Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Paradise Found

 It was to be a fun filled and exciting time in Boston this past weekend, but I had other plans for myself:)
Along with a group of friends, I headed out to Stowe, Vermont for a couple days of repose, birthday celebrations (for my friend) and a breath of fresh air.
I had never been and once I arrived, I immediately saw it as a place that would require some revisiting.  Stepping out of the bustling weekend city and into a beautiful, quiet and serene landscape was literally like finding a hidden paradise. I spent the entire time relaxed and care free, with gorgeous, lush views, friends and tasty treats:)
 (Photo credit: Thomas Oboe Lee)
Although I was not planning on doing any exerting hikes, we did go a on a little nature ramble on Saturday morning after breakfast and some deliciously strong coffee.
 Off we went, into the woods behind our house and up, around and between the rich environment.  I saw so many different things, including a 'punk' caterpillar, a little toad, a snake and perhaps one too many pesky bugs:)
 (photo credit:  Thomas Oboe Lee)
 After the walk though, we all got back and felt as though we had accomplished enough for the weekend in physical activity.  The rest was spent relaxing outside by the pond and the hot tub..not too shabby eh?

 To celebrate our friend's birthday, we went to a tiny, but now well-known restaurant in Waterbury, Hen of the Woods. What once used to be a big Mill, has since been converted into a delicious haven of New England cuisine. You walk inside and it's like walking into a friend's cottage with interesting details like refurbished mill grinders as balconies and twigs assembled in rustic chandeliers. 
(photo credit: Bob Klinkowstein)
The menu emphasizes all local farmers and on the 25th, we were lucky to get a fresh selection of Rabbit, tender Pork Loin, and Skate.

(photo credit: Thomas Oboe Lee)
A couple dishes I particularly enjoyed were the Crispy Head Cheese aka, pig's head...

and the Hen of the Woods Mushroom Toast with a thick slab of bacon and a beautifully poached egg. The mushrooms were meaty and hearty, the egg oozed over the whole thing for a perfect softening of the crispy toast and the bacon...well, enough said:)

(Photo credit: Bryant)
To finish off our delicious evening, a clear, starry night the likes of which you never see in the city awaited us back at the house. It was so magical to watch the Moon sink lower behind the trees and I was even lucky enough to catch a glimpse at a shooting star...

The next day, another beautiful one, was spent at the Farmer's Market in town.  I love a good farmer's market and this one met my usual expectations; beautiful fresh produce stands, delightful jewelers, wood works and the smells of a variety of different cuisines cooking. 
My favorite thing though, was a stand selling Maple Ginger-ale. 

It was such a hot day that this drink, a refreshing blend made with a shot of pure Vermont Maple Syrup (duh!), kitchen made Ginger root puree and on the spot seltzer water was heaven.
I can only imagine how this would taste with a bit of rum....:)

As always, all good things must come to an end and I was so sad to leave this beautiful paradise I had found for the weekend. Luckily, a Lake Champlain Chocolate store was waiting for us en route to Boston, so I managed to tear myself away;)
It is really amazing how much good a spurt away from the city can do.  Even though I could already feel the pressures of everyday life resurfacing on the ride back, I still felt that I had recharged my batteries, both mental and physical before beginning a new week.
A special thank you to all my friends and their generosity, and to my fellow photographers...this blog post could not have been made without you:)


  1. Glad you had an awesome time in Stowe! Isn't it breathtaking??? Maple ginger-ale sounds amazing, I'll have to look for it next time I'm in VT.

  2. It was unbelievable! I need to convince her to make her presence known here!

  3. I love love LOVE Stowe so much, my not-so-secret plan is to escape to a little cabin up there someday with a big garden and lots of land. It's such a nice little getaway, and you hit up some good spots while you were there! Definitely worth revisiting, it's just as good every time you return :)

  4. I think that has become my new, distant future plan as well:)