I spent last weekend up in Vermont. One of my good college friends has a family lake house up there, and has been trying to get my college crew to go up and stay there, well, since college, which in my case, means for the past ten years. We finally relented and went for a two night stay, and it turned out to be a really fun weekend.
I initially wasn’t sure if I was going to write about our trip at all. While we ended up being pretty busy, the crux of the trip was spent hanging out in my friend’s house, catching up, playing games, and cooking dinner together, so while it was a great trip, some of the best parts was just four of us bullshitting in sweatpants on a couch, and while that’s something I’ll always cherish, it’s not going to interest any of you. Also, my friend’s house is located in the small town of Poultney, Vermont, which is not necessarily somewhere you’d typically stay on a trip. The town is very sleepy, and we also spent a great deal of this trip in the car, driving to various activities.
Poultney is picturesque though, as is most of Vermont, and those times in the car proved to be very pleasant. I ended up not as many photos as I would’ve liked, but more than I normally do (something I’m always trying to actively work on), and plenty I’d like to share. So I am going to be writing about this trip after all, but have decided to structure this post more as a photo-essay, then a traditional write up.
Poultney, if my GPS were to be believed, was exactly 4 hours from my home. We wanted to be able to have two full days for activities, so set off at 8 AM. Above you’ll see my shadow, along with my things, waiting for my friend Laura to pick me up. Laura was late, so I took pictures of my luggage.
Part of the fun of roadtrips with friends is making unplanned stops. Neither of us ate breakfast, so we stopped at Bingham’s Family Restaurant, right before we got on the highway, and despite passing it on countless occasions, and having their pies on most holidays, I’ve never eaten at Bingham’s before. We sat at the counter, diner style, and I had a delicious breakfast of two eggs, two maple sausage patties, and cinnamon raisin french toast, which alone was worth the stop. Despite being only 20 minutes from home, and still in Pennsylvania, I think this was a very fitting breakfast for a weekend in Vermont.
We only stopped twice, which I’m proud of. I’m very guilty of turning 2 hour trips into 4 hour trips by stopping constantly for snack and bathroom breaks. This is a random Stewart’s somewhere in the wastelands of 88 between Binghamton and Albany. I enjoyed how they had a bargain beer bin (and I have a hunch that this particular Stewart’s was maybe a little too zealous with last fall’s pumpkin spice beer).
Here’s the house we stayed at. It looks it belongs in Vermont, no? If you don’t think so, take a minute to observe the inside.
Fireplace? Skis on the wall? Outdated upholstery? Farm trinkets? 70’s style wet bar? You couldn’t get more New English if you tried.
One of the trip’s unexpected highlights was the Whale Back Vineyard, located just down the road from my friend’s. This very tiny vineyard is located on a working farm, and the tasting room is essentially in a big farmhouse’s living room. It was the most informal tasting I’ve ever attended, and possibly my favorite. There was no tasting fee, no wanna-be-sommelier talk, and the owner was wearing work boots, flannel, and Carhart. He let us try as many wines as we were interested in, and poured out his samples very liberally. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that I easily sampled half a bottle or more, of this good gentleman’s wine, and ended up with two bottles to take home. Bonus: there was a vineyard cat named Mark who insisted on being paid attention to during the entire experience.
My man Mark.
And check out these porch views? How great would this be to sit at in the summer?
After a very filling wine sampling, we made small pit stop at the Battle Hill Brewing Company en route to Lake George. I don’t have any pictures of that, because while I’m getting better with photographs, I’m not all the way there yet. It was pleasant enough, with beer that was completely fine, but excellent pretzel bites, which is just what every brewery wants to hear, that its pretzel bites were the highlight.
We were on our way to Lake George to partake in The Adirondack Brewery’s Funky Ice Festival, which is, you guessed it, an a 70’s funk dance party/ice festival that was proudly advertised as BYOV: Bring Your Own Vinyl, and proved to be an entertaining way to spend a few hours on a Friday evening.
They had ice chess.
There was ice bean bags.
Ice beer pong.
And an ice shuffleboard table.
My only real complaint was that there was no edge on the shuffleboard, just a backing, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of shuffleboard. The highlight was that everyone got a free rainbow afro wig.
We ate dinner at the brewery, and it was fine. They did have a tasty peanut butter chocolate porter.
Before heading back to Poultney, we stopped at Duffy’s Tavern for a nightcap around their fire, which was a really nice way to end the evening.
We got an early start Saturday morning, as the temperatures were expected to rise, and we wanted to get in some cross-country skiing before the snow got too mushy. We had breakfast at Tot’s Diner in Poultney, where I had more sausage and eggs, and an excellent grilled maple walnut muffin.
We skied at Viking Nordic in the small town of Peru, which was a beautiful course, but didn’t stay as long as I usually do, as there were a number of our party who were attempting to xc ski for the first time, and who did not do well.
Viking Nordic was about an hour from Poultney, but since it was noon when we stopped skiing, and we had no real plans for that night, we took a nice leisurely ride back, stopping when we felt the need.
Our last stop of the trip, before retiring to the house to make dinner and hang out, was Tap’s Tavern, the lone watering hole in Poultney. It was a really excellent weekend away.