So let's talk about that weekend trip, shall we? Vermont was lovely. When we drove up, we left around 3:30 pm so of course got stuck in traffic all through Connecticut, but it was OK, we made it in around 10 pm and had a bottle of wine and a cheese tray waiting in our room. The inn was adorable, but of course there were some gnats buzzing around and the door was hard to close since it was over 100 years old and creaky, but it was OK. I liberally sprayed bug spray and we settled in for bed.
Saturday we were up for our complimentary breakfast (I had oatmeal with fresh fruit and Vermont maple syrup!) and we made our plan for the day. The canoeing turned out to be on a lake, not a river, so it was less appealing to me, and it seemed hard to combine with other things (because of the location and rental was for a whole day) so we decided to go to the state park and hike. (Ha, hike, yes.) We had half of our packed picnic sandwiches beforehand, then took the Scenic Overlook Trail, which was deserted so just us for the whole thing. It was steep with a big payoff view at the end, and so beautiful and fun. We were spotting wildlife, swatting bugs, jumping over muddy creeks, and I loved it. Then we decided to hike a separate trail to the waterfall, since I wanted to see it, but that was a bit longer, so all told we hiked for about 6 miles and 4-5 hours and I enjoyed it all but it wore us out! When we got back to the car area we ate the rest of our picnic on a picnic table overlooking the river. And rested. Then on the way back to the inn we stopped in little towns, bought a Christmas ornament souvenir, checked out houses for sale (in a wishing way), looked at old cemeteries to find the oldest gravestone, etc. It was ideal. We even saw a wedding letting out of a church, and the big fat bride waved to us (from next to her tall skinny husband in a cowboy hat!) Then it was back to the inn for some resting before dinner at the inn's restaurant. It was delicious but mellow, as we were so worn out! We didn't stay up for beers in the tavern but headed to bed on the early side.
Sunday morning we had breakfast there again, then checked out and drove through Bennington to explore more of the Vermont countryside, which was so idyllic. I then showed him Bennington College's campus, where I'd spent time a few years in a row with my girlfriends, as one of them is an alumnus. We stopped for lunch in town, then drove back through Albany, stopping at a roadside stand for fresh raspberries and raspberry jam. We also stopped to check out the old camp Hike's family used to attend every summer, Shapanack. It's closed now and all decrepit and overgrown, but sort of romantic in its own way, as a ghost of Catskills glory past. We took lots of photos to share with his family, and we stopped for ice cream at the go-cart place, and then finally headed back the city and were mercifully spared more traffic.
All in all, it was so peaceful and relaxing and felt like a real break from the city. We barely turned the tv on in our room, which I really appreciated. Once the shit hit the fan on Monday, all I wanted to do was run back to Vermont and leave the city for good. I'm now more in the temperate area of that wish (I could do suburbia now, though), but we talked about how nice it would be to have a summer place up there. Oh, some day. I'd love it.