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My Autumn Weekend in Vermont

As you know, I love fall and I made a weekend trip to visit my youngest daughter, but did I ever tell you that….

I LOVE PUMPKINS

weekend trip to vermont - pumpkins

Ed grew them in the garden one year. I was so excited to have our own little patch of about 6 pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pies and with which to decorate the house.   

Pumpkins are quintessentially an autumn staple, but I have never ever seen pumpkins used as boats.  Not just any boat mind you, but racing boats…or should I say racing pumpkins.  I got to see this unique autumn event at the 3rd annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta held on the Burlington Vermont waterfront on Sunday.

The Giant Pumpkin Regatta

What a fun way to spend a beautiful fall morning along Lake Champlain. 

Here are the giant pumpkin boats all decorated and ready to go.  Each pumpkin is carved out and a doormat is placed in the bottom for traction.  The rower or captain of the boat has to kneel.  The pumpkins average about 900 pounds each.   One was decorated like a pirate ship, another like a race car, and the others that I saw were painted with bright colors.

Lake Champlain

The pumpkins are taken to the water with a  forklift .  They resemble bobbing apples when in the water.

The Giant Pumpkin Regatta weekend trip to vermont

And off they go… paddling with kayak paddles.

The Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Some went round and round while others were skilled pumpkin boat captains and swiftly made their way through the course.

The Giant Pumpkin Regatta

It was a pumpkin first for me and a fun family event. There were cute  kids, babies, and dogs everywhere.   After the race, we sat on the swings that line the waterfront and enjoyed the sparkling view.

Burlington Vermont Waterfront-Lake Champlain

Burlington sits on a hill. The University is at the top of the hill.

University of Vermont

and Lake Champlain at the bottom.  I love walking down College Avenue and seeing this view the whole way down. 

Burlington Vermont Waterfront-Lake ChamplainShop

Burlington has many great shops and restaurants and we went into a few new ones and a few favorites.

I spotted this spooky little guy at Homeports.  My DIY brain is still thinking of a way to make this clever pumpkin holder myself.  It was $24.00 (pumpkin not included).

Cute Pumpkin

We strolled through the outdoor Farmer’s Market on Saturday.

Farmers Market

And enjoyed lots of autumn treats. These apples were at Lake Champlain Chocolates – YUMM-O-DELICIOUS

Carmel Apples

We went apple picking at Shelburne Orchards and ate a few cider donuts – only a few.

Family

We found perfect apples. This one is either an Empire or a Macintosh.

apple picking

It was hard leaving after such a beautiful perfect autumn weekend.  Everywhere you look you see such beautiful views, natural….  

Lake Champlain

…and manmade.  This house had a fantastic view of Lake Champlain.  I think I’ll take it…

Lake House

or perhaps the one next door – they have the same lake and mountain view. 

Lake House

Ahhh…someday a house with a water view for me, but having spent the perfect weekend with my daughter – better than any dream house.    For now, it is back to Pennsylvania. Back to putting Christmas trees and decorations up at work. Back to real-life.   Bye Bye beautiful Vermont.  See you again soon- probably after your autumn splendor is gone and you are all dressed in white. 

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18 Comments

    1. Yes – it was very unique and there was such a festive crowd gathered to watch which made it all the more fun to meet and talk to people from all over.

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures! Reminds me of upstate NY in the fall. I’m from the south but my husband is from NY. I tell him that if he ever wants us to live up there, don’t take me in the winter, but in the fall I’m totally hooked. Love this post. Glad you had a great time with your family and enjoyed the wonderful views.

    1. Hi Ann-

      The winter is pretty cold and white up in Vermont, but so pretty still. The early summer is a perfect time to go also. There is a great bike trail that goes out on the water for 10 miles along an old railroad that used to go out to the Champlain islands. I could live in Vermont, but hubby likes the warmer weather like you.

  2. I’m so glad you had a perfect fall weekend. Beautiful photos! I remember Martha Stewart doing a feature on her show a few years ago about the pumpkin boats.

    1. Hi Toni-
      I recently read about a graduation party that one of Martha’s staff members had for her son who just graduated in May from UVM. It was at a local farm and was all done up “Martha style” . It looked like the perfect place to hold such a event. I am sure the same staff member wrote about the pumpkin boats.

  3. Burlington, Vermont is now on my “Bucket List” of places to go! I am so glad you had a perfect Fall weekend and got to spend time with Mandy. She looks very happy. I think that there is a pumpkin patch still in your future!

  4. Now those are some HUGE pumpkins. Your pictures are beautiful. Wish we had those types of views of autumn around here. I think that pumpkin holder can probably be made with coat hangers and black pipe cleaners for the glasses. It is really cute!

  5. Oh My Gosh! Can you believe they RIDE in pumpkins? Can you imagine how slime-y they must feel crawling outta those babies? lol I love pumpkins, too…and Fall out there is splendid. PA, however, is pretty spectacular this time of year too.

    Isn’t Burlington beautiful? I haven’t been there in many years but I am almost positive that there is the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory there? My daughter still has her bear that she picked out after our “tour”. sigh–we are almost done with vacation too and it is back to real life for me also. Hugs- Diana

  6. What a delightful post, Diane. I’ve never seen or heard of pumpkin boats and so this just made me smile. I’m so glad you had a wonderful time with your daughter in the splendor of Fall in Vermont!