Years ago, we befriended a couple in Florida that could not stop raving about their summers in Vermont. Of course the fact that they were living in Florida meant that they would be spending most of their comfortable, winter season planning how they were going to escape the scorching Floridian heat of the summer. And just at that moment, a relative announced that they were going to spend their summer vacation in Vermont.
“A great idea,” echoed my friend. “I think we’re also going to plan a visit to our dear cousin who is living in Vermont, and like you, we’re going to enjoy all that Vermont has to offer.” And as she is speaking, she is looking at me, and saying, “Milli, while we’re there, why don’t you plan to spend a week, and visit with us?”
Like, “How could I refuse?”
Of course, that was about nine years ago, and at the time, I’d never been to Vermont. And frankly, all I really ever knew about the area included news of the constant cold weather, winter seasons totally devoted to snow, ice, and incredible skiing, and the need to really get on the phone and find a way to rent an apartment in an area that I knew would provide a more than interesting place to vacation.
Having never been to Vermont, all I really ever knew about the area was its devotion to ‘Ski Season”, for which I’ve never ever been a participant, or a fan. I am also not a lover of cold weather. And, because I am also not a fan of height, I could never imagine myself hanging out at the top of a huge, snow-capped mountain, awaiting my turn to go swishing down all of the snow-packed trails.
“No, I must admit, “None of that scenerio would be anything I truly would enjoy. I am not, and will never be a skiier, never be a lover of snow boarding, and quite frankly, to me, the best thing about freezing, cold, weather, is finding a roaring fireplace, and curling up under a warm, woolen, blanket!”
However that year, which was, believe it or not, seven or eight full years ago, I did visit Vermont and absolutely fell in love with the entire area. No, I never ventured out on to any snow-covered mountain, nor did I harbor any thoughts of taking skiing lessons. What I did do, was take time to do a complete search of the area, and decided that the best place for us to visit was Stratton Mountain Resort, where we could rent a lovely two bedroom apartment and take our time visiting the magnificent countryside.
After the Holidays in December, 2009, we picked up a map from Triple A (AAA}, and drove four-and, one half hours to Stratton Mountain Resort. After checking into our lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment at Long Trail House, we decided to become familiar with our new home-away-from-home. Of course, it snowed, but lightly. Of course it was crowded with families from the states of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, but it didn’t matter. We were delighted to be there with all these other people, and delighted in becoming a part of the snowy, winter-weather, scenery.
And believe it or not for the last six late, summer seasons, we’ve returned to Stratton Mountain Resort, and continue to enjoy the beautiful scenery, visiting the many small towns and villages around the area, dining out at a full array of lovely restaurants, cafes, and sandwich shops, including the ever popular Mulligan’s which is located on the premises of Stratton Mountain Resorts,(which we frequently visit for dinner most nights when we decide to “dine-out” on the premises...and it’s all a delightful part of hanging-out on Stratton Mountain, and truly enjoying yourself--for that is exactly what we do.
This year is definitely no exception. Yes, the weather is much cooler. I’d even add the word brisk, but the scenery remains the same, as does the many wonderful sights you get to see and experience.
A vital part of enjoying the countryside is visiting the many farms along the way. And as a lover of friendly cows, I delight in seeing their beautiful red barns, watching them congregate, and even travel in groups of two or four or more throughout their designated farm sites. I delight in visiting Manchester, Center, where you are more than welcome to stop at the famous Up for Breakfast located on Main Street, or spend the day strolling in and out of the many designer shops located in the center of the town, or taking a break from shopping, and stop at the ever popular, outdoor ice cream stand for a delicious cup filled with coffee and chocolate ice cream, or whatever your favorite flavors. They serve them all. We are also fabulous fans of the famous Vermont Country Stores where you are sure to walk out with a new, favorite tee shirt, kicky, winter jacket, pair of interesting boots that will serve you well on snowy, winter days, and like me, purchased a snappy, new, rain jacket replete with hood. There are many other towns like Weston, Brattleboro, Peru, Grafton, Dorset, and Landgrove where you might want to stop at the Red Fox Inn for a delicious piece of their house--baked Apple Pie. You might even want to pair it with a side of Vanilla Ice Cream.
Each Vermont town or village has its own personality, but all are filled with welcoming residents that are eager to respond to your many questions.
After a full day or weeks of shopping at the Outlets in Manchester, or wandering around the area, you also have the opportunity of dining at a plethera of fine restaurants. To list a few, I’m going to start with Mulligans located on the premises of Stratton Mountain Resort. You will be pleasantly surprised with the many dining specials they offer, their excellent staff, and the more than fair prices featured on their menu. I’d also encourage you to try: Bistro Henry in, Manchester, Dorset Inn, Dorset, Bob’s Diner, Manchester, Manchester House of Pizza, Mistral’s, Manchester,
Whisky Dicks, Winehall, and Ye Olde Tavern, Manchester.
No matter where you choose to dine, it is always wise to telephone, and make a reservation for lunch or dinner. You’ll be glad that you did.
My best wishes to each of you for a fantastic stay on Stratton Mountain, or any place you choose to visit in Vermont. Should you have any special questions about the area, please email me at: Mkbrody@aol.com
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
The best to the best always, Millicent.