freezing in Vermont (with good friends!)
For the long President's Day weekend, we headed to Vermont for a holiday extravaganza with friends. We rented a giant lodge, divvied up meal duties, and planned out what local attractions we wanted to see. How often post-college do you get to spend so much time with friends?
It also turned out to be the coldest weekend New England has seen in decades. Thankfully, our new (to us) Honda Fit handled the weather like a champ. We made it out to to the lodge Friday night, arriving to a roaring fire, a big stack of firewood, and a whole bunch of awesome people. After dinner, we whiled away the evening by the fireplace with good tunes and good conversation (and maybe a little "Hotline Bling" on a toddler's ukulele, thanks to Ian).
The next morning, everyone decided to brave the cold for lunch. We caravanned into the great white wilderness until we reached The Blue Stone. Hot pizza tastes extra good when it's below zero outside. And logically, we decided to head to Ben & Jerry's for dessert. After enjoying our ice cream, our friend Alli agreed to join me for a quick walk to the Flavor Graveyard. It was so cold, my phone shut down. We took that as our cue to head back to the lodge. We spent another evening by the fireplace, only sneaking outside for a brief moment to learn that yes, boiling water tossed into frigid cold air disappears in a puff of snow. (For the record, the real-feel temperature hit 40 below.)
The next day was Valentine's Day. Because Ian knows the way to my heart, he drove the two of us to Cabot for a factory tour with lots of samples. We knew Cabot is a farmer's collective, but it was fascinating to learn exactly what that means (including how great it is for farmers). They are also continually working on sustainability. They save all the liquid from the cheesemaking process and through a reverse osmosis system, they're able to harvest the dried whey protein and reuse all the purified water. We also learned their muenster and jack cheeses are made from some of the same curds as cheddar. The difference is the curds for jack and muenster are rinsed once or twice, which inhibits aging and increases moisture content. After a lengthy wander through the Cabot store, we headed back to the lodge for another night around the fire, with lots of delicious cheese to share.
The next day we packed up and headed home, exploring Montpelier on the way. Hearts full, we were thankful for a weekend away from our daily lives and distractions. No matter the weather, we love spending time with friends, new and old!