Juanita Zerda, Tony Carlin, and their two boys, Liam, 11, and Juan, 9, have their home base in Winchester, MA, but own a second home here in Quechee. Like many Quechee homeowners, they were drawn here after visiting with a friend and seeing all that Quechee has to offer.
Although this time it was not a friend who owned a house up here, which is often the story, but instead a friend who had been here for a corporate retreat and remembered how much they liked it here. After visiting a few times, Juanita and Tony rented a house the following winter and decided to purchase a home. By the end of that winter, they had bought a house just in time for spring. The next year, Juanita’s friend also purchased a house in Quechee, right nearby!
As an avid snowboarder, Tony was often traveling to the White Mountains in the winter, and it made sense for the whole active family to spend wintertime up here. Juanita snowboards too, and both boys downhill ski. During the five years, they’ve owned a home here, the family has taken advantage of golf and tennis lessons as well as just about everything else Quechee has to offer, Juanita explains, “we love everything about being in Quechee.”
Both boys are on the Quechee Ski Team and, for the first time, are learning to snowboard. “The boys have always skied,” says Juanita, “this is the first year they are also snowboarding. They are part of the ski team during the day. When practice finishes at 2, they get on their boards, and we snowboard between 2 and 4 pm.”
When winter ends, this family keeps going! Some of their other favorite activities include finding swimming holes and areas with rocks to jump off, and mountain biking on Hurricane Hill in Hartford, Vermont. It is not surprising that Tony and Juanita’s family would be an active one, though. The two met through martial arts.
Tony grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, while Juanita grew up in Colombia. It might seem a little unlikely that these two would meet, but when Juanita came to Boston College in Massachusetts, to complete a master’s degree, she continued practicing Aikido, a martial art she had practiced for many years. Tony, too, practiced Aikido, and the two met at the same Dojo in Cambridge, MA. It was love.
Until recently, Tony also taught Aikido as well as working as a business development executive in the information technology (IT) world. Whereas Tony is in the IT game, Juanita works with an action-oriented policy group in Boston, The Rennie Center, regarding educator effectiveness in the classroom. Their professions provide a little insight into the differences between Juanita and Tony, their jobs and separate love of golf.
Tony, having grown up in Northern Ireland, spent his youth golfing nearly every day. “It’s part of who he is,” Juanita says. Liam and Juan go out with their father, but Juanita does not golf. “I still haven’t been seduced by the sport, and I don’t think it’s going to happen. I kind of like that they have their little space together.”
When the family is not in the Upper Valley, Liam and Juan are both avid lacrosse players. Outside of sports, Liam plays the Spanish guitar, and Juan plays rock guitar.
As for living in Quechee, “my husband and I will certainly retire here. Our hope (in the future) is to one day to get a bigger house and have our center be there. It’s just a great place.”