I sadly said goodbye to the Mount Washington Resort today. The day started next to the veranda watching the sunrise, followed by a cool, but refreshing walk through the grounds. I see why so many other writers, artists, and photographers come here. Even with my busy conference schedule, I made significant progress editing my book. The atmosphere is inspiring and conducive to the creative process. I will miss it dearly!
Tucked away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is the Mount Washington Hotel.The drive here is typical New Hampshire; country roads, scattered country stores, beautiful scenery and the occasional wild life running in front of you. When you turn down the long road to the hotel, it is like being transported back in time. As I arrived today for a conference, snow blanketed the mountain tops, and it was not long before flakes fell…and of course I was hiking when they did! Despite the sharp bite of winter air, I enjoyed my time outside and snapped a few pictures. More to follow after I thaw out and enjoy a cup of tea next to the over-sized fire place in the lobby.
Just a few hours drive away from our home in New Hampshire is the now famous city of Salem, Massachusetts. Every year, thousands of tourists descend to the area for Halloween festivities. The streets come alive with vendors as well as costumed visitors. The shopping offers a plethora of items from the typical tourist purchases to unique crafts. Witch themed attractions are plentiful, from wax museums to re-creations of the witch trials. While I prefer visiting at less busy times, it is always an adventure to go during Halloween.
With the commercial side of Salem, the true meaning often gets lost, so I recommend taking a side trip to the memorials and less touristy spots. The Rebecca Nurse House is just a few short miles away. Rebecca was one of the unfortunate victims to be hung during the witch trial, and is also a great (times many) aunt of mine. Another victim, Susannah Martin, was my many times great grandmother, so visiting Salem offers a chance to connect with my family history.
Salem is an important part of the American culture. I encourage a visit to learn about one of our darkest moments. The historical aspects of Salem are fascinating and worth the trip!
I spent many summer days climbing Mount Sunapee as a child. The park is even better than before with the addition of an aerial challenge course and zip lines, but the beauty still tops any of the man-made additions. One of the highlights of the mountain is the chair lift to the top. While I usually go for the 2 mile hike, a morning spent 50 feet above the trees on a super-sized jungle gym was enough to tame my sense of adventure and make the chair lift a welcomed site. From the summit, a short 1.1 mile hike takes you to Lake Solitude, an ideal spot for a picnic and pictures.
While his hips and breathing prevent the long walks he used to enjoy, the sparkle in his eyes flickers as it did when he was a puppy. Tucker is still awkward looking, his long nose more like a hound than a yellow lab, but he is one of the most gentle creatures I have ever known. Our children used to ride him, paint his toenails pink, and have even dressed him in a tu-tu, but he was still their best friend. Now, our grand daughter loves her “tutter,” and besides stealing her peanut butter sandwiches, he has become her best friend too.
I’ve come to realize this is probably his last autumn. Some days he struggles to climb the stairs and sleeps more than he used too, but I know he still enjoys life. If the day comes when he stops raiding the trash or begging for our pizza, then I will know it is time. We will miss him dearly, but am so thankful for the years he has been part of the family.
The window between humid summer days and the first snow fall is packed with weekend excursions. I wish Autumn lasted longer..there is nothing better than listening to the crunch of leaves under your feet. This weekend, we were back to Quechee Gorge. For anyone making the trip during the fall, make sure you go REALLY early or late in the day, as it is one of the most popular tourist spots in this region of Vermont.