Last weekend was our first anniversary—on Sunday June 21, that was. It’s hard to grasp that we’ve been married for a year already, but, on the other hand, it’s been such a busy year that our wedding seems ages ago too, in a way.
For this very first anniversary, it was up to me to put together a fun weekend away (next year it’ll be Caroline’s job to organize a trip). Because we’re also planning a trip to Europe in late summer/early fall and another visit to New York City on the 4th of July, I decided not to book a vacation in a place like Barbados or something, but, instead, stay in Vermont and visit what’s often regarded as one of the most romantic towns in all of New England: Stowe.
An Anniversary in Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is a historic town in the heart of the state, located at the base of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain. In winter, the place is crowded with winter sports enthusiasts, while in summer, it caters to hikers, canoers, fishermen and road trippers. There’s so much to do in and around Stowe—it’s overwhelming, really.
Saturday: Hiking, Mini-Golf and Beer
On Saturday morning, we started off our anniversary weekend with a hike in the Green Mountains. We drove to one of the trailheads around Camel’s Hump, the third-highest mountain in the state, and headed to the summit.
Afterward, after checking in into our resort on Mountain Road in Stowe, a road that’s lined with resorts, hotels, spas, restaurants, inns, pubs, bars and shops and paralleled by the wonderful Recreation Path, we went out for a game of mini-golf. Mini-golfing is something that’s become a tradition for us on trips like these. After a hike in a touristy area, we always relax with a game of mini-golf—we’ve done that after climbing South Moat Mountain and when camping in Acadia National Park in Maine too, for example.
Caroline beat me once again and we went to drown my sorrows in the Crop Bistro & Brewery on Mountain Road. This great local brewery has a biergarten with an outside bar at the back and a cozy bar and restaurant inside—we loved it so much that we would go back there a couple days later.
A pint, a sampler and a short stroll on the Recreation Path later, we were at Stowe’s only nightclub, also on Mountain Road, for a couple more drinks.
Sunday: Shopping, Relaxing and Food
Sunday, our actual anniversary, was started with an excellent breakfast at the resort. We spent the rest of the morning walking around historic Stowe, browsing a few shops, buying each other a present (a book for me and a dress for Caroline, the classic gifts) and having lunch.
There was a farmers’ market going on and we stopped by to take a look around before making our way back to the resort.
The afternoon was a lazy one. We didn’t do very much, except for hanging out in our room and at the pool. In the evening, we went out for dinner at the appropriately named Solstice restaurant in the luxurious Stowe Mountain Lodge, where we received a complimentary dessert.
Back in our room, as a second dessert of some sorts, we enjoyed a slice or two of our wedding cake, the top tier of which we had frozen a year ago.
Monday: Paddleboarding and Breweries
On Monday, after another wonderful breakfast, we checked out and headed to Waterbury to spend the rest of the morning on an artificial lake. We hired two stand-up paddleboards and paddled to pretty much every corner of Waterbury Reservoir, basking in the late June sun and, in my case, getting quite the epic sunburn.
We got out of the water around 1.30pm and decided to visit some more breweries, which is another activity that we do every once in a while.
We headed north to Morrisville, where we sampled eight different beers (not pints!) at the Rock Art Brewery. That’s where we picked up a ‘Vermont Brewery Challenge Passport’, in which you can collect stamps from all thirty participating breweries. We got our first stamp (and a new challenge), bought a beer glass and headed to the next brewery.
We paid another visit to the Crop Bistro & Brewery, got our second stamp and bought another glass. Back in Waterbury, we visited a great brewery called Prohibition Pig, which I think is a brilliant name, where we received our third stamp of the day and sampled another beer. We stayed at Prohibition Pig for dinner—from the moment we tasted the food we’d ordered, it instantaneously became our new favorite restaurant. The food is spectacularly good and if you’re ever in the area, it’s absolutely worth a detour.
Our last stop of the day and the weekend was the Norwich Inn in Norwich, a place that we’ve passed dozens, if not hundreds, of times, but never visited. They have their own brewery as well and, after having our last beer of the day, we collected our fourth stamp. 26 breweries to go!
Our anniversary in Stowe was a fantastic fun-, food- and beer-filled weekend, as perfect as a weekend can be, really.
Now, I’m curious what Caroline will come up with next year…