It all started back on November 9th. In the heat of passion I declared fiercely that I would not be stepping a toe across the border until America had come back to it's beautiful senses. Until "normality", decency and common sense good was restored. While Trump was in power (which he has clearly misused) I would not spend a dime in the good ole U.S of A. Our yearly hiking trip to the South West or discovering a city for the first or second or third time would not happen again for at least four years.
Two years in, and the travel itch had overwhelmed me. I broke down and started researching states that would not only welcome a Canadian (um guys why aren't you yelling at the top of your lungs to protect a very fair trade deal that we have in place. One that you definitely already have the advantage over.) but allow a weekend where I could leave as much politics at home and not fear certain things, like gun violence, racism and women's rights.
I love the United States, I have met and continue to meet wonderful people, and that brings me hope.
So on to the trip. Vermont kind of crept up on me. The hiking looked great, the scenery and the relative closeness to us made it very appealing. Wood fired everything, and lot of options for Craft Beer and Cider. So when I mentioned it to a long time travel bud, plans started to happen. We packed up our husbands and dogs and hit the road.
The entire trip was wonderful, Our Cabin was literally on a mountain in the forest. The people we interacted with were wonderful (Special shout out to sweet spot owners Jess from Hender's in Waterbury and William from Rainbow Sweets in Marshfield) and the scenery was breathtaking.
I definitely plan on doing multiple follow up trips, and this time add some hiking and big mountain climbs.
Check out the up coming collaboration post, with our Top 5 things to do in Vermont in a weekend.
In the meantime here are some teasers of the trip!!
Originally published November 20, 2014
An apple a day keeps the Doctor away. ~Mom~
This includes cranberry apple pie right? How about a steamy caramel apple latte? For sure it must include honey crisp apples, covered in honey and double cream brie cheese, served panini style? If you have been following along, you should know that I love road trips, and I love travelling around Ontario. I am crazy about food, and I don' t mind heading out solo. So try to imagine my delight when I found out about the Apple Pie Trail. A planned route of destinations around Georgian Bay totally devoted to everything apples.
First point of business. Download the Apple Pie Trail app. (yes we can really say that there is an app for everything). I was able to put a pretty star next to my favourite attractions, have addresses at the ready and a really handy GPS map. (Ill admit later on in the post that I got a bit lost). Oh and a really cute photo feature.
I was really excited for my first stop, not only because I was headed towards highly regarded food, (Espresso Post has been featured in Blog TO and it's not even in Toronto), but because I have never stopped in Collingwood before. I have driven around the perimeter many times on my way to Craigleith or Blue Mountain, but have never had a reason to park myself.
Guys, music was playing as I got out of the car, I did not have to pay for parking and I was already entranced by the picturesque street view. I would have skipped to the Espresso Post if the ground hadn't been snow covered, so, bundled up I strolled. I wanted to try everything, and admittedly I had to allow a couple of people ahead of me in line because I just couldn't decide! I stuck with my apple theme and ordered the Brie and Apple Panini and a caramel apple latte. Oh my goodness. I knew apples and cheese went together but wow.
History has a way of humbling you, and my next stop at the Craigleith Heritage Depot had that exact effect on me. We have a habit of forgetting that life was significantly different than it is today. The strong and resilient people that shaped the country and the way that we live need to be remembered. Housed in an decommissioned rail house (not a replica) are treasures of the surrounding area, with invaluable information and artifacts. No charge to enter, but I strongly encourage leaving a donation.
It was a no-brainer that one of my stops would be The Honey House in Clarksburg. My culinary obsession with honey may rival butter tarts, and I am always looking out for that perfect batch. What was really neat about this place was that I was a novice, people were lined up with empty jars ready to get a refill. I treated myself to a jar of regular honey and another creamed honey and thanked the bees for their hard work.
On route to my last stop, I paused at Almonds Farm Market, this is not on the official itinerary but I still hadn't grabbed a pie. If you want that no fuss home baked goodness this is a great place to stop. I wanted to try something new so I picked up an apple cranberry crumble. It didn't make it past the weekend.
Two questions, have you ever seen a country side road after a snow storm, and do you ever argue with your GPS? My last planned stop was going to be to the Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery for some wine and sparkling apple juice, but because of natural barriers and my stubbornness I threw my hands up in the air and started heading home. I only tell you about this missed connection because sometimes everything doesn't go as planned, but that is part of the adventure! I was so thrilled to see that I could order wine online and wouldn't have to wait until I planned my next trip.
There are 37 stops listed on the Apple Pie Trail, I only made it to 3 and I was gone for about six hours. When I returned home I was rejuvenated, I was excited about my finds, and could barely wait to try my pie and honey. I am looking forward to the day when I get back on the trail. Luv K8e
Originally published June 11th 2014
It was nearly four months ago, when I was strolling down Avenida De Mayo, with my back against the Casa Rosada, and the faint sounds of chants and drums from the peaceful protesters. We were heading towards food, which isn't exactly surprising. It was food in the present that triggered this memory, a conversation about empanadas that got me thinking of Buenos Aires and all of its culinary delights.
We were on what I like to call a "foot to food" adventure, because we were on our feet from early morning, to late evening, and any guilt that could have accompanied the many meals was almost non-existent. The first night was the exception as we had been sitting in a plane for 13 hours, and almost immediately after arriving I was introduced to the emperor of pizzas the fugazzetta rellena, an insane version of Chicago's deep dish pizza. This deep pan, double crusted pie oozed with cheese, ham and onions. Sharing in Buenos Aires is typical but we had not clued in right away and had ordered three separate pizzas. A slow walk back to the hotel was the only option.
Every morning, in a state of lifelessness we ate our breakfast quietly in the hotel. The Savoy Hotel which is situated in the best possible location for our main mode of transportation, our feet, is a nod to a bygone era. You instantly feel a little glamorous walking into this architectural beauty, it's grand elegant lobby bar is fit for the graces of guests such as Albert Einstein and Eva Peron (Evita). The rooms were clean and comfortable, and the staff were very helpful. Just as time is predictable so were my movements in the early mornings. Like a zombie I would grab my coffee, non-decaf (which was a treat), a plate of cheese and meats and a danish. Just enough to energize me for our first stretch of walking.
The first culinary highlight of the day was lunch, and by that time the scents of barbecue had started to filter onto the streets. Our lunch picks were always random, and aside from Cafe Tortoni never researched beforehand. A childlike giddiness overcame me as I would stir my piece of chocolate into my glass of steaming hot milk, the submarino, had become my new best friend. My eyes would widen in search of empanadas only to discover that sorrentinos were on the same menu. Defeated, sometimes I would have to get both. Almost always lunch would take place on a patio. And almost always we would over eat.
Now dinner was an event of its own. Be prepared to eat late, (if you show up at a restaurant at 8:00 pm you are probably going to be the first ones there), and be prepared to eat. Hold the table for support as your server brings you piles of different grilled meats. Hiding any pleasure will be hard as you cut into the warm provoleta and start dishing out the rosti (potato pancake). You can not escape the feeling of sitting at a large family table during the holidays, the atmosphere is very celebratory. And when you start to wrap up you realize it is almost midnight.
Heads up. no surprises, servers are great but very laid back and you will almost never be offered the bill, you must ask. If you are not travelling within a few blocks, once dusk hits taking a taxi cab is highly recommended for tourists, as it is almost unavoidable to cross certain parts of the city that are less desirable.
I could not possibly convey our entire trip in one post, I do try to keep my word count at just enough so I can keep your attention. That being said, if you are heading that way let me know and I would be more than delighted to share. Need a link for a restaurant, comment below. Luv K8e. Thank you Michael Bacinello for your exceptional photographs (above in slide show) .