A Snowy Christmas Celebration in Stowe, Vermont

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Hi friends,

Holy cow tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.
Holy cow tomorrow is the very last day in 2013.
Holy cow as of tomorrow Chris and I will have been married for one. whole. year!

Just … that’s a whole lotta holy cows!

So Chris and I had a lovely, action-packed holiday week last  week, and the fun will continue this week with some anniversary activities. But last week …. let’s see. We spent Christmas eve into Christmas morning in New Jersey with family, then hopped to upstate New York to spend the rest of Christmas with my mom and stepdad, and drove the day after Christmas to meet up with my aunt, uncle, two cousins and cousin’s boyfriend for a little extra Christmas celebrating in Stowe, Vermont. My aunt had booked the place for us as our Christmas gift, and we stayed in a Stoneybrook cabin with a fireplace, huge kitchen and gorgeous views.

photo 2^^ The view from the back porch of our bedroom on Friday morning, after it had snowed all night.

My sister and her boyfriend, my uncle and Chris and I were excited to head up to the mountain to ski/snowboard. I would be taking another snowboarding lesson (I think after this time I finally got it down!), while the others went off and did their “we’re already good at this” thing.

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Unfortunately we arrived too late on Friday for me to catch the lesson. (Word to the wise for any of you snow bunnies who might want to take a lesson at Stowe — they start at 10 a.m. on Fridays — maybe every day but I can’t say for sure — and they go for an hour and a half in the morning, then break and meet up again at 1 for another hour. And they’re expensive! With my gear rental and the group lesson, I ended up paying around $230. Ouch … but worth it!)

Anyway, since I wouldn’t be snowboarding on Friday, I did this instead:

photo 6^^Found the bar …

photo 7^^Had an extremely delicious Bloody Mary while I waited for everyone to meet me for lunch.

Saturday was different, though, my friends — Saturday I actually took a lesson! And let me tell you — by the end of it I wasn’t half bad 😉 It ended up being a private lesson when no one else showed up for the class, so that’s always a good thing.

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Of course I never left the beginner’s hill but hey — I need to leave something to aspire to, right?

Saturday night we headed into town to the Vermont Ale House, which had awesome beers, amazing music and tables made of chalkboard so you could draw on them. It was pretty much the best.

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We left yesterday to make the drive back to the city (in a snow and rainstorm, no less!), but Chris still got in a half day of snowboarding, I took a hike with my uncle and cousin’s boyfriend on the trails right near our cabin and Steph and I checked out a bit of the town.

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Final Photo

I think it’s safe to say Stowe was a major success, and that we’d all love more than anything to make this trip an annual thing.

Bis bald, friends! I seriously cannot believe that tomorrow will be my lost blog of 2013. Time really does fly when you’re having fun …


From the Archives: A Beautiful Burlington

A few months ago I found myself between a rock and a hard place. I was desperate for a little vacay time, but neither my boyfriend nor any of my friends had the extra days that I had. So I decided to take it to a higher source.

My mom had a little time on her hands, and she was still upset over the loss of our family pup and felt like she could use a get-away as well. Still, it took some coaxing on my part to get her to agree to a short trip. Then, once that was decided, it was clearly time to pick the place. I suggested California— she said too far. I suggested Chicago. She said she wasn’t too keen on the prices of flights at the time. So I did a little further digging and came up with Burlington. I had heard great things about it—like mountains, breweries, cobblestone streets and Lake Champlain. And that’s all before the amazing fall foliage you’ll find if you go at a time like we did— in mid-October.

A few highlights:

Homemade apple cider at an apple cider mill in the mountains in fall= best time ever.

Gorgeous Lake Champlain.

Drinking beer with mom from a local brewery. Priceless.

A Burlington vineyard.

It’s just a tiny taste of Burlington (not to mention the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour and the Lake Champlain chocolates factory tour and tasting), but having just been there for four days left me wanting to see more of it. My mom and I have decided to make the mother-daughter trip a yearly thing, so maybe this year we’ll hit it up again. Could I get her on the ski slopes next time? Probably not, but here’s hoping!

A few other must-hit spots if you’re in the Burlington (and surrounding) area:

The Skinny Pancake: for some really delicious crepes
if you happen to care where the band Phish began (who doesn’t care about that?!)
Downtown Burlington (Church Street Marketplace): complete with street performers, tree-lined cobblestone streets and a street named Cherry (guess what lives on that street? You guessed it. Ben & Jerry’s. They’re everywhere in Burlington!)
The Storm Cafe: overlooking Otter creek, it’s a little creepy to go when it’s raining, but cute nonetheless

Until next time, my friends…bis bald…and see you soon!