We certainly don’t feel like prisoners here at Atlantic Oaks Campground, but since Labor Day has come and gone, things are much calmer at the campground and we were granted three days off instead of our normal two! So, we jumped in the Jeep on Wednesday after work and headed to The Schreckendish House in Cavendish, Vermont.
Bill’s daughter Cara and husband Pete – the Schrecks – own a beautiful home in the small town of Cavendish – Located very close to Okemo Mountain, the house can sleep up to 12 people, complete with pool/ping pong/dart room, firepit and absolutely beautiful hardwood floors throughout! The Schrecks get up to Vermont as often as they can during both the winter and summer seasons and rent the home as well.
For me, it was like stepping back in time – to a simpler, friendlier time – in a sleepy Vermont village, and I must say Bill was completely happy for three days, and he honestly did not want to leave. What makes this place so special? When was the last time you experienced this…
- While having breakfast at The Hatchery in Ludlow, we saw a class of elementary students walk by in the pouring rain, all in their matching “field trip T-shirts” accompanied, of course, by their teachers. Later that day we stopped into Outer Limits, the new brewery in Cavendish, and stumbled into a fundraiser for the local elementary school. A woman approached us and asked if we had had breakfast at The Hatchery and said she – the teacher – had seen us through the window! Of course, as fellow educators, we chatted a bit to find out that her fourth and fifth graders had spent 2 hours cleaning garbage from the local Black River and in that time period had filled a one-ton truck – amazing! She was now helping out with the fundraiser for her own children’s school, so we purchased raffle tickets and won a generous gift card to DJ’s Restaurant in downtown Ludlow, Vermont! Where does this happen?
- At the same function we met the Town Manager of Cavendish and his wife as he and Bill compared beers and exchanged life stories until his wife approached and wondered if her husband was stomping the grapes for the glass of wine she was waiting for! Truly delightful couple who had moved away from Cavendish but found their way back to the town they love!
- Sidenote on Outer Limits Brewery… Great brick-ovven pizza. Ours included the best pepperoni I have even tasted – straight from Singleton’s!
- Speaking of Singleton’s General Store… where else in the world can you purchase everything from apparel (i.e., Prana, Kuhle, Toad & Co.) to guns and ammunition; from delicious meats and cheeses to maple and honey products (complete with a functioning hive); and from wine and liquor to hunting gear, work clothes and shoes of all sorts! Their t-shirt boasts “Whiskey – Guns – Ammo.” Of course Bill had to have one! Where do you find such a store?
- On our last evening, we went to Neal’s Restaurant and Bar for a light dinner after golf. Not only did we meet Neal and hear his story, but we also met Liz, his wife, who warned us to leave room for dessert because she had made the apple crisp! As I’m sure you can surmise, we did, indeed taste her special treat – complete with vanilla ice cream!
- A final example of the kindness and sincerity of the folks in Cavendish and vicinity occurred on Saturday morning before we left town. We stopped in the post office to mail something we were returning. Intending to purchase a box to send the item, the post office employee said, “Oh, don’t buy that; I have a box for you!” She then proceeded to box it up, tape it, address it and mail it! Where does this happen?
In addition to these real-life, small-town experiences, we explored the towns of Ludlow and Woodstock, got lost on beautiful back roads, saw a sprinkling of fall colors (it should be magnificent in a few weeks!), ran across some Belted Galloway cattle (I call them Oreo cows!), and even visited a cheese factory – Crowley Cheese! Crowley is the oldest continuously operating cheese factory in the United States, making small batch raw cow’s milk cheese. Here we met Ken, the cheesemaker, learned about and watched production, sampled multiple cheeses and of course purchased several cheeses to take home!
Friday was an absolutely beautiful day in Vermont so we played golf at Crown Point Country Club in neighboring Springfield. Outstanding day, challenging course…lots of fun!
Saturday morning before we departed, we stopped for breakfast at Crow’s Bakey and Opera House Cafe, which is housed in an old opera house that opened in Cavendish in the early 1900’s. As you can see, we had a delicious homemade breakfast.
We then explored Okemo Mountain – quiet at the moment as they transition from summer activities and gear up for a winter ski season!
Now, with only three days remaining in our summer Cape Cod experience, we are truly grateful to have had our three-day Vermont adventure! Life is truly good!
Stay Calm and Travel On…