Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Vibes

The Mitch and I had a whopper of a Valentine's Day. It was a vibing adventure to rival them all - and we helped save the world by spending money on local products!

Ah, the love of the valentine. I have said before and I will say again, I am a fan of the Hallmark holidays. Not because of the ridiculous spending on junk, but rather creating an opportunity to spend and support local businesses, which is just what we did. And, most importantly, the occasion to be rather coerced into being nice to your loved ones, because in the grind of life, going the extra step to buy someone something nice, give flowers, or have a lovely dinner are unfortunately forgotten more often than not. It's politically correct and all to say, "Well, you shouldn't need to have one day to do something special, you should do it every day." Great, but how many of us are really that virtuous? It's good for American consumerism to whip us into shape every once and a while and in this "economic situation" what a better way than to find a reason to spend locally?

The Mitch and I decided a while ago that we wanted nothing more than to activate Valentine's Vibes on February 14th. Valentine's Day on a Saturday? Woohoo! We decided a traverse into Addison County, south of our beloved Charlotte would make for a great day of vibing. We made reservations at the Bobcat Cafe in Bristol and figured we would just vibe around all day until we got there. On Friday, I got on a sneaky kick and found a local florist in Bristol - Just Because Flower Shop - checked out their website, and decided to get a plant delivered to the Bobcat Cafe to surprise The Mitch. So, I ordered the lowest priced ficus tree thinking it would be nice to have a small tree placed on the table to surprise Mitch and bring home and grow into a big tree.

Saturday morning The Mitch and I got up early, went for a long walk, and then got ready for our vibe outing. We bounced off in the Vibe on some of our favorite roads in Charlotte bringing us to Route 7. We bought some blueberry buckle and cookies at Vermont Cookie Love. What a neat little place this is - and they have cookie dough you can buy - forget that non-local crap in the stores when you're in a rush - stock up on Vermont Cookie Love! Then we stopped in the Ferrisburg Bake Shop & Deli where we gaped at some of the intense Valentine's sweets and bought some local maple syrup (to stock up of course) and a few baguettes for the potluck we were having the next day.
We poked into Honey Gardens as I am addicted to the raw honey and needed to stock up. I decided it would be smart to get some plant therapy rejuvenation syrup and beeswax candles as well. I also wanted to see for myself this drama of the proposed truck stop that has everyone down that way all up in arms. I could care less what all the pros and cons are. All I know is directly across the street from Honey Gardens is a huge open field which I am sure is covered in wild flowers in the summer. Yes, let's rip it all out, put in concrete crap, and help kill off more bees. Idiots. Why is this even a debate?

Anyway, after leaving some positive vibes with the bees, we kept south and pulled into Vergennes where we finally visited Kennedy Brothers. Um, yeah, neat Vermont stuff!!! What a cool, huge warehouse type of feel to a variety of indoor shops and kiosks. I grabbed a basket and bought all sorts of fun things for the farmhouse and for my beauty. The Mitch even loved it! But, that's not hard because he is the most easy-going guy who loves vibing and Vermont shopping! No wonder we're so happily in pre-marriage bliss! In fact, I loved it so much, I am fitting it into the itinerary of my mother's visit this weekend (please don't ask why my mother needs an itinerary, perhaps something to do with the fact that I write a ridiculous amount of To-Do Lists?)

After all this shopping, The Mitch and I needed to do some actual driving in the Vibe, so we took out the trusty Vermont atlas and bounced all around the Hodgback Mountain Range. What a neat vortex of energy! We drove through some of these roads in the early summer checking out fishing and canoeing spots and even in the dead of winter were reminded why we need to get out this way more in the spring and summer. I was also infatuated with so many neat houses - I have a house addiction. We traversed through Monkton, New Haven, Weybridge, through the outskirts of Middlebury and then into Bristol.

I think vibing is the only way I can be on time to something because of the fact that there is no schedule. We arrived in Bristol two hours before our dinner reservation and bought a fantastic piece of art with pressed tree greens made by Green Angel Arts at Art on Main in Bristol. Then we headed into Bristol Cliffs Music where The Mitch (who is also a drummer) got into a fun conversation with owner, Allen Bilson, and I obsessed over the guitars (as I am a mean air guitar player). Mitch even bought a new little drum seat!

At this point we had only used up an hour and decided we would head over to the Bobcat Cafe early for some pre-dinner drinks. However, when we got there and gave them our name, the waitstaff could not control their giggles and said our table was very ready. I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye to see our table. There was no small tree/plant on the table, but rather an enormous tree sitting next to the table taking up actual traffic space. Oops. So, we took our table and it took The Mitch a hot minute to realize the overcrowding tree was actually his gift of love. The moment was quite endearing and while we knew the tree was in the way, the waitstaff were awesome and even gave us some tips on taking care of it. The food was delicious and I even decided to be cheesy and drink Cosmos. Of course now that I am writing this blog it seems the new owners are making it more into a brewery as well as a great restaurant. My bad, I totally should have drank dank beer.

Please comment on this Vermont Vibes Adventure!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Gorgeous Charlotte, Vermont Winterside

The cool thing to do at the Charlotte Farmhouse is go snowshoeing. The Mitch and I knew this when we first discovered this magical property almost a year ago. Our best friend, Caitlin, and major Vibe enthusiast (she even vibes on her own even if it is in a Subaru) is also an avid snowshoer out at the farmhouse. And as my neighbor, more often than not, Caitlin and I take daily snowshoe treks through deer, moose, and bobcat country. The grooviest thing about snowshoeing out here is that we can walk on terrain that we cannot walk on any other time of year. And since this is swamp, marshland, and major vernal pool territory (woohoo - my favorite!!!), that means there is a lot of terrain to cover and explore by snowshoe.

I have been taking pictures on and off, although I forget more often than not. But that Caitlin, well, the other day she vibed off without me as I was in Burlington for meetings and took the best winter pictures I have seen thus far! So, to help the Vermont Vibes Blog transition back to vibing adventures and away from the exuberance of Phish for the time being, I thought I would share some of Caitlin's work:

These last few were taken at the Charlotte Town Beach, after Caitlin removed the snowshoes and went for a drive to engage in the beautiful sunset.