Monday, September 03, 2007


Smuggs getaway part one

(Note: Although Postcards from the Mothership is now live at http://danigirl.ca/blog, I'm continuing to cross-post for a couple of weeks until I get all the kinks out. See the original post at Smuggs-getaway-part-1)


We're freshly back from our weekend getaway to Smugglers' Notch Resort in Vermont.**

Segways rock!

First of all, I'm thinking of ditching my career as a public servant and joining the professional Segway tour. What, they don't have one? Seriously, this has been one of the best summers of my life, and the best 90 minutes of an amazing weekend during a fabulous summer may just have been those spent zipping around Smugglers' Notch Resort on this Segway. Who knew - turns out I'm a natural! But more on that later...

We got off to a slow start. We were about an hour late leaving Ottawa, and had to turn back after 15 minutes when our first portable DVD player crapped out on us. (I think there was a short in the adapter.) So we turned around and went back to get our backup DVD player, which crapped out on us outside of Montreal, about 1/3 of the way into the trip. Then we chose Autoroute 20 instead of Autoroute 40 to get through Montreal, which I'm sure added another 45 minutes to our trip.

Despite the fact that I had ground my molars into a fine powder by the time we reached the Canada-US border, the rest of the trip was so gorgeous - through pastoral countryside, alongside winding streams through charming small towns and up into the Green Mountains - that I had once again achieved inner peace (or at least unclenched my jaws) by the time we arrived at Smuggs about five hours after we left.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but the condo we stayed it superceded just about anything I could have possibly imagined. First of all, it was HUGE! We took one look around and almost called Granny and Papa Lou back in Ottawa to tell them to pack a bag and get down to Vermont to join us - there was more than enough room to share, and it was immaculately clean. The living room, bigger than ours at home, had a gas fireplace, a sectional sofa that pulled out into a double bed, and a dining room table that would comfortably seat eight people.

Living/dining room and kitchen

Lookit all the windows!
Living room

The second bedroom had two single beds AND a double bed. (I'm sprawled on the double as I take this photo.)

Second bedroom

The master bedroom had a king size bed and its own ensuite with a whirlpool bath.

Ensuite bath

There were four(!) TVs placed strategically through the condo, including one perched on a shelf high above the whirlpool tub... perfect for a leisurely soak while watching COPS - or, erm, whatever else you might want to watch on a Saturday evening.

It was late in the afternoon by the time we finished wandering openmouthed around the condo, waiting for someone to leap out with a camera and say, "Surprise, we were just kidding you. You really think we'd give you all this for FREE**? Hah! Not friggin' likely!" Nobody did, and so we set off to do a little bit of exploring of the resort itself.

Smuggs is sprawled over the base of three mountains: Madonna, Morse and Sterling. There are several 'communities' of condos, some owned outright, others owned and rented out through the resort. The condo we stayed in was in the Sycamore group in the West Hill community, and had its own pool and playground adjacent to the condos.

Playground at the West Hill community

It didn't take us long to find the Funmeister's Clubhouse, a small arcade with video games, ping pong tables and the boys' new favourite summer pastime, air hockey.

Air hockey in the Funmeister Clubhouse

Smuggs has no less than eight pools and four waterslides! On that first afternoon, we tried the Mountainside Pool with its Little Smugglers' Lagoon, a shallow pool (not quite waist-deep on the boys) with caves for exploring and spraying fountains.

Little Smugglers Lagoon

Simon in the Lagoon

Since the condo's kitchen was better stocked with cookware and tools than my kitchen at home (including a glass-topped range, dishwasher, blender, toaster and - wait for it - en suite washer and dryer!) we could have easily just made dinner back at the condo. But, of course, we didn't. Instead, we dined on pizza and pasta dinner at Riga Bello's, one of several restaurants at Smuggs. Given that it was cafeteria-style counter service at resort prices, it was a surprisingly good meal that the boys actually ate. Nothing like fresh air to stimulate the appetite!

Spaghetti dinner

So how do you end a day like this? With Ben and Jerry's ice cream, of course.

Ice cream

Can you believe I was a Ben and Jerry's virgin before this trip? After sampling Simon's chunky monkey (it's as if they named it after him!), Beloved's chocolate chip cookie dough, and his own chocolate, Tristan voted my berry sorbet to be the best flavour of the lot.

And all that was just the first six hours!!

Coming next: Segway tours, day camps, and the world's longest canoe trip...

**Disclosure: I was offered a complimentary visit to Smugglers' Notch Resort after Smugg's PR folks read my Ottawa to Bar Harbor posts earlier this summer. Our condo and all activities were complimentary but in no way conditional on a favourable review.