I’m determined to get this post up before August. This summer is flying by. We spent a wonderful 4th of July weekend in Stratton, VT. We don’t usually go anywhere or do anything exciting for 4th of July. For most of my life we celebrated my aunt’s birthday, but now my aunt and uncle spend the holiday in Florida visiting their grandson. An added perk of not working at the hospital full time is that I get all holidays off now along with my husband.
Stratton is a little less than 2 hours away from us. It’s an easy drive with no traffic. Stratton is better known as a ski resort. A little perk of going to a ski resort during the summer is affordable accommodations. We stayed in a Vantage Point 2 bedroom condo. We invited Carlos’ friend Tyler to come along. He’s the little guy that came to Gettysburg with us. Carlos and Tyler are both very easy to travel with and it’s fun for Carlos to have someone his own age.
I had no itinerary other than fireworks and Bromley Mountain Park on Sunday. The boys enjoyed nerf gun battles in the woods behind the condo. I enjoyed sitting on the balcony overlooking the woods. Orlando joined in the nerf battle when he wasn’t catching up on the Euro Cup 2016.
We walked to the village and took a hay ride around the lower part of the mountain. The boys had a chance to do some paint ball target practice. Then we took the gondola up the mountain. The views were stunning.
I love staying in condos or places where you have the ability to cook. We ate dinner at the condo. The boys played outside until it was nearly dark. They made friends with some of the kids staying in the next building and had an epic nerf battle.
We watched the fireworks from the base of the mountain. It was a beautiful clear night, but we were freezing by the end.
The next morning I was itching to go out for a run. It was a chilly sunny morning, ideal for running. I left the condo at 6:30 with the intention of just going out for about an hour. I ran up to the village and past it. I took a left and began heading up a side street. It was clear I was running parallel to the mountain especially when the road became too steep to run. I came across this covered bridge and of course followed the road.
I found myself on a trail up the mountain. Truth be told I knew I was going to climb up the mountain that morning. I could see the top and from where I stood just past the covered bridge it didn’t look that far. It was a gorgeous day, a tranquil hike, and when I got to the top nearly 90 minutes later I pushed on for another mile to the fire tower. The 360 degree views from the top of the fire tower were well worth the trek.
The day before when we were on the gondola (seen behind my head) I noticed people walking down the mountain so I figured I would do the same instead of following the trail I took up. Oh my lord was that a disaster! It was much steeper down than it appeared standing up at the top. The grass was so long which made it difficult to walk and to see the small streams of water below. I was slipping and sliding all over the place. My entire backside was wet and dirty before I even got halfway down. I was cracking up all by myself. I had no cell service at all and at this point I had been gone for nearly three hours. When I finally got down to the bottom I went through the village and came out at the finish line of a 5K that was in progress. I exited the area as quickly as possible and jogged back to the condo.
The rest of the day was spent at Bromley. This place was so much fun. The boys went on water slides, rode the alpine slide, jumped on a giant trampoline, climbed the rock wall, and spent 2 hours on the tree ropes course. Then we all went down the alpine slide.
I have to give praise to Bromley Mountain Park. I’ve been to many amusement parks and we live 20 minutes from Six Flags New England. This is the first park that I’ve been to that didn’t require the adults to purchase tickets to go in and watch the kids. Orlando and I only bought tickets for the alpine slide at the end. The park had picnic benches and plenty of chairs throughout for people to sit and watch their children. There were numerous large coolers of cold water and paper cups out for people to enjoy FOR FREE! On the same table as the water were bottles of sunscreen. Thoughtful and much appreciated in my opinion. The park was clean, well staffed with friendly people, and included ample free parking. We all had a great time.
Sunday evening we decided to go to nearby Manchester, VT to watch their fireworks. I am of the belief that if you’ve seen one fireworks display you’ve seen them all. I think the kids were even a bit indifferent by the time we got there. The fireworks started after the national anthem played over a loud speaker. The announcer said they would be coordinated with music from popular movies over the years. After each song the kids would say, “I think that was the grand finale,” but it kept going. It was undoubtedly the most spectacular fireworks display I have ever seen.
We drove home on Monday, July 4th. We decided to make a pit stop in Bennington, VT and stumbled upon the Bennington Monument. It commemorates the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington. They had some Independence Day festivities set up and we were able to take the elevator to the top of the monument. It is the tallest structure in Vermont and you are able to see into New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont from the top.
We stopped for lunch in Williamstown, MA which was a buzz with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Orlando does some masonry restoration work at Williams College from time to time. It was great to see some of his stone work on such a beautiful campus.
Two nights away in Vermont always recharges my batteries. Perfect timing too…marathon training began on July 5th!