cute library with a piano and shelves of books, a sitting area with fireplace, dining room with tables for two and coffee and tea, and the rooms on the second and third floor. We were on the third floor, in the three windows that can be seen in the picture.
Mike and Nancy thought of everything when putting this place together. Not only was there chocolate left on the nightstand each evening after turn-down, but we got water bottles, maple syrup, and a ball-point pen. The first evening after dinner, we went down to the library to look at their book collection. Andrew played the piano, and I browsed the titles. They had such an eclectic collection, I wish I could have stood there longer to read them all. They had classics and books falling apart from wear, to obviously new, local authors. They even had a birdwatching book and binoculars sitting on the window-sill.
Throughout the weekend, we enjoyed:
Pumpkin risotto at Max’s Tavern at the Barnard Inn
Maple sugar, cheese, and jam tastings at Sugarbush Farm (And walking around the farm in the pouring rain I might add)
A factory tour at Ben & Jerry’s and Maple Sugar Cookie Ice Cream (the special flavor of the day!)
Cheese tastings at Cabot Cheese (I ate more cheese than I care to admit)
Hot apple cider and apple cider donuts at Cold Hollow Cider Mill (the best apple cider donuts I have ever had)
Maple bacon wings and buttermilk chicken with a sweet potato puree, zucchini, and pesto mayo at the Worthy Kitchen
Fantastic breakfasts at The Maple Leaf (think amazing maple syrup and lovely jams)
And all these things were absolutely wonderful and made our weekend perfect. But the real reason I fell in love with Vermont?
Life was slow in Vermont. People drove slow (to our chagrin), we didn’t come across a single chain restaurant. Everything was fresh and new, small and quaint. The buildings were all brick and the towns were beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of people around, especially in Woodbury, but heading back to Barnard on the quiet mountain roads, watching the fog sink over the mountains, I felt like I was home.
Once we were home, I told my mother about my feeling. She said it made sense. Vermont is for writers, o f course I would fall in love.
So my recommendation? Head to Vermont. Stay in one of the many Bed & Breakfasts. Go to only local restaurants and be amazed at all the hipsters in Vermont. You’ll be so happy you did!
Recommendations please! Where would you suggest we head to next?
Until that time,