I’m in love. Not with a person… but with a place. And that place is Vermont.
A few months ago, I was invited to travel to Vermont to judge the Miss Vermont USA and Miss Vermont Teen USA beauty pageant. Would I ever pass up that opportunity? Heck to the no! That being said, I immediately upgraded from my NYC blizzard emergency purchase (a faux fur lined 3x Apple Bottom Jeans coat) to a super cute coat from Target’s Who What Wear collection. I was READY for the cold… and to perform my God given talent of being judgmental. (JKkKk)
I flew into Burlington, VT with my mom and stepdad as we decided to turn my judging gig into a family vacay! Burlington is gorgeous. If you’ve ever wanted to be on the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie – just skip the acting lessons and fly to Vermont. Burlington literally looks like it’s fake.
We checked into our hotel, got a good night’s sleep and woke up early to hit the town. Now, keep in mind, two days before this trip I went crazy and decided to get bangs from my love Austin at Blend Beauty Lounge. This was a great idea until I landed in Vermont and the wind blew my bangs straight up, Something About Mary style. Obv, my first (very necessary) stop was Urban Outfitters to get a hat to keep those babies tame.
We visited so many amazing local shops in Burlington. Vermont is ALL about shopping local. We bought some gorgeous crystals, picked out goodies at local boutiques and ate delicious cupcakes at My Little Cupcake bakery. That’s right… this wasn’t a keto weekend, it was a cheat-o weekend.
Side note: Now, I’m no fashion blogger or even a fashionista, but I got so many compliments and questions about this look! That being said, here are the look details for my first day in VT: hat from UO, glasses from Ray-Ban, coat + turtleneck from Target, plain black leggings from who knows where and boots from Steve Madden.
After a gorgeous day in Burlington, it was time for me to do the glam thing and judge my first beauty pageant! We picked up our bestie, photographer Carlos Velez, from the airport and we drove two hours to Stowe.
We had a few hours in the morning before I had to head over to judge interview for the Teen and Miss girls. So, of course, we made a b-line to the adorable Cold Hollow Cider Mill. It was there that I ate a life-changing hot dog and drank the best hot apple cider.
I got this cute pic sipping my cider, which Carlos took while kneeling in a bush of ginormous burrs that we then had to extract from his person LOLLL. No one can say he’s not dedicated to his craft.
It was then that my judging duties began. I headed over to lunch at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort where we were staying, then drove over with my fellow judges to the Stowe Mountain Lodge for interviews. Let me just say – this was no easy job. I interviewed aspiring heart surgeons, professional sky divers and prima ballerinas… I mean, these girls were the bomb.COM.
The next day, before prelims, I got to do a little more exploring… but only because I had to go into town to stock up on medicine to fight off what I would later find out was bronchitis.
However: bright side. Because of my sickness (and dire need for meds), I got to see more of the beautiful Stowe with my mama.
Prelims went great, but my next big gig was finals! The show was amazing, and my fellow judges and I picked some serious #GirlBosses.
For their on-stage questions, they had to choose a judge’s name out of a fish bowl to decide whose question they would get. Luckily for me, I got chosen TWICE, and had to hold in my incessant coughs through two paragraphs of reading on the mic in front of an audience. I survived… but did get teased endlessly by my ~rattlesnake~ mother who kept calling me Marilyn Monroe because of the rasp.
We were pretty hungry after the pageant, but the three restaurants in Stowe obviously close at 7 p.m. 😅 We decided to call down to the front desk and ask if they had Uber Eats. The answer was no, so we asked if they at least had Uber. What were we told? “Yeah we do, but it’s cold so she’s probably not out right now.”
SHE. He said SHE. They literally have ONE Uber driver, and it is an elderly lady who won’t go out in the cold. Vermont… I love you.
The next day, my mom and I glammed the beautiful new queens and shot with Carlos! Of course, using allllll Victoria Duke Beauty!
We didn’t have much time to do anymore exploring, but we had one very important stop to make. That’s right: BEN AND FREAKING JERRY’S HEADQUARTERS BB!!!! When you don’t eat carbs or sugar and you have a cheat-o weekend in the same state as Ben and Jerry’s HQ, you don’t leave without at LEAST three scoops. This was the best ever.
Vermont was magical from start to finish, despite the fact that this Florida gal’s exposure to cold and wind chill led to many plane rides like this. Thanx u bronchitis.
Even though it’s only been two months since our visit, my fam bam and I are already planning our next trip! There is seriously something about this place that I can’t describe, and there was so much I didn’t get to do that I’m ready to cross off my list soon, like skydiving with the beautiful Miss Vermont USA… who does THIS for a living.
If you’ve been to Vermont and have any suggestions, pleaseee comment below! I’ll take any ideas I can get. ❤️