Longtime readers of this blog know all about my love affair w Atlantic City. But for the less familiar, AC and I have HISTORY — and I was ready to make more.
Howdy ya’ll!!! Or as they say here in New England, Hello. I’m safe and sound in the great state of Massachusetts! It’s been raining all day off-and-on, but whatevs. I’m on VAcATIoN!!
In the weeks since my last post, I’ve fleshed out the entirety of my upcoming road trip: attractions, hotels, restaurants, even a few thrift shops I want to hit. I found an old journal in a drawer upstairs and knowing no one would miss it, ripped out the first few used pages and made it mine.
Today I am writing to you on my iPhone, and instead of complaining about the tediousness of typing thoughts with two fingers (technically one finger and a thumb), I will instead marvel at the wonders of technology. How amazing is a smart phone?? I mean, I can watch The Walking Dead, post on my blog, take photos, talk — via text, voice, or video to people anywhere in the world, and even look up ways to get rid of cat pee smell. And it fits IN MY HAND. I am so very grateful to live in this cyber age.
We are BACK! Oh. You didn’t know I was away? CAN’T YOU SEE MY TAN??? Well maybe it’s b/c this past weekend we went to VERMONT. I must have neglected to post that tasty morsel last week, that we were going away for the weekend. Probably a good thing – since my husband already thinks I share a little too much information here. But you & I both know, EVERYONE LOVES FEET!!
ANYWAY. We just got back from our lil trip up north.. to VErMoNT. YES I like the way I spelled it there. It’s hilly, see, just like the state. Our friends have a cabin in Wardsboro and b/c they are the best people on the face of the planet, they let us use it FREE OF CHARGE. I don’t know about you, but THAT is pretty much the greatest thing anyone’s ever done for me – apart from helping me give birth.
Anyway, we left Friday and just got back last night. I was feeling a little depressed on the car ride home. I always do. You see, I don’t just enjoy these little trips to Vermont. No. I secretly – but not-so-secretly LONG to live there. Forever. But just in the summer. The problem is, I love Vermont. But i love it when it is warm. When we can go skinny-dipping and run around outside w/out clothes on, and bask in the sun in our birthday suits, and – OH. I am sorry, I’d forgotten you were here – Vermont in the summer is BLISS. heaven on earth. But Vermont in the winter is. COLD. Damn cold. Snowy. Lots of snow on the ground. and in the air. and everywhere. And did I mention it’s freaking cold there. And winter lasts 9 months long. Unless you count mud season. Which sort of cuts into the 3 mos of “summer”. SIGH…..
Yes I have been drinking. Today is my mom’s birthday – LOVE YOU MOO!
And now I will outline for you the details of our trip.
The first day (Saturday) was gorgeous. In Philly I think it was 90 degrees with 300% humidity, but in southern Vermont it was BEAUTIFUL. Until of course it started HAILING. Hail the size of macaroons. IN AUGUST. Whoa. Way to keep me on my toes, you crazy State, you. People were pulled over on the sides of the road it was so damn bad. BUT WE DIDN’T LET THAT STOP US, NO SIRREE. We drove into Brattleboro. If you have never been to the Brat, then you really must go. Seriously. It is the only town where tie-dye is an official uniform. We ran into a woman in Sam’s (their super duper army-navy store) and she was either certifiably insane or whacked out of her mind on acid. I believe it was the latter. That is the Brat.
We went to the Retreat Farm. Although we have traveled extensively throughout Vermont, and have petted many an animal in many a Vermont Farm, we like the Retreat the BEST. It has undergone a significant change in the 2 yrs since we were there last. I will not go into the sordid details. but the cows are G-O-N-E. The Grafton Cheese Co. has now set up shoppe where the large Dairy Barn used to be. I miss the cows. But the cheese is delicious and the petting can’t be beat. The ladies BEEEEEGGGGGGEEDDD us to go there first – out of anywhere else in Vermont – b/c there, only there, can you pet and cuddle and love up as many baby chicks as your heart desires. YES IT IS THAT GREAT. If you are an animal lover and have never held a sweet baby chicky in your life, then you must get into your car and drive there IMMEDIATELY. Open Tues – Sat, 10- 4.
The next day, (Sunday). we went to Jamaica. Jamaica State PARK, in Jamaica, VT. YES THAT IS A FUNNY COINCIDENCE. Maddie said Oh this isn’t where people always come when they say they’re going to Jamaica? YES IT IS NICE BEING 8.
So we spent the entire day hiking. with our children. I cannot believe it either. That they finally have gotten to the age where I no longer have to tote them around like luggage. And it was AWESOME. We walked to Hamilton Falls, the highest waterfall in the state, and even though our legs nearly fell off on the way (I am kidding – we are used to walking the hell out of our legs), it was breathtaking. Dramatic. Over 10 people have died there swimming, and maybe more – we saw a couple show-offs but didn’t stick around to watch. Then we walked alllllll the waaaaaayyyy back down to the trail and allll the waaaaaayyyyy up to the tippeee top of Ball Mt Dam. Quite a hike. Even w/ the legs I am used to abusing, I was tired. The trail is easy to follow but it’s steep w/ crazy gravelly switchbacks. We saw 2 families mountain-biking their way out and were like WHAT THE HELL. I would NOT recommend MT biking there UNLESS YOU ARE INSANE OR WHACKED OUT ON ACID. I spied some sort of creature – we could not determine what – either a squat deer or some sort of under-colored bear – which leaped from the side of the path and fled up the mountain. It was the fastest thing I’ve ever espied. If it were bigger I’d swear it was BIG FOOT, but that’s just a story. RIGHT>?
The next day was MONDAY. We spent the whole heaping helping day o fun at BROMLEY. I told John, baby, if I could ski when it’s warm, you KNOW I WOULD LOVE IT. B/c being at a ski resort is a BLAST. Esp/ when it is sunny beautiful and you are sitting under a umbrella eating an ice cream cone w/ jimmies. Or flying down a mountain at warp speed on an alpine slide. Or both. Or going through a dark water slide tunnel getting splashed and hearing your kid scream in terror-stricken delight. Either way, I liked it and I wanna go back a 3rd time. Afterwards, we ate dinner at Candeleros in Manchester. A+ PS: Curly, I am VERY SORRY to say Mother Myrick’s is no longer in its old digs. It may be somewhere else but we could not find it anywhere in Manchester.
Finally Tuesday came round and we had to leave. I was sad. Not only had the weekend flown by, but the weekend had flown by, and we had to come back. To Philly. Don’t get me wrong. I love my hometown. But there’s something to be said for a cool mountain morning, being woken at 7 am by your neighbor chainsawing lumber for winter firewood, that makes you say, Ahhhhh. CLICK HERE for photos from the Green Mt state.
PS: CONNIE, JUST GOT THE SCARF AND it is FABBBBUUULLOUSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! I am in MUPPET LOVE. Not only does it smell like heaven but it makes me feel as snuggly as Miss Piggy wrapped in Kermit’s loving arms w/ Fonzie Bear, Gonzo & a cherry on top. YOU ARE TOO WONDERFUL. Thank you Thank you THANK YOU, you dear awesome wonderful friend. xoxoxoxoxo
Returned from Atlanta last night, about 1 am. It was a LONG trip. 13-1/2 hrs there and another 13 back, and it rained both ways. I don’t mind driving, but 800 miles in a torrential downpour is a test of wills. I made a point of renting audio books from the library to pass the time. We listened to Charlie & the Chocolate Factory on the first leg and a Wrinkle in Time on the 2nd. I enjoyed both greatly, but Wrinkle seemed to terrify as much entertain my older daughter and had her asking questions a little too perplexing for a road trip. Is it possible to condense a rudimentary explanation of Evil into a 5-minute potty break at a rest stop?? Note to self: throbbing disembodied brains not for 7-year-olds.
Christmas itself was lovely. We got way too many presents, my mom & I cooked and we all feasted merrily.
The rest of the week was spent relaxing. We hit the wine cellar, did a little mindless shopping, ate out a few times. Explored my parents’ property. Watched TV (my parents have CABLE!!) and I especially loved the holiday Dirty Jobs marathon. We also watched a bunch of episodes of Arrested Development from my sister’s box set (*Annyong*) – that show is absolutely hysterical. I got a new board game called EAT IT! which is a lot like trivial pursuit for snack food junkies. My mom, the eternal gambler, staked a $5 Starbucks card for the winner, which turned out to be my sister, Queen of Cookies. We played quite a few games, which we haven’t done as a family in a long time, and it was really fun.
Today we did just what you want to do after spending a day and a half in the car. We drove to Bucks County & back, returning the rented minivan and picking up our beloved pets.
Don’t I look thrilled? I think I may have carbuncles. Fortunately, we do have a whole host of new CDs to listen to. I have to say the best of new order is awesome. I must be old.
Unfortunately, we spotted this poor creature by the side of the road:
You might be able to swing this into a joke about Santa’s sleigh or some such nonsense, but I will not. I took it simply as one more reason to get the hell out of the car.
For the rest of the photos, click HERE.