Weekend Highlights – November 21st, 2016

vermont-snow

What a wonderful weekend we had up in Vermont! As I mentioned on Friday, we made a last minute decision to head up to Manchester Center, Vermont on Friday night to spend a relaxing weekend with my aunt. It’s hard to believe that we were able to enjoy a weekend away without taking a vacation day. Friday and today were long days, driving up to Vermont from 5-9pm on Friday and returning this morning from 5-9 AM. Luckily, the 48 hours in between were filled with rest and relaxation.

Here are a few highlights from our weekend in Vermont.

Snow – The temperatures dropped forty degrees Saturday night as a strong front moved through the region. Much to our delight, we woke up Sunday morning to a winter wonderland. There were more than six inches of wet, heavy, dense snow covering my the yard and surrounding towns. We spent an hour outside playing fetch with my aunt’s Samoyed, making snow angels and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Ponce Bistro – After a morning of relaxing and shopping, we enjoyed lunch on the front porch of Ponce Bistro. A local favorite, this small bistro serves an eclectic menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner including customer favorites such as the spanish meatloaf sandwich, pumpkin soup, lavender goat cheese salad and an array of refreshing homemade iced teas. Bo ordered the meatloaf sandwich while my aunt and I each shared the pumpkin soup and north country turkey sandwich. I wish we’d saved room for their sweets as the bakery items I saw when I went inside to pay looked delicious – especially their chocolate chip cookies.

Solo Farm & Table – This cozy, farm to table restaurant is tucked on a quiet road in South Londonderry, about 20 minutes from Manchester Center. Within seconds of trying our first bite, we could tell that the numerous James beard nominations their chef has received as well the recognition in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and the New York Times was beyond justified.  Since my aunt, Bo and I all love to share meals, we ordered two appetizers, a pasta, two entrees, and two desserts to share. This method allowed us to sample far more of the menu than normal, which made for a very tasty and fun evening. Unexpectedly, it was the fresh made bread and smoked butter as well as the homemade potato bisque which stole the show.  After cleaning the bowl with a piece of bread, I requested the recipe from the waitress, in hopes of recreating this rich, yet simple bisque at home.

It’s A Wonderful Life – As soon as the snow started, we found ourselves in the Christmas mood. Our typical rules of saving Christmas movies and music until after Thanksgiving were replaced with an afternoon of Christmas music followed by watching It’s A Wonderful Life that evening. When my aunt discovered that Bo nor I had seen this 1946 classic, she insisted that we watch it over dinner. I can see why this wonderful, touching and emotional film became one of the most acclaimed fils ever made and has received so much recognition over the years from AFI.

With that I’m off to enjoy the evening with Bo as we celebrate our seven year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe that seven years have passed since we danced the night away with our closest friends and family members in Savannah, Georgia.

dancing-with-bo

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What to Pack for 10 Days in Banff and Jasper

 

what-to-pack-for-10-days-in-banff

As promised guys, I want to share our packing list for our 10 day trip to Banff and Jasper which we took in August. We did quite a bit of research ahead of the trip to ensure that we would have clothing for their typical August weather – cool mornings and evenings but warm days. In hindsight, I did not over pack and was prepared for all of our day trips and activities. The one area I didn’t pack properly for the evenings as it was in the 40s most nights. I packed Summer evening attire, such as dresses as well as flowy tank tops with jeans when in reality I should have packed jeans, silk blouses and a light wrap or sweater.

Otherwise, here is the packing list we used and would recommend to others who decide to make this trip.

Shoes:

  • Hiking Boots (his/her)
  • Trail Shoes (his/her)
  • Sandals for evenings/driving between cities  (his/her)

Accessories

Active Clothing:

Other:

  • Four outfits for dinners and exploring towns
  • Pajamas
  • Toiletries
  • Kindle, iPad or books for evening reading

Your turn: Any other questions regarding gear before I focus the rest of the recaps on the activities and lodging? 

 

 

 

 

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Labor Day Weekend in Upstate New York

lake placid

I hope you guys had a wonderful, long Labor Day weekend. Am I the only one who feels like today has been a heck of a busy day and feels more like a Monday than a Tuesday? I’ve been going non-stop since the alarm went off at 6 AM! The good news is that there are only three more work days until the weekend!   I’m also very thankful that I spent the past three days relaxing and disconnecting. I disconnected from email and work 100% this weekend and having those days to recover have allowed me to focus and start the week strong.

adirondacks

 

Before this weekend, neither of us had spent time in upstate New York and we are now in love with the area. The region offers so many options, regardless your interest. Unlike Manchester, Vermont, where my family has a home, this area offers water sports – something Bo and I both enjoy. That combined with the adorable town, cool weather and hiking made it a great weekend getaway.  If you live in the area, I highly recommend you head to the Lake Placid area for a long weekend!

view from peak

tubing

lake placid olympics

Here are a few highlights from the weekend:

  • We hiked 9.8 miles and climbed the equivalent of 181 floors as we traversed the path to Porter Mountain. One of the Adirondack High Peaks, this hike was more challenging than we expected due to the rocky terrain but the views were well worth the effort.
  • Even though we didn’t take a formal tour, we had a blast touring the hockey rink at the Lake Placid Olympic Center and riding the winter sports simulator which gave us the feeling of six different Olympic sports including the luge!
  • We rented a boat and spent three hours tubing and wake boarding on Lake Placid. We dreamed of owning one of the picturesque lake house, enjoyed some tubing thrills and Bo spent over an hour trying to teach Liz and I to wake board. We each got up for seconds before failing miserably.  We were amazed by the crystal, clear lake water as well as the perfect 70 degree water temperature!
  • We watched three separate college football games – Georgia Tech, Georgia and Notre Dame. While it would have been wonderful for all three teams to win, at least our two alma maters won! In case you’re wondering, my Notre Dame allegiance stems from my childhood, as my dad was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana.
  • We spent hours around the fire playing games, reading, sipping either wine or coffee and just chatting. Since it was only four of us, we were able to relax and have none of the pressures that sometime accompany larger, group trips.

If you are interested in visiting the Lake Placid region, our friends recommended these local inns, many of which have specials for Fall foliage and Winter skiing.

 

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