We just spent an incredible week in St. Kitts and Nevis in early December. So where do we decide to go to celebrate the beginning of a fabulous 2014? Burlington, Vermont to ski (the complete opposite of our Caribbean retreat!)
Burlington is an incredible city in northern Vermont. The FEEL of the town is very similar to Austin, TX (which is one of our favorite cities). The people are incredibly friendly. Also, everyone seems to take advantage of outdoor activities: from ice fishing and skiing in the winter to boating and biking in the summer. The food scene is incredibly strong and diverse. There is an abundance of incredible restaurants and markets featuring fresh, organic foods with flavorful preparations.
The hotel we stayed at was the Residence Inn in Colchester, VT which is approximately a 10-minute drive from downtown Burlington. This hotel features a free breakfast, happy hour snacks, and coffee and tea at all times. We got an upgraded room that featured an oven (most rooms have a stovetop), a gas fireplace, and a separate bedroom featuring a king size bed. It felt like an apartment, rather than a typical hotel room. The service at the hotel was friendly and prompt. Overall, the hotel was very clean and comfortable. Ideally located, we were set apart from the craziness of the New Year’s celebration activities in Burlington and were within a 30-minute drive of Bolton Mountain, where we went skiing.
Tom loves to ski and wanted to introduce Lora to the sport over the New Year getaway. There are several ski areas near Burlington and Tom felt Bolton Valley Mountain would be ideal for a beginner. We skied on New Year’s Eve with several friends. The day was beautiful and sunny, but bitterly cold. The high temperature was 3 degrees, not factoring in the wind chill! We’re not sure if it is because of the bone chilling cold temperature or because it was a Tuesday, but the mountain had very few skiers. Since it was her first time, Lora took lessons. The group class consisted of 4 adults. The basics were covered and there were several hard tumbles of course! One complaint about the class is that it was scheduled for a two-hour session, but the instructor left after 90 minutes. It would’ve been nice to get the extra 30 minutes of instruction that was paid for… to build up more confidence and improve technique. Meanwhile, Tom tackled the slopes with friends (a couple, a teen and a pre-teen). It was Tom’s first time back on the mountain after a 2-year break. With his newly tuned up skis, Tom flew down the mountain. Tom and friends enjoyed the slopes, but the frigid temperature made the runs uncomfortable for those who didn’t have ski masks to protect the face against the cold. In the afternoon, everyone met in the lodge to thaw and gain nourishment from the snack bar. After warming ourselves, we all went out for a few more runs. Tom even helped Lora with her first chairlift experience and her first time down the mountain (beyond the bunny slope). Although the weather was very chilly, everyone enjoyed being outdoors on the mountain. Despite several spills, bruises, and sore muscles, Lora is looking forward to hitting the slopes with Tom in the near future! With the exception of the near zero degree temperature and the ski lesson being unexpectedly shortened, our day at Bolton Valley Mountain was an incredible way to end 2013!