Monday, June 1, 2020

June 2019- Summer in Vermont Begins

Two months into our time in Vermont and we welcomed our first visitors-- Chris's parents! They drove up to spend some time with us and help explore our new area. Due to the tiny nature of our accommodations, they stayed in a time-share condo in Stowe, which is part of a ski resort in the winter and is nestled among the beautiful mountains. 

Enjoying a day spent away from our tiny apartment in the city. Look at all the green!
Father-daughter xylophone time. As you do.
Ellie happily reading with Mimi. 
The boys man the grill and cook up some delicious meats.
Mimi and Ellie. 💕
Papa sings for Ellie, who is enthralled.
James and Papa were singing together. It was so sweet.
James attempts to swindle Papa at Rummy. 
My gorgeous girl.
Such a sweet picture of the kiddos and Mimi & Papa. So grateful to have them in our lives.
Our little family enjoying the day at Von Trapp Bierhall.
I'm not sure who is walking whom...

With the grandparents in town and excited to have some time spoiling the grandchildren, Chris and I took off for a little weekend away in New York City, which is just a very short flight away. We did what we usually do when we visit a big city-- we walked. Covering a city on foot always seems like one of the best ways to get a feel for it and we see and experience so much that way. There was a brief period where Chris convinced me to rent one of those Citibikes and attempt to pedal uptown, but multiple near-death experiences in traffic and the realization that it goes uphill as you head uptown (DUH!) let to me quitting. Abruptly. Parking the bike in the nearest station and refusing to pedal any further. He loved it. I hated it. We agreed to disagree on the experience and move on. There are no pictures because it required both hands and all my attention to not die.

Enjoying the amazing view from One World Trade Center. 

One of the reflecting pools honoring the former World Trade Center. 
Each year on their birthday, a white rose is placed on the name of one who died on 9/11.
It was a truly touching reminder of the losses of that day.
We grabbed a quick selfie before our phones had to be put away at the Comedy Cellar.
It was a really fun experience and we were lucky enough to see Mike Birbiglia!
The sunset view from our hotel's rooftop bar.

Enjoying some morning coffee outside our hotel. Loved our stay at PUBLIC.
Enjoying the boats in Central Park, but I'm smiling more because I'm no longer on that bike.
Basking in some sunshine at the Cooper Hewitt Museum.
Enjoying a drink while we listened to Blues at a club in the Village.
Terra Blues in the Village.  
Taking deep breaths and savoring the delicious smells of Little Italy.
Not pictured is us inhaling a slice of Joe's Pizza with a guy who may or may not have been Jason Mraz. 
The best cannoli I have ever eaten (note: I have not traveled to Italy yet) is from Rocco's on Bleecker St.
Our sweet boy fell asleep waiting up for us to return home.  Love his heart.

After New York City and the Shenks' visit, life returned to normal. We continued our playground search, the kids got creative playing together in the apartment, and we found fun, new things to do in Vermont.

Golden curls. 😍
King of the dirt hill! 
Slides are better with Dad.
Pillaging and plundering aboard their diaper box pirate ship.
A classic red barn in Vermont. This place truly looks like all the postcards you see.
Enjoying a tiny bluegrass festival in Belvidere.
As always, James found some other kids to play with.
Happy to be outside listening to music on a beautiful day. Except for Ellie, who wants to run.
James and Chris are excited to get back to work on the Porsche.
Another day, another playground.
Happy Father's Day to the best dad I could have ever wanted for my kids. Love you!
Spending the day with his family at a car show makes for a pretty happy Chris. 
Could she be any cooler? Little Miss Sassypants. 
James takes the local fire truck for a spin.  
Thanks, Shelburne Museum, for making this guy happy by looking at cars on Father's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2020

May 2019- Settling into Vermont

Spring weather appeared in May, and after unpacking and getting settled a bit in our little apartment, we were ready to head out and explore our new state. We started with our little town of Winooski, only one square mile, but with a beautiful river running through it. 

Winooski River
Ellie finds a dandelion growing near the river walk.
My tween's life- playing a video game with headphones on and phone next to him.
But, no matter how big he gets, he will remain my baby. 
Somebody got some spiffy new specs!
Ellie continues to love books. 
As does James.
Our little Gator girl also loves to ride her little bike. Move your feet, she's rough!
Enjoying dinner outside at the Mule Bar in Winooski. Gotta love delicious places you can walk to. 
I super love their matching stripes and matching poses. 
Checking out the area's playgrounds. On the hunt for our favorite... 
Ellie's face is telling me this one is not the winner.

Our Mother's Day tradition is to spend the weekend away somewhere relatively low-key, where the focus is on spending relaxing time together. For this trip, we were lucky enough to find an incredible old house built in 1780 in Shaftsbury, Vermont, about 2 1/2 hours south of our place. It sat on 140 acres that we were free to explore, with hiking trails and a little creek winding through. Heaven. 

The landscape as we drove south was just beautiful.
How inviting is this little place?! It was so quintessentially Vermont and I loved it instantly.
This beautiful old barn was also on the property.
Happy to have room to use some of that boundless energy.
Off we go! Exploring the wooded trails on the property.
Curly Top loves being outside.
Dad's turn to explore with Ellie.
A happy Momma with her kiddos amongst the trees.
The apple blossoms were blooming and they were lovely.
Leo found a sunny patch of grass to lie in and was quite content.
James went exploring down by the creek.
You could hear the sounds from this beauty while sitting in the backyard. 
Love to see these two play together.
Gorgeous light filtered through the trees. 
My beautiful boy.
My beautiful girl.
Happy Mother's Day to me!
Ellie and I are taking in the view.
This kid is always cracking me up. 
My love. Who is also always cracking me up.
Delicious Mother's Day breakfast at an old diner. And yes, they are wearing matching shirts. 😍
Coloring with Daddy. 

Our family loves to be outside and when the weather started to get super lovely, we found the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail and went for a walk. (We will return to this trail with our bikes in the future.)

Little Miss is too cool for this walk with those shades.
Fun family walk enjoying nature has to include Leo.
Same walk? Perfectly in sync...
Big red barns are a Vermont staple. Easy to see why.

Our quest for the best playground continues. This one was very close to our apartment and ranked pretty high.

Have I mentioned that my kiddos love reading?