“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” –William Blake
For the last four years now we have taken a fall getaway to the mountains of New Hampshire to enjoy some time outdoors as well as spending the day at the amusement park, Story Land. It has also become a tradition to enjoy this trip with close friends of ours who have a daughter that was born one day before Big Brother. The two of them have been inseparable since before they were even crawling. They have a bond that is unlike any kid friendship that I’ve ever seen. It’s just adorable. Every year they count the days until this trip together and are full of nothing but joy while there.
This park, which is geared towards the younger crowd, has been open since the 50s. And though it can show its age, the theme of storybook characters such as the 3 Little Pigs or Cinderella, is timeless. I’ll admit, after attending this park for four years now, I am starting to grow every-so-slightly tired of the same old song and dance, but Big Brother and his BFF love it so much and create such fond memories there that I am having a hard time saying that we’re done. Not to mention that Little One is getting to the age in which he can enjoy it, too. Though as we discovered this trip, he was not as eager to ride rides and was content to just watch his brother from the sidelines. We have enjoyed going in the early fall, which is nearing the end of the park’s season, because the weather is often pleasant and the crowds are extremely manageable. Plus, I really love being in the mountains in the fall because it makes for some lovely hiking.
The second half of our trip, which is usually more my favorite part is enjoying the quaint mountain town and all its charm. Every year I search for a fun place to stay, usually through Airbnb, but this year we stumbled on a good deal at the Nordic Village Resort. I was really pleased with this find as we had a two bedroom townhouse with an incredible view of the mountains, indoor & outdoor pools, a game room for the kids and though we were too tired in the evening to participate, there was a big bonfire going on in the Village at sundown. The resort was just up the road from Story Land and a short drive into town and to our favorite hiking spots. In addition to the full kitchen, big jacuzzi tub and fireplace, what I really loved was a discovery I had upon waking up in the morning. The second floor bedroom had a skylight that was a front row view of the mountains. When I rolled over to wake up in the morning, I watched the sunrise over the mountains…in bed. It really made 6am not feel so hard to face.
Hiking in the mountains is magical to me. I’ve found that a walk into the woods and up a mountain can bring me a sense of peace and grounded feeling much like time on my yoga mat. The last day we were there I unfortunately found myself in a terrible funk. Not at all what I wanted for the last day of our vacation, but it was happening none the less. I tried to shake it but nothing was working. I was such a grumpy pants that I tried to bail on our planned hike to Diana’s Bath. Thankfully, my husband wouldn’t allow it and demanded that I join them on the hike, grumpy and all. I was silent and not really participating too much in the family fun for the first half of the hike. My M.O. when we’re on these trails is to encourage exploration with the kids, pointing out all the sights and sounds, while taking a million pictures a long the way. But this day was a different story and as I struggled to shake my moodiness, I entered a state of almost meditative walking. I noticed the things I would normally point out to the kids and snap shots of, but I just took it in for myself and moved on. I didn’t take a single picture until we reached the waterfall at the top. And then, with the sun shining bright and the kids thrilled to climb the rocks and enjoy the view, I felt that ugly monster on my back finally release me. The walk back felt much better, though that was around the time the boys began to lose their energy and complain a bit about the walking. Thankfully, I felt clear-headed and in the right frame of mind to help support their exhaustion back to the car. It was a therapeutic hike to say the least and I am grateful to my husband for pushing me on the trail.