APRIL–MUD SEASON FOR STOWE, VT
As most of you know, especially those who’ve followed this blog for while, my writing haven is in Stowe, VT. We’ve had a home there for seven years, and aside from spending a large part of winter up there, we usually go up for a month in the summer, but this year will be different. Yep, we’re actually going up during mud season. All the snow is melting, and our dirt road will be a sloppy mess, and everywhere else will probably be the same.
Why in the world would we go up during the messy, mud season?
Simple answer: Because we want to. Plus, with the temps on the rise up there, the mud shouldn’t last too long.
Our house in Stowe is a haven no matter the season, no matter the weather, no matter the mud.
After being gone for a few months, I’m missing it so much–the smells, the woods, the local food, the wonderful maple syrup that’s dripping into buckets as we speak, the quiet, the peace. Vermont hits all the senses at once and it’s simply amazing. And after a tough last month, it’s exactly what I need.
Every time I prepare for the travel up to Vermont from South Carolina, people ask me about the drive. So here’s how I do it:
I load the passenger seat with bad-for-you snacks, which includes: sandwiches, chips, cookies, candy, and of course, a thermos full of coffee. In my opinion, when it comes to a very long road trip, calorie and sugar intake don’t matter. I mean, come on, I never allow myself to have Pop Tarts, Oreos, Cheetos, and, Sour Patch Kids, much less all in one day, so a road trip is the perfect excuse to indulge on some junk.
My dogs, Winston and Churchill, are always good little boys on the drive up. They chill in their super-cool doggie car seats, while watching the traffic go by or sleeping. We stop a lot along the way and make it a fun adventure. I leave around 2:30 in the morning and I arrive by 9:30 at night, which makes it’s around an 18 hour trip. I like to get it done and over with in one day. With the aid of all those snacks and coffee–plus, talk radio, audiobooks, and music–I’m good to go. Honestly, I enjoy it.
Once I’m there, I have major editing to get done, and Stoweaway (the name of our house), always provides the motivation and inspiration I need. This time of year is perfect for raising the windows and letting in the fresh mountain air. I’ll take strolls in Stowe Village, which is my inspiration for The Christmas Key, and I’ll stop to write at Black Cap Coffee or Cafe on Main. I’ll, no doubt, take a look in Bear Pond Books to see what’s new on the “Vermont Writers” shelf, imagining my book there one day. With a November release date, it a wonderful feeling knowing that’ll happen sooner than later.
Bike rides on the Stowe Rec Path is a great way to get exercise, but taking a break at a picnic table to jot down story ideas is the best part of the ride. Hearing The Little River run over the rocks and listening to the sounds of nature does wonders for the imagination and storylines. And, by the way, Edelweiss Mountain Deli is a great place to pick up a delicious sandwich to take with you on a hike up the mountain or a ride/walk on the rec path.
After a long day of writing, walking, and biking I love to cook in at home. That means a stop at Stowe Seafood to get either a nice piece of fresh fish (any kind you can think of) or a beautiful steak. Seriously, this place is pure awesomeness! They not only have fish and meat, but a selection of wines, pastas, local baked goods, and many other yummy delectables. It’s one of my favorite places in Stowe to shop for dinner. I’m also very excited to try out Commodities Natural Market this trip. They weren’t open yet when I was there this past winter. I hear wonderful things and I’m sure I’ll be there frequently.
We’ll also be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary while we’re up there, and Stowe is a wonderful place to plan a romantic evening. We’ll probably go up to Hourglass at Stowe Mountain Lodge for early cocktails, and then work our way down to the village, where we may hit La Trattoria, The Roost , Sushi Yoshi, and The Whip. We’ll end up at the place where we’ve decided to enjoy our anniversary dinner, PLATE, which is a new place on Main Street in the village. The ambiance, cocktails, and food are spectacular! Then, after indulging in a rich, fabulous dessert (at least I will), we’ll go back to Stoweaway’s four season room and have an aperitif by the fire. That, my friends, is perfection.
Stowe, Vermont–a special, special place where I can mix a lot of work with a lot of pleasure.
I leave Wednesday and I can’t wait! This trip is all about renewal, writing, editing, and love–my favorite things. I plan on turning all the mud into magic.
Until next time…
Love life. Be Kind. Be genuine. Eliminate the negative, false, and vain. Peace, love, and happiness to all.