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Our trip to Stowe last month was absolutely perfect and made us wonder why we don’t visit Vermont more often. There was so much to do, and even though we were there for just a weekend, I would say we fit a lot in.


We didn’t really plan a ton of activities for Stowe, but when we got there, we passed by quite a few attractions that made for a Saturday afternoon filled with a food and drink: a visit to the Cabot Coop store, chocolate sampling at the Lake Champlain chocolate store, followed by a visit to the Green Mountain Coffee store. I followed this trifecta with a beer tasting at the Trapp Family Lodge, making for a fun and tiring day.


Our first stop was some cheese tasting at Cabot. Since we were planning a sparkling wine tasting, I took my cheese tasting job seriously.

In the end the hot habanero, extra sharp cheddar, and horseradish made it into our basket. I live by the rule that there must be at least three cheeses in the house at one time.


Next up was a visit to the Lake Champlain chocolate store. We sampled (and purchased) Aztec hot chocolate and some fudge.

Lake Champlain fudge



And I fell head over heels for their milk chocolate praline crunch and dark chocolate disks. We may have purchased a lot of chocolate, but I figured we were helping the post-Irene Vermont economy, so it was okay.

Green Mountain Coffee

After getting hopped up on chocolate, we got our caffeine on at the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center and Café. Housed in an old-fashioned train station, the café smells of divine dark roast. It was toasty and warm, but unfortunately the visitor center portion wasn’t opened.

Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center

Instead of touring the visitor center, we wandered around outside, getting a good dose of chilly air and loving the neat little train station touches. It reminded me of Anne of Green Gables; I was just waiting to turn a corner to see Anne and her carpet bag waiting for Matthew. Winking smile

Green Mountain Coffee

We made an afternoon of leisurely checking out these three local gems, and it was perfect. As always, I enjoyed bringing home some food gifts to remind us of our time away. We’re headed to Vermont again very soon, this time to Killington for a little skiing (him) and apres ski (me) and to spend some time with good friends. I am trying my best to not hate the winter. It’s not really working. I am ready for this.

How’s winter treating you?

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Tags: Cabot, cheese, chocolate, coffee, Food, Green Mountain, Lake Champlain, snow, Stowe, Travel, Vermont

Edelweiss, So Long, Farewell, My Favorite Things, I sang them all on our journey through Stowe, Vermont. One of the highlights of going to Stowe for me truly was visiting the Trapp Family Lodge. We missed touring Salzburg on our way from Vienna to Lake Lucerne, the one regret I have about that gorgeous wintry trip, and I hoped a visit to the Trapp Family Lodge would somewhat make up for it until I can get to my much-loved Austria again.
Trapp Family Lodge
In reality, Stowe and the surrounding areas do bear quite a resemblance to Austria and Germany. Views for as far as the eye can see, snow dusted mountains, Alpine architecture, Christmas cheer, and plumes of smoke curling out of the chimneys of cozy homes all reminded me of that trip and seriously put us in the holiday spirit.

We drove up to the Trapp Family Lodge hoping to do some cross country skiing. To our dismay, due to lack of snow, the trails were closed. We will return to ski and to take a sleigh ride next year! Instead of spending time in the freezing cold outdoors, we decided to wander the lodge a bit.

The inside of the lodge is charming, with photos of the real von Trapp family displayed throughout. You have likely seen the Sound of Music; if you don’t want to be disappointed, don’t look up the real history of the von Trapps. While there are many similarities, there are also, of course, differences from the beloved movie, and that kind of disappointed me. Hey, that’s not Julie Andrews!

Maria image
image Von Trapp brewery

Trapp Family Brewery

Still, it’s a lovely place to visit, and the family has an interesting history. The way they have settled a large portion of the Stowe area is quite impressive as well!

After spending some time looking around the lodge, we drove down the mountain to the brewery and cafe also housed on the property. I had read that the von Trapp family made beer, and being a lover of Austrian beer (and wine!), I was excited to try it out.

We first tried a sampler and then shared two steins, one of the Vienna Amber and one of the Dunkel Lager. Always a fan of dark beer, I loved the Dunkel Lager the best. While the beer featured some chocolate and coffee flavors, it was also refreshing and not heavy at all. Drinking this beer, in the beautiful surroundings, made me want to return to some of the fun bars we visited in Vienna.

Trapp Family beer


Visiting the Trapp Family Lodge was a blast from my childhood past, with its Sound of Music connection, and a delight for my adult self, reminding me of other places I have visited and things I have tried. While I likely wouldn’t stay at the lodge (it was very family friendly, and we tend to not frequent kid-laden places), I would definitely return for more of their beer and of course to take advantage of the acres of countryside they have for winter and summer sports. It was simply gorgeous.

Have you seen The Sound of Music? Do you have a favorite song?

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Tags: beer, Stowe, Trapp Family Lodge, Travel, Vermont

Magical Stowe

Vermont is open for business! It  felt like a bit of a secret this past weekend in Stowe, as every restaurant had openings, we found parking no problem, and shops were pretty empty. Not that I am complaining that we had the place to ourselves, but after talking to many business owners, we learned that many people are staying away because of tropical storm Irene’s after effects.

And while Irene’s ugly wrath is still evident near Killington and the like, the large majority of businesses survived and are opened. And they want people to visit!

The whole thing frustrated me a little. The damage we saw was serious, and yet on a national level we seemed to hear nothing about it. The people of Vermont were incredibly resourceful in helping themselves and each other after the storm. Listening to my aunt tell stories about people jumping up and volunteering to build makeshift bridges, help feed and house neighbors, well, it’s a story worth hearing.

And Stowe around Christmas is definitely a place worth visiting. We are hoping to make this visit an annual tradition.

Stowe Covered Bridge

We were led to Stowe by an Eversave deal for Stowe Meadows. Neither of us had ever been, so we jumped at the chance.

stowe meadows

What an amazing place to stay! Stowe Meadows, a giant, well-appointed and luxurious lodge-style home, was comfortable, relaxing, and romantic. We were the only guests and received an upgrade to a larger room than I had booked months ago. The sprawling house offered a couple of common areas for relaxing, in addition to the large guest rooms.

stowe meadows

After a night in a big comfy bed, we woke up to this outside our window.



And after a beautiful, gourmet breakfast (which sadly I didn’t photograph!), we took Stowe Meadows’ owners’ advice and headed to Moss Glen Falls for a little hike to get the blood flowing. A short and chilly jaunt through some woods and up a hill, and we were rewarded with this view. Being surrounded by the smell of pine, cold air, and the sound of rushing waterfalls? Magical.

Moss Glen Falls

After our little hike, we wandered the festive downtown Stowe, looking at all of the decorations and really getting in the Christmas spirit.


And before our incredible dinner at Michael’s on the Hill, we took a long walk on the 5.5 mile recreational trail that starts in the town of Stowe, right behind the church. If you visit Stowe, the trail is perfect for biking, walking, or jogging. There were lots of dogs, which always makes me happy!



A day in Stowe, followed by a great meal, made for two very tired people. Luckily we had Stowe Meadows as our home base! I can not wait to go back. I may have even promised my husband I would try to learn to ski. Gulp!

Are you a skier? When it comes to travel, do you go toward the snow or away from it?

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Tags: New England, outdoors, Stowe, Stowe Meadows, Travel, Vermont, winter

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