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You and Me and Moonlight in Vermont

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Gregory George

Are so hypnotized by the lovely Evening summer breeze Warbling of a meadowlark Moonlight in Vermont’

The Blackburn and Suessdorf standard softly serenades as a languid late afternoon summer sun greets us as we roll through the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont. It has been a long 9-hour drive, and we are in the middle of Vermont ski country, in July and neither of us skis. Our hotel’s website offers outdoor activities such as ‘romantic sleigh rides’ and ‘grab a pair of snowshoes’ but we have decided to discover the beauty of Vermont with the last waning days of a hot, dry summer and tour of the green, rural roads of small-town New England. Southern Vermont resorts offer a unique style of vacation and are completely different in early harvest ‘moonlight’ August than they are in the ‘icey finger waves’ of February.  From hiking Vermont’s state parks or fishing and wildlife viewing to those simply craving quiet downtime or a ‘romantic setting’ long weekend at a luxury resort as we were, there is nothing like a summer vacation in Vermont. Enjoy some country luxury, indulge in some downtime, and wander in the green. ‘You and Me and Moonlight in Vermont’: beautiful in any season.

And if you are road tripping through the US, you might consider some travel insurance. Here are followsummer’s recommendations to keep your Moonlight in Vermont safe and romantic!

‘Pennies in a stream, Falling leaves of a sycamore.’

Windham Hill Inn’s Innkeeper Peggy greets us with an easy smile and local charm. She quickly upgrades our original three-day booking to her ‘preferred view’ of the rolling Green Mountain National Forest and walks us over to the Barn Annex and unlocks the door to William’s Room, the patriarch of the original Lawrence family farm. Our room is full of Vermont charm: a comfy, king four-poster, two welcoming wing chairs to curl up in, and sliding glass doors with spectacular green views across the valley. Did I mention the pool is a skipping stone distance from our Muskoka Chaired patio? It is mid-week, and we seem to have the pool all to our greedy selves. Lyndsey speaks of the history of the original house, built in 1825, and she leads us on a quick tour of the property including the private cottage, spa and the gardens from which Chef David Crone forages his garden-to-table menus before inviting us for a pre-dinner cocktail and some great Vermont cheeses. Dinner tonight is a quiet affair: we share our candlelit dining room with only two other couples and toast our first ‘moonlight in Vermont.’

PLEASE NOTE: due to a tragic fire in May of 2021, Windham Hill is no longer operating. Our hearts go out to the many loyal guests and the owners who have enjoyed the relaxing comfort of this four-star in. From the owner: “Hopefully, like a phoenix, she will again rise from the ashes.”

‘Telegraph cables, they sing down the highway
And travel each bend in the road.’

We enjoy coffee on our deck with some early morning sun gently touching the tops of the Green Mountains before heading to the main house and welcoming ‘Good Morning’ from the staff. We plan our day over a sumptuous breakfast of Vermont Scramble, freshly squeezed juice and continued cups of coffee, enjoying the view over Frog Pond from the wrap-around windows of the Inn’s dining room. Our server, Peggy offers recommendations and a detailed map of a possible driving itinerary today, and we quickly agree! First stop Grafton and the Grafton Cheese Company facilities. Established in 1892 as the Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company and restored in the 1960s with the help of the Windham Foundation, Grafton’s cheddar is synthetic and hormone-free and made mostly from Jersey cow milk from Vermont family farms.  We press our noses to the glass and watch great vats of milk and cream prepped for some delicious and famous hand-crafted aged cheddar cheese. In July 2008 the company celebrated the opening of a new production plant and retail store in Brattleboro,  serving up  “more than 70 types of cheeses, wine, Vermont microbrews, fresh bread, maple products and other gourmet food items and accompaniments.” 

We continue our quiet wander of the main street of Grafton and step into the charming and historic Grafton Inn, one of the oldest operating inns in America.

The Inn opened its doors in 1801 and quickly became a favorite for local social events and meetings and popular among literary types (Kipling was a guest in 1892) and primarily a commercial hotel patronized by business travelers who knew it as a “good place to stop.”

The Inn has a few notable and famous visitors as well: Webster, Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes and politicians Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Ulysses S. Grant during election campaigning. Comfortable historic main rooms with beamed ceilings and charm-filled guest rooms welcome the weary traveller to the main tavern building while those seeking a more private stay can consider booking one of the restored historic buildings across from the Main Tavern. A candle-lit dinner at the Old Tavern Restaurant of the main inn will inspire as well as their talented team of chefs to locally sourced, farm-to-table fare. In the summer, enjoy lunch on their sunny Phelps Barn Pub patio. While at the Inn, wander further afield, (a mere one-and-a-half kilometre pleasant stroll down the road) and enjoy Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center. In winter, the site offers skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and sleigh rides or visit in the summer as we did for a hike and stroll or enjoy mountain biking, swimming, and canoeing.

‘…down the highway And travel each bend in the road.’

Quintessential Vermont at its very best, Weston offers a historic downtown with country inn charm and unique shopping.  Replete with a tinsmith,  a working mill wheel, unique galleries and Vermont’s oldest professional theatre company, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company offers traditional summer stock favourites on two stages with opera, art shows, special events and concerts rounding out the remainder of the year.

But what draws most to this charming southern Vermont town is the famous Vermont Country Store where you can spend a good hour perusing the aisles of pant stretchers, novelties, bedding, lumberjack paraphernalia, cheese, dry goods, penny candy and of course Vermont Maple Syrup.

Grab a late lunch at the store’s next-door sister Mildred’s Grill & Dairy Bar and sample some mighty fine local fare washed down with a locally brewed craft beer.

“Pennies in a stream Falling leaves a sycamore Moonlight in Vermont’

Our final stop is a hike and tromp on the popular Jamaica State Park trail, just down the hill from Windham Hill Inn and located on a bend of the West River about one kilometre from the center of Jamaica proper. Four recommendations for this hike and park were given today on our mini road trip, and we arrived and quickly saw why: bucolic backcountry Vermont at its finest and a lovely way to end our day of exploring. We amble the approximately two kilometres up Cobb Brook to Hamilton Falls, which enters the West River upstream from the park andsit and breath in the lovely pine-scented views.

Indulging in some downtime around the pool upon our return to Windham Hill Inn is a must before heading over to dinner in the main house; the chirping chorus from Frog Pond serenading us over a lovely bottle of wine with dinner. A final stroll around the twilight dew-covered lawns, then comfortably plopped into our Muskoka chairs, the last glass of wine in hand and we are completely ‘……hypnotized by the lovely Evening summer breeze. Warbling of a meadowlark. Moonlight in Vermont’.

Travel well in rural Vermont, my friends.


Please note: This post contains product links from World Nomads which is an affiliate link, meaning if you click over and purchase something, we will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you) which goes towards maintaining followsummer. Thank you in advance!




World Traveler, Writer, and Blogger, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the followsummer.com travel blog. Come, travel the world with me and my experiential eye!

James Anderson is currently working on his second novel, a YA fantasy called Reaper, and on a number of freelance projects. His first novel, Allegedly, is available on Amazon.

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Cultural destinations

These Are The Top 7 Beach Destinations In 2024 According To Travel And Leisure

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mallorca spain coastline

A comprehensive list of the top destinations for 2024 has been put together by the Travel and Leisure experts.

Numerous magazines have released their favorites for the upcoming year, and they all appear very different. While some are fully off the grid, others are popular hotspots.

In the end, you have to determine what interests you enough to plan a fantastic trip. Travel & Leisure divided up their best recommendations by category rather than covering all 50 locations.

Let’s examine the top 7 “beach vibes” for 2024 as listed by Travel & Leisure:
Florida’s Anna Maria Island
There are several locations in Florida that make for the perfect vacation, which is why the state continues to draw enormous numbers of visitors.

Miami and other major American beaches and cultural centers are located in this sunny state. However, a lot of people decide to take the ideal family vacation to Orlando.

Tampa is one place that gets overlooked despite having so many beautiful beaches close by. Travel and Leisure declares Anna Maria Island to be the greatest in Florida because of its friendly locals, breathtaking sunsets, and lack of skyscrapers that obstruct the view.

Your stay will be more enjoyable and accessible with new hotels and more flights to nearby Sarasota.
Italy’s Campania coast
This striking area is experiencing a hotel boom on some of the most picturesque coastline in the nation.

With four destinations to pick from for your European beach getaway—Amalfi, Positano, Capri, and Sorrento—Coastal Campania offers quadruple the pleasure.

Italy’s breathtaking beaches will wow you; many visitors associate the nation with ancient sites and excessive wine and pasta consumption.

You can still indulge in excessive amounts of delectable food and drink locally produced wine, but why not do it against the breathtaking backdrop of azure waters, undulating hills, and classic architecture?
There are several hotel alternatives available to travelers, ranging from luxurious accommodations with cliffside pools to intimate boutique styles.

Soon, American and Delta will begin offering direct service to the neighboring Naples.
There isn’t a single Costa Rican beach that Travel and Leisure recommended visiting in 2024. T and L essentially advise you to “just pick one” beach because they are all so lovely.

Any beach in Costa Rica is a good choice, however some are busier and more well-known than others.
While some may choose for more quiet spots to have a wonderful beach all to themselves, many small towns have a thriving surfing community that gets together to surf the waves.

Travelers adore visiting the land of pura vida, despite the fact that it is usually more expensive than nearby nations.

Travel & Leisure also adore it. Indeed, they have selected Costa Rica as the “Destination of the Year” for 2024. Whether traveling alone, with company, or on a family vacation, everyone will find their place in this stunning nation.

There are plenty of enjoyable excursions to discover the breathtaking beauty and culture of the country, and lodging options ranging from cozy hostels to opulent hotels are easily accessible.
Dominica  Over the past year, Dominica has been increasingly popular. Travel is on the rise, and more people are looking to discover bright new places to visit.

This Caribbean island features picture-perfect waterfalls, verdant jungles, and unspoiled beaches, making it a veritable paradise.

trekking enthusiasts should prepare their trekking shoes, as the breathtaking Waitukubuli National Trail spans more than 100 miles across the island.

More lodging facilities, including upscale establishments like InterContinental, are opening up. A major lure for tourists is sustainability, with charming eco-lodges.
Hawaii Island 🙠
We are all aware of the destruction Hawaii experienced earlier this year. After a wildfire decimated Maui, there has been debate in the travel industry over whether or not it is still safe to visit.

Travel and Leisure claims that Hawaii is prepared for tourists to return. Without requiring a passport, Hawaii offers one of the most unusual environments.

Stunning beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and cliffside vistas are just a few of the main attractions for tourists.

Travelers are urged by the tourism sector to treat any island as if it were their own home and to be careful of their stay.
Mexico’s Los Cabos
With the cleanest beaches in all of Latin America, Los Cabos is among the most picturesque locations in Mexico.

“Is Cabo worth the price?” is the query that vacationers should be asking themselves. The top hotels, according to reports, are now charging an astounding $1000 a night on average!

With its boujee resorts, immaculate beaches, and exciting entertainment, Cabo is among the most opulent vacation spots that are accessible to most people.

In 2024, more opulent resorts are planned to open, and more flights are leaving from American airports.
Spain’s Mallorca
This gorgeous island in Spain is ideal for a romantic beach vacation. It is the location of the lovely city of Palma, which is overlooked in favor of Spain’s other major towns. Outside of the city are some of the most tranquil beaches the country has to offer, complete with dazzling waters, wide-open areas, and relaxed residents.

In between beach days, explore the amazing downtown streets for an abundance of tapas and mouthwatering wine. From boutique lodging to a Four Seasons resort, the quaint hotels will win your heart.

With United’s new direct route from Newark, getting to Mallorca is now easier than ever.

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Cultural destinations

These Are 5 Of The Top Destinations In Southeast Asia’s Cheapest Country

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Aerial View Of A Beach Area In Nha Trang, Central Vietnam, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, sometimes abbreviated as SEA, is the ideal destination for backpackers.

Vietnam is a very diverse subcontinent where foreigners are welcomed and hyperinflated Western prices are not a regular concern. This year, its popularity has increased due to lax visitation laws and less bureaucratic tourist visa processes, but no nation has shown itself to be as fashionable as Vietnam.

This tropical treasure borders the turquoise East Sea and is considered the cheapest destination in the South East Asia region. With extremely low consumer costs and a devalued national currency that enhances the spending power of the typical Westerner, it’s your best choice for an off-the-beaten-path tropical holiday that won’t break the bank.

After spending a lot of time exploring Vietnam, we have selected the top five places to go this winter that are affordable and rich in culture:
Mui Ne
Mui Ne, a tranquil fishing hamlet in South Vietnam, is undoubtedly the most underappreciated coastal location in the nation since it offers culture and wellness all in one place.

It’s got an emerging development strip with new resorts opening every few months, including the delightful boutique hotel The Anam that we featured earlier this year, as well as pristine reserves, sand dunes, family-run eateries, and historic Cham towers that date back hundreds of years.

With nightly rates as low as $114 and a prime location near Mui Ne’s high street rather than in a far-off place away from the activity, The Anam is the perfect starting point for visitors wishing to explore the town and the larger province.

The area is well-known for its seafood, particularly its fish sauce, and there are several authentic restaurants outside the resort complex that serve Vietnamese specialties, like rice noodle soup and sea snails, for as little as $5.
As Hoi An
Hoi An, the crown jewel of Vietnam, is a superbly maintained medieval river port with dwellings that have a yellow tint, winding alleyways, and a history that dates back more than 2,000 years.

A reminder of the successive colonization periods and the multicultural nature of Hoi An, it is situated in Central Vietnam, halfway between the country’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Its eclectic architecture, influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and European styles, is evident throughout its bustling streets, which are home to medieval Sino pagodas, striking displays of colorful, brightly painted paper lanterns, a Japanese temple bridge that spans a picturesque canal, and several French-built civic structures that date back to the French Indochina period.

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit location if you’re traveling from North to South Vietnam or the other way around. Like other Vietnamese hotspots, it fits your budget—a three-day stay typically costs about $50, not including lodging.

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and the political and cultural center of the former capitalist state of South Vietnam. Despite no longer serving as the country’s capital, it is still known by this name.

Still the most Westernized and outward-looking city in the nation, HCMC has changed with the times thanks to the support of a strong expat population, making it one of the top investment and business destinations in Southeast Asia.

HCMC, home to 8.4 million people, is a popular destination for digital nomads and young entrepreneurs. With its impressive French colonial architecture, war museums, and exciting nightlife, it’s a vibrant city that visitors shouldn’t miss when exploring Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels, used by Viet combatants during the War, the Independence Palace, the former South Vietnam Government’s headquarters, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, a French Neo-Gothic structure, are just a few of the city’s top attractions.

When compared to other major cities in the subcontinent, HCMC is surprisingly affordable. Budget tourists could anticipate to pay a meager $30 per day, not including lodging.
Ha Trang
With over 500,000 residents, Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s largest cities and the nation’s go-to sunny spot. Holidaymakers tend to flock there during the peak travel season, which runs from November to February when less precipitation is recorded.

Nha Trang is the new favorite digital nomad destination in Southeast Asia. It is another well-liked beach resort and bustling coastal metropolis lining the East Sea, where tall hotel towers and skyscrapers are bounded by a long stretch of white sand.

Not so well-known Nha Trang is fast rising to prominence as one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after options for a seaside city break, thanks to its array of opulent hotels surrounding the shoreline and its abundance of top-notch restaurants serving traditional seafood from Central Vietnam.

In general, visitors should budget only $41 a day on average in Nha Trang, plus an extra $27 per night for lodging.

In addition to the stunning beaches and commercial malls, tourists may fully immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture by visiting the nearby Po Nagar ruins, an old temple that was established as early as the eighth century by the now-extinct Cham civilization.

Hanoi
A discussion of Vietnam’s most interesting travel locations would be incomplete without discussing Hanoi, which served as the country’s capital after the Reunification War and is now regarded as the country’s second-most important commercial and cultural hub after Ho Chi Minh City in the South.

The main draws of Hanoi are its broad, green boulevards in the European style and its greater degree of social development in comparison to other less developed areas of Vietnam:

Being the government’s capital and a major financial center, it has greater infrastructure than the typical Vietnamese city and is much cleaner, with less hectic traffic.

Not only is Hanoi a popular destination because of this, but visitors also enjoy it because of its high concentration of historic temples, French colonial landmarks, and large, open green spaces that offer a brief respite from the fast-paced city life.

Furthermore, because Hanoi has connections to off-beaten routes in North Vietnam, travelers frequently use it as a base for exploring the region’s wild nature, which includes stunning mountain ranges, the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, and golden rice fields.

With an average daily cost of $50 for tourists, Hanoi is undoubtedly the most costly option out of the five; yet, even by Western standards, it is extremely affordable and definitely less expensive than other Asian metropolises like Singapore or Hong Kong.

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam soon? Find out more about this Southeast Asian treasure and some of the guidelines for visiting.

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These 5 U.S. Airlines Are Most Likely To Experience Flight Delays Right Now

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Woman Waiting at Airport

The holidays are quickly approaching, resulting in some of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Flight delays are typical this time of year, particularly around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Flying may be a stressful experience in and of itself, but delays can make it even more so.

Booking with an airline that has a high proportion of on-time flights and booking a ticket early in the morning are two of the greatest strategies to avoid flight delays.

According to recent statistics from UpgradedPoints, the following airlines in the United States are most likely to face flight delays right now.

1. Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines is currently the worst airline for flight delays. This low-cost carrier’s flights have a 31.9% risk of being delayed.

Rather of taking a chance and risking a one-in-three possibility of your flight being delayed, it’s best to select a more dependable airline for flights this winter.

Frontier is also dealing with other concerns, including as a class-action lawsuit against the airline’s $599 “unlimited flight” pass, which was introduced earlier this year.

2. Southwest Airlines

Last year, just around Christmas, Southwest Airlines experienced a catastrophic meltdown, resulting in thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Many tourists questioned if booking with Southwest was safe in light of the complete breakdown of operations. While Southwest is likely to strive extra hard to avoid a similar disaster this winter, you may not want to take any chances.

Furthermore, according to historical statistics, Southwest flights have a 31.8% risk of being delayed, making the airline nearly as unreliable as Frontier.

3. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is another untrustworthy airline with a significant likelihood of flight delays. When it comes to on-time flights, this New York-based carrier does not have the finest track record.

Although not as awful as Frontier or Southwest, going on JetBlue still means you have a staggering 30.8% probability of experiencing flight delays.

4. Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Air is the next carrier on the list of possible delays. This low-cost airline is not very dependable, so although you may save money by booking your ticket, you may also face unexpected delays.

Allegiant Air flights are delayed 29.2% of the time.

5. Spirit Airlines

Finally, there is Spirit Airlines. Although this low-cost carrier is the brunt of many jokes for being a less-than-ideal mode of transportation, it isn’t as awful as some other US airlines when it comes to delays.

When flying with Spirit, there is a 28.1% risk of a flight delay.

Which Airlines Experience the Fewest Delays?

Now that you know which airlines are most likely to have flight delays right now (and which to avoid! ), here are the airlines with the fewest delays.

Although ultra-low tickets with airlines such as Frontier or Spirit may entice you, it may be worth the additional money to book with a more dependable airline.

The top three airlines with the fewest delays right now are:

  • Alaska Airlines has a 20.3% probability of being delayed.
  • Delta Air Lines has a 19.1% probability of being delayed.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has a 15.6% probability of being delayed.

Flights can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including aircraft faults, personnel concerns, weather, and other factors, but these three airlines have the fewest delays.

There is no foolproof technique to avoid flight delays (as lovely as that would be! ), but you may read this article for further advice on how to avoid the dreaded delay or cancellation.

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