Monday, October 14, 2013

Foliage Pilgrim

Happy Columbus Day, everybody! Normally on this day I’d be making the drive back from my annual fall trip to Vermont, but I’m currently sitting at the airport waiting for my connecting flight to Indianapolis. I’ll be speaking at a PR conference there tomorrow and wanted to get in early today to enjoy some of the other sessions taking place this afternoon. That didn’t stop me from making the annual Columbus Day trip home, I just shifted things and went home Thurs-Sun instead. I just can’t pass up the chance to see the turning of the leaves each year.

Granted we were about a week late so the trees were past their prime, but they were still beautiful. Matt wasn’t able to come since he had soccer and school duties to attend to, so my sister Amanda and her boyfriend Justyn drove up with Riker and me. We had a blast, as always. We got a chance to see my dad, brother, SIL and nephew on Thursday night for dinner. How cute are these two little guys?

Cousin love. <3

The rest of the weekend was spent with my mom, stepdad Bruce, and grandma. Friday started with breakfast smoothies at home, lunch at our favorite spot, Positive Pie, and an afternoon hike up Owl’s Head mountain. We also took a drive out to a farm where my mom gets her fresh produce, and Riker adored seeing all the animals. He can say all their names now, and mimic their sounds. Cracks me up. You could pretty much call it the perfect Vermont day.

My mom made us a big turkey dinner for Friday evening which was waiting for us at home, so we ended the day with full plates of food and some fierce game playing – a family tradition at our house.

I tried to eat healthy most of the time while I was away, ordering salads for my entrees when eating out in VT and while on the road, and skipping the homemade pancakes and toast served up at breakfast.

…But I definitely indulged in some treats - craft beers, homemade apple and chocolate cream pies courtesy of Bruce the baker, and lunch appetizers of fried Brussels sprouts, panko pimento cheese balls and beer pretzels.

Particularly on Saturday, when my mom and Bruce took Riker out for a kids day and left me, Amanda and Justyn to ourselves for an adults day. Justyn had never been home with us before and had thus never done the Food Tour of Waterbury, so of course that was on the agenda. But we started things off with a down-to-the-wire hunt for the infamous Heady Topper beer to bring home for friends (and FOUND it! The last six 4-packs in the whole state) and a trip to Stowe Mountain to ride the Alpine Slide down the ski slopes.

Amanda and I haven’t ridden the slide since we were kids and it was really fun - and beautiful during the fall.

Afternoon activities included visiting Cold Hollow CiderMill, Cabot Cheese (new flavor alert - Everything Bagel!), Lake Champlain Chocolates and Ben & Jerry’s, sampling goodies and purchasing treats to take home along the way. We stopped for lunch at my other favorite pub, Prohibition Pig, followed by a little happy hour at Arvad’s down the street.

It was a great, great day. And as much as I love spending time with my little guy, it really is nice to have a grownup day once in a while too.  I enjoyed getting to hang out with Amanda and Justyn without having a toddler pulling on my leg yelling “MOM!” every 10 seconds. ;)

We were up early and headed home yesterday so we could be back at a reasonable hour, and after watching the (amazing) Patriots game I got to unpacking and re-packing and getting ready for my achingly early 4 am alarm clock. Needless to say, I’m hurting for caffeine right now. Better go grab a cup before boarding my next flight.

See you after Indianapolis! (P.S. For more weekend trips, check out my Instagram feed.)

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