Updated: Oct 16, 2018
I haven't forgotten about the fiddleheads.
So it arrives, the day I have been waiting for! As this is my year of doing weird stuff, I have decided to take my family down with me. Taking my sister's to #Dick's in Boston's Long Wharf fell a little flatter than I had expected as Marcia and Phyl did not seem to enjoy wearing their condom hats. But today was going to be the day!
We woke up to the splendour of the sunshine filling our beautiful suite at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. Feeling much like a movie star, or at least someone glamorous enough to have a suite at the #StoweMountainLodge, Phyl and I went down to the Private Members Club only breakfast buffet. We ate and laughed and had some tea, then lost all panache when we stole several croissants to take to the room for Marcia.
The morning was spent gallery hopping in Stowe. There is a lovely collection of art galleries and craft stores at the intersection of Mountain Road and Main Street. #StoweCraftRemarkableThings is directly across from the covered bridge, and they have some lovely things.
Fans of The Sound Of Music will know that Julie Andrews and her family danced across the Austrian Alps to escape the Nazi Menace. But what they left out of the movie (other than the couples three biological children and a bit of historical accuracy) was what happened next! If they would make that film now, we would soonI always wanted to know what became of that curtain-wearing bunch of kids.
What happened next to the von Trapp family was that they settled in Stowe Vermont, via Italy, then Merion, Pennsylvania, bought a farm and then turned that farm into a hotel.
We noticed that there is a very small garden , roped and marked private. With the aid of my phone's zoom lens I was able to capture the names on some headstones and it turns out that this little garden is the final resting place of the von Trapp family. They have a beautiful view.
So now we were edging close to 2:30-the time I had been waiting for. My sisters had known all along what was coming, and believe you me, they were not happy with me. Yes, my birthday treat for my sisters, though in hindsight I should have paid for all of us (oops), who are both afraid of heights and probably also a little afraid of what human butts look like in harnesses, was zip ling down a mountain.
I pulled out the directions/instructions and we spent the next ten minutes driving up and down in front of the Stowe Mountain Lodge trying to determine which direction to go. I think that Marcia might have, subliminally, been trying to miss our time slot. So after finally determining to go right we located the entrance to the activities centre and made our way to parking lot C, as instructed.
The instructions then read, yes I was reading in steps as not to get too far ahead, to get on the gondola and go the the activities centre. The gondola was, at this point, about four feet off the ground and there were already tears. Marcia's for her fear of heights and mine for realising that the activities centre was actually located at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, directly across from our hotel room. Phyl was not crying but shaking her head in exasperation at me not being able to read directions (smug navigator, as previously stated).
Back at our hotel, we ran over to the Activities Centre, registered for our ride and then got all harnessed up just in time to catch the gondola back over to the previous activities centre for our instructional trial-run. We are still about four feet off the ground and Marcia is still crying.
As we were now scholars of zip lining, we set off for a different gondola to take us up the mountain. There might have been a few "I hate you"'s tossed around as we reached around 7664 feet (2336m) in elevation up Mount Mansfield.
The Zip Tour at Mt. Mansfield has three spans. The first is #Nosedive, and at nearly 4500 feet in length, is one of the longest in the USA. #Haselton is 2250 feet. It is the shortest span but also the fastest. The final span is called #PerryMerrill, not to be confused with Perry Ferrell, of Jane's Addiction, and is nearly 3500 feet in length.
#TheZipTour is a two-person run, so I asked that my sisters go before me, and I would fly solo. I did miss seeing the joy on their faces as they flew through the air realising that they are actually not afraid of heights and that being above the tree line as the autumn foliage is blooming is fantastic. But I could tell by the pitch of their screams, that they were loving it!
Zip Tour over, we had just enough time to take the gondola back to the centre at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, unharness our butts, take the gondola back to the other centre so that we could collect our car and drive back over to the Stowe Mountain Lodge just in time for our scheduled massages at the Stowe Mountain Resort Spa and Wellness Centre. Please see my review in the Spa section of this website.
All knackered from our days adventures, we jammied-up and gorged on cheese, crackers and salami from the hotel pantry store while watching a documentary about Jane Fonda and then Ocean's 8. It was a good night for extra female empowerment and also fashion tips for wearing really cool lapel pins on blazers.
This had been a perfect day, made even more perfect by the fact that the car did not steal the wonderful turkey sandwich we had left in the car the day before, or the, now, 3-day-old cannoli from #MikesPastry. I will admit that I ate half of that sandwich before going zip lining. I should not have done that.