My husband and I started a fun anniversary tradition after getting married in September 2010 that each year one of us would plan a fun getaway weekend as a surprise for the other spouse. The idea was sparked by my friend so technically (maybe) I forced this on Bob but he has been a willing participant since day one. I took over planning year one to set our tradition off on the right foot. Always one for adventures I wanted to do something totally unexpected and BOY was Bob surprised (slash maybe a little angry) when we pulled into Total Tennis Camp in the beautiful Berkshire mountains for 3 days of tennis fun. We had both played as kids and were just getting back into the sport so we were both intimated over evening cocktails when everyone was recapping the latest pro tennis match and their level of play which was apparently rated by #…what where they even talking about?! After 3 days of full on triple sessions we were both delightfully sore, and that much more in love with life’s ‘lil’ adventures.Picture 475Picture 477Picture 495Our tradition is simple, but keeps each year exciting and allows one person to take charge of the planning and creating a wonderful surprise while the other can relax and enjoy the ride. I hope this round up of our 8th anniversary surprise will serve as inspiration to incorporate a lil’ fun and adventure into your next celebration!Coffee3Coffee2Coffee1First I have to thank my amazing parents for coming to watch the boys for us, they have been a major component of keeping this tradition alive post kids. We set off for our adventure at 11:00am, stopping for delicious coffees at the Vermont Artisan Coffee Bar. This year I was convinced we were going to Woodstock, VT so as far as I was concerned we were moving in that direction. Driving along (which might I add is delightful unto itself without yammering kids in the car) we got to the point where we would go north or south on 89 dictating our final destination. My gleeful husband stayed in the south lane as long as possible before veering off to the north. His planning had me stumped, the only thing I knew from packing was that I needed two outfits to bike in and that we had our mountain bikes in tow. We made a brief stop to get a picnic lunch and finally stopped at the Colchester Causeway bike path, a place just 45min from where I grew up in Middlebury, and 45min from our home in Stowe but a place I had never heard of before.Bike3Bike4We set off on a picturesque 4mile bike ride surrounded by water on both sides, stopping halfway to eat lunch on a sunny flat rock and enjoy a 180 degree water view. This ride was like nothing I have ever done before and exceeded all our expectations. It was also rewarding to complete the 8mi round trip ride as I continue my journey to full recovery from my knee surgery.Bike2Based on our current geography I shifted my suspicions and decided we were going to Shelburne farms since we had recently taken an interest in this spot. Much to my surprise we were only a 10min car ride from our final destination in downtown Burlington, Vermont!! Did I mention I LOVE SURPRISES?!? Bob selected the gorgeous Hotel Vermont for our night away and it did not disappoint. The hotel is the perfect juxtaposition of rustic and modern décor, featuring so many small Vermont details. Bathrobs from VT Flannel, all Vermont toiletrees, Johnson Woolen Mills Blankets, and my personal favorite a fleet of cruiser bikes refurbished by Bundtz bicycles right here in Vermont. We spent a glorious afternoon shopping on church street, including a stop at my favorite store @monellevermont, enjoyed appetizers alfresco @leunigs and then capped it off with dinner at Juniper.HotelVTHotelVT2HotelVT3Things I have learned: You don’t need a lot of time…30hrs of kid free time felt like an entire week—it’s remarkable what you can do without kids in tow. A Sunday-Monday getaway was AMAZING because I had less Mom guilt around leaving my kids, we got to spend Saturday and Sunday morning with the boys and picked them up from preschool a little early on Monday! You don’t need to travel far to enjoy time with your partner, why waste time traveling when you have fun right outside their doorstep. You may be thinking there is nothing like this where I live but I challenge you to live like a local but THINK like a tourist, give yourself full permission to explore and enjoy what your area has to offer. ORRR…just come to Vermont as I’d love to see you!!

What fun things are there to do in your hometown?

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Posted by:lilvermontadventures

As a working mother of two 'lil boys I am experienced in the work/life juggle, and fluent in construction vehicles. After a decade in Boston at New Balance, we moved to Vermont where I lead a portfolio of strategic coffee partners at Keurig. I cannot wait to share our outdoor adventures in Vermont sprinkled with some fun lessons in work/life integration, taking care of yourself, organization, and being a boy Mom.

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