So even if I look back to a year ago-ish, I am still late in telling you all about the East coast and our stretch of time there. Picture late Aug leaving Chicago (another place we haven’t gotten around to telling you about), and there we are hauling ass through the Adirondacks on our way to Vermont. Missing the Adirondacks was a bit of a pisser. It is one of the many places that is relegated to Next Time. Up and down windy beautiful roads, lost in the dark, we arrived in Warren, Vt very late in the night indeed. We parked in our friends’ drive and settled right in. My brother and his family is also in Vermont, and my dad is in NH. Visiting them, and heading into Maine was the plan.
Warren, Vt is at the base of Mad River ski resort and one of those beautiful east coast towns that is a postcard designed to make you swear you always wanted to buy a Subaru and own a cow (if only so you can be justified to proudly wear a No Farms, No Farmgirls t-shirt). It is covered bridges, and swimming holes; farm to table markets and elegant bistro hotels. Feel free to spend lavishly in the East Warren Market and peek out back to their perfect Vermont garden.
If they still haven’t updated the site, you will see my bestest who managed the co-op from the its very first days. She has since left and opened her own kick ass restaurant, Home Plate in Waitsfield, Vt. The food is just the kind of farm to table restaurant you can take the kids to worthy of your day Vermonting, and there is a well stocked and jolly bar to keep you sane.
Dinner at The Pitcher Inn, right in Warren Village, for dinner is not to be ignored if budget allows. The kids are not necessary there. The Warren Store is across the way. It was my first job working in the kitchen with a bitter, bitter man who once re-plated a woman’s sandwich with sink flotsam and mayo when she complained there was no house aioli on the side as advertised. Don’t let that stop you from going in for a damn fine coffee and sandwich. Don’t worry about the aioli. Really, don’t.
Warren is a place that holds a special place in my history and heart. Its where my best friend and I would head away from school on weekends and all vacations, screaming north on I89 in her shitbox of a VW Rabbit to her house. We spent our time smoking butts, drinking Fresca and laughing our asses off while singing to cassettes salvaged from under the layers of schmeg and ash on the floor of the car. All my bad habits came from here.
After spending 10 days reliving as much of our childhood is allowed given our age and intelligence, we left Vermont and headed to Canaan, NH to see my dad. Canaan looks much the same as when I left 30+ years ago. The cars on cement blocks change but that’s about it. There isn’t a whole lot to recommend Canaan except Dishin It Out, a fab local greasy spoon. Their eggs are out of a shell, home fries are spicy, and its locals, locals, locals. One is probably my dad. Say hi. He lives in an old farmhouse that he and my mom bought in the mid 70’s when their back to nature stage hit hard. I can remember sitting in the hayloft watching them butcher a side of pig by a Sunset How To book, and rinsing intestines in the mud room sink. I remember that happening only once.
While we were there we hiked up Cardigan Mountain, walked to Orange Pond, and tried to get a little schooling under our belt. It was the longest I had spent with my dad in 30 years. He’s a bit of a hermit and a bit tough to engage, but it was enough to be there to share the kitchen and be knocking around the place.
Maine was next in our sights. Laundry was done, the RV batten down, state park booked.