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Friday, September 6, 2013

Quick Vacation Getaway to NH

We went through VT to get to NH and
we were in 4 different states in 6 hours
  My husband and I wanted to get away for a couple of days. We originally were going to go away for 5 days to Maine to the Inn by The Sea  from September 18-22 but we had to put off that trip. August 28 his grandfather passed away in his sleep. From August 28 until about September 2 were dedicated days just to deal with funeral stuff. So after we took care of some things my husband decided we needed to get away for a quick trip.

  Our last stop before getting into Vermont was in Northampton where one of my good friends from High School works. I did not realize that we were going to be stopping there so I decided that would meet up with my friend on the way back from our trip again. We had lunch there and refueled the car.

  Vermont is where most of the trip went through and there are NO rest stops. I mean none! On the way up to New Hampshire it was not so bad. But we spend three hours on the way back to CT without a rest stop and our bladders almost burst. The exits in Vermont are so far from another. It was torture! It is a Scenic Torture Nightmare!

Scenic View rest stop (no bathroom but scenic view, yes).
 Love those VT farm houses!

  My husband booked us two nights and three days at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in NH. He heard about it from a hiking video on Youtube.com, which I normally hate listening to, for once those videos paid off! We did the "On a Whim Package" and saved 15% on our hotel room. My husband and I as soon as we made it down the long driveway of this Hotel decided out loud that we would come back for at least 6 days, 5 nights in the near future. 

Hotel room in Omni Mount Washington Resort in NH
   We left on Wednesday around 11:00 am and we did not get into Bretton Woods, NH until 5:30/6:00 pm and we were tired. We ate a lot of our meals at the Stickney's restaurant which was expensive but always a good American comfort food. But then again it is a resort and you do pay resort prices. Also I live in Fairfield County so I am use to be overcharged but when you are at a resort be prepared to pay resort prices!

  We really only had one day to do activities since it such a long car ride for us. We decided to start off with room service breakfast (we got free choice of juice or coffee), we took the Hotel Tour (which is a must), we walked around the property about 3 miles (there are many trails around the property and the white mountains are not far from the property), took a nap, then had lunch and then we drove into North Conway for a couple of hours and then we had dinner at Stickney's, 

Mount Washington Resort view from the Music room.

Mount Washington Veranda in the Morning

  I did not realize how close we were to North Conway. I spent from age four until I was twelve my Thanksgivings and sometimes Christmases in North Conway. We had friends that lived in the Neighborhood that moved to North Conway and we sometimes visited them in the summertime as well. I love North Conway because it is cute and I have good memories of it! 

  I had to go to Zed's General store and get some candy fruit slices like I did as a kid. You cannot really get anywhere close to me the Candy fruit slices. Sometimes around Jewish holidays you might find the boxed Candy fruit slices but never ones that are fresh and loose. I got my favorite Watermelon, Raspberry, Lime, Lemon and Cherry! Yum! I use to also get them at Fanny Farmer in Massachusetts as a kid but Fanny Farmers has been gone for a long time!

    However it was crazy that I had not been to North Conway in 20 years! It has not changed much in Zed's General Store except there are gluten free options and more great stuff that I wanted to have! Then we went to Scoops which is the ice cream parlour that is next to/co-owned by Horse Feather. I recognized other stores like the Five and Dime and  others. Other stores I did not remember the store front names but I thought I knew them. But the vibe was still the same since I was a child. I almost expected that it was going to snow because I really do not have many memories of North Conway without it snowing. Later on that night  it was cold enough to snow high up in the mountains.

  Pretty much we were ready to leave Fairfield County and move up North Conway within a heart beat! We only got to spend 3 hours in North Conway because we were pretty tired and it was a 45 minute drive back to the resort. After visiting North Conway I really wanted to rent a place (maybe not the Omni Mount Washington Resort) in North Conway so we can do the "picturesque Christmas thing."

  When we came back from North Conway it was already really cold but I really just wanted to be out on the Veranda. We had to wait until 8:15 pm for our dinner so I had my husband bring down one of the blankets. I was enjoying the crisp air because the other day in CT it was was muggy. However at the time of these pictures it was going from 50s and two hours later it was 35 degrees!

  Looking at the Mountains I saw that the mountains were purple, a sight I have never seen before. It was that moment that I wished that I had brought my Nikon D90! But I think that the pictures below that I took on my iphone 5 were not so bad. It made me think that the camera phone has really come a long way. The  picture of the purple mountains was the first time that I did not use the "Earlybird" filter on Instagram. The sight was just so beautiful I did not want to use any filter. As I looked at the purple mountains I had to quote "America The Beautiful." I am not normally this patriotic but I have to say that when you see this sight it makes you think of the lyrics. You begin to feel a love for America up there in the fresh air especially when you have time to just enjoy yourself in the middle nature!

  The property is amazing it is encircled by mountains. Quick history the original owner got it all 10,000 acres for $1.00 an acre. Richard Stickney made his fortune in coal mining AND the Pennsylvanian railroad. He built the property for 1.5 million in 1900 and it was finished in 1902!

View From Mount Washington Resort Veranda right before the sun set.

View From Mount Washington Resort Veranda!

View From Mount Washington Resort Veranda!
   At some point though it was too cold to stay on the veranda. I got to see the 10 minutes that the Mountains turned purple and I was ready to go in! So we decided to sit by lobby's fire place. We sat next to a sweet older couple and we talked until it was time for our dinner reservation at Stickney's.

 Then later on that night after dinner we went out and hung out by the outside fire until 10:00 pm. The Resort lights the outdoor fire from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm. It was cold and it was 35 degrees but it was something that we had to do. When we got back from the outside fire we were very tired from all of the fresh air.

  We went to sleep early for us which was about 11:00/11:30 pm. It would have been the only night that I was able to sleep through the night because I usually have difficulty sleeping. However, there was a fire alarm that went off. There was not actually a fire but since it was the first cold night in a long while the steam line blew. So the fire alarms went off at 1:00 am. My husband made sure I was up and we started to head out to the front lobby. When we got there the staff had all the guests go into the dining room. They had already had determined it was not a fire but it was a protocol. We could not leave the dining room until the fire department checked the hotel.

The Thin Man movie series (starting William Powell and Myrna Loy)
a time when men wore pajamas with robes and wore them well!
  It was interesting to see how people took the fire alarm. More than five men were in the white robes with fabric slipper and nothing else. It made me laugh. The older gentlemen had matching pajamas on, slippers, and white robes on over it which I found classy. It is nice to know there was a time men wore pajamas and also a robe. The robe has gotten a bad wrap for men. Normally when women wear robes it is because they are at a spa so it is associated with luxury. But when men today wear robes it is associated with being unemployed (perhaps still living at home) sitting on a couch in a robe. I think we should bring back the robe for men! 

   I however was very tired and was awakened from a deep sleep. So I had my pajamas on, put on a sweatshirt, pulled on jeans, and I grabbed my bag with my wallet and my electronics. I however forgot to put on a bra, underwear and I forgot to put on my socks. It made me think I can remember my iphone, electronics and wallet but not something important.

   What if there was a fire? By the time we had to go out to the dining room I was like ooh... other people...oops! I mean I had just failed the Fire Drill test. There were other people that were there but at the time the lights were still off. However at some point they turned back on the lights and I was a mess. My hoody protected the crazy bed head that I had and I began to remember that it was not life or death and I should have brushed my hair plus those other things. It reminded me of my days as a boarding student at Ethel Walker's. We had surprise fire drills and it always seemed to be on the coldest nights. A fire drill night was always the longest night because it always took a long time for the fire station to come! By senior year I got good at getting out of my room in a short time in layers. But I did remember a couple of cold nights that some other girls were thrown out during their shower and they had to go out in a shower cap, shower shoes and a towel. So I have to say... I was not as bad as those men that wore JUST a white robe and at least I had more on than a towel. But I was a hot mess!

  So after going back to sleep after 2:00 am we were beyond tired. We already ordered our room service before the fire and we had it slotted to arrive at 7:15 am.  We decided to eat the breakfast, and then we went back to bed for a bit. The Hotel was rather apologetic. The Hotel reimbursed the Hotel Resort Charge for that night and if we stayed we would have gotten 20% off Resort activities. But we were leaving so it did not apply to us. I am just glad it was not a real fire and everything was okay. It was really cold! They at least let us wait inside!

  We were meeting our friends in Northampton at 7:00 pm and we could not do much before going back. So my husband and I decided that we would check out around 11:00 am then get lunch and then hang out by the fire until 2:00 pm. It was so nice and peaceful! I read for a couple of hours by the warm fire before lunch and after lunch. It was so nice to do nothing!

"Look, every great getaway has that moment 
when you want to pack it all in and stay." 
-Jack from 30 Rock

  Then there was drama after we left the hotel. First of all like I mentioned before Vermont is not road trip friendly and it was three hours before we could find a bathroom. Our bladders almost burst. Then when we got over to Massachusetts there was a big pot hole that made our tire pop. But we did not think our tire popped. We left our great dinner with my friends in Northampton and then a couple miles into New Haven Rest Stop when our tire just gave out. There was so much drama. We had a spare tire but all the lug nuts came off but one of them! We could not use the temporary wheel! My husband had to put the tire back on! There was a lot of swearing I am not going to lie and it was already late at night.

  We tried a $17 cure and I almost called AAA but we made it! So luckily we were at a rest stop that had that fix a flat aerosol! So it took a lot of forced air and two bottles of Fix a Flat to get us back to where we lived. It just made it to the lot and it then was basically flat. We however were not more than a hour from where we lived and every rest stop we stopped to check on the tire.

  It was so late when we got home. I was so tired when we got home Saturday morning! We had to leave our dog Penny at my grandmother-in-law so I did not sleep. I really missed my dog Penny. So I got up early and was trying to have my husband get my dog as early as possible since it was my car that had the flat. My husband has a truck and I cannot drive a stick shift. However Saturday into Sunday with my dog by our side I slept like a log! My husband and I needed a vacation (and pay raise) from our vacation!

   I did not get the car until September 10, 2013. So it was four days without a car. I am post dating this post because I did not write a piece for two weeks. I had to get two new tires, get the tires rotated, two new lug nuts and a wheel alignment. It was costly repair but it does not take away from the fact that I loved staying at the Omni Mount Washington Resort. I really think that I could live in North Conway or the area around Mount Washington.

   But it could be just the fact that it is so nice to get all that fresh air and not have to deal with the Fairfield lifestyle! Everyone was polite, it was fresh air and the prices for homes were reasonable! However your neighbors might not keep up their area at all! But it was beautiful but reasonable. If we could get a job and bring enough to the table when buying the house we could have a better life there. Fairfield is just so expensive and for not really anything worth that price! 

  The whole experience reminded me of the 30 Rock episode about Cleveland. Liz Lemon goes on vacation to Cleveland, becomes a model, everyone tells her she should eat because she is so thin and she wants to move to Cleveland. I already want to be back by the fire (it is 92 degrees here but it is like 60 degrees in the mountains!),have a nice steak sandwich with Boursin cheese and homemade chips then for dessert have some Zed's General Store Watermelon candy slices. Until next time New Hampshire!