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Monday, November 25, 2019

Paris - Major Sights

I sat in the waiting area at the Copenhagen airport, eventually finding a seat next to a well-dressed gentleman who was also waiting to board a flight.  Close quarters meant we quickly exchanged travel plans, talking about our trip through some of Europe's popular cities.  I told him I was on my way to Paris after spending 3 days in Copenhagen, Denmark and a day in Malmo, Sweden.  He was on his way back to Rome and we chatted about the differences between these pretty little cities.  He talked about the cleanliness of Copenhagen and the party scene of Malmo and when it came to Paris, he told me what he thought.  Paris... it's too romantic.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Dog Mountain - St Johnsbury, Vermont

Vermont is so incredibly cool.  It's hard to describe, really. If you spent any time in Burlington, you get that vibe from this amazing little city filled with breweries and cobblestone streets, bike lanes and that beautiful lake.  If you prefer the mountain, you have those special spots like Kingdom Trails, miles of mountain biking through Vermont's northeast kingdom.  You have ski areas and long-distance hiking trails,  sweet little towns and famous mountains.  You can find awesome food and some really really good beer.  You can sleep in yurts, snooze in cabins, toss around in tents, bike gravel roads, walk along recreation paths.  You have this amazing variety of recreation and relaxation in Vermont.  

And then, you have places like Dog Mountain. 

Dog Mountain is the most amazing spot you never heard about.  I spent (most of) my life as a die-hard New Englander.  After my time in Utah, I spent my time in New England dedicated to exploring the nook and crannies of these six states.  It wasn't until my trip to Kingdom Trails this year that I heard about this amazing spot called Dog Mountain.  I was dropping Olive off at a dog sitters for the day while I biked the trails.  The dog sitter asked if she could take Olive to someplace called Dog Mountain.  After a quick google search, I was instantly jealous of my dog and her plans for the day.  So jealous, I just had to go myself. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Rand's View - Canaan, Connecticut (AT Highlight)

There's something about driving through those little towns in Northern Connecticut.  There's something about traveling through winding roads through towns called "Cornwall" and "Canaan" with someone in the passenger seat.  

This wasn't my first time in this part of Connecticut, it's a sweet spot in this state that I keep coming back to.  I did this trip with Thatcher and Olive back in 2016, spending time in Salisbury and driving through picturesque Cornwall on our way to hike Connecticut's highest summit, Bear Mountain.  I went back to the northeast corner with Rob and Rogi, summer of 2018, stopping for coffees at Sweet Williams and a drive down Main Street before heading to hike Overlook Mountain in the Catskills.  In the late fall of 2018, Jeff and I spent a day driving through Litchfield County, stopping to stroll through private boarding schools that resembled mini college campus' before stopping for a beer at Kent Falls Brewing, a stroll through Kent Falls State Park, and a hike in Macedonia State Park.  

Kent Falls,  November 2018

I guess this is my way of saying how special this part of the state is, how much I love experiencing a new part of familiar areas with someone and some-dogs by my side.   This trip was no different, we were visiting old places with new sights and scenery, it was Adam and I and the dogs, late September on a warm sunny day.  

Friday, November 8, 2019

Mt. Pisgah Loop Hike - Lake Willoughby, Vermont

The temperatures were in the low 30s as I finished off my coffee and traveled across lonely dirt roads in northern Vermont, away from the quaint little village of Island Pond.  You know the dirt roads I'm talking about, narrow paths that cut through the woodsy untouched patches of Vermont.  These dirt roads are often lonely in the best way possible sometimes dotted with a cabin or two, or sweet houses or properties set back in the woods.  As you drive these dirt roads up and down Vermont, you can't help but stop and wonder how people get to their houses when the snow starts to fall.  This time of year, these dirt roads are an oasis, quiet enough to pull over and take in a picture and enjoy the view and you can drive along and feel like you are in a Lifetime romance movie.  It was the last of the leaves in Northern Vermont and it was just Olive and I at the tail end of my Kingdom Trails weekend, on a mission to catch some more golden hues and check out a new hike in the Northeast Kingdom. 

Before I left Connecticut, I did some research on some of the best hikes in Vermont and was happy to see one of these highly-rated hikes was only 20 minutes north of Kingdom Trails.  Mt. Pisgah in Westmore, Vermont makes the "Must Hike List" for its bird's eye views of Lake Willoughby and mountain vistas featuring Vermont, New Hampshire, and Canada.  It's a lovely little hike that is a moderate effort, a day hike that can be done as an "out and back" or as a loop hike if you don't mind a road walk.  Who minds a road walk when you have the mountains on one side and a lake on the other.  I did not. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

An Introvert's Afternoon in Island Pond, Vermont

You are going to be surprised to read this, but let me share a little secret with you.  I actually consider myself to be an introvert... an outgoing introvert if we are being precise.  It wasn't always obvious to me but the older I got the more I started to realize how true this was.

I'll cancel plans (especially in groups) and a lot of the times if I don't cancel, I sometimes secretly hope you will.  I can talk to anyone, but I despise small talk.  I love deep meaningful one on one conversation more of a one on one style.  Crowds... they make me incredibly anxious.  Social settings drain me and after a long week of work, I genuinely prefer to be home on a Friday night (often myself or with Adam).  I feel like I have an old soul and it's home alone doing things around the house at 7 in bed by 9 with a book when I recharge.  I am genuinely happy to do things on my own, and more importantly, need that time to do things on my own.  So yes, I can talk to anyone and you can pin me as outgoing without a doubt but at my core, I'm actually an introvert.