Most summers since we moved to DC we’ve been spending a week or so in the summer in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York with Oliver’s family. They used to have a mountain house when the family lived in NYC, and though they sold it years ago, they maintained ties to the area and were able to rent a house most summers. This year was the first year Sapphie joined us, and not surprisingly she happily adjusted to the mountain life of cool misty mornings on the deck and sunny afternoon hikes.

This year we had the time to take a road trip through the Adirondacks and then the Green Mountains of Vermont, looping back through the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Our first stop was lunch by Lake George, but we were quickly on to Vermont, the magical state of mountains, farms, sustainable small businesses, and rainbows. (There were actually rainbows around every corner that day.) The car seemed to fly over smooth empty roads as the emerald green mountainsides drifted by. We stopped in Manchester to hang out at Northshire Bookstore – we picked up a copy of the Explorer’s Guide: 50 Hikes in Vermont and immediately began planning our return.