This year I actually decided to take a vacation during the summer.  And not just over a long weekend!  First time in about 5 years.  So of course I headed back to my beloved North Hero Island in Lake Champlain (Vermont).  I spent a fantastic week with my Mom’s cousin Craig and his lovely wife Debbie.  My cousin Lindsay was also there, but she had just started her new job so I didn’t get to see her as much as we both would have liked, but we did have some quality time together.  Somehow I managed to not get any photos of me with Craig, Debbie or Lindsay.  I’m not too sure what happened there, but next time hopefully I’ll be more on the ball.  
Here is a picture of Craig and Debbie’s house from their dock.

And this is that dock!  I went swimming off the end of it every day but one while I was there.  Oh the water was Divine.  It was warm, and so clear.  Heck even my impossible to deal with hair looked good for a whole week.  What I wouldn’t give to be able to bring the lake home with me. 

What a view!  More photos of what Craig and Debbie get to look at every morning with coffee are located at the end.  After all, I managed to sleep in until 7:30 every day but the day I took off.
In spite of not taking photos of Craig, Debbie and Lindsay,  I managed to get photos of the “Fur Children” (as I like to think of them).  Here are Craig and Debbie’s two boys, Al – aka Al E. Cat – and Dylan.  All is the lovely older boy, and Dylan is that handsome mancoon.  
Aren’t the almost as cute as my two?  Sadly poor Al has a bum eye, which you can’t see in this photo.  But he’s quite a bit older (I believe he’s 16), and it doesn’t cause him any pain.  The bonus for me is, now all of a sudden Al likes to visit me, and spend some time with me.  For some reason I was never his bud until now.  Dylan, well, he’s more aloof and not too sure what to think of me.  But he’s a beaut.
Here is a picture of Sharky (aka Shark Attack, CC, Condo Cat, and possibly one more that I have forgotten).  This is Lindsay’s boy, and now that she has her Condo, he’s moving out.  I think Al and Dylan are happy about the move!

Sharky was very fond of my bag, and many times I found him in it.  So of course I took a picture!
Of course I spent time at the family cottage, about 10 minutes up the road.  This is the place my brother and I grew up going to, and my Mom and her brother and sister grew up going to.  Well, and all of my four cousins as well.  It was Grandpa’s favorite place, and I remember going with Mom to get Grandpa on the VIA for a week or two trip out, even when I was with a walker, and in his semi-independent living home.  That’s how much he loved it out there.
This is the place of so many memories, and the only two I have of my Grandmother.  On took place on that lovely expanse of lawn you’re looking at!  We were shelling pea’s from the garden.  Yes, Grandpa used to have a great veggie garden.  Oh memories.
Here is a view looking out over the lake.  Yep, those are mountains in the background.  What a place!  I learned to sail right in that patch of lake.  Dad and I used to borrow the little sail boat that Craig owned, and before I knew it, I was able to take it out on my own.  Sadly that boat is no more, as only Dad and I ever used it!  Apparently we’re the only tiny craft sailors in the family.
Of course since the cottage is older, there is always work going on.  Here is Uncle Norm (my Mom’s sister’s husband) sanding the bathroom side for a fresh coat of white wash.  The roof face he’s sitting on, that would be the bathroom.
One of the nights I was in Vermont, I stay with Lindsay at Molly’s.  Molly Lindsay’s boyfriend Will’s Mom.  Confusing?  I hope not!  Molly has a gorgeous place out not far from Mount Philo, which I have to admit, I didn’t even know was there.  Anyway, Lindsay recommended that I go hike up it in the morning before heading back to the islands, and boy am I glad I took her suggestion.  Though next time I’m going to drink my morning tea FIRST, and aim to be up top when the sun rises.  I mean, look at these views, and just imagine what they would be like in first light!  Oh, I’m dreaming of my next trip already.
On my last night, I headed to an open air concert at the only vineyard in the Islands.  It’s located on South Hero Island, and it produced semi-decent wine.  I’m thinking it needs a few more year to mature into it’s wine producing abilities, but I suspect they’ll get there.  It’s called Snow Farm Winery, and if you’re every out that way, I recommend a trip.  If for nothing else than the Thursday night concert series.  It was a brilliant time.  Debbie and I packed ourselves a nice little cooler with cheese, crackers, grapes, drinks and chocolates.  We thought we’d be fine with our goodies.  Well, we needn’t have brought anything!  We went with Auntie Carol, Uncle Norm, Jimmy Anderson (another Holiday point lifer) and Christina (Jimmy’s GF).  Oh yeah, and Christina’s daughter, two of Christina’s friends and their daughters.  Well, between Auntie Carol and Christina there was more food that needed for our group, and Debbie and I were super well fed.  But boy was is a great time.
The crowd of music and open air dinning lovers.  Oh yeah, they had ice cream and I think I saw a hot food tent as well.  But most people came in with coolers or take away pizza.  Good thinking on their part!
Here I am with Auntie Carol and Uncle Norm.  And I just realized that even with my sunglasses on you can see the family resemblance with Auntie Carol and I.  I guess that means I really do look like my Mother!  Who knew.
I even managed to get a photo of Uncle Norm in action.  He’s not a dancer, but apparently he’s a chair bopper!  Debbie is to the left in white, with Auntie Carol beside her.  Can you tell we’re all having a great time?  I think so.

As promised, a few photos of Craig and Debbie’s early morning view.  This is what I saw when I went out to load up the car for my trip home.  What a great visual memory to leave with!

I must admit, it makes me want to jump in my car and head right back.  I have the feeling that Craig and Debbie would be glad to have me back.  Sigh, next summer is just too far away.

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