After a record seven weeks (!) at the best campground in all of Vermont — otherwise known as our friend’s beautiful backyard — we finally hitched up and started our slow journey south for the winter. When we first decided to visit Vermont this summer the plan was to stay a month. How that got extended to nearly two months I’m still not sure. I do know that a big part of the reason why we kept extending our visit was because of our amazing friends who allowed us to basically move in and share their property.
It’s funny because for the most part Tim and I are private people who like to spend time on our own, and the idea of communal living is not usually appealing. But, in this case, it really worked. While I would like to say that was because we had our own space and did our own thing on many occasions, the truth is that my favorite memories from our stay are the times we spent with our hosts. There were shared dinners and after-the-kids-are-in-bed hangouts, weekend kite flying and pie making, casual gatherings with more friends, fun with chickens, and deliveries of baked goods and packages from the kids. I guess the key to sharing a living space is to find the right people to share it with.
Speaking of good people, before we left we made plenty of time to visit everyone one last time. In addition to hosting several meals at our cozy home, we also went out on the town. First, there was some epic BBQ at a tasty new restaurant called Pork and Pickles. I tried both the pork and pickles. They were delicious. My only regret is that we didn’t find this place sooner. Now I have to wait until our next visit to go again. We also gathered with both Vermont friends and traveling friends for a night of pizza and beer at the always fantastic Picasso in Stowe.
The traveling friends are a family of four who lives part-time in an Airstream the same size as ours. The last time we saw them we were caravanning around Canada with a group of eight other Airstreams. That was over three years ago. Since then they’ve upgraded to a bigger Airstream, added a new member to the family, and are now in the process of having a small house built for them in their hometown of Petaluma, CA. It was great to catch up after so many years. Hoping to see them again when we make it back to the west coast.
Continuing the food-themed gatherings we celebrated a special birthday for Tim with homemade ice cream cake and a killer pizza topped with roasted delicata squash, balsamic caramelized onions, and crispy pancetta. Can’t wait to recreate that combo! I’ve been joking with Tim that this birthday makes him officially “old”, but since he tries his best to never act his age I guess I don’t need to worry about the old man ways taking over anytime soon :)
We also saw two nights of live music. One of the original reasons why we extended our stay in VT was for a two-night show featuring Greensky Bluegrass and Fruition. Despite my aversion to late nights out (I guess I’m the old one ), it was a blast and I’m really glad we stuck around for it.
Finally, we went for a sunset cruise with my dad and Katherine on Lake Champlain. The clouds were looking especially cool as we puttered west toward the New York side of the lake. It was a short cruise — just enough time to go a few miles offshore and then float around while munching on dinner and watching the sun sink below the horizon.
Not to be outdone by the sunset cruise, on our last night in Vermont the sky graced us with a spectacular sunset.
Leaving Vermont was bittersweet. On one hand, after nearly two months in one place, the wanderlust was seriously setting in. We were both more than ready to once again visit new places and experience new things. On the other hand, it was so hard to say goodbye to all our friends. When we first started this adventure I had visions of the friends we were leaving behind visiting us all over the country and getting to share the wonderful places we’ve discovered with them.
Of course, the reality is that galavanting around the country in search of your nomadic friends is not feasible for most people. Especially when you have school age kids on 10 different sports teams that keep them busy eight days a week. It also doesn’t help that we don’t have the ability to host visitors in our tiny living space. I hope we can remedy this in the future, because while I can no longer imagine making Vermont my permanent home, I also can’t imagine not having these people in my life. Hope to see you all somewhere down the road. Until next time Vermont…