George and I recently celebrated our 9th anniversary. I just looked it up; the 9th anniversary traditionally is the “pottery” anniversary, updated in modern times to the “leather” anniversary, kinky tarts that we’ve become. Rather than leather it out, we decided to take a fabulous long weekend at The Essex, a spa/culinary resort about 20 minutes outside of Burlington, VT. Yes, this was our ultimate destination when we decided to detour over to Syracuse for our night of fun-filled musical tomfoolery.
There will be more about all of this later.
What’s important here is, I’ve apparently developed an internal timer that won’t let me sleep when we’re away, if I need to catch a sunrise on my camera. On the one hand, that’s cool. On the other hand…
…it’s not like I hate to sleep. It just seems that way, most of the time.
Anyway. It was cold that morning! Colder than I have yet to experience at home, since winter’s just getting her chill on in central PA. I stepped outside and I realized…ohhhhh…the world is shimmering and crunchy.
It’s not a bad way to wake up, if you can’t help but find yourself wide awake at 6:30AM on your last morning of vacation. Anyway, let’s get right into this.
The grounds at the Essex have a lot going on. They’ve got manicured lawns and secluded tennis courts, raised produce beds for their kitchens and things like hammocks and gazebos for hanging out in on days warmer than the one in which I was running around outside. Surrounding that are some pretty thick woods and a steep ravine or two. We made a right turn, started our way around the building and…
I have no idea what kind of plant this is. Suggest away!
I played with the black and white on this a little, since this picture didn’t have a lot of color to worry about to begin with. It was still pre-dawn and the branches of this whatsitsface plant were thick with frost.
Fine. If I’m going to be out in the world menacing nature with my camera, I suppose the least I can do is learn the names of various flora and fauna (though I’m pretty good with the fauna, I must protest). I will, some day. But it is not this day.
We walked back towards where the sun was starting to peek through: see gnarly woods and steep ravines. I was in no mood for climbing, not before coffee, mmm mmmm, no way. So.
We wandered back behind the tennis courts like a couple of bad kids in high school. Only I didn’t care quite as much about the sumac trees back then.
And on our way back across the lawn, encountered a frosty rose:
A cluster of grapes that had come on hard times:
And the remnants of a misspent evening.
I kind of obsessed over this spigot.
Photographed what may become Christmas cards from me and George.
And called it a day when we made our way back around to the front of the hotel and smelled bacon coming from the kitchens.
Stay warm, everyone. And go to Vermont. It’s extraordinary. Just, you know. Pack gloves and extra socks.