Saturday, July 29, 2006
Vacation Report, Part 3: At The Tyler Place
After our visits to the Statue of Liberty and Mystic Seaport, we headed to Highgate Springs, in northern Vermont, and the Tyler Place Family Resort. This is the eighth summer that we've spent a week at the Tyler Place, and we're not tired of it yet.
The Tyler Place is a large campus on the Vermont shore at the northern end of Lake Champlain. It sits about a mile south of the US/Canada border. There is an Inn, a wide variety of cabins, clubhouses, a pool, boat dock, tennis courts and more.
You stay a week, and pay a flat rate that covers accommodations, food, and most activities. The children have counselor-led group activities from early morning through early afternoon and again from late afternoon through early evening. It is very like summer camp, but with parents along to stay with at night and to play with for part of the afternoon.
While the kids are "at group", the adults are free to laze about, explore, or join in a variety of organized activities. Karen and I traditionally try to make the canoe trip, the mountain hike, and the kayak trip.
We particularly enjoy the mountain hike, as it includes a picnic lunch at The Three Holes, a swimming area in Montgomery Vermont that features a crystal clear, cold mountain stream cascading into three deep pools in a sunlit glade.
And we swam, in Lake Champlain and the Tyler Place pool. The lake swimming area includes a float, with a tall tower and slide on it. It is traditional for us to start our visits to the Tyler Place by sliding on this slide. Great fun, but the tower sways when you climb it, especially as a dozen kids frolic on the float below.
This year, since I have a new digital camera, I was brave enough to take my old digital camera out on the Lake in a kayak for a photoset from water-level. I spent a lot of time on, and in, the water this summer. I tried out a small hobie cat sailboat. It was fitting, as I brought two novels from the Aubrey/Maturin series along for the week. My internal dialogue, as I sailed along, was all in 19th-century sailing terminology. It's a good thing no one was along to hear that.
I got out for two rounds of golf with Andy Southmayd. We played the North Country Golf Club, in Rouse's Point, New York, and the Alburg Golf Links, on one of the Champlain Islands. I'll write them up for my Golf in 2006 series, of course, but for this report, suffice it to say that it was great fun, even if my game was not great in itself.
In the evenings, the kids would head off to group again and we would gather in the Inn's spacious lounge for a gentle cocktail hour, followed by leisurely, excellent dinner. One of the things we particularly love about the Tyler Place is the opportunity to meet new folks. We had a ready-made group, of course, with Andy and Lynn along and with my brother Bob and his wife Karen. But we took advantage of the evening social events to find new friends. Each night, we tried to add new people to our large dinner table. We met some really cool people.
I could go on. And on. Let's finish this the way we ended many of our dinners, with a sunset over Lake Champlain.