In early August, Jolian had a week off from work and it just so happened to coincide with Gus’s first birthday, so we packed it up and headed north to cooler temperatures to celebrate our little bubba. This summer was a hot one and sometimes you just can’t take the smell of steamy trash for one more day! We rented a house for the week in the tiny, picturesque village of Grafton, Vermont.
The house was beautiful, but turned out to be not so baby friendly. There was a white rug, a white couch, glass objects, marble lamps, antique furniture – all things I should realize scream “DON’T BRING YOUR BABY HERE!,” but at the time of booking, they just screamed “PRETTY!” Needless to say, we were Gus’s shadow for the week, catching trucks in midair before they were banged on the 100 year old farm table. Lesson learned. Made me think of this quote! (via Cup of Jo)
The town itself couldn’t have been more lovely with its beautiful old houses, inn, tavern, pond, cheese factory, covered bridges… we’re talking serious charm here. We’d driven through it on our way home from Woodstock, VT last winter, but it was covered in a blanket of snow at the time. I was so happy to see it was just as pretty in the summer. I posted some pictures from our trip below if you’re interested. Warning: I didn’t hold back. Hope you’ve got some time to spare!
The centerpiece of the town is The Grafton Inn, formerly called The Old Tavern at Grafton, pictured below. It was established in 1801 and past guests include Ulysses S. Grant, Daniel Webster, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s beautiful and has a lovely formal restaurant we ate at for Gus’s birthday. Behind the Inn is Phelps Barn, the coziest pub you’ve ever seen (see a pic here). In case someone out there is looking for a Vermont wedding venue, look no further, my friend. Get married at one of the old churches in town, have your dinner in the Inn’s dining room, and the reception in the barn. Do it sometime during the fall, with all the leaves….it would be amazing.
While Grafton is a quiet, sleepy little town, there are a ton of activities to do only a short drive away. Our activity of choice for the week was visiting swimming holes. First, we went to Salmon Hole in Jamaica State Park. It was easy to get to, had a nice sandy beach for Gus to crawl around on, and the water got deep enough in parts to really swim around. It was a perfect afternoon.
Our next swimming hole was not quite as successful, at least not for me. We went to Stickney Brook in Dummerston, VT, which has a series of ledges creating little waterfalls and pools going down the hill. It was gorgeous, but seriously slippery. Jolian and Gus had fun splashing in the little pools while I fell and slid down a series of rocks with our good camera in hand landing it in a puddle of water. Totally standard. Luckily the camera was fine. My elbows and thigh, not so much. It ended my love affair with swimming holes.
We headed up to Montpelier one day to show Gus where his Dada grew up. We drove past Jolian’s old house, ate black raspberry soft serve at his favorite creamery, and had a baby photo shoot on the lawn of the Vermont State House. Look at that little smile! How could we not?
Friday, our last full day in Vermont, was Gus’s birthday. I baked him a yellow layer cake covered in dark chocolate frosting. I was feeling proud and just knew he was going to love it. I pictured him covered in frosting from head to toe. Not so much. This boy does not like a fuss. After all the pictures, singing, blowing out of the candle, we stripped him down, took him outside to the screened in porch, and he wanted nothing to do with it! He refused even one taste. He cried and cried and cried…