It was going to hit -40 degrees that weekend anyway, and at that point you may as well just embrace it. Right?
Going with the theory that winter becomes less terrible if you just give in to the snow and cold, two friends and I drove up to Vermont for the second annual it’s-Presidents’-Day-not-Valentine’s-Day skiing weekend. Although if we’re being totally honest about the actual amount of time spent skiing vs. time spent, say, in front of the fireplace, eating, or browsing local beer selections, we may have to amend that to “skiing” weekend. It was cold, okay? Give us a break.
Sporting at least three layers on all parts of our bodies, we ignored the dire warnings about the cold and went out skiing Sunday morning. As it turns out, -40 is really, truly, absurdly cold. Luckily the trail was stunning enough to mostly distract us from our frozen fingers and the icicles growing on our eyelashes, and we skied just long enough to justify the real highlight of the excursion: lunch.
It’s very important to travel with people who share your priorities, namely beer, food, and the Hamilton soundtrack. We planned the trip around the whole skiing thing, but travel to Vermont is mostly an excuse to pick up plenty of Heady Topper. I may have gotten a little carried away in the craft beer stores we checked out—suffice it to say that I won’t need to buy beer for a while. After a stop at the Magic Hat brewery (are you sensing a theme yet?), we ventured up to Burlington Sunday night and somehow lucked into an impossible-to-get table at Hen of the Woods. We promptly ordered everything on the menu and freaked out about the pork cheek, tiny whole stuffed quail, and a cream cheese ice cream that Laura literally yelled at me to try in the 30 seconds I’d been distracted by the bourbon ice cream. It was a pretty amazing dinner, and that ice cream is on my must-replicate list. So. Good.
A discussion of pickles with a guy at the record store (don’t ask) led us to my favorite place and would-be nightly hangout. Three connected storefronts house a coffee shop with live musicians and local beer on tap, a restaurant, and a nightclub/lamp store. Yes, lamp store. I don’t understand either–but I love it.
Picturesque, freezing, and full of great beer–all of my favorite things.