Searching for the Kingdom

I love the concrete jungle.

Back in June, when we moved from the foresty, farmy suburbs of Boston to the anti-christ of New York City, I felt this incredible sense of freedom.  I was no longer tethered to my car.  I could get a really good, freshly baked bagel 24/7.  And, I could buy beer on Sundays.

Embrace the freedom, people.

This kind of freedom, however, is pretty specific to the fast-paced hustle of a city that boasts several hundreds of thousands of inhabitants per square mile.  None of whom moo or trot or slither.

At least not by design.

The global warming-induced early April showers (in March) that are feeding the early May flowers (in April) here in NYC, keep reminding me of the antithetical constraints of this urban styled freedom.  The blooming dogwood lined streets of Brooklyn are lovely.  But even I, the ultimate concrete jungle lover, can see that they are a poor representation of authentic greenery.  Authentic freedom.  Authentic mooing.

So…please don’t tell anyone…but suddenly, all this concrete is making me feel just a tad bit… erm… claustrophobic.

Ok.  I’ve said it.

I’ve got to get out if here.


Last year, for Father’s Day weekend, we escaped Greater Boston for Smugglers Notch in heavenly Northeastern Vermont.  It was, literally, a breath of fresh air.  But this year, living in the urban capital of the world,  my family and I crave something even closer to God.

We can’t possibly be alone in this pursuit.

We’ve been researching places on Cape Cod, considering Western Mass, and revisiting the idea of Maine.  But this week I was approached to promote the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont and my mouth about dropped off my face.  (see?)

The Northeast Kingdom is just about as close to God as you can get.   It is wide open green space littered with mountains and lakes and moose and peace and quiet.  It is an urban yogi’s wet dream.  And it is New York City’s alter ego.

Take a moment and paint a mental picture.  Green for miles and miles.  Wildlife.  The soundtrack? “The hills are alive…”

Plus, the fact that it’s practically in Canada offers a convenient opportunity to shoot up to Montreal as well.

I am yearning for it. Sugar shacks, Cabot’s Creamery, hikes, covered bridges, the whole nine.  The whole kingdom, if you will.

(Yes, I actually used the word “yearning.”)

So here’s the rub.  The Northeast Kingdom Travel and Tourism Association (NEKTTA), is hosting a Facebook contest during the month of April.

The Grand Prize?  A two night midweek Summer stay at Couture’s B & B, a lovely working farm located in Westfield, VT. Plus, a gift certificate for a three-course dinner for two at the award winning Tastings Food & Spirits located in nearby Troy, 2 passes to the brand new Pump House Indoor Water Park at Jay Peak Resort, and two 18-hole greens fees to Orleans Country Club.

Are you drooling yet?

The contest began Tuesday, April 3 and will be held through April 30th on the Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Facebook page.  Go there.  Enter.  Keep your fingers crossed.

The Northeast Kingdom is a little corner of perfect.

(all photos courtesy of NEKTTA)

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