Friday, August 28, 2009

The Long Awaited Emerald Lake State Park Post!

This is how summer in Vermont for folks like myself and The Mitch rolls:

We love Vermont. We love Vibing in Vermont. We love the seasons of Vermont. But, this summer had the stupidest weather I have ever seen and every single vacation we planned was afflicted by it. By this point in the summer, I am over it and in fact today am wearing a snowflake shirt. In the middle of the summer I was bitter and mad and had a few temper tantrums over the fact that the weather rained on my parade every single time I planned for something outside. But at the beginning of the summer (even though the rain had already been ridiculously intense), I was optimistic and cheerful that I can have fun in any situation....

The Mitch and I aim to take a vacation to a Vermont lake every summer of our lives. One day that will involve renting a cottage for a week or two, but until the perpetual recession Gen Xers like us live in ends, it involves camping for a few days. This year we did decide to make it an actual vacation and planned for a five day camping trip to Emerald Lake State Park down in Southern Vermont near Manchester over the Fourth of July holiday. We chose Emerald Lake so we could enjoy the beach, swimming, canoeing, fishing, and some sunbathing! We also chose Emerald Lake so we could attend the Vermont Symphony Orchestra performance at The Hildene.

We arrived with the large canoe on the small Vibe and got prepped for camping...

We set up our fantastic camp and prepared for the nasty weather we were in for...

We made yummy food (camp tacos are the best!) and made good use of the park's picnic areas...

While the wet weather canceled out plans for swimming and sunbathing, we managed to canoe and fish quite a bit. Canoeing and fishing for The Mitch and I involves The Mitch fishing and me paddling him around while conducting photo shoots...

We also missed out on The Hildene and had to see the VSO inside without our heady spread, wine, and cheese. But, the music was lovely and we had a fine time staying dry afterward at The Perfect Wife and grooving to the tunes of The Battenkills. They even forced us to stay longer by playing a few Phish tunes as we were leaving causing us to buy another round and chill a bit longer. Thanks fellas!

By the time the Fourth of July came around, we had been camping in the rain for four days. I had had it. The Girl Scout in me tore free and I used all skills I could remember to make the most intense fire ever. Then the hippie in me put on Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock in the Ipod cooler and as the final notes climaxed to the famous finish, I dumped all of our sparklers in the fire and cursed the rain and celebrated my freedom to be me. The Mitch claims he fell in love with me all over again at that moment. Hmmm...

Regardless of the rain, my affinity for Vermont State Parks grows and I'd also like to give a shout out to Rochelle Skinner, the Sales & Service Manager for the Vermont State Parks who was just named the Vermont Hospitality Council's Allied Member of the Year!!! Congratulations Rochelle - you have earned it!!! Offer your kudos by becoming a Fan of Vermont State Parks on Facebook!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't Let the VT Mozart Festival End!

I have been meaning to submit a post of the lovely evening The Mitch and I spent at Shelburne Farms several weeks past for the Vermont Mozart Festival. But before I was able to post our fantastic experience, news came out of the major struggles the festival is having especially due to the stupid rain and how many shows have had to go inside and the revenue loss that accounts for. I know firsthand - I have been to my share of concerts, Mozart festival ones included, where the rain has forced concertgoers inside and I have to admit, if I didn't have a ticket, I probably wouldn't go either. It simply cannot compare. But if we want these magical musical experiences to continue, we must continue to support whether by donation or pre-ticket sales.

For more information please visit both the Vermont Mozart Festival's website at and also check out the recent Vermont Edition on VPR where host Jane Lindholm chats with Mozart Festival executive director Tim Riddle about these issues - they even have a podcast!

As for our experience? Check out our pics! We vibed off and got to Shelburne Farms in plenty of time to see the dressage (missed it last year due to rain of course) and set up our color coordinated spread! The music was beautiful as usual, although the long wait in was more than questionable. I was also rather horrified by the talking and so many folks leaving early - probably due to the long wait in. Come on people who go the the festivals! These are my most favorite, classy, distinguished, and beautiful events and I know many others feel the same way - don't be so selfish! Save that for a country concert at the fairgrounds - not classical music in Vermont's outdoors - especially when there is so precious little of it this summer! But when we shut our eyes and leaned back in our chairs, we were taken away to that place the Vermont Mozart Festival brings us - I guess it's the same indoors, except you can't smell the trees.

Fear not Vermont Symphony Orchestra! I know you are having similar issues, and next week I will finally post of my adventures earlier in the summer that centered around you and the rain!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Foot Spas with The Mitch

Two Days Ago While Preparing to Vibe off on Mini-Phish Tour (MitchaRachia Tour this time, not the Tour Ladies)...

Rachel: Mitch! Let's do a foot spa and get our feet ready for all the dancing we'll get to do on Phish Tour.

The Mitch: Don't call it that. Last time you got made fun of by all the dumb dudes on Phantasy Tour for calling four shows a tour.

Rachel: Whatever. That's only because they can't count. Mi-atch...FOOT SPA!!!!

The Mitch: Fine. Only if we can use our heady herbs from the garden and if we can listen to Phish while we spa.

Rachel: Ok, here are the 18 products you have to use on your feet and here is the order you have to use them. Oh, and these ones have lavender and rosemary from the garden.

The Mitch: But I want my hands and feet to be mangos!!!!!!

Rachel: Like, stop being so cliche! Gawd.

The Mitch: But I have to jive and strive to stay alive with all the chores you give me!

Rachel: You act like you're CinderMitchie!

The Mitch: Watch it or you and your garden can be like a plow in the field while this lawn boy heads into town.

Rachel: Anyway....after soaking in deep, heady, lavender water, scrub with non-heady Avon sloughing cream and spray some foot spritz. Now lather up with this warming cream and I'll paint my toes for tour.

The Mitch: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point The Mitch zones out to Phish tunes while Rachel prepares her feet for tour and makes lists of things to bring.

Now, two days later, they are printing maps, still finalizing campsites, stressing about finances, packing outfits, trolling Phantasy Tour, and getting stoked. But, most importantly - their feet are ready to rock-n-roll!

Photo courtesy of Andy Duback Photography.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cooking from your Garden

I just looked at all of the pictures I have taken over the past month and there are so many good ones, I feel my words don't do justice! So here are some of my most recent gardening adventures and then cooking from the garden with ingredients I grow and those from the farmer's market. I follow no recipe - just cook and experiment and taste. mmmmmmmmmmmmm.............

Here are some of the garden...

And the veggies...

And the meals!!!