My earliest memories of Vermont include a white farmhouse in Waitsfield, somewhere on or near Rte 100 where my parents would drag my brother and I every weekend so they could to ski; and a very large, menacing German woman who ran the ski school at Sugarbush. I dreaded the trip every time, cringing at the thought of getting up on a weekend before daybreak to wrap myself in heavy clothing & weighted boots, venturing out into the freezing snow and ice only to repeatedly run down ski slopes until dinnertime. Complete insanity, if you'd asked my 6-year old self. It turned out that those years were the beginning of a beautiful relationship I would develop with Vermont. Our trip last weekend brought me right back to those days - as well as to camp, riding horses, and receiving my first "love letter" from the boy who lived in the farmhouse next door.
Getting there was a drive across several states that took longer than expected, due to unforseen detours and, perhaps, because we were traveling on several unfamiliar roads. Our GPS, Ms TomTom, wasn't much help, especially when getting off track. Somewhere in Vermont she told us to turn right at the base of a mountain, and continued to guide us well past the "Pavement Ends Ahead" sign; until she suddenly changed her mind, and began telling us to "turn around when possible".
Thanks for the heads up.
It was a quiet trip, filled with home cooked meals and long walks with an old friend of Dan's, but there are two places worth mentioning: the charming Black Door Bistro, in Montpelier; and the b&b where we stayed, 1824 House in Waitsfield. The b&b was chosen because the online description was noticeably lacking a term that strikes terror in my heart: "Romantic Decor".
And, the treepeepers? A term, I learned, that New Englanders use to describe people from southern states and the city who travel north to look at the fall colors. Because I was traveling with a New Englander, I was clearly exempt from the description, but the colors were stunning. Glittering in the sunlight, foliage in tones of ruby, garnet, emerald, tourmaline, amber were like jewels that had been dropped throughout the eastern seaboard and in the mountains. I yearned to live eternally in Autumn.