Well, six months later, I am dusting off the blog. Even when you move as often as I do, you forget how all consuming a new home can be, especially when your new home is 140 years old and your husband is gone for the first three months of said move. But now that the last of the boxes in the basement have been emptied and before we start on the first of many home renovations, l thought I would share a little of the fun that we’ve had along the way.
One of the things that we were most excited about our return to the east coast was the travel opportunities that living in New England affords. There are so many beautiful destinations that are just a short car ride away. Our list is long, and we were determined to start tackling it as soon as we could. So not long after we moved in, we booked a summer getaway to Vermont.
Vermont is famous for many things, most notably its maple syrup, its green mountains, and its spectacular fall colors. And now, for us, it is famous for being a beautiful summer holiday destination. We chose to spend my birthday weekend (in mid-July) in Woodstock, Vermont, and we could not have been happier with the choice.
Like many New England towns, Woodstock is small, but it is packed with goodness - the covered bridge in the middle of town being just one of many charming sights. We were immediately taken with the architecture in the town and the bucolic scenes we saw along the country roads. It was enough for me to dust of my big DSLR and capture the sights that really captured my imagination.
Billings Farm was one of the most pleasant surprises of the trip for us. We planned our excursion here explicitly for the youngest member of our family, but I think we all enjoyed it in equal measure. It’s a show farm, so the presentation of the Jersey cows and the horses in the pasture is done with an audience in mind, but man, do they make farming look good! Young or old, Billings is worth a visit.
Another pleasant surprise was an off-the-beaten-path visit to Kelly Way Gardens, a farm that provides the historic Woodstock Inn with sustainably grown fruit, vegetables, and herbs. While guided tours and tasting events are scheduled during summer months, visitors are encouraged to tour the gardens when open to the public. We loved wandering the grounds all on our own.
There’s plenty to do back in town, and we particularly enjoyed wandering into the cute shops along the main streets. The Yankee Bookshop is Vermont’s oldest independent bookseller and it is a very charming stop. My husband and I enjoyed perusing the local travel section, and my daughter got her second Beverly Cleary book, Ramona the Brave. I was also a big fan of the home decor store R.T. Home, as well as the charm of the Woodstock Pharmacy and the wonderful general store, FH Gillingham & Sons - a general store in the truest sense of the word. Try NOT finding what you need in this shop!
One of our final stops was what some call the most photographed farm in America. And while we were there out of season (it is most famously visited during the height of the fall foliage season), we still wanted to make our way to see the farm that is so photogenic that it made its way into films such as “Forrest Gump.” I definitely want to come back to see it all dressed up in its autumn glory.
Woodstock, Vermont was so refreshing for a weekend away, and I’ve decided that it needs to be my annual birthday destination.
A few additional notes about our visit:
We stayed at 506 On The River Inn, a wonderful property that features beautiful grounds, a great restaurant and bar, and loads of kid-friendly activities. Highly recommend.
We were very low maintenance food-wise on this trip, but we really enjoyed the restaurant at 506 On The River Inn, as well as the easy lunch options at the South Woodstock Country Store and Mon Vert Cafe.