Or, more accurately, a sap-less trip to Vermont. Despite the Little Mother’s best efforts to control the weather, the trees were done with their annual sap routine by the time we made it to Vermont last week. The weather was cold and sunny, and we got to show Grandma Iowa how the process works, even if she didn’t get to see it in action.
We helped take taps out of trees and gathered some of the buckets, so we still felt we had earned our share of the yearly production.
Our trip north was leisurely this year, as it was last year. The kids and I drove to Cleveland on a Wednesday, where we stayed overnight near the airport so we could pick Mom up at the airport on Thursday morning. Thursday we drove to Putney, VT, and stayed in the Putney Inn, which was delightful. Friday morning we had a leisurely breakfast at the Putney. The children wanted to hear stories from their past and mine, so we sat and laughed for an hour as we retold family lore.
From there to the Vermont Country Store for a long visit.
We had planned for lunch and a museum with Aunt L and cousins, but they had a visit from the Flu Fairy in the days before we arrived, so a quick stop to see their house, beautiful view, and some hugs and wan smiles were the extent of this visit. It was splendid to see their fantastic location, and cousin’s sweet faces.
Because of that change in plans, we were feeling pretty leisurely. And L suggested the King Arthur Flour cafe for lunch before we began our trip over the mountains to get to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We had a delicious lunch and fun watching the baking class in their professional kitchen.
I lost cell phone reception soon after we drove across the VT border on Thursday night, so we had a paper map with us, but because some roads are closed in the winter, I had also called on google maps to give us directions for all the places we needed to go. Luckily, Aunt L realized the way the google was going to send us was heading us toward the Lincoln Gap, which would still be closed. She did a fantastic job writing out wonderful directions for us…and we still managed to get lost. Or, rather, we weren’t truly lost, but we still ended up trying to take the wrong roads that were deep into mud season.
We finally arrived at the house in the mountains that we love, unpacked, grabbed a quick bite, then headed to Cousin M’s play: Cinderella and The Glass Slipper.
We only had Saturday and Sunday to spend, so we didn’t plan on extreme outings, just enjoyed time together. Since the children and I had traveled thousands of miles in the car over the previous three weeks, we were grateful to not go on any driving adventures.
Sunday was a crisp, sunny day, and Aunt B, Uncle S, and Cousins came over nice and early so we could have as much time together as possible.
B and S had to leave for a conference and to open the store, but the youngest cousins had a long time playing outdoors while the older cousins and Grannie Babs went to examine the Vermont Solar Panels.
Monkey loves genealogical research, and Nonni came through with two gems: The History of Her Family and the photo album and random documents she kept from our wedding and Buddie’s early years.
A few final memories with cousins:
And Monday morning we were up and out bright and early for the long drive back to the South.
It was well worth the drive.
And a reminder of last year’s trip.