We had protein bars and coffee for breakfast, and a slow morning catching up with friends at the campsite before heading to see Niagra falls. It is truly magnificent. We paid the $2 to get a view from the observation deck and it was well worth it. After awing at the sights, we hangrily searched for food and found a lunch spot up the road called the Red Coach Inn. Jake had Shepard’s pie for the first time, I had a salmon BLT and we both had too many fries. It was okay but I wouldn’t recommend it. After lunch we made our way to the rainbow bridge to cross the border! Jake had done in a ton of research prior to this trip about how they may not let us cross the boarder with a DUI on his record but thankfully none of it was true! They were so kind, and we were happily welcomed.We crossed the border and made out way through the city to find parking. It cost 20$ for the day in cash. This city was like a New York City Lad Vegas Theme park, way too many people for our liking but still pretty cool to see. The falls from the Canadian side were stunning as well. You could see horseshoe falls and there was more space to sit and enjoy the view. They even had a marketplace with a restaurant we would have enjoyed. Next time!
We left Niagra and headed towards the town of Tobermory, where we had found a free campsite to stay in. By campsite I mean empty parking lot with no signs that say no overnight parking. This is the not so glamourous side of car camping on a budget. Along the drive, we saw marshlands and blue skies, not much else. About 20 miles outside of Tobermory Jake spotted an open parking lot with a bit more greenery than the one downtown might have had. It felt a little sketchy staying there but we did it anyways and had no trouble. Jake almost ran over beautiful flower backing in but I saved it. We made a simple soup dinner and hopped into bed with our tea to take shelter from the bugs. They weren’t kidding when they said they are the worst in Canada.
We packed everything up, finished some laundry and made the bed with fresh sheets before leaving the Highland house. Made shakes to take with us on the road to balance out the bagels we would be eating. On the way to Buffalo we listened to Fleetwood Mac and the EMRAP podcast. It was a nice drive for both of us to reflect on VT.
When we arrived at the campground it was about 7. I took a very non glamorous dip in the kid pee pool. Then we made dinner which was our leftover pesto pasta from the night before and some tomatoes and Italian herb chicken to spice it up. We’re really just making these meals up as we go. After dinner, Jake fished and we watched a beautiful sunset. We took a shower, the last real one for at least a couple of days, and then went to bed. Looking forward to Canada tomorrow!
Slow morning with shakes and catch up on work things. Fitting Arbonne into this trip has honestly been so awesome. I visited a friend’s new Pilates studio for a mini session followed by a very kale filled salad and celebratory bubbly! Balance. Jake checked out the fly fishing museum and then met us there and we walked to the bookstore where I bought a book that I was drawn to, per usual.
The evening was spent in a forest trail in East Dorset. I caught up on writing and reading while Jake fished. He caught two! They were beautiful. We stopped on the way home to pick up wine, salad, and garlic to cook our favorite Italian dinner and enjoy our last night here. Italian cooking radio will most likely be the music playlist for our wedding.
The morning was spent calling loved ones and sharing news. Around 12 we left our campsite and headed into the beautiful Hallmark town of Manchester. Still kicking myself I didn’t get a picture. Ah well, I made sure to get some of the food and isn’t that the most important part anyways? Right. We had lunch at Al Ducci’s and all of my senses were in heaven. Frank Sinatra radio, adorable little table by the window with sunshine, Ratatouille fresh bread smells, and of course the most delicious Italian sandwich of your dreams. We picked up a few things. Pesto and pasta for a dinner, and flower wine for a friend.
We made it to my old home on Highland Ave., which is now an air bnb! Right? Crazy. It was surreal having Jake there but so special at the same time. We both showered, he napped, and then I finally put together the homepage of this blog! Small victories. Then we met up with a family friend for drinks and wings and afterwards drove out to Pawlet to visit a friend for second dinner. She took us to the most incredible lookout and her baby came along also. I’ll always remember her gracefully running through the field to catch the sunset with little Wolfe running behind her and Jake flailing behind them. I love him and his flailing. We ended the evening with fancy gin beverages by the fire. On the way home I stuck my head out the window to soak up the stars. There’s just nothing like it.
Jake leaped out of bed saying “Today is going to be a GREAT DAY” So clearly yes, I had an idea…however I really didn’t want to get any hopes up. But he was right, it was the most perfect day.
He had his coffee, I had my fizz. We did yoga and had our shakes. Then I made us almond butter, banana and honey sandwiches for lunch. We packed up the lunch, snacks, and post hike beers and headed to Prospect. We would go to Lye Brook falls afterwards to cool off. When we reached the top, there were a few people lingering and we had seen the scenes, so I was ready to go. Jake wanted to stay and wait for them to leave, thus giving me another idea of what might be coming. At that moment, I knew that if what I thought was coming was coming…the forest was where I wanted to be, and I knew he would love it so much more too. I was right, this round also. Toot toot.
So off we went to Lye Brook falls. We took a different path to a small lookout I used to visit when I lived here. I sat for a moment on the wall, and then he set up the VIDEO camera and my whole body filled with flutter. It’s funny how much these excess things like pictures become so much less important when the moment is actually here. I had always imagined wanting a picture of this event but once it arrived, all I wanted was him.
We drove to the quarry in awe of life to celebrate our engagement with beers and swimming. There were too many people there, so we went to equinox pond instead, and just sat. Soaking in every moment and treasuring this day.
When we got back to the campsite I made tostadas with leftovers from the previous night. After dinner, it started to rain, so we laid in our little bungalow and just listened. Still in awe and full of freeing, joyous and peaceful excitement for this new beginning. We made it. Love won, again.
I definitely cried as soon as we got to Bennington. This place is just pure magic to me and always will be. We had shakes for breakfast that morning, listened to Johnny Cash, and stopped for ice cream on the way there. That night we stayed at one of very best friends’ house in Wilmington. She took us a too a bier garden in Brattleboro where we watched the most adorable tug boat go by and had smoked trout and crackers, poutine and of course, beer.
The next morning I took Jake to Dot’s diner for breakfast and ate what is pictured below, as well as a very berry pancake to start because we love food. After breakfast we walked in the rain to the country store and bought cheese, pickled garlic, and Italian seasoning. We stayed for an hour and talked with the owner, who ironically told us over and over again that need to get married. He first told us that he could tell we weren’t married because we weren’t fighting. Good timing, is what I told him. He also told us that “15-55 are your golden years” and “Your life right now is not practice” We listened.
We then made our way over the mountain, stopped in rainy Stratton village to get a chai. We walked around the snow making pond, still in the rain, and enjoyed the stillness of the water. One of the most beautiful things about Vermont is its’ stillness.
Best part of the day? Cilantro, obviously. Best burrito I’ve ever had. After we were done with our life changing burrito lunch, we got gas and went to the grocery store for baby wipes, beef, avocado, taco seasoning, apples, bananas and beer. The basics. We made it to our campsite on the battenkill and celebrated. We were right next to the river and we were the only people there.Aside from the bugs, it was a dream. A friend from the area came to the campsite for dinner and I got so caught up talking about Arbonne things, typical, that I forgot to take a picture of our delicious tacos. Clearly it was a Mexican themed day but we’re not complaining about it.
Our first leg of the trip! We drove 9 1/2 hours, and stopped in Allentown Pennsylvania to camp for the night on our way to Vermont. We listened to the Joe Rogan podcast and “ Only Love” by Ben Howard was our song of the day. PB&J’s for lunch and of course all of the snacks. I’m most likely going to write about all of our snack choices because yes hello I am the snack master. Jake insisted on getting gas station coffee instead of my bougie choice of finding a local coffee stop and it was delicious. He won that round.
Tonight was the night of figuring out how this was going to go, and couldn’t have been any better. We used everything we brought and it actually worked! Jake went fishing and I cooked a delicious meal during golden hour by the riverside. Ridiculously wonderful. The day ended with loose leaf turmeric tea by the fire, and an hour of me trying to set up this platform. Oh, and lightening bugs. Total magic.
Packing for this trip did not happen in one week. Or even one month. We had been keeping an eye out for things a little bit at a time, because we knew that if we waited we would just order things we didn’t need in a panic. Living in Costa Rica taught me a lot about living simply. It allows you to focus on what’s really important, and I feel like there’s no better time to practice this habit than when traveling. So when we packed up all of our kitchen supplies and camping gear, we made sure to only have one of everything. One spoon, one fork, one cup for all the drinks…etc. This theme played out into our clothing as well. We made sure that we brought clothes that were practical, multi use, and dark. To be honest, we’re a week in and I have worn the same two outfits multiple times because it’s my favorite. I’m sure we can all say the same things about our closets full of things we never wear. Minimalism is freedom, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are only allowed to have one spoon. It’s the detachment from things, and the experience of living without them.
For those of you that don’t know anything about Jake and I, our relationship has not been linear. I think it’s important to share some backstory on us, because I know how easy it is to fall victim to the compare and despair habits. While what you see now seems like a fairy tale adventure, it wasn’t always this way. What lies behind these beautiful pictures and this incredible trip we’re taking, are years of growth, separation, and pain that we’re both still healing from. We held on, and love won. That’s what this trip is really about. An opportunity for us to be together again doing what we both love and celebrate. I can’t wait to share it with you all!
Nothing is more important, than reconnecting with your bliss.
Welcome to all things car camping, love, honesty, travel, and adventure. Preparing for this blog has already been an adventure of it’s own. Navigating the wonderful world of social media platforms, or technology alone, has never been my forte. However, I think this road trip serves as an opportunity to try new things, and share along the way.
Jake and I will be traveling for a little over 5 weeks. Stopping in Vermont, and then heading up to Canada to make our way West to Banff and Glacier National Park. Camping out of our fully equipped truck and enjoying every minute in nature. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates! (That felt pretty cool)