As soon as the air in New York started to become crisper and cooler in November, True and Anthony suggested renting an AirBnB with a group of friends somewhere in Vermont near a ski resort. After months of planning and waiting, the weekend of our trip to Stratton, Vermont had finally arrived at the end of February, just as winter was about to pass us by. We loaded the rental mini-van with our gear and friends and drove north for just about 4 hours to the tiny ski town of Jamaica, VT.
"Our abode for the weekend was a humble chalet settled in a small snow covered patch of land surrounded by towering thin trees with sprinkles of leftover greenery."
Before arriving at our Airbnb we stopped at a quaint grocery store, D&K Grocery, to pick up ingredients to barbecue dinner, delicious deli sandwiches for lunch and most importantly local beers to keep ourselves warm from the inside, of course. Our abode for the weekend was a humble chalet settled in a small snow covered patch of land surrounded by towering thin trees with sprinkles of leftover greenery. The cabin owner, a fellow Brooklynite, had a great collection of records so we threw on some tunes, cracked open some cold beers and hung out on the porch. The air was just cool enough for a jacket but warm enough not to huddle inside and hide from the cold. Being who I am, I of course forgot one of the most essential things for the weekend, snow boots. I made due, strapped on my new snowboard boots, and frolicked in the snow.
As a native Southern Californian, I don’t think I will ever get over my love for snow especially outside of the city and when I don’t have to go to work in it, so I was giddy to just take it in. Us city dwellers probably looked hilarious as we jumped and ran in the solid two feet of snow as True and Anthony set up the tripod to take photos for this very post.
Once the sun began to set behind our fence of trees, we headed inside to switch from beer to wine and make dinner. Aidan, my boyfriend and our own master chef, prepped the burgers and Blair chopped the veggies for grilling. With Life Aquatic on VHS playing in the background, we huddled around the wood stove for warmth while our stomachs rumbled. The burgers, grilled zucchini and squash were delicious but the best part of dinner is always sharing food with friends. Living in the City, we usually spend time together in loud bars surrounded by others which I enjoy but there’s something to be said for sharing a quiet little house and home cooked food with people you truly love. We played Taboo, drank all the wine we could find and laughed until we could barely breathe.
After giggling ourselves to sleep we woke up the next morning to a sunrise over the trees and snowflakes blowing around in the air. As I heard the creeks of others feet tip-toeing around, I decided it was time to be awake and get ready for the beautiful day ahead. We filled up on cereal and coffee, got our gear on and piled in the car to Stratton Mountain to ski and snowboard for the day.
Unfortunately, the night before it poured which made the snow turn into slick ice; not the best conditions for skiing but we made due. After a few runs, two of which I destroyed my knees on the ice, we decided to get a pick-me-up at one of the resort's restaurants. Each of us ordered the fattiest foods we could get including the largest plate of nachos I have ever seen, beers, and Irish coffees. I needed a little more time to rest my poor knees but I refused to let them stop me from getting a few more runs in. I met the gang at the bottom of the mountain and climbed in the gondola for more shredding. The wind at the top of the mountain whipped our faces as we made our way past the snow blowers. We didn’t let the poor conditions stop us, so we tightened our bandanas and went on a few more runs. Once upon a time, I used to be able to snowboard from 9:00-5:00 no problem but by 4:00 we were all beat.
True and Anthony, being the troopers they are, drove all the way back to Brooklyn straight from the resort since they had to work the next morning. The rest of us went back to D&K Grocery to buy ingredients for a turkey Bolognese and several bottles of wine. As soon as we got into the chalet, we stripped off our sweaty layers and into sweats and stoked a fire in the wood stove. Aidan and Hayley prepped the sauce while the rest of us drank wine that made us sleepier and sleepier by the minute. Our family dinner was delicious and the perfect way to end the long day. The warmth and heaviness of the pasta and sauce was enough to put all of us asleep at the table.
"I appreciate the great outdoors and quality time with my chosen family more than I ever have before."
We passed out quickly that night but as the sun rose, we did too and reluctantly packed to head back to the City. As we drank our coffee on the back porch we took in the beauty of West Jamaica, Vermont. The sky was clear and blue, the air was perfectly crisp and the best part was that it was absolutely quiet. No cars were honking, no one was pushing past me on the street, no fire engine sirens went off and it was glorious. I love the madness of New York but these types of trips are essential to our sanity. I appreciate the great outdoors and quality time with my chosen family more than I ever have before.