Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Days

So we are officially on the road. Kind of... Sadly, all did not go as planned with our move, and due to a bit too much bluster on my part, and Alyssa's too genial nature, a couple of pieces of oversize furniture remained at 10 Landers Street after the movers departed on Friday afternoon. The moral of the story is a rather simple one: if it takes a crane to get it in, it'll take a crane to get it out. But with a quick 30-minute conference, and some good luck, our weekend wasn't completely dashed. We made arrangements with both Gentle Giant and U-haul that would force a change to our agenda, but all was not lost! We wrapped up moving day with dinner at Highland Kitchen, and let me tell you that eating Spicy Caribbean Goat Stew on an empty stomach after a stressful day is not a great idea. We spent a peaceful night in our sleeping bags, but the stress kept us from sleeping soundly, yet again.

Gentle Giant arrived early Saturday morning after a farewell dish of hash at Brothers. With some rather quick work, Alyssa's two shabby chic monsters found their way to street level and allowed us the opportunity to pack our car and hit the road only a little bit later than we had originally planned. This meant skipping our first educational stop - the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in New England open to the public - and also forced us to take the direct route to our first stop, which was a surprise for Alyssa.

I had reservations for us both for dining and accommodations at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Alyssa (and some other folks) had been trying to drag the secret out of me for weeks, but I only gave it away when I asked Alyssa to enter the address in the GPS. After the morning we had, getting lost was not an option.

We checked in, did a quick room check (and were surprised to find champagne chilling for us!), then threw bags on the floor and headed straight for the trails behind the hotel. We only had an hour or so, but it was nice to finally get out and enjoy a little nature after a month of packing and moving. We headed for the lounge after a quick shower and then settled down to a bottle of wine, a terrific dinner (Alyssa ordered both an appetizer and entree with mussels - shocking!), and retired to the most comfortable, restful night of sleep we've had in weeks. We woke up feeling like two completely new people. well, we're still Andrew and Alyssa, but just more pleasant to be around.

After some coffee and danish, and a morning hike where Alyssa had her first wildlife sighting (and freaked out a little too much - it was a deer for crying out loud!), we packed the car back up and headed to Burlington to meet up with my cousin Amy and her husband Rick to enjoy a day kayaking on Lake Champlain and dinner in Burlington. If you have a chance to try the Farmhouse Grill, you are not likely to be disappointed. They have a great beer menu, and where else can you get a ground pork burger with a sunny-side up egg on top? Okay, perhaps it's an acquired taste...

Monday was a trip down memory lane as I took Alyssa to the place I spent some of my formative years: Eagle Camp in South Hero, VT. It's funny how a place can evolve subtly over 15 years (which is when I was last there) and yet remain so completely true to itself. An hour at Eagle Camp is a complete tease, and only scratched the surface of what the experience is like, but I did get to say hello to the Perrys (I feel horrible about walking in the wrong door and stepping into their kitchen though), and saw a familiar face and caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years - Becky Basch. An obvious Kodak moment went overlooked though...

After a tour through Camp, which Alyssa said exceeded her expectations, we visited the Green Frog and Tish's before we hit Al's French Frys, a New England landmark, where Ollie continued his tour of famous destinations. By then, the temperature was in the mid-90s, and yet we somehow still thought a walk through downtown was a sensible idea. An hour later, dehydrated and sweating, we hopped back in the car and returned to our home base for the weekend: Chez Guidice. We were treated to a delicious grilled dinner on Amy and Rick's back deck, with gorgeous panoramic views of the Green Mountains and Vermont farmland. And to think, this is where I'm from. I'm lucky to be able to say that.

Tomorrow will find us back on the road early, taking the scenic route we hoped to take on the way here, only in the wrong direction - back to Boston, to load a U-haul with ridiculously heavy furniture that has to squeeze into the last remaining inches of our storage vaults. And from there, we're blazing a trail to the Catskills or Berkshires instead of the Adirondacks, in the hopes of getting two nights' camping in one place, and a little quiet time for the two of us. I guess now that's when the journey really begins...


  1. Hey Andrew and Alyssa!!!
    I am so jealous but about 15 years ago, I did the same thing when I up and moved to Boston!!...As these hot days here in Boston over the next couple of months go on, I am really looking forward to adding your Blog as a daily or weekly read to check up on your progress!!...Hope you guys have a great trip out West!!!

  2. Andrew, love your writing. :) Please give Alyssa a hug and kiss for me. xoxo