Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Years 2016 in Montpelier, VT - Part 1

When I first learned that I get Christmas week off at work, I immediately knew we'd head north to visit Roger's old roommate, James, and his fiancée, Emily, in Vermont. We visited them about three years ago, shortly after they moved there, but hadn't been back since, and I hadn't seen them since they came to New York over a year ago. We were so excited to see them and to see the new house they bought, which is beautiful!

And, it turns out that, without even realizing it, we've spend half of our New Year's Eves since Roger graduated college with Roger's old roommate James and his fiancée Emily. We saw them in France in 2010, and they visited us in New York in 2011. It's sort of nice to have a little tradition like that!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

We headed to Vermont on December 27th. We stopped at the Yankee Candle Factory (and somehow spent almost an hour there?) because Roger's recently gotten into candlemaking and candle burning. We continued on to James and Emily's place in Montpelier and got there in the early evening. Dinner was some delicious soup at Pho Capital, and we hung out and chatted the night away in their gorgeous house.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The next morning, Emily headed to work and we were off to explore Montpelier with James. One of our first stops was the Hunger Mountain Coop, which was fantastic but less fantastic than our own Park Slope Coop. (New York: 1, Vermont: Still about a million).   

We visited James's gallery, The Front, and took a look at the show that was up there. I really liked everything on display, but I was especially taken by Janet Van Fleet's pieces. We wandering into and out of some of Montpelier's bookstores (there's more than one independent bookstore - not many NYC neighborhoods can claim that), and found ourselves at Down Home Kitchen for brunch. In a week of delicious meals, this might have been the very best one. Everything was perfect, especially the biscuits and corn bread.

We did some more wandering around town, and found ourselves at the top of Hubbard Park for some lovely wintery views of the capital building and town.

We made dinner that night and hung out by the fire, talking about magazines (thanks to Emily, I'm now a Fast Company subscriber and I might just subscribe to Yankee Magazine, too!), careers, and homeownership.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the morning, we woke to a bunch of snow, and experienced one of the joys of homeownership for ourselves: shoveling snow.

Seriously, though? People are always telling us how much we would hate shoveling and how lucky we are not to have to do it, but it was fine. I can imagine that after months of doing it every day, it gets pretty grating, but so is spending $24k a year in rent and knowing it could be going to paying off a mortgage instead. Anyway...

With the cars cleared off, I drove, white-knuckled, to Burlington, with a stop at the Red Hen Baking Company for my sanity some coffee.

In Burlington, we met up with Trisha for a delicious lunch at Penny Cluse Cafe, which comes in a very close second to Down Home for the best meal in Vermont.

We walked down to Citizen Cider, stopping in on a little art and antique gallery on the way. We each did a flight at the cidery. Dirty Mayor was definitely still my favorite, but it was fun to try the other varieties too. They were all delicious and it was a fun way to while away the afternoon.

That evening, we drove to Barre so James could go to his gallery's holiday party. Emily, Roger, and I walked around the main strip of Barre and then headed to Cornerstone Pub and Kitchen which was really nice. I had the Thanksgiving Pizza, which was pretty tasty.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

We had a pretty low-key day on Wednesday, and spent most of it wandering around Montpelier, checking out the antique stores (where we bought an oil lamp!) and getting food together for New Years Eve.

We also made avocado smoothies, inspired by James's order at Penny Kluse. They turned out pretty okay. I preferred mine with a little maple syrup.

And we made a dish that James taught me about three years ago, and that I've made pretty frequently since then: chocolate ricotta. It's pretty much the lazy girl's version of Moosewood's Chocolate Ricotta Mousse, which I'm pretty sure I'll try making one day, since that doesn't seem too hard either. For our version, you basically just stir melted chocolate into a container of ricotta. We used a leftover chocolate Santa from Christmas. It was delicious.

That night, Dave and Rob drove up from Boston. We all chatted until pretty late in the night. It was great to see them - I hadn't seen either of them since the HWS Reunion a few months earlier!

Next Up: New Years Eve in Vermont!


  1. Sounds amazing!! Compounded my jealousy of co-op grocery stores though... I wish we had them here.

    1. They're pretty wonderful! I will say that the one in Brooklyn is way, way too crowded all the time. It's always like shopping at Whole Foods on the day before Thanksgiving, unless you go extremely early in the morning. But, the food is so good and so affordable that it really makes it work!

      (Hunger Mountain in VT had an awesome selection and a really nice atmosphere, but it was very expensive. If you volunteer there once a month, you get 15% off for that month, but I still think it would be more expensive than Park Slope.)