Early Tuesday morning of this week we got in the car and headed north for New Hampshire.
This year, instead of staying in a hotel at one mountain, the plan was to ski a mountain each day of our 4-day trip.
It’s funny, the original reason we did all this was to try out Black Mountain, a smaller, family-run ski resort that we’d heard good things about. So that was the initial place we checked out (when we were planning this trip last fall). The other factor was that we had two free lift tickets to Bretton Woods (because when we got the kids their new boots this year at The Ski Shop Plus in North Smithfield, we got a lift ticket with each boot purchase. So we had to go there.).
So after much research and thought and discussion, the trip looked like this:
Day 1: Drive up to Bretton Woods, ski that, and then check into where we were staying.
Day 2: Wildcat.
Day 3: Black Mountain
Day 4: Either Black Mountain or Attitash, and then drive home.
Of course, I didn’t do any of the skiing – I did the Reading Of Books and the Relaxing and Dozing on the Couch one day, and the Mini Road Trip with Julia. Those stories, such as they are, will be told on the corresponding days of the trip.
Anyway, hopefully you’re not completely confused and haven’t clicked away by now.
OH – so instead of staying in a hotel this year, we booked a condo at The Seasons, which is practically next door to Attitash, about 10-15 minutes from Wildcat and Black Mountain, and about half an hour from Bretton Woods.
Staying at The Seasons was THE best decision we’ve made in ages. Well, one of them.
Instead of your basic two-bed hotel room, we stayed in a two bedroom, two bathroom condo, with a kitchen, living/dining room, washer/dryer, wood stove, pots and pans and plates and glasses and everything. We were basically staying in a condo owned by a couple named Nancy and Jim, and I guess they rent it out or however that works.
Anyway, it was SO very nice being there. First of all – two bedrooms! Yay! We could put the kids to bed without having to go to sleep ourselves (although after skiing all day, Bill usually fell asleep pretty soon after the kids did)…we could cook meals if we wanted to (which we did), and it just felt homey. We’d go back there in a heartbeat.
But as usual I’m getting way ahead of myself.
We left Rhode Island some time before 6 on Tuesday morning, travel mugs filled with coffee. We picked up some bagels and donuts and breakfast sandwiches for the ride, and we were off. The car was packed with food we were bringing, all the bulky ski stuff like boots and helmets, and basic things like clothes and books and stuffed animals. Bill and the kids were already dressed in their base wear and a layer of comfy clothes over that. They’d go straight from the car to the slopes when we arrived at Bretton Woods later.
Not a whole lot to say about the ride up. The morning was beautiful, and as it was the beginning of our little vacation, we were all happy and excited. And even more happy and excited once we got deeper into NH.
Oh, and clearly I don’t clean my camera lenses enough – see those little dots in the sky? Yeah, they’re not UFOs, they’re little specks of something stuck to camera lens, and since I didn’t bring anything with me to clean the lenses, you’ll be seeing those dots frequently. It would take too long to edit them out of every picture. I apologize for my slovenly ways.
Anyway, once we started seeing mountains, we all perked up again and knew we were getting close.
At last, after about 3 hours and 45 minutes of driving (not bad), we arrived:
We parked the car, Bill and the kids got their ski pants, boots, and everything else on, and we trudged over to the lodge, turned in the vouchers for two free lift tickets, bought Julia’s, and then we parted ways. I parked myself at a table, got some hot cocoa, pulled out a book and read. (I couldn’t sit close enough to a wall to plug the laptop in.)
Now, I realize MY portion of the vacation will not sound very exciting. I spent a lot of time just reading. Yep. Read, read, turn a page. Read, read, turn a page. But the thing is, that’s what I wanted to do. The day before we left, I bought myself four, count ‘em, four brand new books. And I wouldn’t allow myself to open one until I was parked on a bench in the lodge at Bretton Woods.
Nope, I’m not all that exciting. But I was happy and content, and that’s all that matters.
Anyway, Bill and the kids hit the slopes and after about 3 or 4 runs, Julia was cold and needed a break. So they dropped her off and she hung out with me while Bill and Alex took another one or two runs before coming in for lunch.
Julia’s cheeks were bright red, she had snow encrusted to her hair, and her little hands and feet were cold, too. I shared hot cocoa with her, and warmed her hands and feet, and she told me about the trails she went down with Bill and Alex. Sometimes it’s nice just to hang out together like that.
We ate lunch at the little restaurant upstairs in the lodge, and then Bill and the kids went back out to ski for another couple of hours and I immersed myself in pages and pages of fiction again.
Skiing ended for the day at around 3, we checked into our condo, picked up a few things at the grocery store, and I cooked pasta and meatballs for dinner.
Bill and the kids went over to the game room for an hour or so, the kids swam around in the pool over there, and I soaked in a bath.
They came back just when I got out of the tub, which was good because Bill had forgotten the key and I probably wouldn’t have heard them knocking over the sound of the fan in the bathroom.
Anyway, we all bunched together on the couch and watched tv for a very short time, and then everyone went to bed.
And that was the end of Day 1.