My cousin, C, knows half the people in Montpelier, Vermont. Maybe more. We went out to dinner on Saturday night and she knew the people behind us in line. And then the guy sitting next to us at the bar. And then the guy who took his place, and the people on the other side of us, and the people on the other side of them.
Yesterday we went to Blueberry Lake, about an hour away from where she lives in Worcester, VT, and she ran into one person that she knew from college, another that she’d worked with, a third that she’d met once via a mutual friend.
It makes Vermont feel like a very small, very friendly place.
We’ve had an idyllic weekend. I met up with her on Friday night, after a sort of frustrating Friday. (Note to self: a little more flexibility when it comes to meeting goals like finding decent internet and propane would go a long way to a happier life.) We had crepes at The Skinny Pancake then wandered around Montpelier. It’s a lovely little city — cute shops, cafes, interesting restaurants. Multiple bookstores! That might be a sign of the long winters, but still, any town that can keep two independent bookstores thriving has a lot going for it. They had an art walk going on, with artists showing their work at local cafes so we checked out some interesting photography while we wandered and C said hello to every other person.
On Saturday, we went to the farmer’s market and then ran some errands in Montpelier. The farmer’s market was pretty much a television stereotype of a farmer’s market, something I had never run into in real life before. There were vegetables, meats, cheeses, jams and pickles, interesting food, some crafts, music, people, dogs… if Stars Hollow from The Gilmore Girls had had a farmer’s market, it would have looked a lot like the Montpelier farmer’s market. Z and B came with me and were pretty well-behaved and much admired. B loves this traveling business. People want to pet him and he soaks it up like a sponge.
In the afternoon, we took the kayak to… drat. A nearby lake. I’ve forgotten the name. I so wish — so, so, so wish! — that I’d brought my camera so that I could take pictures of Z. She wore her doggie life jacket, which mystified her, but which worked exactly as advertised. When she went in the water (by her choice), she swam back to the kayak and I pulled her in using the handle on the life vest. It was perfect. She seemed somewhat confused by the boat business but after C and I had finally gotten it all figured out (we had it backwards for a while and it didn’t work so well backwards) she settled into the prow of the boat and took a little nap while we paddled. And it was perfect. The weather was exactly right for it — bright and clear, the water was cool but not freezing, and it worked. The kayak was reasonably easy to set up — I could definitely do it by myself — and almost as easy to put away. On Sunday morning, I spent a while rearranging things in Serenity to make better room for the kayak because it is definitely, without question, a keeper.
I feel like I have so much more to write about — meeting up with relatives in Warren, our hike to Blueberry Lake, hanging out at a log cabin — but it’s already after 11 and C and I are taking the dogs for a walk and then going kayaking again before barbecuing this evening — and so life is winning out over writing.
But while I was sitting on C’s porch this morning, in her comfortable Adirondack chairs with cushions, surrounded by flowers, hummingbirds zooming by, eating blueberry pancakes and spicy scrambled eggs with sausage, I told her that the only problem with my travel plans is that there doesn’t feel like enough time, not nearly enough to do all the things I want to do. I want to stay longer, to see the leaves change color, to be here when the air gets a little crisp, and to savor the last days of sunshine. But tomorrow I head east. Maybe even by evening, I will be seeing the ocean, feeling sand underfoot and smelling salt. And even though more Vermont would be wonderful, I’m really excited to watch my dogs run on the beach.