On the way back from Burlington, we stopped in at the Enders family property in Grafton, one of my favorite places on earth. We didn’t have enough time this trip to stay overnight, but it was still special to stop by for a hike.
NZ is an exceptionally green country, but it’s hard to compete with the verdant Vermont woods in summer.
The dogs were happy to stretch their legs, while Andy and I wandered around the property.
I love the rock walls that criss-cross New England, a reminder everywhere we wander that this lush forest has risen from what was once farmland. Mother Nature forgives a lot (but let’s be kind to her, please).
The most glorious of Vermont inhabitants, the birch tree, reigns over these woods.
They always make me feel at home, and remind me of one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost.
We didn’t have time for swinging, but plenty of time for admiring.
The day couldn’t have been any more beautiful than this, with blue skies and bountiful sunshine.
Ready for a walk, we set off down the driveway and turned onto the dirt road that eventually leads to the Grafton town center, though we weren’t headed that far.
Our first stop was a small pond, where Taz loves to hunt for frogs.
He could do this for hours on end, but we dragged him away eventually.
Further along on our trek, we turned back into the forest, taking a trail (“road” is far too generous, but this is Vermont after all) that leads to the back of our property. Many a hardy GPS has lost its mind when faced with the warren of backroads that make up the Green Mountain State. Yes, I speak from experience.
Vermont also gives NZ some stiff competition when it comes to lush Jurassic Park-like ferns.
Back at the camp, we said farewell for now. This place is the longest constant I have had in my life. We moved houses, towns and states as I grew up, but we always came back to this one place, and the memories I have from here could fill a book. The giddy rush of flashlight tag in the gathering dusk of the forest with my cousins, laughing hysterically over songs by the campfire with my aunts and uncles (especially when Grandma does a solo) and hunting for salamanders under rocks at the local swimming hole – each a small glimpse of the magic that runs through this place, our paradise, The Camp.
As the sign says, there’s no place like camp!
Until next time, sweet Grafton.
A couple days later, it was time to head northward again, this time to Laconia, New Hampshire for my best friend Jen’s wedding!
Here’s one of my favorites, of Chris and Jen the evening before their big day, smiling ear to ear. Their happiness is contagious, and it was so awesome to share it.
I had to pop away from the party briefly to capture the incredible sunset over Lake Winnipesaukee.
There’s a good reason this is a popular vacation destination!
I won’t post all the photos from the incredible, epic, hilarious party that ensued, but here’s a few so you get the idea.
It was incredible to share such a special day with my parents, too. Can you tell how much fun we’re having?
Oh yeah, and there was a photo booth. 🙂
Up next, WE’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT. Yup, we’re off to Martha’s Vineyard, the filming location for Jaws. Stay tuned for epic adventure and exactly zero sharks.