Thursday, December 23, 2021

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve

Merry Christmas! I didn't realize how long I stayed away from here. Yikes. Fall is a busy season for me then Christmas follows right behind so it's just a crazy season in life with not a lot of extra time to blog. Any extra time I do have, I enjoy spending it with my family, crawling in bed early, or sitting on my sofa doing nothing. But I don't want this little space to get completely ignored so I thought I'd share some Christmas photos I've taken this season. Christmas photos are my favorite and my IG gets flooded with them for 25 days but I love them!

All of my Christmas and grocery shopping is done, the boys last day of school was yesterday, and we are looking forward to a cozy few days, watching Christmas movies and eating lots of sweet treats! 

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my Minecraft Ender Dragon, Dash Incredible, and Lightening McQueen!! I love, love, love Halloween so much. It's such a fun holiday to celebrate with my little kiddos. It brings me so much joy to see how excited they get to dress up and collect candy. I also love seeing other kids in their Halloween costumes too. Everyone always looks so cute and everything about the day is so much fun! I'm looking forward to a fun evening with these three boys!! 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Last Day in Vermont

Our flight home didn't leave until 4:00 PM and it was just an hour and a half drive from Woodstock to Burlington so we had several hours to take a little more advantage of seeing all of Vermont before we had to head home. 

The first thing I wanted to do on our last day was see Sleepy Hallow Farm. It's one of the most photographed spots in Woodstock and I didn't want to miss it. Like everything in Woodstock, it was about a five minute drive from our hotel so after another delicious breakfast at our hotel, we packed up our bags then headed out on our final adventures of New England. 

When we pulled up cars were lined down the road. I realized there were a lot of people who wanted to see this famous farm. I grabbed my camera and headed down the road where I saw tons of other photographers and tourists taking photos of this beautiful place. Can you imagine living here? I googled why this is such a famous spot in Woodstock and there's no reason other than how beautifully picturesque it is.

I spent about 10 minutes taking photos then we decided to head off towards New Hampshire! We learned while we were in Vermont that New Hampshire is only about 20 minutes from Woodstock. We figured we may as well check another state off our list and go see Dartmouth College. 

We only had an hour to spend in New Hampshire and we decided to spend it walking around the campus. It was absolutely beautiful. I wish we could have spent more time here and in New Hampshire in general. We bought the boys a Dartmouth football at one of the campus stores and they spent a lot of time tossing it on the campus lawn. Coincidently, the boys were wearing Dartmouth colors so we looked like we fit right in. Ha! I love seeing college campuses and I'm happy to say I've seen this prestigious one that is one of the oldest in our country!

The clock was ticking down and there was one more thing on my Vermont bucket list I wanted to see before going back to Arkansas. We left Dartmouth and began heading towards the airport in Burlington. Thankfully, what I wanted to see was right on the way--The capital state house building of Vermont in Montpelier.

This state house is one of the oldest and best preserved buildings in our nation. It has a beautiful gold dome at the top. We didn't go inside although they do offer tours. I was thrilled just to see the outside of it though. Like everything else in Vermont, it was simply beautiful. 
While we were in Montpelier, we decided to grab some lunch then continue our journey towards the airport. 
We had plenty of time in the small airport before our flight left. I grabbed one more jar of Vermont Maple Syrup before boarding our plane to head home. 

We had the absolute best time in Vermont. I can't imagine going any other time than the fall but I hear it's beautiful year round. This was a bucket list trip for me--to see Vermont in the fall--and it lived up to my expectations and then some. I was worried the boys would be bored on this trip but they had a blast! We spent a lot of time in the car leaf peeping, which they cared nothing about, but their Nintendo Switches kept them entertained while we were driving so that was handy. I've been to a lot of states in the Northeast but this was my first true New England experience. It was too wonderful for words. Seeing places that were here at the beginning of the founding of this country felt magical. It absolutely left me wanting to see more of this area of our country. I cannot recommend this trip enough. Four nights was plenty for what we did but I know there are many other beautiful areas of Vermont worth seeing. This was a wonderful family trip but would also make for a great couples trip too. I would love to do it again sometime and I'm glad our boys got to experience somewhere that wasn't Disney or the beach. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Our Vermont Vacation in Woodstock

Woodstock is the most charming, beautiful little town. Like Stowe, it is very small. It is quintessential New England in my opinion. The beautiful colonial homes built in the 1800's are right in the heart of town. I can just imagine the horse and buggy's parked in front of the homes once upon a time. Imagine white picket fences in front of nearly every home. It is picturesque in every sense of the way. I absolutely loved Woodstock. It definitely has more of an upscale vibe vs the laid-back ski town vibe of Stowe. Everything feels so classic and timeless and you truly feel like you've stepped back in time.

There are several really good shops in Woodstock to browse through. We spent our morning walking all around the town, popping in shops, bookstores, and walking down the streets to see the beautiful homes. The main part of town where the shops are, is only about three short streets. The rest of the town is surrounded by beautiful colonial homes. 

Every home is simply stunning. I could have taken a photo of every single one because they were all picture perfect. The boys enjoyed walking around Woodstock. There was a cute little toy store, ice cream shop, and the F.H. Gillingham and Son's General Store was especially neat to walk through. It was very old (established in 1886) and the wood floors creaked with every step you took. I loved it. They had a little bit of everything in there and it was fun. 

After taking our time browsing through the town, we realized it was time for lunch. We decided to grab some sandwiches to go from The Village Butcher then take them down to some picnic tables we had noticed by the river. The spot is called Teagles Landing and it's right on the main street of Woodstock. You take a few steps down and there are two picnic tables right on the river. It's beautiful and picturesque and not to sound like everything on this trip was perfect but, to me, this lunch was perfect. I loved, loved taking the sandwiches to-go and eating them in this gorgeous little spot. It was great for the boys to throw rocks in the river and be outside in the beautiful weather. I would absolutely 100% do this again if we were to go back. Our sandwiches were delicious and I preferred this dining experience to being inside a restaurant, no question.

We walked off our sandwiches and explored a little more of the town then decided we had seen all that the charming town of Woodstock had to offer us.

We hopped in the car and were excited to head to Billings Farm. We knew the boys would love this little farm adventure and us grown-ups were excited about it too. Billings Farm is a working dairy farm and museum. We knew this is somewhere that would take up several hours of our day and we were surprised that it was about a three minute drive from Woodstock village. The farm is absolutely beautiful and it's regarded as one of the finest outdoor history museums in the country. It was established in 1871 and an Academy Award nominee film, A Place in the Land showcase this model farm, sustained by the Billings and Rockefeller families. I didn't get to spend as much time in the museum as I would have liked, but they had farm-life exhibits and tools used for farming dating back to the 18th century. It was so neat to see all of the tools. They also had a barn full of old wagons and buggies which was so, so cool to see!! 

We arrived just in time to see the Jersey cows get milked. While speaking with someone who worked at the farm, she told me that the cows are normally roaming free in the beautiful pasture right outside this barn where they get milked. They milk the cows twice a day (each cow produces 5-7 gallons of milk a day) and she said the cows know when it's time because they, voluntarily, start lining up and walking towards the barn to get in their spot to get milked. I told her I could completely empathize with the feeling of being anxious to pump some milk out. Ha! Just beside this spot where they were milking the cows, they had the new baby cows in a little barn and we were allowed to pet the cows. They were so sweet and friendly.

After visiting with the cows, we walked over to another nearby barn that housed sheep, chickens and bunnies. These barns were so beautiful on the inside and outside. The boys got lucky because we arrived to the sheep at the same time one of the farm workers was getting ready to feed them. She let the boys help her feed them some hay which I thought was so nice of her! It's not every day you get to feed sheep! These sheep were absolutely precious and loved getting petted and rubbed on. I wanted to stay and love on these little nuggets all day long. 

After we checked out all of the beautiful animals on the farm, we walked a few steps over to the "dairy bar" to grab some cheese and ice cream!

We finished our ice cream, popped in the gift shop to grab some cool souvenirs, then hopped in the car and decided to go back to our hotel. It was actually still fairly early in the day, but we had done everything we wanted to do that day and our hotel had a lot of entertainment for us too. Scott had the idea for us to order some food from our hotel restaurant to-go and eat it outside by the big bonfire. I loved that idea! We ordered our food, I took the boys outside to play on the swing set while I had a hard cider, then about 20 minutes later it started raining!! We ran inside and decided to eat our dinner on the restaurant patio instead. Dinner around the fire would have been lovely, but this was actually really nice too. After dinner we let the boys play in the beloved hotel playroom for a bit then decided to call it a night. It was a full day and we were all tired and ready for bed.

We did everything in Woodstock that day that we had hoped to do. Exploring the charming town was lovely, our lunch by the river was perfect, and the Billings Farm was the prettiest and most distinguished farm I've ever seen. 

We had done everything in Vermont we had hoped to do.....well I had one more thing I wanted to check off on my bucket list before we left. Our flight the next day didn't leave until 4 PM so we still had several hours the next day to do a few more things before we left for home. 

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Our Vermont Vacation--Somewhere Between Stowe and Woodstock

The nice thing about this vacation is that we were in it for the scenery so we were in no hurry to get anywhere. When leaving Stowe to head for Woodstock, we took the scenic route. It was only about 30 minutes longer plus we noticed on the map we would be driving by a lot of covered bridges. The drive was only supposed to take us about 2 hours but we made several stops along the way so we added about an extra hour to that time. It was so neat being able to see so many beautiful places along the way though, so we didn't mind one bit. I also felt like I got a true glimpse into the real Vermont by taking the backroads. 

Eventually we arrived in Woodstock! We immediately checked into our hotel and oh my heavens it's one of my favorite hotels I've ever stayed in!! We stayed at 506 On The River Inn and I could go on and on about how fabulous it was. This is a situation where I feel like the photos on the website don't even do it justice. You must click on the link and explore the gallery so you can see photos of this hotel!! It was the most perfect boutique hotel. The decor was perfection and it was the most wonderful hotel for our family. They had a beautiful (complimentary) breakfast buffet every morning and a fantastic dinner menu. We actually ended up eating dinner here both nights. The boys would tell you it's the perfect hotel because they had two playrooms!!! One for toddlers then directly across the hall was a playroom for bigger kids. We had to carve out time several times a day for the boys to play in the playroom. They also had a swing set outside plus the cutest basket of outdoor toys beside the backdoor for you to be able to grab and play with. Not to mention.....
.....I mean, how cute is that?!?! 

This hotel was so family friendly in the classiest and loveliest way possible. I absolutely loved our stay here. We ended up doing a standard room which we normally try to steer away from as a family of five. However, there was a balcony off our room so Scott and I knew we could hang out on our balcony and drink some wine after putting the kids to bed early. They had a pack and play for Wells that we were able to tuck away into a little spot where he felt like he had his own space. Everyone slept great. 

Once we got settled into our room and the boys had their time playing in the hotel playroom, we were ready to check out Woodstock. I fell in love immediately.

The only word that comes to mind when trying to describe Woodstock is charming. It is truly the most charming little town I've ever been in. Everything is classic and colonial. You feel like you've stepped into an old 1800's film. It is simply beautiful and the homes and buildings are just gorgeous. Everything about it is pure perfection.

We walked around the town for a bit then decided to head back to our hotel for dinner then bed. We knew we would have a full day the next day to explore all of Woodstock so we wanted to get plenty of rest that evening. We had a lovely dinner at our hotel (probably my favorite meal of our trip--I got the pasta and it was delicious) then headed back to our room to get the boys in bed early. It was so nice being able to eat a nice meal right inside our hotel. It just made it really convenient with the boys which is why we decided to do it again the following night. 
More about our fun, full day in Woodstock tomorrow!