#onalark: field guide (with a family in tow!)

After a crazy week on the home front, our little family had the chance to spend the most relaxing weekend at Field Guide in Stowe, Vermont. Lark Hotels invited us to get away and experience another of their amazing properties in a new-to-me corner of New England. We took a half day off from work on Friday and made the scenic drive up to Stowe. Let's put it this way: it was love at first sight.

Much like my experience at The Break, the staff at Field Guide was on their game from the minute we walked in the door. They had everything prepared to the last detail, something I have come to appreciate from smaller, more intimate hotels. We were handed a pre-loaded iPad, chock full of ideas on where to eat and visit, which made our stay that much more enjoyable. (My sweet friend and seasoned Stowe visitor, Abby, also sent over a few of her favorite pit stops that she shared with The Everygirl.) I wanted to toss our bags and get going on our Stowe adventure, but the minute we walked in our room, I almost said we didn't need to leave...

Traveling with little ones in tow can make things a bit more complicated, but the master minds behind Field Guide definitely had this in mind. Our space (known as the Trail Suite) was well-designed to give the younger set their own space, while allowing parents the luxury of not having to tiptoe around a hotel room. This particular suite had a seriously cool lofted space (appropriate for older children -- as it does have a spiral staircase leading up to it), along with two other spacious bedrooms. These twin beds are up in the loft... you can't beat the rustic yet modern feel!

When we first arrived, this pregnant lady was a tad bit hangry. Thankfully, we didn't have to go far: we ate dinner across the street from Field Guide at The Bench. The atmosphere matches their food: cozy and comforting. (We loved it so much that we tried to do take-out the next night, but they only take seated parties -- not parties to go ;) I would definitely classify The Bench as family-friendly, with high chairs readily available and quick service for hungry and somewhat unruly toddlers.

Field Guide's on-site restaurant, Picnic Social, should be open any day, but until it is, they offer a complimentary picnic basket full of delectable breakfast treats -- like overnight oats and fresh fruit. It was such a treat to find this basket at our door! They also have a small coffee maker and refrigerator in the room, though I wouldn't classify it as a complete kitchenette. It worked beautifully for our needs -- a place to store milk, yogurt, and fruit that our little man demands on a daily basis.

We devoured this delightful basket of goodies and then ventured out to see more of the little town of Stowe. {cv}'s 'coffee beacon' landed us at the charming Black Cap Coffee in the heart of downtown. Even after all those treats at Field Guide, I made room for a cider donut and a hot chocolate -- because even early April in Stowe required a heavy fleece. Downtown Stowe was full of New England charm, though its old buildings are not always stroller friendly. You'll have to pack your muscles a bit to get in and out of some shops, but this is par for the course when traveling with little ones.

After walking the Stowe Recreation Path back in the direction of Field Guide, we ended up at Doc Ponds for lunch. It is also a hop, skip and jump from the hotel and offers a relaxed dining experience with delicious (and inventive) dishes. Much like The Bench, they were also extremely family-friendly. It isn't a quiet restaurant, so noisy peeps from little ones go unnoticed. Their menu was also one-year-old (and thirty-year-old) approved.

With naptime looming, we hopped in the car to explore a bit and hopefully let our little guy catch a few zzz's on the way. We eventually stopped at the Von Trapp Family DeliBakery to take in the views; {cv} also enjoyed one of their house-made brews. If you hadn't already noticed the gluttonous theme to our weekends away, we also made a beeline for the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Shop. It's a serious tourist attraction, so you'll want to pack your patience. To no one's surprise, we all thoroughly enjoyed the ice cream. We didn't end up taking the factory tour with our one-year-old, but we saw plenty of other families attempting that feat. (More power to them!)

Running around for a good portion of the day (combined with the extra accessory {jv} was sporting) meant that, by dinner time, it was time to light a fire and enjoy our suite. {cv} grabbed take-out from Piecasso, a short drive from Field Guide. Ordering the pizza was quick and easy, so we settled right in for the evening. On Sunday morning, we indulged in another picnic basket of goodies before hitting the road.

Traveling as a family isn't always glamorous, but staying in a place like Field Guide made it feel like a serious vacation. I snuck away to grab a few photos of their gorgeous lobby. The best way I can explain it? Ski chalet chic to the very last detail!

If you go with children: Bring along your pack 'n play, as they are not provided (we love our Breeze from 4moms!). To be honest, I never find this to be an inconvenience because I'd rather {jv} sleep in a familiar space away from home. I bet I'm not alone ;) Be sure to check the hotel policies, depending on which room you choose, as additional fees may apply per person -- which includes infants and children. A few other positive points of note for parents: many of the rooms have beautiful tubs, perfect for your little ones (and you!). You can also park right outside your room or suite, which is fabulous for the influx of stuff you bring when traveling with children.

This trip only touched the tip of the iceberg on places to explore in Stowe, so I'm already itching to get back with our (even crazier) crew once baby #2 arrives. We seriously cannot thank the staff at Field Guide or the Lark Hotels team enough for their incredible hospitality. If you're looking for a stylish getaway -- with kids or not, there's no question that Field Guide should be your home away from home. Thanks for taking this little getaway with us -- and for not judging our caloric intake ;) xoxo {av}

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NOTE: This post was written in conjunction with our stay at Field Guide in April 2016. I did not receive compensation, other than my complimentary accommodations. I was not required to write this post in exchange for my stay; I chose to write this post after an extremely positive experience.