A Quick Getaway to Vermont (With Some Interesting Happenings...)


In anticipation of Little Lewie's February vacation, I wanted to do something fun and memorable.  I brainstormed some ideas, and voila, I decided it would be fun to go on an overnight trip to Vermont.  (Yes, Vermont tends to be colder than Connecticut, which is not necessarily my thing, but hey, I figured they would have snow, and we could do something fun like snow tubing, skiing, or snowmobiling...)

My husband quickly opted out of skiing.  Since neither of us have much experience, we thought it might be better for us to come home with all bones in tact.  Snow tubing was an idea, but then again, we can do that in our own back yard.  Snowmobiling won out, but honestly, I pictured it being like getting on a jet ski.  I didn't realize that it might actually be hard (duh!)...well at least for me.

I started out by saying that I wanted this trip to be memorable, right?  Well, yes, it was certainly memorable!  Here are the highlights...

1)  The Fire.  We stayed at The Cortina Inn Hotel and Resort...  The pictures on Expedia made this place seem like a dream, and so I didn't mind spending the extra money on a room.  It was charming, but at 11:15 p.m., the three of us were awakened to a loud fire alarm followed by "There's been an emergency reported in the building.  Please proceed to the nearest exit.  Do not use the elevators." 

Little Lewie started screaming and blocking his ears; the poor dear was startled, and honestly, my husband and I were frightened too.  I quickly started gathering our coats, hats, gloves, and boots.  It was -7 degrees outside in the winter night air.  I thought about looking for the room key, but with my mind still cloudy, I simply hurried our little family out of the room and out of the building.  As we walked past the lobby, we realized that this wasn't a pretend emergency.  Smoke filled the room, and teenage boys exited the building announcing that there was a fire on the second floor!

Some families came out with all of their luggage; others ran to warm up in their cars.  I looked at my husband.  "Do you have the car keys?" I asked.
"No, they're in the room," he replied with frustration in his voice.
"Do you have a room key?"
"No," he answered.  "How about you?"
I shook my head.  Here we were telling Lewie how important it was to stay calm under pressure because you have to use your head in an emergency, and unfortunately, both Mommy and Daddy neglected to think of taking the car keys with us to stay warm--not one of  our best moments.

To make a long story short, the fire, fortunately, ended up being a chimney fire, and we were able to stay warm in the far end of the building while the awesome Killington volunteer fire department put the fire out.  An hour and a half later, it was deemed safe enough for all families to return to their rooms.  I had a hard time falling asleep after the scare, but eventually I passed out next to my daring little boy who requested I sleep in his bed for the rest of the night.  Crisis averted; we were so thankful to be safe!

2)  Snowmobiling...  About twelve years ago, my husband and I went on a snowmobile tour in Vermont; he did the driving.  This time, with Little Lewie in tow, my husband would drive with little guy as his passenger, and I would need to drive my own.  I thought it would be easy (and I'm sure it IS easy for some people), but I soon learned that this wouldn't be a leisurely trip through the open fields of VT.  We were given a 15 minute crash course on how to drive the snowmobiles safely, and then it was up, up and away.  I guess in Killington, or should I say Mount Killington, the only two directions are up and down.  So we went up the mountain, and then we went back down while taking lots of twists and turns along the way.  I'm somewhat afraid of heights, so I didn't dare look anywhere other than at the tour guide driving his snowmobile in front of me.  There were lots of cliffs and ledges, and in my opinion, there was no room for mistakes. 

This year, Vermont has a lot less snow than usual, so the ride was bumpy.  There were lots of ruts and divots, and a few times, a bump had my body soaring into the air; it was important to hang onto the handlebars.  After our hour tour, I felt somewhat more confident using the throttle and the break, but I was mentally exhausted.  I was also physically exhausted as the machines are heavy; a few times, I didn't use enough gas, and so it took all my strength to try and steer the snowmobile into a turn.  (Like I said, this might be easy for some people, but for me, the steering didn't come naturally...)

3)  The Ride Home...  Our trip was short.  We stayed over one night, and after our snowmobile tour, we drove home.  The skies started to look ominous, so instead of stopping for lunch, I bought a few baked goods from a local bakery, and we continued on our drive home.  The three and a half hour trip ended up taking close to five hours as those threatening skies did open up, and the snow fell!  I'm not a fan of being a driver or a passenger in the snow, so I white knuckled it the entire ride home...  I was thankful again, when we arrived home safely...

Did I have a good time on this trip?  Yes, but there were some scary moments.  I suppose my learning lesson is to not let fear get the best of me...  It sure would have made the snowmobile trip and the trip home more relaxing... Little Lewie said he had a good time, but he's still been talking about fires and needs reassurance that are own home fire alarms will keep us safe...  Do we have plans for any trips this weekend? 

No, and I"m kind of glad we're staying home.

The hotel lobby...The wood burning stove in the center caused the fire.

The hotel pool...

The Snowmobile Lodge...


Our awesome tour guide.  I felt better knowing I was right behind him.

Little Lewie's first snowmobile tour (at age 7).

Such beautiful views...if I could only get over my fear of heights.

Too cold for a picture.  They left me to get back inside--quick.

Warming up in the snowmobile lodge...

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week


Hello Friends!  Yesterday (Valentine's Day) started the beginning of Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, which runs from February 14 - 20th.  Little Lewie and I feverishly began making cookies last week along with little bags of gram crackers, heart marshmallows, and chocolate for S'mores.  We made a whole batch of S'mores for his classmates, but we remembered to keep some behind for our close friends and relatives too!

As I am typing right now, we are spending the day on a mini-vacation in Vermont, but let's just say as we started driving Northbound through Connecticut yesterday, we made a few surprise stops along the way... Once again, we delivered little treat bags to our friends.  In some cases, we left the bags on our friends' porches and then drove off.  (The goal isn't to make anyone feel obligated to invite us in their home--that would go against the principle of doing something nice with the expectation that someone does something nice for us in return...)

Our five bags were successfully delivered this weekend, and Little Lewie and I can't wait to do more this week...For some ideas, please go to www.randomactsofkindness.org or read the article, Ten Kindness Ideas to do with Your Kids.

Oh yes, yesterday was just the beginning...

Lewie's S'more Valentines for friends and family.  This design came from missiontosave.com.
(My creativity comes from Pinterest.)

A few gifts inside each bag...

Yes, our Valentines and gifts took a few days to prepare, but they were so worth it.  Now onto writing letters, surprising a town service-worker (or two), giving compliments, and playing the "kindness doorbell dash" with our neighbor.  It's fun to spread warmth during this time of year (especially since we've been seeing temperatures in the negative digits; yesterday was 13 below 0.)

Happy Valentine's Day and RAK Week!

A Mild Winter?


In just one more day, it will be Groundhog Day--time to see if we're having an early spring or another six weeks of winter.  Last year, Connecticut's groundhog, Chuckles, predicted six more weeks of winter, and he couldn't have been more accurate.  February and even some of March were a snowy abyss.  We were buried in feet of snow, and it felt as if we had a 'snow day' from school and work every other day.

This year, the tide may have turned.  December was rather warm with some 40, 50, and even 60 degree days.  January has been equally warmer than usual.  We had a snowstorm, part of the January 2016 Blizzard, which crippled many Southern states including South Carolina, Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, etc.  However, amazingly, our little state was spared.  In comparison to last year's feet of snow, getting seven inches last weekend felt like nothing. 

In all honesty, it was my kind of snowstorm.  The snow started on a Saturday (allowing us to stay indoors all day without having to drive anywhere), and it ended on Saturday evening.  On Sunday, we woke up to a beautiful batch of pure white fluffy snow, glistening under a warm sun.  Shoveling snow was easy, and then we were off to some good old fashioned sledding, again having the joy of feeling tingly and warm from the sun.

Lewie helping us shovel!  He was quite the helper this year!

Our street after the snow storm.

Looking down on our house from the street. (My mom lives on one side, and we live on the other.)

Lewie trying out his new snow tube from Santa.

Today, I'm beginning the month of February wondering what other snow adventures (or non-snow adventures) we have ahead.  I'm planning on taking some days off to be with my little boy, so we can get ready for Valentine's Day and plan our little surprises for RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) Week.  There will be lots of yummy baking in our future.  Can't wait!

Happy February!