“The BEST Family Vacation We Ever Shared!”
When my wife suggested we go on a family vacation last summer, I was excited by the idea. Living in Florida usual means a vacation in Florida or the Carolinas. When she said “Vermont” – my reaction was, “seriously, that’s 1,500 miles from Florida, in the middle of nowhere, and the nearest Dunkin Donuts is over an hour away. It’s like going all the way to the Canadian border, then hanging a right and stopping.” So I started to look at other options closer – eventually I gave in to her research and enthusiasm. She had done her work, read reviews, checked alternate sites, and looked at what the family could do there.
After I started to look over the website, Quimby Country started to grow on me. The more I read online, the more I became intrigued with the location, the activities, and the connection with nature. The website was informative and all the articles about the Devlins (yes I did my homework also) showed that they were in love with the place, enjoyed sharing their special place with others, and had significant experience in running similar locations. We fell in love with the place once we arrived. What a great place to disconnect, to de-stress, to reconnect with loved ones and with nature.
The trip up was normal – I travel with my family to Western NY a couple of times a year and we were used to long drives. Up until exiting I-91, the trip was not that impressive. Once we turned off in Lyndon, the excitement started to build. The kids paid more attention to the road, the scenery, and the game of hunting for Moose sightings started. You really do go to the Canadian border and then hook a right. Once you turn off Rt 114 on Forest Lake Road, it looks like total wilderness. The drive up to the camp is breathtaking, winding down past Forest Lake and opening up to a great view of the cabins. This was it – breathtaking natural beauty.
The kids raced out of the car down to the lake. My eldest was already in the water trying to catch lake frogs. Spotting the loons and their baby was a bonus. We sat up on the porch of the main lodge drinking homemade lemonade as Lily Devlin showed up. She was excited, helpful and her warmth easily made us feel at home – like we just dropped in on family. The Devlins went above and beyond to make sure our stay was wonderful. The cabin was quaint, with a wood burning stove and a claw foot tub- exactly how I imagined it – a perfect place to rest at night after activity-filled days outside. And that’s what we did!
Our first afternoon there, we walked along the lake, crossed over to Great Averill lake to see the beach, checked out the kayaks, the paddle boards and the rock outcrop. We made a bonfire that first night, ate s’mores and relaxed after the long drive. The sky was filled with so many stars and the moon reflecting off the lake made the night perfect. And that’s when the kids heard the loons… yup – we were in Quimby Country.
The next morning started with a hearty breakfast at the main lodge. The Devlins were serving a great breakfast, including delicious homemade blueberry muffins. You might ask what we did on our first full day – its more like what didn’t we do. We fished in Forest Lake, swam in Great Averill off the rocks to the floating dock and at the endless sandy beach. We explored in the kayaks and tried paddle boarding for the first time. That evening we played tennis, visited the beautiful recreational hall/clubhouse where we played shuffleboard and ping pong. More fishing off the dock, star gazing, catching fireflies and some family card games to end the night (and another fire with s’mores). The next few days included more of the same plus hiking up Brousseau Mountain for an incredible view, birding, taking pictures, more swimming, more hiking, and definitely more exhausted kids.
A few days later – no one wanted to leave (including me). This was the BEST family vacation we ever shared. Our first trip to QC will not be our last. We started to plan what we will do next year that we did not get to – as we drove over to NY to visit extended family. The Northeast Kingdom did not disappoint. Our only regrets is that QC is not closer to us so we could do more vacations there. What is our favorite thing about Quimby Country….well….everything!
-The Randeree Family Ebe and Meggan, Noah 12, Mariam 10, Zac 8 and Adam 2