{Gallivant} Bolton Valley, Vermont

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

Right after Christmas John and I headed up to Boston to celebrate my best friend Lindsey's engagement party. A few days later we drove up to Vermont with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend to Bolton Valley, right outside of Burlington. John and I were pumped about this trip because skiing is one of our mutually favorite activities. Having both grown up in New England, we spent countless weekends hitting the slopes at various mountains all over New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, and now that we don't live that close we always jump at the excuse to get up there and ski. 

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

I hadn't been there in a while, and John had never been, but my family has been skiing at Bolton for the past few years and they love it. While it may not be the biggest or fanciest resort in the area, (head to Smuggs or Stowe if you want all the bells and whistles) it makes up for it with it's cozy atmosphere, lack of lift lines, and over all "mom & pop" feel. Not to mention cruising trails, glades, a nordic center, terrain park, and sports center--there is something for everyone! 

We stayed in a condo right at the resort, and each morning we would make breakfast, sip our coffee, and then throw on our gear and walk five minutes up to the lift. (There is nothing I hate more than lugging my ski gear around, so this quick commute felt like a little luxury) There wasn't a record breaking amount of snow while we were there so not all 71 trails were open, but the ones that were were fantastic. We got a nice 2-3 inches of fresh powder each morning, and that combined with a great snow making system and an exceptional grooming team made for some pretty fantastic runs. There were a few icy spots, but this is New England skiing after all...

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

I don't always look this good on the slopes, but I lost my ski parka in my move to Pensacola last year so I was lucky enough to be able to borrow my mom's retro ski suit for this trip. Pretty retro, right?

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

After skiing we would often head up to the tavern in the main ski lodge where we would sit at the bar, warmed by the big stone fireplace, and sip one of the eighteen beers on tap, most of which were local. Bolton has become known for it's craft beers over the past few years, and even hosted its first beer fest last summer, known as Hop Jam. A couple of the nights we ate in our condo, but one night we headed down the road to Waterbury, where we had dinner at The Prohibition Pig. Speakeasy-themed, as the name suggests, the Pig was packed and the cocktails were excellent. If you go, which you should if you are in the area, get there early and sip a Heady Topper while you wait for your table. It's a cult favorite, and once you sip you will know why. Hoppity hop. 

John and I celebrated our first anniversary while we were up there, so another night we headed in up the road in the other direction to Richmond, where we ate at The Kitchen Table Bistro. Located in a historic farm house, the Kitchen Table Bistro is characterized by seasonal Vermont fare, and a lovely candle-lit atmosphere.  We had heard amazing things about it but we were still completely wowed by our food as well as the attentive service. We sat right next to a big bay window where we could see the snow coming down,  clinked our glasses of bubbly ( thanks Uncle George!) and  reflected on our first year of marriage as we tucked into our beef long rib (mine) and steak (his.) Both were to die for.  A very special evening indeed, and one we won't soon forget. 

Bolton Valley, Vermont | The Gallivant

We ended our trip by celebrating New Years at the mountain. Bolton had a torch lit parade down the mountain which, when the torch reached the bottom, set off a gorgeous fire works show. After the show we headed inside to the bar, grabbed some drinks, and headed into the brick oven pizza restaurant (did I mention that? Yumm) and rocked to the live band. It was a blast, and the lodge was milling with people who came to ring in the New Year. 

As we drove down the snowy mountainside the next day. headed back home, I thought about what really makes a ski trip. To me, its a mountain with fun and varied trails, good people to chat with on the lift, and a warm and cozy place to sit at night and have a good drink and a hot dinner. Bolton Valley far exceeds that criteria, and I love that it is still a mountain that you could learn like the back of your hand, staffed by people you could get to know.  We can't wait to go back. 

xoxo,

Emily

Bolton Valley, 4302 Bolton Valley Access Rd, Bolton Valley, VT 05477

This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own. 

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{Gallivant} Londonderry Vermont: Taylor Farm

Last weekend, while we were in Vermont with John's family, we took a quick trip to Londonderry to visit Taylor Farm. Taylor Farm is a working farm that welcomes visitors and sells a variety of their fresh products in their shop. John's brother and sister-in-law go all the time when they are at Stratton, especially now that they have two adorable little boys, but this was our first time! 

 Little boy heaven. 

Little boy heaven. 

 Fam

Fam

Taylor Farm Londerry Vermont 2

The farm had a variety of different animals for us to see and pet, including cows, goats, chickens, pigs, horses, and an adorable donkey. This is definitely a fantastic place to visit with kids, but we loved wandering around just as much! (Might have something to do with our dream of having our own little smallholding one day...)

 Pretty little girls! | Photo cred: Annie Richey

Pretty little girls! | Photo cred: Annie Richey

 Oh my heart.

Oh my heart.

I particularly got a kick out of the pigs, who were so happily wallowing in the mud. I can't wait to come back another time when they have piglets! 

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I cannot resist a rambling farm house. 

Taylor Farm, Londonderry Vermont 6

Before leaving we stopped into the little farm shop, as our brother and sister-in-law swear by their raw milk. Raw milk?! I know, sounds weird, but they actually completely converted us over the weekend. As John's brother said, "It just completely elevates any normal milk experience." It's true! So yummy! Taylor Farm is also known for their fantastic cheese, made right on the farm. They are the only Gouda producer in Vermont, and their maple smoked gouda is to die for.  In the hopes of creating an epic cheese plate later that evening my sister-in-law grabbed a nice wedge of gouda, while I went for the alehouse cheddar and some rosemary crackers. I also tried their maple soda, which was surprisingly light and refreshing. Sort of what I would imagine an effervescent maple sap to taste like. 

If ever in the area, Taylor Farm is definitely worth a visit, kids or no kids. We cannot wait to go back, and I hope that next time we may be able to bring home some of their fresh eggs and meat--yum!

Taylor Farm, 825 Rt. 11, Londonderry, Vermont. (802) 824-5690

Happy Thursday you guys! Eat local!

xoxo,

Emily

 

{Gallivant} Dorset, Vermont + The Dorset Union Store

I am so excited to share a little bit about our time in Vermont a few weeks ago today! The Green Mountain State is special to both of us, because growing up John used to spend almost every weekend at his family ski house in Stratton, and I used to head north from Boston whenever I had the chance, whether to visit my Uncle during ski season (#shred) or summer trips to Burlington or Stowe with friends. 

As vacation is hard to come by during flight school, we truly cherished the few days we got to spend at the Richey house in Stratton, and even managed to fit in an afternoon of gallivanting all across the Vermont countryside! 

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IMG_9901.jpg

Our favorite stop was the lovely small town of Dorset. Dorset is a quintessential New England town, full of white houses with green shutters, and surrounded by the incredible landscape of Vermont. John and I loved to explore towns and ooo and aah over houses we love so we just drove around for about an hour, loving each old white house more than the next. We dream of one day living in a rambling old country house with some chickens and a huge garden in the back yard, and our afternoon explorations only fed our fantasy all the more. 

Before we left I made John stop at the Dorset Union Store, as I am a sucker for country stores and markets. Established in 1816, the beautiful old wooden floors creak as you walk down aisle after aisle of beautiful local food stuffs and bevvies. With an attached room dedicated to wine, both local and exotic, the store is a little bit of foodie heaven. Along with fresh baked goods, local cheese, coffee, and maple products, they also carry most staple grocery items, and have a sandwich counter in the back. While there I discovered Barnwell Farm cheese. This neat cheese company, based out of Pawlett, VT, names each of it's cheeses after a different town in the state. I grabbed the Dorset variety, a soft and pungent cows cheese, which later proved to be delicious. Before leaving the store I also picked up some beautifully scented pine soap, which I am excited to use as a fun little reminder of New England and the woods we grew up in. (Also who doesn't love a man who smells like pine trees? Total cat nip. Is that just me? Ok.)

Next time you are in the Bennington area of Vermont, or are just looking to make a fun little day or weekend trip, definitely consider Dorset. Aside from checking out the Dorset Union Store and picking up some yummies, there are some sweet places to stay in the area, and if you are outdoorsy or just looking for a little retreat there is plenty to do and see. 

Happy gallivanting!

xoxo

Emily

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