I’m one of those people who arrives at the airport three hours early even when it’s a domestic flight. Crazy? Well, I like to just get there and not have to hustle, and then I have a drink at the bar and relax until my flight. That’s how I roll. My husband does not share the same philosophy; hence, suggesting we get an Uber pick up last minute instead of a reserved car in advance for our flight to Burlington, Vermont. I had received an Orbitz.com email that morning at 9:30 AM saying that our gate number changed. What I didn’t notice was that it also mentioned a totally different flight time: 12:23 pm instead of 1:46 pm. You can imagine my “freak out moment” when I downloaded our boarding passes on my phone just before arriving at the airport at 11:08 am and realized we had less than an hour until boarding time! Did we make it? Of course (to the satisfaction of my husband with a told-you-so-look on his face), but this mix-up was the first of many lessons learned during my kid-free weekend getaway.
- Download the Airline’s App: I’m a busy mom of two, which means half the time I can’t even remember to brush my teeth and put deodorant on in the morning, much less remember to check the status of an upcoming flight beforehand. Next time I take a plane (which will be in November!), I am downloading the airline’s app.
- Talkative Taxi Drivers: If you happen to randomly have friendly driver Don of Stowe Taxi VT cab, you will get a THOROUGH (and unprompted) tour of the area. From the airport to downtown Burlington, we learned about local gossip, feuding restaurateurs, frat houses known for disorderly conduct, the teen nightclub scene, and even past building fires. A wealth of information in 20 minutes.
- The Best Hotel in Town: Hotel Vermont is the best (and most luxurious) option to rest your head. The boutique hotel is just a 5-minute walk to Church Street and a 10-minute walk to the waterfront where you can have drinks on Lake Champlain at Splash restaurant (the views make up for the limited food and drink menus). Stay in a Top Floor suite that offers extra amenities; bike around town on one of the hotel’s complimentary refurbished bicycles; have a drink outside on their patio outfitted with a fire pit; and reserve a table at Juniper for brunch, which is known for its farm-to-table menu and Bloody Mary bar.
- Honey + Juniper = Damn Good Gin: At 10 AM on Saturday, I sampled Barr Hill Gin by Caledonia Spirits at a farmer’s market, a great pick me up and, as the rep said, “A drink a day is good for your health and removes inhibitions!” I didn’t really need any coaxing to try this complex spirit, which takes on various floral qualities of the season thanks to the busy bees producing the honey.
- Vermonters are SERIOUS about yoga: At 9 AM on Sunday, we were outside purchasing coffee from a kiosk when a female hippy in a ski hat who already seemed hyped up on coffee ordered another with a shot of maple syrup. She then asked us what we were up to. “We’re going back home today,” I replied. She asked what time the flight was, which we responded with, “1:00 PM.” This set off a chain reaction of multiple invitations to join her yoga class starting in 5 minutes. NOTHING we said would stop her: not our lack of yoga-appropriate attire, our desire to buy some gifts for family, our need to sit in the sun and chill with our coffees. We just had to run away…and so we did!
- Skip The Skinny Pancake: There WILL be long lines to go to this popular crepe-themed spot for breaky that’s on the corner of College and Lake Streets. Instead, get to Burlington Airport early for your departure and eat at their other location there. No lines, less hassle, same food.
- United will spend $ to kick you off their flight: I hate it when flights are overbooked and I prayed to God they wouldn’t randomly choose me to get the boot. The United attendant’s first offer was a $300 flight voucher to whoever gave up his/her seat to take the later 5 PM flight. Crickets…no takers. Twenty minutes later, she said, “$500 voucher” and a volunteer told her traveling partner, “I’ll see you later tonight!”
- The kids will survive: We were away from our toddler and 9-month-old for two-and-a-half days and two nights during which my parents, in-laws, and nanny cared for them and kept them happy and healthy. They survived. When my husband and I first started planning our trip to Burlington, we were going to go for one night because we feared leaving the kids alone for too long. I am so happy we changed our minds and had the support of our family to do so. He and I had not traveled alone like that (one of our favorite pastimes pre-kids) since 2011. It was amazing!
There were so many other great moments from our trip, but it would take another week for me to write it all down (and momma’s tired!), so check out this photo gallery instead. Thanks for stopping by!