Exactly what you need.
Lesson: Sometimes life will give you nothing but chaos, and sometimes it won't give you what you want more than anything, but then there are the times when it gives you exactly exactly what you need.
We said Vermont was our first stop on our second loop around the US and most people questioned, "why there?". To be honest, when I booked it I did so merely as a stop over. Blair's company is flexible with him but he's also the leader of a team and needs to be there for them. That means he generally works all day Mon-Fri so I try and have our travel days land on weekends. We were going from Northern Minnesota to the coast of Maine and doing so in one weekend wasn't going to happen without two very long travel days, so, Vermont became our pit-stop.
Boy oh boy...what a gift.
We drove up the winding gravel driveway and into our large corner site where we were met with the brush of fall having painted the leaves yellow, orange, and red. The office was neat, organized, and smartly stocked with everything their guests may need. They even had a salt water pool that was freezing but immaculately kept! The owners and staff were helpful and kind, and our fellow campers, welcoming and polite. Every night there was the glow of burning campfires, people giving a friendly wave as they strolled past, and even a neighbor who pulled up a chair to chat and provided the Captain to our Coke when we ran out!
We woke up every morning to walk the long driveway with Leila and were met with cool crisp air and miles and miles of fall changing trees. We were settling into our routine and it felt good. Our days were productive while our nights were slow and filled with cooking on our new pellet grill, enjoying the warmth of a fire, laughing together, and preparing for the next day.
We took in a drink at 10 Railroad Street and enjoyed some seafood dinners and pie at a little local establishment called Cajun's Snack Bar, but other than that, we relaxed. Our last full day in Vermont was spent in Burlington. Usually, I would have rather gone hiking but it ended up being the best day! We walked along Lake Champlain with Leila, sipped on some yummy brews at Foam Brewers, found a market fair and were able to buy some homemade Vermont maple syrup before they closed, soaked in the sites and sounds of Church Street, and had a light lunch and cocktail at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill. On our way home we stopped for the obligatory Ben & Jerry's Factory ice cream cone. When you love ice cream as much as I do and you're driving right past, you don't not go - that is not an option.
On 'Loop One' I often found myself feeling antsy and even a little frustrated because all I wanted to do was get out and explore. If we weren't getting enough of that in I felt like we were going to miss out on something amazing. I didn't feel that way once in Vermont. I knew we would have a full Saturday and I was good with that. I was at such peace with where we were and each moment just felt good because we were together, we were being productive, and we were enjoying ourselves. The winding rolling roads of Vermont served as a reminder to slow down, enjoy the view, and feel lucky where you are.
We finished our stay with one last campfire and a little booty shaking by the pool at the dance party the campground (Maplewoods Campground) was hosting. We were exhausted from the heat of the day, walking around, and two adult beverages but our neighbor convinced us to go and we actually had a pretty fun time! We love dancing and our ripped jeans, t-shirts, and dried sweat were perfectly acceptable attire.
As we drove away I wasn't sad...I didn't feel like I had missed anything or was leaving anything undone. It was only a week, but that week set (what I hope is) our pace for this 'Loop 2' adventure we're on. I am thankful for our time in Vermont...for the peace it left in my soul...and for the gentleness with which it eased us back into traveling. It was exactly what we needed.
My lesson from Vermont and it's beauty is to remember there isn't necessarily always something more, or better, you can or should be doing...sometimes the best thing for your soul is to settle into the world around you and enjoy the space you occupy.