Vermont Vacation Part III: Manchester

Adam and I had back-to-back weddings in Vermont and Connecticut this September, so we decided to take the week off in between and turn it into a weeklong vacation. It’s not the beach, but Vermont in late summer is pretty darn nice in its own right! We actually crammed a lot into 10 days – a weekend staying with college friends (plus spouses and children) in a house on Lake Champlain, a few days in Burlington, a few days in Manchester (including a day trip to visit our college), and a weekend with my in-laws (including my insanely adorable nephew and niece) in Connecticut – so I’m planning to do separate recaps for each segment. You can check out Parts I and II here and here.

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We chose our second stop on our Vermont tour based on the bed and breakfast, the Inn at Manchester. It was just as gorgeous as the photos on their website depicted. We ended up with a sweet room… king sized bed, fireplace, sitting area, and a large bathroom. Seriously, I’ve rented apartments with less square footage. We had been hoping it might be warm enough to go swimming, but it ended up being in the 60s and 70s most of our stay.  (Although that didn’t keep some people from the pool!)

We actually spent our first day there taking a day trip to visit our old college stomping grounds. We stopped for lunch in Saratoga Springs and walked around the shops there for a while before heading to Union, where Adam’s cousin just started her freshman year.

It was one of those picture-perfect Union days.  There were a few new buildings, but they were tucked away, so things didn’t look all that different on the outside. Inside the main campus center was a different story. The old bar was replaced by an organic health food joint. The bookstore added a whole new section. There was a sushi bar, for goodness sake.

It felt different, too. Most of the fraternities were pushed off campus when all of their 99 year leases ended about a decade ago… Adam’s cousin couldn’t even believe that they used to live in these huge, nice houses. There weren’t smokers hanging outside everywhere (which was a good thing, of course), but oddly… there wasn’t anyone hanging outside anywhere. It was 4pm on a Wednesday, after classes were out for the afternoon, and it was a gorgeous day. Yet, no students were playing kickball or frisbee on the lawn. No groups were hanging outside the campus center or on the stairs of the Nott or in Jackson’s Garden. No students were studying in the shade. It was kind of missing it’s old personality, which was really sad.

At least they’re still keeping up the tradition of painting the Idol

After touring around campus (and buying myself a new Union sweatshirt), we met up with our friends Dan and Melissa and their baby boy for dinner a few towns away. (Unfortunately, we left the camera in the car, so didn’t get any photos with them and their little guy.) Coincidentally, the last time I’d been on Union’s campus was the weekend of Dan and Melissa’s wedding six and a half years ago. After dinner, we drove back to the B&B in Manchester.

The next day we decided to hike some trails near our B&B. I knew it was going to be an eight mile hike… just under a mile from where we were staying to the base of the mountain, then 3.1 miles to the summit.

Clueless as to what I’m about to get myself into.

But I did not quite understand that I was also going to be hiking UP 2,840 feet. As in, more than a half mile UP.

That small white building in the middle? That’s where we started.

Hot and tired. And we still need to go 3.1 miles back DOWN.

View of Mount Equinox from the grounds of the Inn at Manchester.

After that hike, we were totally exhausted and starving. We took showers, went to a burrito joint for dinner, and then picked up a pint of ice cream to split back in our room while playing Bananagrams. We took down that pint in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

The next morning, we went downtown to do some outlet shopping. I talked myself out of buying anything at Kate Spade (I wanted all the pretty things!), but I did pick up a few shirts and scarves from the J Crew outlet on major sale.  Then we headed down to Connecticut for the final weekend of our vacation.

Next up, our final stop… Connecticut!

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