Our first travel story comes just in time for the festive season as Robyn shares with us her travel experience of a white Christmas in Vermont, USA. Robyn and her family‘s white Christmas had all the traditional trimmings including a snow filled one horse open sleigh ride.
A great deal of effort was required when 16 family and friends decided to embark on a White Christmas. We chose Vermont, USA as our desired location and eagerly waited out the months of planning. We didn’t want to miss a single White Christmas experience so the trip was planned, leaving nothing to chance.
There were condominiums booked to accommodate us all, with kitchens for cooking the much awaited turkey dinner with all the trimmings. There was the open fire with picturesque windows looking out over snow-covered fields without another building to mar the view. We attended a Christmas Eve service in a white steeple New England church and ate in a restaurant with roaming carollers singing. There were shopping trips in the snow to find little gifts and hot chocolate by a log fire to break up the shopping. American friends had arranged to meet us and reminded us that ‘it may not snow’ for Christmas. We didn’t listen, we were believers.
As we awoke Christmas morning the sun was shining and it looked as if the snow had stopped falling, of all days, on Christmas Day. We cooked our hot dinner, opened presents by the fire and got ready for our ultimate White Christmas event: a one horse open sleigh ride. We arrived at the sleigh paddock, still no snow. Just as we were all comfy and cosy in our sleighs and covered with fur blankets it started to snow, as if on cue. Like a button had been pressed, down it came. We were so excited and so began our sleigh ride on a snowy Christmas afternoon, just like a scene in a movie.
Our horse led the parade of sleighs, gently trotting alongside a beautiful stream, through wooded forest, up and down hills all the while the bells were jingling. Until half way when the horse behind us decided it wanted to overtake us. We were happy for it to do so but our horse was not going to have it. As soon as he saw the other horse pulling alongside he took off. He ran like the wind, the sleigh was twisting from side to side; we were hanging on for dear life, women screaming, men laughing. It was like a roller coaster ride on ice. The beautiful stream nearly became an icy bathtub, the wooded forest became timber spears, the driver had virtually no control of the horse and we thought we were all going to end up in hospital. Our driver convinced the other driver to stay behind and explained that our horse was a retired race horse and always had to be at the front. Apologies were made and, when we arrived back safely to our starting point, we forgave our errant horse in the best forgiving Christmas spirit we could muster.
We did get snow, we did get the white steeple church, the hot turkey dinner, the snow fights and the skiing interspersed with hot chocolate and we did get our snow covered, jingle bell ringing, one horse open sleigh ride; albeit a scary one!
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