Wine & Whiskey
Work Trip Circle
Whiskey had work assignments in northern Vermont and upstate New York, so I mapped out a trip around those destinations. Instead of heading back home on RT 89 as Whiskey has done hundreds of times we went south to Brattleboro. The ride was scenic and less highway.
I, Wine, am semi-retired, actually almost retired; this provides free time to join Whiskey on work assignments that are hours away from home. Otherwise, he would do these trips one a time or jam a couple into a very long day driving to and from in one day. Thankfully audiobooks and podcasts provide much entertainment on those long solo drives.
When we are traveling in mobile condo / office, aka the box of dogs, it slows down the trip. But I make up for it with lunches on the road; this is good because there are not many options for a quick lunch stops in the rural north farm country.
I made sandwiches while Whiskey is in the field, literally, inspecting a large mower. He was picked up in an all-terrain vehicle and disappeared down the road into the field. When he returned lunch was served.
From this location we headed to Colchester for an overnight stay at a farm which is part of the Harvest Hosts program.
Side note: We go to three Harvest Hosts on this trip. I have determined that we are travelers not campers. That is why we love the HH locations. There is more space and privacy, and less rules than campgrounds. Since we live in a small town and have outdoor fires, we don't feel the need to go to campgrounds to get away. Our preference is to explore new places.
Sam Mazza's Farm offers three parking spots for HH guests. We were the only ones this evening. Our spot is next to the apple orchard facing the corn maze. The evening was quiet and relaxing.
The next morning, we stop in Winooski for an inspection on a CNC machine at a factory / machine shop.
Once that assignment is completed, we head toward the ferry to go across Lake Champlain. Our timing was perfect; we drove in and right onto the ferry.
First on, first off. And a front row seat to see the view straight ahead.
The ferry ride is quick, and I served lunch at that time. In the big jar is cucumber water. I love cucumber slices in cold water; it creates a crisp refreshing flavor.
On the other side of Lake Champlain is Peru NY. Our destination is to inspect a Peterbilt tractor that had accidentally gone off the road.
Luckily, there was a HH location just down the road from Peru. Ausable Brewery a relaxed brewery and outdoor dining venue in a country setting.
I don't drink beer, but I got a flight to give it another valiant try; I still don't like beer. The night we stayed they had BBQ food by Dubb's BBQ "food truck" which was really a tent. Great ribs, mac & cheese, and cornbread (I got the night off from cooking!).
Live music was fantastic. The band played until after dark. Since the place was so busy and we have senior dogs, we gave up our table and went back to the rig and sat outside with our bevies to enjoy the music there. We chatted with passersby's wondering why we were "camping" there. It was nice to see two other RVers in the lot that evening.
In this video clip you can hear the live music with good sound system (after a brief pause in the beginning).
Live music, good food, good beer (if you like beer LOL), and a quiet overnight setting made this a very enjoyable place for us.
We were in NY on a Friday night which meant we could do a non-work destination on Saturday (and because our back-to-back vacation rental turnover season ended). This led me to plan the route to go back home through Brattleboro VT instead of circling back home the same route as to get to NY.
The drive from Keeseville through the Champlain Valley is beautiful through rolling hills, farms, and peak-a-book views of Lake Champlain.
After a lovely drive on winding roads and bridges we reached Brattleboro for lunch. I chose Whetstone Beer Co because of its location. It is literally on the river. We sat on that balcony. It felt sturdy and safe but seeing it from this drone angle (not my photo) it looks scary.
The world is different so one has to go with the flow. Whetstone has NO servers. You order at the bar or via QR code with table number. This is a great way to keep staff down especially when it is tough to get the needed number of employees. However, when the QR at our table didn't work this meant I had to go inside to order for each order of drinks and food. Not the end of the world, but it took away from the relaxed hang out on the scary balcony time. Such problems...lol. The bartenders and food delivery people were all super friendly, food was good, and Whiskey LOVED the brown ale he had. Said it was the best he's had. Two thumbs up!
We learned that Amtrak comes through Brattleboro on the corridor going from Washington DC to St. Albans VT. That is pretty neat. Link below.
Since are dogs are old and Homer disabled, there was no walking around town. Plus, I'm not a shopper. Therefore, we had a nice drive through the very hilly town. It is pretty and much activity there.
There were two HH options in Brattleboro. I chose a distillery on the outskirts of downtown instead of a highly rated farm since we already stayed at a farm on this trip. Saxtons Distillery offers a simple variety of spirits. We had a tasting of four. My favorite is the maple liqueur, and I bought a bottle of that; it will be a nice after dinner drink to sip by the fire.
After our tasting, we went back to the rig and saw a 5th wheel with a family including several little ones set up close to us (the parking lot is small). So, we decided to head home because it was only late afternoon, and we were just two hours from home. Not every HH is a winner. Thankful that we were close to home. We stopped at a favorite restaurant on the way back to our bubble and were back in our driveway by 7:30. Just in time to open up the Barn Lounge and pour "freshies". Life is good.
Travel Food Tips
When I put together these posts there is much emphasis on the food. A big benefit to us is the ability to have food on the road. As I've written before I keep it simple. For this trip here are my highlights:
Sandwiches with fresh tomato, basil leaves, salami, and provolone dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a ciabatta bread. Perfect for late summer when the tomatoes and basil are peak freshness.
Make ahead potato salad. This is just easy and smart. It is a great side for lunch or dinner.
Burgers are always easy because they are quick and can be cooked in a skillet on the stove no matter where we are.
Make ahead pork or chicken cutlets. These can be eaten cold and cut in strips for easy eats.
Eggs. Can be hard boiled for egg salad or eaten as is. Fried or scrambled eggs for breakfast for Whiskey every day. He must eat breakfast so I will cook up eggs before we roll so that we don't need to spend time finding a breakfast dining option.
Frozen muffins I have blueberry muffins or banana bread in the freezer to use in a pinch. Instant snack to quick breakfast.
A benefit I love about the motorhome is that as a passenger I can go to the kitchen and boil water for tea and enjoy it hot without stopping.
And after enjoying said tea, I can go to the bathroom without getting off the road. Having a mobile kitchen & bathroom is pretty awesome.
If you want to get out on the road and travel, we highly recommend a motorhome. A rig 24' or less provides freedom to get into downtowns and most parking lots.
Having a stocked kitchen with fridge and other comforts of home make it a great way to travel even for short trips.
As always, making the most of life. Thanks for reading!!
Here is a video of our trip highlighting the scenic countryside.
Sam Mazza's Farm Market, Bakery and Greenhouses
Whetstone Beer Co. – Brewery & Taproom | Brattleboro Vermont
Saxtons River Distillery – Hand-Crafted in Small Batches (saxtonsdistillery.com)
Visit Brattleboro VT and fall in love again and again. - LoveBrattleboroVT
Get to Vermont by train from Washington DC and NYC