Ah, another gorgeous Autumn weekend has come and gone. As noted earlier, James and I were lucky enough to begin our weekend on Thursday, as we made a quick trip up to The Equinox in Manchester, Vermont, for a little second anniversary celebration.
(The photo above was taken just before we dropped Sammy off at Queenie and Grampy's. Please note matching mommy / son puffy vests. [Also note what happens when I force Sammy to take a picture mid-cookie.] Not pictured: Matching mommy / son corduroys. Please stage an intervention if we get to the point of matching mommy / son ballet flats.)
But where was I. We had a gorgeous drive up to Vermont, which included a foray through the Berkshires, another special place for James and I. As the leaves are just about through their peak in Connecticut, we were about a week late for prime leaf-peeping time up North. No matter though - our views were still gorgeous.
The above photo was taken after we had just entered Vermont. You know you're at a high altitude when the clouds leave such huge shadows!
Manchester, Vermont is considered Southern Vermont, and was about as quintessential New England as you can get. The hotel was absolutely gorgeous, both inside and out. I wish I got a better shot of the exterior, but due to the length of the building (and totally forgetting that iPhone now takes panoramic photos), I had to snap it in two pics. (And for some reason, did not feel the need to back away from the huge Subaru before taking my pictures.)
Once you got through the reception area, we were greeted by a beautiful sitting area. I loved the simple decor - especially the silver urns filled with boxwoods and the green and white striped couches.
The view could not have been more gorgeous once you stepped outside. Not pictured are the clusters of lounge chairs and adirondack chairs, perfect for lengthy conversations and cocktails.
The above photo is another view of the front of the building, a bit later on in the day. It's hard to go wrong with twinkly lights.
Prior to a walk through town, James secured us dinner reservations.
If you're into fly-fishing, Orvis was founded in Manchester, and had a large presence in the town. We walked past their fly fishing school, a fly fishing museum, a retail store and a factory outlet. Unfortunately for us, James has fished a whopping two times, and I won't touch those slimy things. But look at how beautiful the display is above!
Prior to dinner, we enjoyed a cocktail back out on the hotel patio. Though the temps were frigid, the huge outdoor bar / fire pit kept us warm.
Based on my parents' recommendation (as well as some reviews I had read on Chowhound), we left the Equinox and dined at The Dorset Inn. My parents promised a true New England-type meal, and we were not disappointed.
The highlight of the meal was the bread pudding, which I am pictured with above. (Though it looks like I am about to gingerly place my spoon into the pudding oh so delicately, I do believe my creepy smile foreshadowed the fact that I was about to devour most of the dessert singlehandedly.)
We woke up the next morning to rain, appropriately signaling the end of our brief trip - though not before enjoying a huge farm-style breakfast at Sherrie's Cafe and a stop at the Manchester outlets.
Just before crossing state lines, we stopped at the Grafton Village Cheese company in Brattleboro to gorge ourselves on samples of cheddar, as well as my Autumn staple, apple cider. It was a great way to end the trip.
Why is it that relaxing trips are what usually take the most out of you? We could not possibly have been more exhausted as we picked Sammy up on Friday afternoon, but our almost 15-month-old (as of tomorrow!) reinvigorated us and we had a fantastic - dare I say relaxing - weekend. We spent a ton of time outdoors and did some major yard clean-up and planting for the Spring. I had a great time attending my oldest friend's baby shower, and we ended the weekend with a fun first birthday party for one of our playgroup friends. (This one was right up my alley, complete with homemade Carolina-style pulled pork and Oktoberfest-infused cupcakes.) Ah, weekends....