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!

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