Went | Vermont: Sugarbush Farm & Killington

On Saturday we loaded up the car, picked up two friends, and headed up 93 toward Vermont. Usually it's just me and Mike in the car headed some place, but it was a nice change to have Katharine and Konrad along as well. We stopped at Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, where we sampled almost every cheese they make—ranging from cheddar with jalapeno and cayenne (my favorite) to cheddar with sage and cheddar aged up to 98 months. After following a slightly paved road into the woods, the trees cleared to reveal the largest barn I've ever seen and what looked to be just someone's house. We visited with the horse, goats, chickens, and a month and a half old doe-eyed calf out front, then made our way into the farmhouse where a woman was waiting to cut pieces of cheese up for our enjoyment. It wasn't a fancy storefront, in fact, the tasting happened right where the magic does: vats of coating wax stood alongside the makeshift tasting table. She didn't flinch as we asked for taste after taste of delicious cheese. Then she moved onto the maple syrup, pouring us bits from the lighter, early season syrup to the late season, dark Grade B syrup.

We made our way back into the store area, where we loaded up on cheeses for the night, maple syrup, and more tasting. I opted for a small block of Mike's favorite—cheddar with onion—while Konrad got a sampler of the jalapeno, aged cheddar, and cheddar with sage. There were also $1 bags of cheese ends, so I got some more jalapeno and some cheddar aged 36 months. After our mini lunch, we toured the maple syrup room, walked around the beautiful grounds, and headed out.

Next, we passed through the downtown area of Woodstock for ice cream. The only reason to go anywhere is to try the local ice cream. We walked around a street fair, ate a pulled pork empanada with chimichurri sauce (yumm), fell in love with the town, bought even more food, then ate ice cream. Katharine and I split a cup of salted caramel and a cup of mint Oreo. I was pleasantly surprised that the mint ice cream wasn't green, and we all stood around mm'ing and talking about how ice cream is one of the best things in life (that might've just been me, but nobody disagreed).
That night we grilled up burgers and hot dogs and had a big family style dinner. A couple of the nerds guys had heard about a meteor shower, so we dragged blankets onto the back porch and watched the sky until our eyelids got heavy. 

Can I just say that one of my favorite things to do on vacation is to wake up before everyone else, brew a big pot of coffee, and read on the porch? On Sunday morning, I did just that. Everyone woke up slowly, and we gradually made a big breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, and cheese toast. After our breakfast of champs, we headed over to Pico and did a mile hike. The trail was just enough to know where you were going, but also made you feel like you were making your own way. This particular stretch made me feel like I was hiking into a storybook...
I love these ladies.
We ended up staying a good three and a half hours longer than we intended on Sunday, rounding out the perfect day with a long sunny lunch at Lookout Tavern (I recommend the salmon sandwich!). Despite the late hour, we took advantage of the free bubble hockey, cheap Buck Hunter and pool table. I'm always surprised at how even a short three-hour drive from home can feel like a much needed vacation. 

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