The Millbrook Inn & Restaurant, Waitsfield Vermont, in the Mad River Valley, is a Country Inn Bed and Breakfast offering Accommodations and Dining near Sugarbush and Mad River Glen Skiing, Golf, and Hiking

Millbrook Inn

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In January 2011 Millbrook entered a new era when Joan began running things herself after Thom passed away in December, 2010. The restaurant is now closed to the public but Joan is cooking and baking and serving inn guests the same elegant Millbrook dinners they have been enjoying since 1979. She continues to nurture her love of travel instilled during her publishing days, traveling in the off season to bring some of the world back to Millbrook both in food and ambiance.

After a busy summer and fall season, a month-long trip to Morocco was just the refreshment I needed, and loved every minute from prowling the souks of Marrakech, Fes, Mekenes, Rabat and Chefchaouen to hiking in the High Atlas and the Rif Mountains, spending a day cooking with chef in Fes, riding a camel in the Sahara to a Berber camp, and soaking up the European atmosphere of Tangier and Tetouan. A couple of days in the capital of Rabat and in Casablanca completed a wonderful travel experience.

Marrakech Souk.jpg >Atla Mountains.jpgBen-Haddou.jpgSahara.jpgCooking in Fes.jpgGibralter View.jpgChefchaouen.jpgChellah-Mosque-Ruin.jpg

Spring 2017 was a time to spend 6 weeks in France, a place I love and hadn't been in quite some time. After a wonderful week in Paris, I hiked for 5 days on the Contentin Coast of Normandy, covering over 75 miles of beautiful headlands, small villages and views of the Channel islands. Then, after a few days in Brittany visiting Mont-Saint-Michel and eating my weight in oysters, it was off in the footsteps of William the Conqueror and the Allied invasion of Normandy. A brief stop at Monet's gardens in Giverney put me on the path to Champagne, Alsace and Lorraine before heading back to Paris for a few days with friends. A wonderful, food- and fun-filled spring!

Paris.jpg >Continten Coast.jpgAmerican Cemetary.jpgMont-St-Michel.jpgGiverney.jpgNancy.jpgColmar.jpgStrasbourg.jpg

Spring 2016 was a time for visiting friends in places as diverse as South Africa and Italy. While in Italy, I spent a week in Stresa studying Italian which I then enjoyed using when I visited my friends in the Marche. Fall 2016 was a time for more adventure. A month in Ecuador satisfied that desire with the time split between hiking in the Andes, a week experiencing phenomenal ecology and wildlife in the Galapagos, and time in and around the lovely capital city of Quito.

Ingapirca Hike.jpg >Me With Cotapaxi.jpg >Smiling Iguana.jpg >Blue-Footed Booby.jpg >Giant Tortoise.jpg >Me on the Equator.jpg

Fall 2015 took me in a very different direction -- the Middle East. I spent 2 weeks in Jordan and 2 weeks in Egypt. The experience was amazing for the sites I explored including Petra and the Pyramids, the people I met, the experiences I had such as floating in the Dead Sea and riding a camel into the desert to spend a night at a Bedouin camp, and the things I learned about the culture and customs.

Dead Sea Jordan.jpg >Petra Treasury Jordan.jpg >By Camel to Wadi Rum.jpg >Hatshepsut Egypt.jpg >Giza Pyramids Egypt.jpg

After a very cold and snowy 2015 winter, in typical fashion, I headed north for more snow and cold! I spent a month in Finland, mostly cross-country skiing in Lapland, with side trips to St. Petersburg and Tallinn, Estonia. I then went to Copenhagen for a week of exploring the history and culture of the only Scandinavian country I hadn't visited. The skiing was amazing -- more snow than I'd ever seen. In Finland I ate my weight in smoked salmon, enjoyed tasting reindeer, and then, of course, ate traditional smorbord in Denmark.

Smoked Salmon Display.jpg Poorvoo 18thC Warehouses.jpg Typical Ski Track.jpg Church of the Spilled Blook.jpg The Hermitage.jpg Tallinn Town Square.jpg Christianhavn Canal.jpg Tivoli Grounds.jpg Classic Danish Lunch.jpg

Fall 2014 I fulfilled a travel dream with a trip to Bhutan. I did the 12-day Jhomalhari-Lingshi-Laya-Gasa trek, which took me over 16,500', and then toured central and western Bhutan for another 9 days. My guide, Sangay, was the best ever and the entire trip was one awe-inspiring moment after another. From the mountain vistas to the magnificent dzongs and monasteries, it was an adventure I'll never forget.

Bhutan Tigers Nest.jpg Bhutan Jhomalhari.jpg Bhutan Trek.jpg Bhutan Simche La 16500.jpg Bhutan Archery Tournament.jpg Bhutan Student Sculptors.jpg

After another difficult spring, 2014, that saw the death of my mom, I spent a month in Iceland, a land of vast vistas and windswept beauty. I rented a car and drove around the entire country, hiking amid puffins, in lava fields, along fjords, in volcanos, through Viking history, along glaciers and magnificent waterfalls. I enjoyed daylight at midnight (see below) and the solitude of a country with so few inhabitants. A magical journey!

Curious Puffin.jpg Atop Latrabjarg.jpg Dynjandi Waterfall.jpg Myvtn Lava Hike.jpg Pseudo-Craters Myvatn.jpg Hengifoss Waterfall.jpg Jokkulson Glacier.jpg Eldfell Volcano.jpg Hofn at Midnight.jpg

After a difficult 2013 spring, with an aborted cross-country ski trip in Finland due to the death of my beloved father, I spent a glorious month in Italy in the fall. I ate my way from sight-seeing in Rome to hiking the beautiful hill towns of the Marche, to Naples and Pompeii and the archeological sites of Sicily. Look for some new flavors on my menu this winter!

RomeForum.jpg Petritoli Street.jpg Bay of Naples.jpg Temple  text /> Room of the 10 Girls5.jpg Siracusa Duomo6.jpg Etna Crater7.jpg Taormina and Etna8.jpg

Fall 2012 was a bit disjointed because Riley contracted a bizarre illness as the result of being bitten by a ground hog that paralyzed him for a while. Fortunately, he recovered completely and I was able to put together a last-minute trip out west that took me to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver Island, British Colombia. Portland is food city extraordinaire, and after a couple of days enjoying beautiful Victoria, I spent the rest of my time split between the beautiful area surrounding Tofino and the quirky and quite interesting Gulf Island, Salt Spring Island. Activities included sea kayaking and lots of hiking.

Paddling the Wilamette.jpg Victoria Parliament at Night Wild Pacific Trail Tofino Harbor Mt. Erskine

Spring 2012 took me to Barcelona and northern Spain. I loved walking endlessly around Barcelona admiring the Modernista architecture, combing the markets for great food to cook (I had an apartment), enjoying the art, history, and culture of an exciting city. The rest of my travels included the Basque country, hiking in the Pyrenees and along the north coast, and seeing the prehistoric cave paintings in Ribadesella.

LasRamblas.jpg Gaudi'sLaPedrera.jpg MissSanPero2012.jpg ViewofOnao.jpg WindyWalk.jpg PenarrubiaBeach.jpg

Fall 2011 was time for a different adventure and my first totally solo vacation travel. I spent a thrilling month in Japan enjoying the ancient art and modern architecture, wandering through magnificent gardens, hiking in the Japanese Alps, and, of course, admiring Mt. Fuji.
FloatingToriiGate GoldenShrine Kamikochi KyotoGarden MountainView ModernTokyo Mt.Fuji MatsumotoCastle

Spring 2011 took me back to South Africa for the 5th time. I visited my favorite national parks and got to see a black rhino. I hiked in the mountains, kayaked on the Orange River, spent time with my good friends in Port Elizabeth, paid serious attention to trying new wines at Beaumont Winery, and made it all the way up to Kgalagadi Transnationl park on the Botswana and Namibia borders in search of black-maned lions. While no black-mane lions showed themselves, a magnificent female leopard put on quite a show and allowed us to track her for an hour.
Female Leopard Black Rhino Tasting Beaumont Wines Young Male Lion Cape Buffalo Oryx Giraffe Elephants

Spring 2010 took Thom and me to the Azores, 9 islands in the Atlantic that belong to Portugal. They are spectacular with flowers blooming everywhere, looking like a vast planned garden. We rented a house on Sao Miguel where we enjoyed exploring the local markets and cooking with local ingredients. We hiked to beautiful vistas including the Sete Cicades on Sao Miguel, the lava fields of Pico (named for the volcano seen below) and the magnificent fajas of Sao Jorge.
First Dinner Sete Cicades
Lava Fields Pico from Sao Jorge Cubres View Sao Jorge

We spent the Spring of 2009 returning to two of our favorite countries -- Argentina and Chile. This time, however, we explored the north starting with a week in the Argentina wine country of Mendoza where we tasted some new wines and became re-acquainted with some old favorites. From there it was north to the Andes of Argentina, the Atacama desert of Chile, and the pacific coast. Some highlights of the trip included exploring the Quilmes Inca ruins near Belen,Argentina; climbing the 18,463'volcano Mt. Toco in Chile; camping on the beach at Pan de Azucar, Chile and grilling a fresh-caught fish for dinner; hiking the spectacularly colored hills of Purmamarca.

Mt. Toco Fish Dinner Purmamarca

In Spring 2008 we traveled from Vermont to California to London and then to Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania with a day in Kosovo! It was beautiful, illuminating, and exciting. After a week in the small town of Perast on the bay of Kotor, we hiked in the Durmitor Massif in Montenegro, enjoyed Lake Ohrid and the surrounding mountains in Macedonia, and explored the historic cities of Kruja and Girokaster in Albania. While the food was simple, it was good but the wines of both Montenegro and Macedonia were excellent.

Perast Berat Albania Above Lake Ohrid Macedonia Durmitor Massif Montenegro

Fall 2007 took us back to Nepal, a trip we've wanted to make since the day we left in 2000. This time we trekked in the Everest Region, reaching an altitude of over 18,000 feet twice as we climbed Gokyo Ri for spectacular views of Mounts Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Makalu and then climbed over Renjo La Pass to the Bhotse Valley, a secluded and fantastic valley just south of the Tibet border. After a little R & R at Last Resort, near Tibet, we spent our last 5 days in Srinigar, Kashmir, where we lived on a houseboat and hiked very close to Pakistan, an experience that gave us a good sense of how daily life continues with some degree of normalcy in a war zone.

Gokyo Ri Mt. Everest Kashmir Hiking Kashmir

Spring 2007 gave our new dog Riley an opportunity to travel and us an opportunity to do some heavy duty dog training! After a car trip out to Denver, we rented a small camper and hiked our way around Colorado for a month. Riley got to climb snowy sand dunes, hike to Ancient Pueblo Indian ruins, hike in very deep snow at over 10,000' altitude, and generally have a great time.

Snowy Dunes Colorado Dunes Sand Canyon Grand Mesa

Our Fall 2006 travels revolved around adding a long sought-after office to our living quarters and celebrating Joan's parents' 60th Wedding Anniversary. The four of us enjoyed a fabulous week plus in Puerto Rico eating well and gazing at sunsets over the Bahia Salinas. In early December we sneaked out for a week in Amsterdam and the Hague where we rented a houseboat, celebrated Rembrandt's 400th birthday and re-connected with trekking buddies from our Nepal trip.


Houseboat Joan by Canal Thom & Gerard Windmill

Spring 2006 took us back to South Africa for the 4th time and then on to Madagascar. In Cape Town we had the opportunity to dine with Jayne Beaumont, owner of Beaumont Winery and her son, Sebastian, the wine maker. Madagascar yielded adventure and the excitement of seeing lemurs in their natural habitat.

Sifaka Lemur

Crowned Lemurs

Back in South Africa, a week in Kruger National Park resulted in a fascinating encounter with four young lions who had killed a giraffe.

Kruger Lion

As a result of our Spring 2005 trip to India some of the flavors of Kerala have worked their way onto our menu and into a Boston Globe Column by Diane Daniels, "Where They Went," published November 20, 2005. Our Fall 2005 return trip to New Zealand gave us the chance to catch up with the latest in New Zealand wines and Pacific Rim influences.

Kerala Thali

We also use travel to rejuvenate by experiencing some of the outdoor sports that we love in settings both unique and challenging. Some of our recent adventures have included:

Sea kayaking the North Island of New Zealand. We rented a small camper/van, which gave us access to some fantastic sites on the beach and brought our 17-foot two-person Folbot kayak.

One night we ate mussels we gathered on the rocks and drank a Selaks Riesling.

We hiked the Tongariro crossing, a 12-mile trek through volcanoes and craters. It was most recently seen as Mordor in "The Lord of the Rings."

A ten-day trek in Sikkim to Guicha La (16,400')at the base of the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchendzonga.

A visit to the DMZ in Korea.
=DMZ Korea

Chasing the San Rafael glacier in Argentina from a Zodiac.
Chasing Glaciers in Argentina

A spring trip to South Africa and Tanzania where we tasted wine in Capetown...

then went and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340').
Climbing Kilimanjaro

A first trip to Patagonia with our sea kayak where we kayaked down the Rio Baker in Chile to Tortel, a town on the sea with no roads...
Kayak Chile

and later hiked in the Fitzroy Mountains of Argentina.
Hiking Fitzroy Mountains Argentina

In addition to these and other world adventures, we have explored the U.S. and Canada on nine different two-month long driving trips that have included skiing in the Rockies and the Sierras, lots and lots of hiking and exploring Anasazi sites in the Southwest, sea kayaking in Alaska and later in the Sea of Cortez in Baja, Mexico.

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