Archive for the ‘Summer Bucket List’ Category

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu
September 5, 2010

Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you. (Did you really think I could make it through this whole summer without a Sound Of Music reference?)

But in all seriousness, seeing anything great come to an end is really hard for me. And to say that this summer has been great is quite an understatement.

Cody and I created this blog on a whim the night we moved into Battell, sometime in late May. To be honest, I didn’t think much would become of it. I thought we would half-heartedly post every now and then, and as the summer flew by I figured we would forget about it by the end of June.

That was not the case though. The blog soon became much more than a way to let our friends and family members across the country know what we were up to. It became a sort of multi-media scrapbook of our Vermont summer. We went to great lengths to make sure our experiences weren’t just written accounts of what happened, but that they were supplemented by photos, videos, audio recordings, etc; anything to create a more complete representation of our incredible escapades. It will be so nice to have this blog in the months and years to come as a way to look back on a fantastic time spent with fantastic people.

We posted a lot this summer on our Summer Bucket List, a list of things we HAD to do before the end of the summer. Well, we never went to Montreal, or Boston, and even though Cody bought a bike by the end of the summer, we never made the trek to Fort Ticonderoga. And while these may have been our grand plans, so many other things happened this summer that definitely warranted a place on our bucket list.

Therefore, I give you our last Summer Bucket List update (in no particular order):

  1. Learn obscure phrases in various languages from your friends who are attempting to not break the language pledge. (i.e. – “Meine hampster ist gestorben.” and “Wo pa paopao.” )
  2. Convince boatloads of prospies that Midd is the best place on Earth. (Between Admissions and Swim Team recruits, Cody and I are practically going to be responsible for the entire class of 2015).
  3. Make drives to Burlington like it’s the town next door.
  4. Get to know numerous Middlebury faculty and staff. Even babysit their kids/dogs/houses.
  5. Become super close with an amazing group of people in a beautiful town during one of the most incredible summers of our lives.

I had high hopes for this summer. Every other June, July, and August of past years is full of memories of swimming, swimming, and more swimming. And while, these are certainly things I cherish, I was tired of the same old routine. A summer at Midd was the perfect remedy. I truly had the time of my life and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that was a part of it. I’m glad we will be able to look back on these memories (and this blog) together with smiles on faces in the future.

So tonight we say goodbye to the summer and hello to the new school year. Goodbye to forced meals in Redfield Proctor, goodbye to sleepovers in basements in 100 degree weather, goodbye to swimming holes and lakes, goodbye to board games in town apartments, goodbye to warm starry nights and rooftop talks. But hello to new and old friends, hello to more growth and learning, hello to crisp fall air, hello to the Proctor booth room. Bittersweet.

Hating to go and leave this pretty sight,



Let It Be
August 4, 2010

Guess I wasn’t pretty enough to make it into the shot…


Summer Bucket List Update
August 3, 2010

Things have been pretty busy up here in Vermont as you can tell by Cody’s post on our whirlwind week of music. But don’t think that some hipster musicians made us stray from our quest to complete our Summer Bucket List.

In fact in the past two weeks, we have managed to knock out two of our summer goals: cliff jumping at Bristol Falls and singing at the Middlebury Farmer’s Market.

Cliff Jumping

Bristol Falls, VT

Two Saturdays ago, to beat the sweltering heat, Ryan, Syd, Olivia and I made our way out to Bristol Falls, to enjoy some natural refreshment. Bristol Falls is one of the best swimming holes in Vermont, as evidenced by the crowd of people there last weekend. Not only is it gorgeous, but there is more to do there than just sit in the water. There is cliff jumping (which only I participated in – pansies…), a shallow wading area, and you are also able to go behind the waterfall. This was especially fun, and comical, as we battled our way upstream and over slippery rocks in order to enjoy the peacefulness behind the raging water.

But Bristol Falls is not the only place to go cliff jumping in Vermont. Earlier this summer on one of the summer worker “Dunmore Days”, a group of us made the hike up to Falls of Lana. Falls of Lana is a beautiful three-tiered waterfall located just up the road from Lake Dunmore. The cliff jumping here is a bit more treacherous. I was pretty proud of myself for mustering up enough courage to make the plunge. But with encouragement like: “This’ll make a sweet profile picture!” – Dan Khan; how could I not jump?

I was actually terrified.

Audrey and the Uke

This past Saturday, Cody and I had our debut performance as Audrey and the Uke at the Farmer’s Market. So it was probably our first and last performance, but we certainly had a blast singing for everyone who came out (even if we were upstaged by a little blond boy selling hugs for 25 cents). Missed it? No worries, check out the video of us singing Wagon Wheel, the Midd Kid anthem before there was a Midd Kid anthem (cause we’ve all driven 18-wheelers down the East Coast?)

As we enter August, expect us to be cramming in more Bucket List updates in the near future (as soon as Cody gets his wisdom teeth out…),


How to Vacation in Vermont
July 19, 2010

Last Wednesday, my family made a trek similar to the one shown on the map above, traveling over 1,000 miles from Dallas to visit me in good ol’ Middlebury. They left this morning, heading onward to Cooperstown, NY to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, after which they’ll head to Boston and then fly home.

While my family was here, I tried to take them to all the quintessentially Vermont destinations I could think of, sparing no expense in making sure they got to experience at least a small slice of what a summer in Vermont is all about. After their visit, I decided it would  be a good idea to write a post about how best to vacation in VT, family included.

Stay in a Road Side Motel

My family decided that they would stay in a road side motel called ‘Greystone’  for their visit. This was a good call made by my Aunt  because (at least I think) the best way to experience any semblance of authentic living in Vermont is to stay in a road side motel.

They are all locally owned (the Greystone by an old married couple, for example) so the vacationers get to experience the ‘locals’ of whatever small town they’re staying in, which is what all the tour guidebooks always tell us is so important anyway, right? Save the Hiltons and Holiday Inns for when you visit a big city, but in Vermont, as the saying goes, “Go Local!”

Go to a festival/fair in small town America

Nobody does small town fun like Vermont, and, I would caution to say, that Middlebury does an exceptionally good job at promoting the Main St. mentality. By attending a local festival or fair, you can really come to appreciate the culture of Vermont because, at the end of the day, the people and how they choose to party and get funky is what makes Vermont so unique.

Luckily for my family, the Festival On the Green was going on this past week in Middlebury. It was, essentially, a huge music festival full of local and not-so-local bands. My family and I ate it up, reveling in how the festival was able to bring together so many of the town residents (it would be shocking if our home town could pull off something half as authentic).

Get outdoors!

Seems simple enough. When you go to Chicago you eat Deep Dish pizza. When you go to New York, you see the Statue of Liberty. When you’re in Vermont you have to go outdoors. In a state that seems to be covered by huge mountains, rivers, water falls, swimming holes, and hiking trails, it would be a complete and TOTAL shame if you didn’t spend at least some time outdoors while visiting.

To remedy this problem for my family, my brother (who has never been on top of a mountain before-the largest mountain in our hometown of Carrollton, TX is the city dump) and I decided to hike up Snake Mountain. It’s a relatively easy hike located really close to Middlebury and the views are amazing. Overlooking the Champlain Valley with glimpses of the Adirondack Mountains in the background, this mountain had my brother screaming, “The world is ours to explore!”


Go to a Farm

In no other state would I tell you to go see a farm. It would probably be impossible and not very pleasant for you or your family. Plus it would probably be located on a flat plain with amber waves of grain (shout out Katharine Lee Bates).

Not so in Vermont.

The farms in Vermont are beautiful, located amidst rolling hills and lush green fields. Plus, a lot of the farms in Vermont double as educational centers where the farmers/owners use their knowledge of farming and the environment to educate people on how they should interact with their planet.

My family and I decided to visit Shelburne Farms, a beautiful, expansive farm/nonprofit environmental education center located just outside Burlington, VT. The farm has a lot of animals and a lot of events going on (everything from cheese making to goat milking). My family and I had so much fun holding chickens, picnicking on the grounds, and, of course, milking/posing with Feta, the goat in the above picture.

Yes, her milk is used to make Feta cheese.

Clever Shelburne Farms, clever.

If you had asked me a year ago today what my family of Suburbanites could possibly do in rural Vermont during an almost week long vacation, I would have told you that there was no way that we would (or could) spend 5 days in Vermont. But, after a year of living here and having just recently shared my knowledge of the state with my family, I can honestly say that it was one of the most interestingly authentic vacations we have ever experienced together.

And to top it all off, as we were driving to visit Fort Ticonderoga, we ran into this. As my aunt would say, “you can’t say anything about Texas. Only in Vermont would you see a cow crossing!”

Until the next cow crosses the road,


Lake Dunmore is cold.
June 15, 2010

Like, really cold. But gorgeous.

This morning I joined a group of the Middlebury Muffintops for their daily lake swim. For those of you who don’t know, the Muffintops are Midd’s badass masters swim team and they are made up of faculty and staff members from the college as well as community members. And in my opinion, they are being represented by the wrong mascot. None of them are muffintops (have muffintops?), and I can only pray that my body looks that good in twenty-plus years. They were extremely welcoming and a great group to swim with. This is the kind of community interaction I was hoping for this summer at Midd, and I hope to form a great relationship with them over the rest of the summer. But more on the actual lake:

  • Lake Dunmore is surprisingly clean. There were a lot of places in shallow areas where I could clearly see the bottom of the lake, and although I took a very long (and warm) shower upon my return to Battell, I didn’t feel as grimy or sandy as I thought I would. In other words, this is a great place to go for a non-chlorinated dip in the summer and I’d like to add “day trip to Lake Dunmore” to our summer bucket list.
  • Lake Dunmore is not a good place to go fishing. Maybe they were just all asleep since it was SO early, but I saw no fish as I swam. This is probably a good thing, as that would have freaked me out. There is also no monster in the lake, although I did worry about that for a second while I was swimming (I think the cold water was seeping into my brain).
  • Swimming in a beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains as the sun comes up is hands-down the best way to start your day. There aren’t many things I’ll get up at 5 in the morning for, but this is one.

It even looks cold.

Warmly (oh the irony),


Midd-Week Update
June 2, 2010

Haha get it? We’re in Middlebury and it’s Wednesday….

…ugh too many hours at the Helpdesk.

Anyways, Cody and I have some really exciting news to share:

1. We were approved for a space in Old Stone Mill! While this blog can surely be written wherever there is wireless, a space in the Old Stone Mill will give us a place where we can solely concentrate on providing entertaining posts for you, our readers. Furthermore, OSM space will allow us to interact more with other summer workers. Lots of Midd students are working on unique projects this summer and we would love to showcase them on our blog. So expect even greater things to come!

2. We will be performing at the Middlebury Farmer’s Market: July 31, 2010! “Audrey and the Uke” will be providing you with musical entertainment as you buy your organic, locally grown vegetables and munch on yummy croissants. This is one of the activities on our ongoing Summer Bucket List, so we’re happy to be on our way to completing all of those tasks! Make sure you come out to support us! (And don’t worry, we’ll have more than 3 songs by then…hopefully.)

Stay tuned for more updates as the summer starts to really get under way (including the upcoming start of Language Schools)!



Tonight at 6:00 PM, Audrey and I went to a gathering at the Old Stone Mill for all the summer tenants. Surrounded by copious amounts of free pizza (after living on mini-bagels and old peanut butter, this was a God send) and incredibly innovative students, we talked about the individual plans everyone had for their respective spaces and let me tell you, everything sounds amazing and the projects range from one student who is going to be working on a 3-dimensional model of the human brain and a group of students who are working on inventing backpacks.

It is going to be an amazing place to have office space in, not only because of our stellar fellow tenants, but because everyone gets to paint their space however they want to! The video below shows a glimpse into what our space will become…


A Summer Bucket List
May 22, 2010

You know all those things you want to do during the year but never have time for?

Well welcome to summer and the season of enormous amounts of free time, baby. So without further ado, we give you the bucket list of us summer Midd kids:

(In no particular order):

– Bike to Ticonderoga. (Okay so it’s like 4o miles roundtrip, but it involves a ferry, and maybe some free pencils.)

– Roadtrip à Montreal.

– Infiltrate Language School events.

– Roadtrip to Boston (Paul Revere’s house + cannolis from the north end + Sweet Caroline at a Red Sox Game = magic)

– Go cliff jumping at Bristol Falls.

– Hike the TAM.

– Take a shower in Hillcrest (If McKibben can do it, so can we)

– Go on the roof of Bi Hall/any roof on campus (Possibly shoot fireworks from here on the 4th of July?)

– Visit Shelburne Farms/ Hold a small goat.

– Sing at the Middlebury Farmer’s Market (with ukulele accompaniment).

– Visit the secret room under Battell Beach. Oh yes, it exists.

That’s it for now. But expect more to come, and feel free to send us any suggestions!