Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day in Vermont

How was everyone's Memorial Day weekend? We spent ours with our good friends and newlyweds, Crystal and Troy. They are fellow Longhorns who have also relocated to New England. We drove up to their home in New Hampshire on Saturday morning and kicked off the festivities with a feast of homemade pasta by Chef Crystal. There was pesto pasta salad, spinach angel hair pasta and fettuccine with bolognese sauce, cheese and mushroom stuffed ravioli, salad, sauteed shrimp, and a fruit and cheese spread. And wine of course! I think I'm going to write my own thank you note to whoever bought them a pasta maker for their wedding!
After lunch, we drove to Quechee, Vermont (home of the gorgeous Quechee Gorge) and shopped for Vermont-y wares like maple syrup, Cabot cheese, maple cream, local honey, Green Mountain Coffee, etc at the Cabot Quechee Store and homemade soaps and candles at Whisper Hill Bath and Body. If you pay them a visit, don't miss out on the Vermont Toy Museum located upstairs of the Cabot Quechee Store!
After driving through adorable Woodstock with its cute shops, restaurants, and Gillingham & Sons general store along Central Street, our next stop was for a beer flight at Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater. We grabbed a table out on their back patio, alongside the swiftly flowing Ottauquechee River. We snacked on complimentary popcorn, sipped our beers (the favorite was the Berliner-Weisse, their newest Brown Bag Series), and enjoyed the view.
Us at Long Trail Brewing! Cheers!
For dinner that evening, we popped into Elixir Restaurant, a cute local spot in a renovated Freight House right off the train tracks in White River Junction. Small town Vermont prices are so much better than Boston prices, and even more importantly, the food was very good. We loved the coconut-red curry mussels, the truffle fries, and  the filet mignon! But even better than the food and drink was the company!

Sunday morning, we made the beautiful drive to Norwich, Vermont for their Memorial Day Parade. Crystal and Troy are both members of the Upper Valley Community Band and were esteemed parade participants! While they warmed up with the band, my husband and I explored the tiny, adorable town. From swinging in front of the elementary school to walking along the shaded streets to exploring Dan and Whit's General Store, we loved this little community.
Eventually, we plopped down our chairs along Main Street with the local folks and families and waited for the parade to go by. Children were eating popsicles and waving American flags. Parents were chatting and waving at friends. Puppies played in the grass. Eventually the parade began, local military service members, boy scouts, the band, all trailed by the local fire truck. Small town life at its best!
After the parade, we headed over to Jasper Murdoch's Alehouse at the Norwich Inn for lunch. It's such a pretty inn, and Jasper Murdoch's offers some pretty good brews and food. If you stop in for a meal, give the eggplant fries a shot. Delicious!

After lunch, we made our final stop in Vermont: King Arthur Flour. Located right outside Norwich, this is truly a baker's paradise. On site, they have their own bakery and cafe, they offer all kinds of baking classes, and they have a kitchen store that I practically had to be dragged out of. There are more baking ingredients than you could imagine and a ridiculous amount of cute kitchen accessories: pie pans, kitchen towels, aprons, spatulas, cupcake liners, you name it. What I wouldn't give to have this store around the corner from me, though it's probably better for my wallet that it's not. It was a real treat to pay them a visit.
Sunday afternoon we bid Crystal and Troy farewell and made the trek back down to Boston, the back of the car noticeably more full with all of the spoils from our trip. Now to put everything to good use!

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