|Very, very white people on a covered bridge. |
We look relaxed, but not the smiliest.
The other, more smiley pictures had far
too many chins and nostrils to post.
We learned a few things on this trip. First, if you don't have to, don't leave on a Friday afternoon. It sucks up a whole day of your vacation and makes the drive incredibly stressful. Especially when most of it is in the dark and during hypnotic-in-the-headlights Syracuse-to-Amsterdam snow squalls. Do yourself a favor and leave on Saturday morning. Second, double check what Goo.gleMaps tells you is the fastest and best route. The route it took us on to Grafton, Vermont was probably the fastest if it is daylight and you are driving a mudding truck. For us, in Bryce's car with 4-wheel drive but a sports suspension, it made our trip 7 hours and 45 minutes instead of the 5 hours 30 minutes it was supposed to be. You can't go 45-50 on a very steep, very dirt, very potholed road that takes you down a mountain with no houses and nothing but a ditch and a stream and lots of woods on either side. Which was the last 10 miles of our trip...at 10:00 at night going 20 miles an hour with Bryce freaking out that we had taken a wrong turn and were headed into Deliverance territory. Funny now, not so much then. Third--if you have to eat gluten-free, pack a meal if you're driving to Vermont. I can't eat anything on the Thruway and then we ended up in backwoods central NY, unfortunately eating at a horribly managed Wendy's at 8:30 at night because there were no other options for me. That was some major poor planning!
But those are the only negatives--once we got to Grafton it was a blast. We went hiking and snowshoeing (a wine and cheese snowshoe tour up the "mountain" at Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center--you got to the top of the trails and there were multiple kinds of delicious Grafton cheddar, a case of wine, and paper cups waiting for you. Excellent idea...). We went to Manchester for the day and shopped outlets and went to an unusual wine store. We walked around an old cemetery and went to the Northshire Book Store, a wonderful independent book store that I could have spent an entire day in. We found two independent book stores--the other, Misty Valley Books, was a tiny gem in a tiny town and the selection was phenomenal. It was the "risk-taking" bookstore that a good literary friend of mine would probably love. Not one book club book was prominently displayed. I think I came home with more books than I left with.
|Enjoying pre-dinner wine and the end|
of a book in our private living area...
|Bryce, exploring the covered bridge.|