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Posts tagged ‘vermont’

From Gold to Green

I left the gold colored landscape of Northern California last week for the Green Mountain State. Summertime in Vermont is quite glorious if you can avoid the man eating mosquitos. Yesterday, my dad, mom, brother, and I headed out to a new adventure. We decided on AuSable Chasm- an attraction in New York’s Adirondack Mountains on the other side of Lake Champlain.

This was very, very special because I hadn’t spent a whole day with my brother since he left California back in September, and my time with my dad is limited when I visit because he works. When I was told they were taking the day off, I felt like I had won the lottery! What a treat.

We headed out across Lake Champlain on the Grand Isle ferry. It’s a quick trip, but the sun was shining and the views are lush and soothing.

And then a wave comes and soaks you!!

We drove south down routes 9 and 22 through gorgeous little towns filled with brick buildings, past old stone walls separating farms, and incredible limestone homes. These houses made me so jealous considering what we can buy in San Jose for the same amount of money.

I’ve only ever been in this area one other time, and Chris and I saw Rainbow Falls at AuSable Chasm from the road. Growing up, I had seen the photos and really wanted to check it out, but we got there after closing that day.

The old bridge and pump house are majestic.

Little did I know as we started down the trail that I’d soon feel like I was back West again!

We hiked down along the trails and couldn’t believe we were in the Northeast.

We then rafted lazily down the chasm eroded over time by the river.

After our journey, we headed into Essex, NY for lunch right on the lake and a little bit of antiquing which is one of my favorite things ever!!

Then, back on the ferry.

We were so beat! It was a great day exploring with some of my favorite people.

I’m sorry. I really am!

I ruined strawberries for Chris.

He hasn’t eaten one in three years, thanks to my lazy ways.  I signed us up for the “Extra Fruit Option” with a CSA way back when, and it was WAY too much!  We were getting at least 6 pints of strawberries each week on top of all the other fruits and veggies in box.  As much as I love fruit, that is just too much for one girl who doesn’t know how to can and whose freezer was chock full. Plus, the berries weren’t even that great, so I wasn’t super motivated to maow down.

So the strawberries just sat on the counter and rotted.  Week after week.  I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that that is gross.  And old, gunky strawberries smell really, really disgusting.  Chris is sensitive about food as it is, so this certainly didn’t help.

He’s refused to eat them since.

I stopped eating them for the most part, too, but that was because I was convinced that the fruit isn’t that great.  Really, I didn’t even like strawberries until I moved to California.  Growing up in Vermont, we couldn’t wait to go berry picking at Mazza’s Farm Stand on River Road, but the fruit was never very sweet or red, and they were really tiny.  That’s sort of what these CSA berries were.

U-pick berries at Mazza’s

But last summer, I bought a carton of berries on the corner.  I took them to fellowship to share, and they were awesome.  And I realized how perfect a great strawberry could be- sweet, juicy, vibrantly colored, and perfumed.

Street vendor selling fruit

Strawberries are now a go-to food for me, because on Weight Watchers, they are 0 points.  Hooray!  I eat them for breakfast or for a quick snack when I want something sweet.

I even accidentally introduced my niece to them back in March.  We were buying some at Whole Foods, and I let her hold one in her little hand and munch while I was shopping.  Little did I know that she had never tried one before!  Oops.  It all worked out, though, and she LOVED it!

Last week, Chris said, “I miss strawberries.”  I felt really, really badly and apologized for my past mistake.  I said that he should give them a try again and told him of the fruit I’ve been getting at Zanotto’s down the street.  Their berries are delightful.  My mission for this summer is to make it up to Chris.  Maybe this is a start:

Delish! And pretty too.


New Things

While I was standing in a redwood tree 100 feet off the ground on Sunday, I realized that this was not the first adventure that I had this year.  In terms of trying new things, I’ve had quite a successful year!  In fact, I am really proud of myself, because each of these new things was previously WAY outside my comfort zone.

1.  Scuba diving at night with the manta rays

Night dives scared the beejeezus out of me, because you can’t see what’s beyond your light.  Being underwater was daring enough for me, so I though that not seeing what was underneath me would be terrifying.  Turns out, I was totally wrong.  Aaron and Bee gave us a dive as a thank you present, so I decided I would be brave.

It was absolutely captivating and magical.  The manta rays are so graceful, agile and gentle- and ginormous!  They would swoop right next to you as they were feeding.  The excursion was also satisfying, because Chris said it was one of the best experiences that he’s ever had.  This wasn’t our video, but you can see for yourself here:

2. Rode an ATV and got muddier than ever

Growing up in Vermont, it was not uncommon to hear of some doofus who got drunk, rode his ATV in the woods at night, and serious maimed himself.  Needless to say, we were not allowed to go near 4 wheelers.  And, honestly, they didn’t appeal to me.  They’re noisy and dirty and dangerous.  So when Becca and Chris wanted to ride in Hawaii, I was not that excited.  But Chris and I really wanted to do something special for the little sis, so we went for it!

It was the best thing I have ever done in my entire life.  I drove full speed through puddles, laughing as the mud flew into my smiles.  I went full steam around corners, and I certainly didn’t want to stop.  This really surprised me.  I was especially caught off guard because all the sudden, I turned into a bit of an adrenaline junkie.  Now, I want to do things that go fast, challenge me physically, and get me I have a need for speed!  In fact…

3.  Ziplined in the redwoods

This was actually WAY tamer than I expected it to be, so I thought it was a bit boring.  Looking back though, I realized that I had a relaxing, enjoyable morning from a different vantage point.  Plus, it turns out that I’m not really afraid of heights, yay!, but that I still want to jump off ledges when I’m on them.  I know, that’s weird, but I have ever since I saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and they looked out of the Sears tower.

Really, 32 held a LOT of firsts, but these were the printable, publishable, big ones.  I am truly thankful that I was able to spend the year doing new things and growing in so many ways.  I’m sure this year ahead will bring some firsts- maybe not as adrenaline filled as last year- but firsts nonetheless.  The cumulative experiences made me realize that I am braver and bolder than I thought I was- and that I can rise to the exciting challenges that will present themselves.  I’m looking forward to it!

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