We spent last week in Vermont for our annual family vacation, the 11th time in the past 10 years. We have always had a great week, filled with family memories, even in 2016 when he was in the midst of his 4 month affair. While it seems odd, we were always good as a family, just not always as husband and wife. The few years prior to 2016 in addition 2016 itself were wrought with contention and conflict between my husband and me, in spite of we still successfully functioning as more or less united for the boys.
Last year our trip was a little bittersweet for me because I was still triggered a bit by the affair. Additionally, the skank had texted him the day before we left and he hadn’t told me about it (because he didn’t want to upset me). While he did go above and beyond to make it a good vacation and overall it was, negative thoughts still trickled in at times.
However, this year was amazing. In accord with our efforts to be more kind, understanding, patient and more communicative, we had a wonderfully relaxing week. I successfully put the skank out of my head and stayed in the present enjoying my husband and my sons.
We always spent our week in Vermont exploring, usually spending many hours driving around, but this year we stayed close to the condo and enjoyed a more quiet pace. I briefly saw my son’s ‘private journal’ which he left open on the living room coffee table where he raved about the relaxing day we had, having to turn away quickly as he ran in to retrieve the forgotten journal.
There were creemies, mini golf, movies, popcorn, monopoly, wine and cheese and home-cooked dinners with fresh local produce and meat. We spent a couple of hours on the top of Mt. Mansfield in Stowe. We visited The Alchemist (a local brewery), Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Stowe’s ‘haunted’ covered bridge and obtained some free books at a local library. We left before the antique car show, nonetheless, we were able to see some of the cars that were arriving a few days before the show was scheduled to begin. One nice gentleman proudly showed us his mint condition hundred year old car that he drove down from Montreal.
Additionally, over the years, we’ve forged some friendships in Vermont, making it a point to visit them annually on our vacation. This year was no different. We stopped by a friend’s country store where they’ve watched our boys grow up. We’ve seen their daughter get engaged, then married and are now watching her son grow up. He’s 5! We were invited to sail twice around Lake Champlain in Burlington with a friend who owns a sailboat, ending the two evenings once with dinner at a local pizza joint and once drinking beer and eating snacks on the boat.
On the drive home we stopped at a steakhouse in Montpelier where the boys were able to enjoy an allergy free burger and fries with us for lunch.
Our drives up and back were lively and full of fun. The conversation was so animated on the drive up, we were at the Vermont border in what seemed like record time. The ride home was filled with laughter, reminiscing about the week past as well as listing to 80’s CDs, a couple of which skipped horribly making for hysterical ‘mixes’.
I opened an email today from a new friend we met in Vermont. She and her husband were in from Michigan on a business related trip. She & I share an interest in photography and she took some photos of us which she emailed today. In her email she wrote, “… and we are so happy to have met you and your wonderful family. Your boys are absolutely brilliant and such a joy to be around (a true feat for teenagers, right?). The love you share is so evident in your presence and in all that you do.” It was so flattering to read this impression of our family…
We are now back home, back to reality and our everyday life. I am hoping the vacation recharge holds on for a bit as we deal with our real life. Nonetheless, for a week, there were no health issues, (mental or physical), no conflict, no triggers. It was friends, food, fun and family…