Vermont: Home Exchange Turned House Sit, Part 2

Covered bridge near Tunbridge, Vermont
We had a great day at Stowe.  We’re intermediate skiers, and Stowe is chock-full of intermediate (blue) trails.  And the trail philosophy at Stowe (versus, say, Killington) seems to be: fewer lifts, longer runs.  Which suited us fine.  We spent the morning and early afternoon on Gondolier, Perry Merril, and I (Chuck) even dabbled in some moguls on Upper and Lower Switchback.  We had a great lunch at the Cliff House: ok, a pretty good lunch (3.5 out of 5 stars) but greatly improved with a spectacular view.  Unfortunately we had left the camera and our phones back at the base lodge, so the images of that vista will have to stay in our heads.
We decided to cut over Lower Cliff and the bottom part of Nosedive to explore the other side of the mountain.  Note to self: as you get tired late in the day, it’s not good to go explore other, unknown trails.  We made one run down, it was mid-afternoon, and after checking the map we decided to try Gulch, then maybe some of the neighboring trails.  The late-day wear on our legs became apparent when Lori took a spill, but intrepid skiers that we are, we powered on.  Halfway down Gulch we found ourselves in some serious moguls on a pretty steep blue.  Not good.  Lori made a few attempts then decided to take her skis off and slide down.  With no flats to either side, and no easy way to cut over to a neighboring trail, Chuck–admittedly guilty of an overabundance of confidence–headed down the nearly-waist-high moguls.  With the end of the first set of moguls in sight, Chuck fell chest-flat on a mogul and bounced back up like a rag doll, knowing that he had broken something.
In fact it was a clean break on left side rib number 2.  The skiing aspect of our Vermont trip was over.  Carefully and gingerly creeping back down the mountain, we headed in and made our way back to our home away from home.


Lori and Bonnie
Lori and Bonnie, her new best friend

Despite skiing not being an option, and despite the pain of a broken rib, the trip was great.  It’s funny how not even a broken bone can get the die-hard traveler down in the dumps.  We tried out the travel-work-play lifestyle from the comfort and beauty of our host’s home on the side of the mountain, and we tested out some of the things we had purchased to enable long term travel (we’ll blog next about one of those nice little pieces of equipment).  Chuck got a great deal of work done, had client calls, and we both made great progress on our research for our new business idea, which is (in a nutshell) helping businesses identify and hire smarter people (Chuck’s HR and business experience blended with Lori’s experience recognizing characteristics of gifted intelligences).  We drove around the Vermont countryside on the days it wasn’t snowing or icy, and we ate at some great restaurants in nearby South Royalton, including Worthy Burger, Eaton’s Sugar House (sorry, but I don’t think they have a website), and 5 Olde Tavern: all great meals (at least 4 out of 5 stars).

Vermont Snowy Mountain Panorama

The point of taking these longer trips working up to the “big one” in June has been to try things out, learn some lessons, and–well–practice traveling.  We’re learning how to be in touch, we’re learning how to work in new and regularly changing places, we’re learning how to balance our time nicely between travel, work, and play.  We learned that there’s yet another way of cost-effective travel, house sitting, that can also be used to extend our travels (we now have a profile on  And we’re learning, after 25 years of separate careers, to be together almost all the time: seems like a great upcoming blog topic, doesn’t it?

Chuck and Lori
With a dead Mercedes sitting in a parking lot in South Carolina waiting for some sort of orderly and humane disposition, we decided it best to leave Vermont a day early so we said goodbye to the sweetest dog on the planet (Bonnie was so sad to see us go) and we set out on Friday.  Our son’s future in-laws live in Maryland–on the way for us–so we let them know we’d be coming through town Friday evening and asked if they’d like to meet for breakfast; instead they insisted on us staying with them Friday evening.  Now my parents always stayed with family when traveling, but we’ve never really been in that habit.  It seemed like we’d be imposing, but they were insistent.  Bottom line, it was wonderful.  It was wonderful to visit with Brian and Heather, wonderful to get to know them.  We believe that when people get married, the families are marrying also: we’re glad our son is joining our family to theirs.
The next day we arrived in time for supper in Greenville; Sunday we took care of dumping the Mercedes (I truly feel sorry for whoever buys it), and got home before dark.  Our trial runs are over, and we’re settled in for the wedding on April 26th.  Our preparation list for June is long, but we’re working through it.
And we’re almost ready to start counting down the days.

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