lived in Concord, Ma. for a short time a couple of years ago. It was where I was pregnant with Emma and where we lived until she was 10 months old. We moved back home to the Kansas City area to be closer to family. I am so glad we did move back "home" but there are a lot of things I miss about the New England area. Mike still works for the same company and travels back to the Boston area almost monthly. Each year his company has a week worth of budget meetings in mid-November, so Emma and I tag along.
Last year we visited Nantucket and stayed in Boston and piddled around the Public Garden and Beacon Hill. Emma was really good at being content in her stroller then, and took frequent naps as I pushed her around, in and out of shops and cafes. As I type it as a memory is sounds very lovely and nice, but I also remember some fits mid-lunch, candy bribery to stay in the stroller and an occasional boutique breakdown, too - don't worry.
This year I learned my lesson a bit and now as a very active almost 3-year-old she likes the stroller even less. She likes to run and explore. I can usually talk her into a stroller ride at home, so I can exercise, but usually have to dub it as a "treasure hunt." Instead of fighting the stroller in the city for the entire week, I decided that we'd enjoy relaxing out in the country in Concord, just as we did when we lived there. We spent our week visiting old friends and bopping from The Toy Store to the Barefoot Bookstore to the Main Street Cafe and all of our favorite old spots - living small town life.
I didn't take too many photos of Emma and I running around town during the week, because it was just the two of us - you may have seen some on Insta. I have found that the older she gets, the harder it is for me to take those sweet, beautiful photos of her - because we're too busy moving and playing. Am I the only one that has discovered this? When she was tiny it was easy to keep up with her and snap photos, but now my time behind the camera seems less fun for her and too distracting.
These few photos of us were taken in the Concord Town Center by Mike on Friday morning before we all headed to Vermont for the weekend.
Taking Dad to her "New Favorite" Toy Store... and telling him all about the new Sleeping Beauty Lego Duplo she's got her eye on. She can't stop talking about it.
We set out at noon for Vermont - Woodstock is about a 2 and a half hour trip. All beautiful.
I couldn't get enough of all of the charming farmhouses along the way - rural Mass and Vermont (and the entire New England area...) is filled with them.
Our first stop was Simon Pearce. We've been there before, but it never gets old.
The "factory" and the store sits over a waterfall by this covered bridge.
Inside they have a showroom/store that carries their beautiful hand-blown glass and other local treasures. And the most amazing cafe. So, so good.
The cafe sits over the waterfall - It kept Emma mostly entertained during lunch... and yes, that is a cake pop. I ordered a big glass of wine, so I needed to buy myself some time to enjoy it. Life lessons.
The food was amazing. So, soooo good. This is what I had - roasted salmon with some sort of sweet mustard cream sauce. I need to figure it out.
Emma's corn and ricotta ravioli - which she barely ate any of... I was happy to help her out : )
Downstairs they have the actual factory where each piece is made by hand. This is not a sponsored post, I swear - I just really love this place :)
The holiday collection - do those candles look familiar?
Creative Candles, same maker of the candles I carry, also makes Simon Pearce candles (and lots of other private brands - Neimans, Martha Stewart, Williams-Sonoma, etc.). These are all colors I have in my store, too, just with his label on them. I don't have the silver metallic - should I consider?
I especially loved this ice bucket and the lantern with the pewter trim. Love that they also have the wheat bundles, too... good taste ; )
I have another "factory" tour of a new find to share with you later - it deserves its own special post.
We continued down the road to Woodstock, Vt. It is (in my humble opinion) the most charming little small town in the area. It is just so quaint, small, but luxurious and special.
I love little towns like this that seem to be stuck in time. The air is so clean and fresh - and laced with burning wood-smoke from everyone's chimneys.
The Rockefellers also loved Woodstock so much that they built The Woodstock Inn (where we stay). They also had a farm here and helped keep the town so beautiful and authentic. I told Mike that I'd also like to build a resort and also restore an entire small town. He thinks I'm joking (or crazy).
This is not a photo (above) from this trip, but one from our trip two years ago (in February). I forgot to take a photo of the exterior this time. It is a sprawling, old style Inn that has been completely updated and restored. Now it has a clean, farmhouse feel. You can see more photos of the interior in the link above from our trip before.
Emma warmed her hands in the foyer by the largest wood fireplace in the I've ever seen.
We headed back outside for some exploring before it got dark, which it tends to do around 4pm. Talk about good hibernating weather.
This is what Vermont looks like at every turn - I feel like there are little churches peaking through the woods, nestled on every hill.
This was one of my favorite farms. Wood barn, tone-on-tone green/blue house, pond, stone walls...
It will definitely be going in my book of inspirational clips.
The next morning we went to Billings Farm to see some dairy farm animals take a wagon ride.
This might be another framer for our "favorite spots" gallery wall in the new house. I have no idea where it will be, though.
Or this one? I do love the sheep in this one.
We thought they looked like Mr. Darcy!
These two watching a movie as I was leaving for the spa...
Which was right outside our window. It is glorious. It has an outdoor whirlpool by a wood-burning fireplace, and a cedar sauna - being outside with the cold air, breathing in the wood smoke is my idea of a perfect spot. We spent the rest of the weekend just "brelaxing" (as Emma would say) and taking turns at the spa and playing games with Emma.
When we woke up the last morning of our trip, Emma thought it was Christmas : )
Can't imagine why?
I wanted to turn back around and stay and "brelax" for the entire week.
I was trying to get a photo that showed how incredibly huge and fluffy the snowflakes were - like clumps falling. Very Vermont-y.
Singing Jingle Bells.
It was the best way to end a really, really lovely weekend. And the perfect way to head home and start the transition to the Holidays. It is amazing what a relaxing trip can do for your spirit. I am feeling so full, so thankful and so in love with my two favorite people. We are officially ready for the Holidays : )