Friday, January 27, 2012

Beer and Snow

There isn’t much evidence to suggest that it’s January in New York – mildly cold and rainy, my puffy vest and snow boots have been collecting dust for the past few weeks. Luckily, I put my favorite winter staples to good use this past weekend when Keith and I traveled up to Vermont.

I could be on a postcard.

With our iPods charged and a trunk full of mostly of my things (“Underpacking is overrated” – Thanks Mama!), we headed up north in Keith’s trusty Envoy. A native of New England, Keith knew we would pass a town that heralded the Yankee Candle Flagship store as its big tourist attraction. I squealed with delight, and we made a quick detour to pick up some fresh-smelling items.

Turns out, the Yankee Candle factory doesn’t just sell candles.

It’s a bit dark, but that’s a bear ottoman.

They have an entire Christmas village (stocked with overly-priced merchandise) that makes you really wish you were a kid again.

See what I mean?

This is Keith. He is 28.
After collecting some Beachwood and Rose candles, as well as some lime and eucalyptus soaps, we hit the road again only to watch the snow around us gain some height. We found our exit off of 91 and drove on windy and narrow Vermont roads peppered with general stores, farm houses, and trailer parks. When we finally reached our resort, we were in heaven! The staff was incredibly nice, the room was clean and cozy, and the pristine landscape was just what we busy New Yorkers needed.

Wyman Lane! I'm a ham.

With every intention of waking up early and hitting the slopes, we instead slept in and went to breweries. I think it was a nice compromise.

We stopped at Long Trail first, which has a cute little pub that seems to be a spot for post-skiing carousing. There was a “self-guided tour” that didn’t include any free beer (who really wants to know how beer is made on those tours….), so Keith and I had a quick drink and made our way to the Harpoon Brewery. At their restaurant, I had one of my favorite sandwiches – the Vermonter – which is made with turkey, honey mustard, apples, and in this case, bacon. I was one happy gal.

I was even happier with that Winter Warmer in hand.

We took a tour of the brewery (this time, with lots of free beer), which was hosted by a cute Australian woman and a guy named Neville. Yes, I called him Neville Longbottom behind his back.

Okemo Mountain was calling our names on Sunday, so we skied most of the day with only a few mishaps (how did lost skiers find each other before cell phones?). After we took our ski boots off, we warmed our frozen toes and hands in the ski lodge with a Long Trail beer. With a perfect view of Okemo from my barstool, I watched as the skiers gradually came off the mountain, the chairlift stopped, and the escaping sun dimmed the snow. It was perfection.

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