Leaving Central Jersey, we headed to Southern Vermont, for a visit to Stratton Mountain Resort. Recognized as a notable Ski Resort, the marvelous, clean air, glorious weather, beautiful, puffy clouds, and interesting places to explore, offer an excellent opportunity to enjoy the autumn season, (or any season), and a chance to hang-loose in a countrified atmosphere.

Having phoned ahead, we reserved a two bedroom, two bath apartment for a bit more than a week. After packing the car, we headed North for our brief change of scenery. At just about 2 p.m., my husband suggested we stop for fuel.

After offering my credit card for the gas, I asked the proprietor if I could use his facilities.
With that, he snapped, “No! We don’t have a public rest room. You’ll have to go somewhere else.”

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(Really kind and accommodating!)

And with that, sweet sendoff, my eye caught the sign for a Sixteen Handles Yogurt Shop. “Come.” I said to my husband,. “you are going to have a real treat!”

From the moment we entered, I knew this was not your typical Central Jersey Yogurt Shop. Yes, there were the usual row upon row of flavors, but certainly not what we New Jerseyites are accustomed to devouring. And then, the price. Being a yogurt affectionado, who visits her favorite yogurt shop every day, (as an alternative to lunch), I can tell you the nearly $6.75 cost of my usual size yogurt, filled with almost the same flavors I select in New Jersey...nearly blew my mind.

“When I questioned the Server, she quietly responded, “Well, you’re in New York, now!”

Continuing on to Southern Vermont, we arrived about 5 p.m., checked in at the Welcoming Center, at Stratton Mountain Resort, and drove to our lovely two bedroom, two bath apartment, located in the Long Trail section of the Complex. Parking our car in a well-lit, perfectly organized underground garage, we used one of their ever-present clothes-carriers as a “Haul-in-One”. 

Taking the elevator to the third floor, we unlocked our apartment door,  and were absolutely thrilled. With full views of the mountain, and a large open deck, we unpacked, and took time to relax, and admire the view, before heading back down to Stratton Mountain Village and our first trip to Mulligan’s..

Located on the premises, Mulligan's is an extremely casual restaurant. The menu features a variety of soups, burgers, seafood, steaks, chicken, lobsters, asparagus quesadillas, and so much more. Monday and Tuesday are known as Lobster Nights where you’re able to order Twin Maine Lobsters for $26.99.

Further down the mountain, and located in Bondville, you’ll find the recently opened Whiskey Dicks. With a menu featuring a variety of Pub Food, plus a wide assortment of drinks, please remember, Whiskey Dicks does not accept credit cards--Cash only!.

Driving around Stratton Mountain, and heading off to the local towns surrounding the area, we made mental notes of where we wanted to visit.  After settling on a walk through Manchester Village, with a stop at Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream, ($3.50 for a small cup), we wandered in and out of hardware stores, the famous Dollar Store, a discount Shoe Shop, plus a look in the window of every other interesting purveyor, before heading over to the ever popular Shaw's Market in Manchester

Yes, we in New Jersey are blessed with Super Markets that cater to our needs with beautiful produce, and aisles filled with everything we always need, but never seem to be able to get, Shaw’s Market in Manchester Vermont, boasts beautiful fresh vegetables from local farms, plus freshly baked bread and and a friendly courteous staff that is ever eager to assist.

For our second dinner, we chose to remain on the Mountain, and take advantage of the sumptuous selections available at Shaw’s Market. Our table was laden with delicious fried chicken, honey baked turkey, house prepared potato salad and cole slaw. Dessert featured delicious blueberry muffins, and freshly picked apples from local farms, plus a selection of Wilcox Ice cream. Native to Vermont, Wilcox Ice Cream is reminiscent of ice cream that is hand-crafted with really fresh ingredients. ..

Planning our itinerary, we decided we’d visit different towns and just enjoy ourselves. Yes, it was fun to walk Manchester and check out the outlets, but keep in mind inventories are low, and prices are not as great as you are accustomed to receiving from our local major department stores, and specialty shops. It might  be wise to shop around before you head to the outlets. Case-in-point: The sign at one of really “High-End” Clothing Stores read: “SALE- 40% off!”.

Lusting after a sweater, (Which I so often do), I tried the garment on in “My Size”.
Of course it fit perfectly. And as I took it to the cashier, I made a mental note to pay attention to the gibberish at the register.

(”My friends, you are correct, if you thought my sweater was NOT available at the 40% discounted price.) The garment was definitely NOT ‘On Sale’!

“Oh, I said to the salesperson, “I thought the ‘Sale’ was on all merchandise.”
”Just on ‘Selected; items,” she responded.

I did not buy the sweater.

Stratton Mountain is less than a five hour ride from Westfield, New Jersey.  Whether it’s a winter holiday to ski and enjoy the scenery, or an autumn excursion to marvel at the foliage, I promise you’ll enjoy the weather, the huge puffy, white clouds, the scent of the landscape, and all that it has to offer, including the clean fresh air!.

MKB: August 26th, 2013

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Stratton Mountain Resort
5 Village Lodge Road,
Stratton, Vt. 05340
For information: 1.800.Stratton
For special or long term reservations: Contact: Jennifer Burk:1800.Stratton or <JBurk@intrawest.com>

Restaurants:
Mulligan's Pub & Restaurant
Located on the premises at Stratton Village, Call:802.297.9293
Great to have a local restaurant on the premises, when you’re really too tired to go exploring. Monday and Tuesday night offer popular lobster specials. (1lb., $14.99;double $23.99). Stick with the burgers.

Zoey’s Double Hex Restaurant
1614 Depot, Manchester. Call: 802.362.4600
A true find. Really good food. Full bar. Pleasant atmosphere. Courteous service, and a most sensible check.

Ye Olde Tavern
Manchester Center - American, Steakhouse, Seafood
5183 Main Street, Route 7A, Manchester.  Call:1.866.307.5578
A special place. Fine dining. Courteous attention to detail. Excellent steak, roast beef, and other specials served with mashed potatoes or rice pilaf and fresh broccoli and carrots.  Could be pricey, but, then again, you’re on vacation.

Whiskey Dick's, Whiskey Bar
Amden Road, Bondville, (just down the hill from Stratton Mountain). Call: 802.297.3065
No credit cards. Primarily bar food.

Pick up a map at the Visitors Center. Take a drive to these historic towns: Grafton Village for Handmade Vermont Cheese, Bondville, Brattleboro, Rutland, Weston. Bennington, Manchester and so much more.

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                                          Please Let Me Hear from YOU!
Have you discovered a new eatery? Have you found a new restaurant in some exciting corner of our state? Please email me with your Dining News!

I’d also like to know if you have enjoyed a meal in a really neat, new restaurant that you’d like us to visit. I will happily take the time to share your discovery with our readers.

Remember, I am always here to share your NEWS!  Simply email me. I will be happy to not only respond, I will be more than happy to visit you suggested place!

Have a great week.

Millicent
Mkbrody@aol.com