Aged: 3 years

Michael and I celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary on 11/29. A lot has changed since we started this chapter together: we moved out of my in-laws, bought a house, got Stanley (our Cairn terrier), had a baby Kai, and recently became an uncle/aunt duo (unfortunately, we have yet to meet our beautiful niece—but we can’t wait to this weekend).

For our anniversary, we decided to take the leap to leave our 19-month old Kai and take a short trip up to Essex, VT. Michael was looking forward to going back to the Cabot Visitor Center and Ben & Jerry’s Factory. I was looking forward to taking some scenic pictures during the fall/winter. And, we both wanted to spend some quality time together, with Stanley. We have been very fortunate to have Grammy and Papa watch Kai, since they’re having their annual holiday “aunt” party this weekend:)

It was a very pleasant holiday with Stanley. He was such a good dog!

Wed night – Surf and Turf cooking academy class at the Essex Resort & Spa. It was just us, so it was very personalized, and we were able to be very creative with ingredients! Chef Dante was super nice and taught us a lot!

Thursday – had breakfast at the Tavern in our resort; went to Lake Champlain Factory¬†in Burlington for a mini tour and had the BEST mocha ever; explored Waterfront Park with Stanley, made a pit stop at Church Street Marketplace;¬†went back to the resort and changed, then headed to our 1.5 hour drop-in tennis class at The Edge in Essex (it was a very large sports facility with tennis courts – there are member and non-member tennis classes); went back to the hotel and got changed; went to a tasting at Citizen Cider in Burlington (amazing ciders and wonderful ambiance – had the Stan Up garlic dip and it was SO good); grabbed dinner at¬†¬°Duino! (Duende) which we stumbled across when searching for nightlife in Burlington -it’s connected to Radio Bean which is a coffee house. I got the cheeseburger and Michael got the chicken and waffles (both were soooooo good!).

Friday – tour day! — ate breakfast at Butler’s Pantry in Stowe (not very good – definitely does not live up to all of the 5-star reviews on yelp- I got the biscuit with sausage gravy and Michael got the pantry breakfast with maple sausage and biscuit); toured Cabot Cheese Factory and sampled numerous cheeses (they are discontinuing tours starting in Jan 2018- so Dec is the last month to go behind the scenes); toured and shopped at Bragg Farm Maple Sugarhouse in East Montpelier (hard to believe they make everything and pack everything on site, the maple soft serve ice cream was very good, the workers were so nice and welcoming = we bought a lot); went to Cold Hollow Cider Mill – quoting Michael here – “their cider may be cold, but the workers are colder” i agree in a sense – it was like night and day going from Bragg to Cold = they didn’t get a lot of our business = i would skip this stop altogether…however, when we went to¬†Boyden Valley Winery Tasting, the worker was so nice and we went in for a quick tasting – we bought a few things; Ben & Jerry’s was the final stop – just had some ice cream and skipped the tour since we had gone twice before. We had dinner at the Junction at the Essex – I definitely say they are bold, daring and try to be creative with their menu items, but when it came to execution, they didn’t fare as well…so it was nothing to rave about — and the serving staff seemed all to pompous for my palette.

Saturday – breakfast at JP’s Restaurant (i got the Irish Eggs Benedict and Michael got the biscuits and gravy- it was typical cheap diner food–most, if not all of the dishes were under $10 ); took Stanley to the Essex Dog Park; played tennis at Edge (we signed up for a class late Friday night, so the tennis pro didn’t end up showing up, so we just ended up renting a court and playing together); attended the Vermont International Festival¬†where we ended up getting a few unique pieces from Kenya and Ghana, visited¬†Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington (just took a free tour, which was interesting); went back to Church Street Marketplace for some dinner and additional holiday shopping (mainly we had to get matching PJ’s and found this place called Little Blue House by Hatley which had what we were looking for); and finally went for a short stroll at a park in Essex:)

We left Vermont on Sunday, feeling very “ful”filled rom our culinary tour:)

Until next trip!