Weekend in VT: Part 3 – Quechee Gorge

(If you missed it, check out Part 1 & Part2)

Before heading away for the weekend I had a rough idea of what we would do, but had left some options open for Saturday depending on weather, how late we got going in the morning and what we felt like doing. My original plan was to head up Mt. Ascutney, a 2.8 mile hike (one-way) and then head to the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT for lunch and a brewery tour. Saturday morning was grey and breezy and neither of us felt like being that active so we went with plan B which was to head up to Quechee Gorge for a short hike down into the gorge and around the area before heading to lunch at Simon Pearce and some shopping at Quechee Gorge Village.

IMGP7713When we got to Quechee we stopped at the visitor’s center to ask what the best way was to access the gorge and inquire as the wether or not we needed our snowshoes. I’ve been to the gorge before but only during the summer months when there wasn’t any snow on the ground. The man working the visitor’s center was very friendly and pointed us to where we wanted to go and recommended we bring the snowshoes since we had them with us. While not necessary for the entire walk we did wear them and were happy to have them on when we got towards the bottom where there was more snow and less foot traffic to have packed it down. We walked to the bottom of the gorge and back up, under Route 4 and up to the dam, which I had never been to before. It wasn’t a long walk but it was nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

IMGP7708.DNGIMGP7702Our next stop was a restaurant/glass blowing studio called Simon Pearce located in Quechee. It came highly recommended from a friend of mine and since we had never been there before we decided to give it a shot. Plus there aren’t very many options in Quechee, it’s a pretty small area.

IMGP7726When you walk into the building, an old mill, you are greeted with beautiful displays of handmade glass items ranging from wine glasses, to ornaments to beautiful crystal trees.

IMGP7734I wanted to take one of everything home with me! Downstairs is the glass blowing studio where you can watch the craftsmen in action. It’s really cool to be able to be up close and ask questions. While we were there they were making wine glasses and a small glass bowl. Watching the wine glass being made was really cool!

IMGP7720We browsed around for awhile before heading into the restaurant for lunch. It wasn’t very busy while we were there and were able to get a seat in this really pretty area of the building which hung over the river and was wall to wall windows. We had a beautiful view of the river and the waterfall as we ate lunch, not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

IMGP7743The food at Simon Pearce was so good, I can’t even begin to tell you how excellent it was. Harrison got a chicken dish and I got a ravioli dish that was served with warm greens, blue cheese, dried cranberries and walnuts. Yum!

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IMGP7730After lunch we made a quick shop to the Quechee Gorge Village which is a row of shops along Route 4. I was a little disappointed by the shops as last time I had been there had been more to see. There were at least 2 empty store fronts and a few sparsely filled stores. But we made the best of it and picked up some cheese and crackers to snack on for dinner back at the Inn. Our last stop in the village was a local distillery that had vodka made from apples, vodka made from maple sap and whiskey made from maple sap. I’m not much of a liquor drinker these days but I thought they were pretty good. If you are in that area you should make it a point to check it out, they offer free tastings!

We made one last stop on our way home at the Vermont Country Store where we sampled more cheese, picked up a toy for Owen and picked up some penny candy for me. The rest of the day was spent lounging by the fire, drinking wine and playing many rousing games of Yahtzee!

Sunday morning we wandered home making a few stops along the way, one very important one being to get our Christmas Tree! We had a great weekend away but missed our little boy. A very special thanks go out to Harrison’s parents for watching Owen for 2 nights. It’s no easy feat!

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