Sunday, July 1, 2007

To Vermont

After one last waffle breakfast for the road, we left Maine. Getting out was pretty bad (curse you, Mapquest), but once we got to the highway around Portland, it was ok. Driving together is fun for us, so spending 5 hours in the car together is a really nice time. Cross New Hampshire (very beautiful), cross into Vermont (also very beautiful). Scenic splendor to the left, to the right, and straight ahead. White Mountains in NH, Green Mountains in VT. But the vibes are somehow different from each other – and very different from Maine. All three states are full of people extremely different from me: they all seem to love the outdoors, and doing outdoor things like running and biking and boating (under motor power, or self power).

It kind of seems like there are two ways to live in these parts comfortably: one way is to be a fully outdoor person, summer sports and winter sports. Boating and skiing, snow boarding and hiking. The other way is to be a fully indoor person, quilting and making jam and baking and spinning and weaving. If you know me at all, you know I’d never be the first, but I could easily be the second. One version of me could live here and love it. Of course I’m primarily a city girl and don’t ever want to live anywhere but Manhattan, but if I could split off one version of me it could be happy in Vermont.

Our destination was Rutland – no big destination, but it’s a place Marc always stays when he and Anna go skiing at Killington. Killington was our actual destination, and we were spending the night in Rutland. The drive was incredibly gorgeous in Vermont, kind of breathtaking. There’s a Woodstock here that reminds me of the Woodstock in NY. Here, these little places really capture the essence of VT:

So Killington is a huge mountain, fancy ski resort, completely packed in the winter. We wanted to go there to ride the gondola to the top of the mountain. Those who know me know this has historically been a horrific experience – Taos Ski Valley in the summer, that high mountain in the Adirondacks around my birthday a few years ago – horrible, terrifying, being pushed to do something I clearly and explicitly did not want to do, but here I was very excited about doing it. What makes the difference? Two things: beta blockers to stop the adrenaline, and Marc, whom I trust to think about me and watch out for me and not to push me to do what I don’t want to do.

So up the mountain on the gondola, not scary to me:Gondolas looking like bumper cars:

And then climbing around on top of the mountain, not only not scary, but actually fun and thrilling. The views were amazing, Green Mountains all around:

My beautiful husband:
Two happy people:Pristine and beautiful trees:We came upon this little wedding, sweet:Mountain bikers. Crazy people. They'd go speeding
past us, jumping off a ridge and disappearing over the side.
They reminded me of the Wheelers, remember kids?It really didn't look real, at times.
I thought it looked like a movie set.
Maybe the set of Bonanza or something.Ski runs down the face of Killington. Marc likes to
ski the double diamonds.This gear was on top of Killington.

After we got our fill of scenic splendor for the afternoon, we checked in to our hotel in Rutland. It had gone downhill since Marc stayed there last, but it was inexpensive and we don’t really care about the hotel room, as long as we can sleep. We ate dinner at the place Marc and Anna usually eat, the Three Tomatoes, and walked around downtown Rutland. Did some comparison shopping in every store we could find, looking for the best deal on pints of Haagen-Dazs, then headed back to our room.

Neither of us slept well at all, Marc caught my cold, the room was hot, my cell phone started making noise around 3am, I had nightmares, but who cares. As long as I get to be with Marc, everything is ok with me.

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