Mondays are for dreaming: Vermont (or should I say “the driveway moment”?)

I know this post is late, but since it’s still Monday where I live (at least for a few more hours) I feel like I can still publish it.

Although I traveling to new places and will always be thrilled the first time I pull into a heretofore unexplored destination, I also love return trips. The pleasure of being not a native but not fully a tourist is one that I think every traveler relishes and is why even perennial round-the-world travelers will pick regions or cities that they visit repeatedly or use as home base. The pleasure of having a summer “home” that you return to every year is immense and visceral. To abandon your belongings, your garden, your daily cares and head for somewhere known and yet not home is a pleasure I wish on everyone. It doesn’t matter what the geography is or how distant it is from your home; I find that the psychological transition is as important as the physical one.

No place I’ve ever been to is dearer to my heart than Vermont where I have spent a good portion of most of my summers for nearly three decades. If I had really been on the ball I would have written this post about six Mondays ago, because the moment the weather starts turning warm I start dreaming about our annual trip, which usually takes place during the first few weeks of August. One of the best things for me this year is that my children, who are now both old enough to remember last summer, are as excited as I am. At dinner the other night Tommy wanted to know what each of us was most looking forward to. Every one of us had a different response.

Tommy is eagerly awaiting the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market, with its produce and pastries, flowers and music, and handmade crafts.

Flowers at the Waitsfield, VT Farmer's Market
Flowers at the Waitsfield, VT Farmer’s Market

Matt can’t wait to go swimming in the Mad River and to walk along its banks, collecting beautiful stones.

Lareau's swimming hole in the Mad River
Lareau’s swimming hole in the Mad River

Teddy is most looking forward to maple creemees, or as he says it “mmmmayyypul creeeeeeeeemeeeeeeeeeees,” drawing up the words and then smacking his lips loudly for emphasis.

Maple creemees at Maynard's Snack Bar
Maple creemees at Maynard’s Snack Bar

And me? The thing I most anticipate is the moment when we pull into the driveway to the little house we always stay in and I open the door to the car and get out. The trees will smell cool and damp, the air will be fresh, and I will know that I have a full three weeks ahead of me in this most beloved of places. My feeling of contentment and recognition at this moment is deep and almost solemn, akin to that I sometimes feel in church. It is transformational, and I spend much of the rest of the year longing for it.

There are lots of posts about Vermont on this site and more to come in the next few weeks. But what I hope you take with you is the idea of that one simple moment can make all the difference, can turn a trip into a vacation, can make the expense and effort of leaving home worth it. Do you have a similar moment like this? If so, I hope you’ll share either in the comments or by posting a link to your own website. If you’ve got questions about how this works, please see About Monday Dreaming.

Reader Responses

5 fellow travelers had this to say

  1. My parents have a vacation home in the Sierra Nevada, so we go throughout the year. I love that place. I love that it represents rest and time with family. And I love that we go throughout the seasons and get to see it in the snow, with the wildflowers, on the hammock in the summer, and with the fall colors of the aspens. We are fortunate. Have a great vacation in your summer haven.

  2. I love that last picture of your husband sharing his ice cream. I love the look on your husband’s face!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Dreaming of Beignets at the Cafe Du Monde – New Orleans, Louisiana =-.

  3. Oh, I spent a wonderful long weekend at the Mad River Inn years and years ago. It was late fall and freezing, and we rode Icelandic ponies and tramped all through the bush. We always talk about going back sometime, but it’s one of those things, I guess …

    Every two or three years we stay at a particular cottage in Prince Edward Island, and it’s that same wonderful home-not-home feeling. I’m glad someone has been able to put into words what I’ve felt for so long.
    .-= Hayley´s last blog ..Why I love Mondays: The beach and wildlife edition =-.

  4. Have a safe and traffic free drive and dry days.
    .-= Meg Keough´s last blog ..Summer Travel in New England =-.

  5. I always look forward to our trip to Thailand. My family is still there so it is like a reunion trip for us and there are so many things to do with my kids that I think it will take several years to show them what we have in Thailand.
    .-= Amy @ The Q Family (Dreaming of: Cruising)´s last blog ..Tips to Beat Bangkok Heat =-.

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