Last year, my best friend Lucy worked for a family travel company called Family Travel Forum. They specialize in helping people with kids travel, and if I had kids, I would probably find their information rather helpful. Someday. Anyway, last summer they had a Twitter contest where you could win a 4 night/4 day vacation to Smuggler's Notch if you just tweeted about the resort. So I did, and lo and behold, I actually won! That is the second time in my life I have won something, the first being when I was 9 and I won tickets to the circus. The catch was that the prize didn't include airfare. Tickets from UT to VT aren't exactly cheap, so Josh and I procrastinated on taking this trip. Luckily, we ended up moving within 8.5 hours of Smuggler's Notch 3 months before my voucher expired, so it all worked out.
We also got to spend one night in NYC at the Courtyard Marriott Times Square.
I absolutely love NYC. I love the energy, all the people, the diversity, the lights, the business...everything. I am most definitely a city girl. We got there about 7pm and left about 11am the next morning, so we didn't have lots of time, but it was still great fun. We went to the Shake Shack for the first time and it was hands down the best burger I have ever eaten. I have never really understood the obsession some people have with In N Out, and eating at Shake Shack confirmed that. We also met some guys from Singapore there who came to America for a few months just to explore the country. They had been to San Francisco, Las Vegas...some other places, and now NYC was there last stop. You don't meet people like that just anywhere!
I have always wanted to go to a live talk show-at the top of my list are Jimmy Fallon (I am obsessed with him) and Regis and Kelly. We had already missed the boat for Jimmy Fallon (but don't worry, we'll make it up again and do it) so I convinced Josh that Regis and Kelly would be fun. I looked on the schedule online for who it would be the next day and it said Elton John and Amy Poehler (also obsessed with her). Perfect! So we woke up early, walked a long time, and made it to the studio right on time to get standby tickets, only to find out that the whole week was reruns. Few times in my life have I been more disappointed than I was standing on that corner. So I guess I'll just have to go back for that, too!
We got some breakfast from a street vendor (which I insisted was sketchy, but Josh said that if the businessmen were doing it, it must be ok), and went to people watch in Central Park. Which of course made me want to live there even more, because everyone in Central Park had a dog.
After we made it back to the hotel, we packed up and finished the trek to Vermont. It rained (nay, poured) the whole way there. Then it continued to rain for the next 3 days. Awesome.
We tried to go on one "hike" but it was straight up a ski run and then it started pouring, so we went back. We got to watch a lot of movies, go to the hot tub, eat, and just hang out.
rainy day...this was the crappy hike
We did get to go on a great hike on Saturday, despite the rain. It was 7 miles, but it was tough. It took us...4.5 hours (including a snack break). It was beautiful though, and very different from hiking out west.
Part of the hike was on the Appalachian Trail, which we have decided that we want to hike all 2000 miles of, starting next summer. It's pretty sweet, because the trail goes by enough towns that you don't have to pack a lot of food, just enough for a few days until you'll be in a town again. Then you just camp and hike every day. It seems like there is a sense of comradery among the hikers and that you would get to meet some really interesting people with really great life stories.
On Monday, the day we had to check out, the sun was shining from the time we woke up--of course! On our way back home, we stopped and did a short hike to a water fall, then stopped at a cider mill and got apple cider donuts (heavenly) and then at the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory (also heavenly).
I don't know why I am standing so awkwardly
The sign above us said "The best apples are smiling apples". Of course!
The important things in life.
Josh tried the Late Night Snack flavor: vanilla ice cream, caramel swirls, and fudge covered potato chips!
Then we also stopped at Joseph Smith's birthplace. We weren't sure if there was a memorial or anything for it, but we decided to stop and found out that there is a monument, a visitor's center, and that the Church actually owns about 400 acres there! It was a great place to visit and learn more about the early life of Joseph and the lives of his parents.
38.5 feet, 1 foot for every year of Joseph's life
A bird house replica of the house Joseph was born in
We finally made it back home and it feels good to be back in our comfortable routine :)