Wednesday, 5 January 2011

You know you're in Vermont when...


Happy New Year everyone!

Apologies for the break in transmission - I've been away in the wilds of New England. Well, not quite the wilds, actually in a very nice civilised ski resort - of which possibly more later, but first of all here is my little homage to Vermont. A state where I would be very, very temped to go and live.

You know you're in Vermont when.........

1. You pull in at a Welcome Center off the interstate (these usually appear just after the border of a new state) and in addition to the usual selection of maps and tourist information you are handed a free cup of Green Mountain Coffee.

2. You seen road signs that say 'Moose Crossing' and 'Bear Crossing'. While you do not actually see these animals, you have great fun getting the children to look out for them - and let's face it, you need all the distractions you can get after an epic seven hour car journey...

3. The roads are lined with log cabins, maple syrup farms and beautiful brick manor houses. Not a Home Depot or Starbucks in sight.

4. You notice the Christmas decorations are far more low-key than in New York. Just a tasteful wreath or two. No inflatable Santas. Interesting.

5. The scenery is staggeringly beautiful, particularly after a snowfall when the trees are caked in powder and the icicles are bigger than any you've ever seen.

6. Lift attendants in the ski resort say 'have a great day' and 'enjoy it up there' as they steady the chairlift for you to get on. (Similar people in France usually just grunt dismissively and let the chair thwack the back of your legs).

7. Your children learn to ski doing a 'pizza wedge' rather than a snowplow.

8. You might not be able to get a vin chaud (mulled wine) at a mountain restaurant, as in France. But then you discover the Black Bear Tavern in the Base Lodge. Which has much more interesting warming drinks. My favourite was hot chocolate with Amaretto and Grand Marnier, with whipped cream on top. Mmm.

9. You wear more layers than you have ever worn skiing - balaclava under a Peruvian alpaca hat, woolly jumpers over fleeces, hand warmers in your gloves and toe warmers in your boots. You also opt for a helmet as someone has told you it's warmer as well as safer. But it's still bloody cold.

10. As a result of 8) and 9) you spend even more time in the Black Bear Tavern. Which possibly improves your ski-ing......who can say?


18 comments:

Expat mum said...

We had guests while skiing in Colorado and they also commented on how friendly the chair lift dudes are. They even post a quiz on the board every day. NOt sure what the prizes are and I didn't even understand some of the questions never mind know the answers.
PS. Go for that HGTV house!

Shirley said...

New England/Vermont sounds incredible! Understated and perfect. It is definitely on my list of places I must go in the fall!!

Mwa said...

You completely had me convinced until you got to the cold part. I couldn't cope with that!

Elsie Button said...

Sounds amazing!

Yes i so remember the chair lift thwacking the backs of your legs!

And the Black Bear Tavern...lovely!

Happy New Year! x

geekymummy said...

California skiing is friendly too! Though very crowded!

Sounds like a fun trip, hope the boys enjoyed it!

PantsWithNames said...

I LOOOOVE Vermont, it is glorious in the summer as well. Think we should organise a bloggers trip to the Black Bear Tavern - sounds like a perfect place to me!

xxx

Grit said...

'enjoy it up there'. i love that expression. i'm going to start using that phrase in all situations, and hope that some of them are truly inappropriate.

Calif Lorna said...

I never ski without my balaclava and ski helmet...both purchased in Vermont. It can be bloody freezing!

It really is a beautiful state. I love that in February, as it's still snowy, they still have their wreaths decorating their doors.

Glad you enjoyed it.

A Modern Mother said...

Sounds fabulous! I love how nice the ski attendants are in the US, makes a change from the surly French.

Nota Bene said...

Sounds idylic....!

nappy valley girl said...

Expat Mum - yes, they had quizzes up on the board in the cross country ski centre (where we spent a day). They all seem to be having a great time, too.

Shirley - I want to go there in the summer, spring and fall! Although Fall will definitely be the most crowded.

Mwa - I don't like the cold either but actually it was only like that the first two days. Then it warmed up considerably - the downside being that the snow started to melt rapidly....

Elsie - I used to come back from those trips with bruises all over the backs of my calves!

Geekymummy - would love to try CA skiing. Yes, the boys had a great time - will blog about that next.

Pants - A bloggers' ski trip would be fantastic... if unlikely. Maybe someone will take us on one?

Grit - yes, it's a great phrase. Could be taken in all sorts of ways.....

Lorna - in France where we normally ski the helmet would make you far too hot. But it was perfect in Vermont. Everyone here keeps their wreaths and decos up till February too!

Susanna - yes, I wonder what the difference is? I got the feeling maybe they are all students on gap year type jobs here...

NB - it was. I hope you're going to be seeing some snow this year (other than in Epping Forest!)?

Mud in the City said...

Aussie char lift attendents seem similar to Vermont ones - and very nice it is too! But you can't beat the smell of mulled wine....

Home Office Mum said...

sounds fab - but cold. Should we move to SEattle, I expect we shall be skiing. I have done it once in my life and sucked quite badly. Not much snow in Africa (that's my excuse anyway).

Incidentally, my husband and I got engaged in Vermont so it's a place close to my heart

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I skiie din Killington in Vermont when my si slive dover the border in Canada. It was lovely, picturesque, quiet, & skiers as well as lift attendants were SO courteous a s well a s friendly.
but it was perishing -15 to -20. People wore neoprene face masks! You did have to stop MUCH more often justto warm up!
Glad u had fun.

nappy valley girl said...

Mud - I loved the sound of your Aussie ski trip. I bet they are really friendly out there.

Homeofficemum - you got engaged in Vermont? How lovely. I started skiing at age 20 - I think it's much harder to do it as an adult, but if you're fit, you'll be OK after a couple of times.

PLIT - yes, you do have to stop very regularly. But I really don't mind that part!

Helen@Leather baby shoes said...

Your hot chocolate sounds divine. I'm off out to but some cream so I can try it for myself!

'Cross the Pond said...

I used to ski/snowboard in Vermont every winter for years and year. I loved it. Apres Ski at a bar/restaurant is key for a trule excellent day on the slopes!

Bush Mummy said...

I'm catching up on your blog (long overdue) backwards and the skiing experience is sounding better and better!!

BM x