No run for this girl this morning, we headed to the mountains to bike and hike instead! We drove past the Franconia Notch State Park the other day and decided that today would be a good day to do our last bit of exploring before we leave tomorrow. Our first adventure was a 5 mile bike ride down the mountain, stopping to hike and take pictures along the way. We weren't really sure what we were getting ourselves into.. the lady at the desk was fairly vague, and we obviously aren't mountain women. We hopped on the trail and got peddling! Our first pit stop was at The Basin.
From their website: This large pothole in the Pemigewasset River, 30 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep, had its beginning some 25,000 years ago as the Ice Age came to a close. Water flowing from the melting glacier that filled Franconia Notch eroded the solid granite bedrock. During the thousands of years that followed sand and stones were whirled around by the force of the river causing a boring action that left the sidewalls smooth. The rock formation seen in the stream bed at the outlet has been known for generations as "The Old Man's Foot". Samuel Eastman in his 1858 White Mountain Guide called this spot "One of the beautiful haunts of Nature, a luxurious and delicious bath fit for the ablutions of a goddess." It took everything in me not to jump into The Basin, it was terribly tempting! Like I've said many times before, the pictures just don't capture the beauty, but I tried!
After spending a little time watching the water swirl in the huge 'bowl' we headed further down the mountain. The end of our bike ride brought us to The Flume Gorge. We got a bite to eat, purchased our tickets, and started on the 2 mile uphill hike to the Flume. Good thing I had on my new hiking boots! I just looked up these shoes online and they're $120! I got them for $109 at the store down the street, what a deal! The hike up the mountain wasn't too terrible.. especially for what was waiting at the top! The waterfalls were spectacular! Yesterday at the baths, the falls were pretty small but had some strength behind them. The falls at the Flume were intense! No way would I want to fall into those! It was extremely beautiful and I'm so thankful that I got the chance to see them.
Before we left the park, we took a short tram ride to the top of the mountain. It was neat learning about all the places we could see from the summit.. including CANADA! The furthest you can see on a good day is around 125 miles. Wow! My camera battery died before we got on the tram so I don't have any pictures.. and the ones I took with my sister's camera weren't too great. The clouds in the distance caused the color of the photos to be strange. Sorry! One funny thing that happened on the way up was we passed the other tram. Our tram was red and their tram was yellow. The guy leading the 'tour' told us to wave hello to 'Mustard!' It was also funny because their tram was packed and our tram was quite comfortable. The guide said that the car can fit 80 people in it! That would have made the trip up the mountain a little more frightening!
Our trip comes to and end tomorrow.. and I'm actually glad that it was as long as it was. When I normally go on vacation I end up thinking 'That trip was awesome but it went just 1 day too long'. I have not thought that yet on this trip. :) Now, yes, I would rather be on the morning flight to Indy versus the afternoon flight, but I think getting to relax before the flight will also be nice. I wanted to thank all my readers again for keeping up with my blog! Who knows where I'll be posting from next.. or what it will be about! :) xo!
While Mom went out and did girly stuff.. SRD and I went waterfall huntin'! I had found a place online called Diana's Baths, an apparently well known place to go and spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. SRD and I drove through the White Mountain National Park to get there. I've never driven through the mountains before.. apparently I'm not very good at it. I was driving 'so fast' that 2 cars pulled off the road so I could pass them.. I guess I'm made for highway driving instead.. and the 70MPH speed limit in Indiana! 90 minutes later we arrived at the parking area. We were supposed to pay to park but 1) it was on the honor system and 2) we didn't have any cash to stick in the little slot. I figured maybe me blogging about it would get some extra folks out there to make up for the $3 we didn't pay. There was a 1 mile 'hike' to the falls. It wasn't really a hike.. more like a nice walk through the woods on a gravel path.
Once the trees opened up I lost my breath for a second. There were about 10 smaller waterfalls surrounded by pools of chilly water. There were tons of people around; playing in the falls, sunbathing on the rocks, or taking pictures of the sights. SRD and I hiked to the highest level of the falls to find that it was a bit more deserted than the rest of them. We liked the peace and quite.. even though the falls were smaller than the rest. My first instinct was to jump in the water, good thing I didn't, it was freezing! After warming up in the sun and working up my courage to get in the water, I got (more like slid/fell) in. Brrr! I had a ton of fun climbing up the waterfall and jumping around on the rocks. After a bit of book reading and vitamin D consuming.. SRD and I decided to get back to the resort.
We went to dinner at Gordi's Fish and Steak House. I wasn't sure what I was going to get.. normally Salmon.. but I wanted something different! As soon as I walked in the door I saw a sign with the daily specials. Swordfish is the catch of the day? Well, I've never had swordfish.. why not try it tonight! Of course.. I ordered the lemon cake as my appetizer and indulged in the salad bar before my entree' came out. After our server literally messed up every single one of our drink orders, our dinner came out. I had no idea what swordfish tasted like but I dove right in and took a big bite. It was very strange feeling.. but tasted just like any other fish. It was very dense.. not like most fish. Most just kinda falls apart when you eat it, but not this! I almost felt like I needed to cut it with a knife! It was a new dish for me and I absolutely loved it!
After dinner we took a drive down the road to find a secret spot to watch the sunset. While Mom was getting her massage, an older lady informed her of the best spot to catch a great view. And what a great view we had! The sun slowly sank for about an hour and then it just dropped right behind the mountains! The sky turned the most wonderful red orange, it was gorgeous.
Tomorrow we bike through the State Park! 9 miles down the mountain! So excited! xo!
Go ahead and hate me, I took it upon myself to cancel our morning run and sleep in. Currently feeling guilty about it. We didn't have anything planned until noon so we lounged around the condo all morning. It's sunny and warm again here, so thankful! It hit me this morning that I'll be moving into an environment just like this in August; a little town nestled away in the beautiful mountains. It you don't know what I'm talking about this is where to read up about my new job.
At noon we started walking towards the Hobo Train Station to catch our ride that left at 1PM. Today was a special day at Hobo, it was their 25 anniversary! Although everything was mainly geared for youngins.. we reaped the benefits of $5 tickets (instead of $17) as well as cupcakes on the ride! The train ride was 90 mins and we traveled a whopping 15 miles. It was quite scenic though, minus the highways and the 5 star golf course we rode past. We saw tons of hiking trails and secluded areas where people were hanging out in the river. Lunch was also available to purchase while on the train. $10 got you a turkey and cheese sandwich, bag of potato chips, and a cookie. Not sure that was worth it.. but it was still sorta fun! Also, the cookies were quite large so that was a bonus.
We had a little bit to relax until our next adventure.. the night hike! We didn't eat out for dinner so I don't have any cool new places to talk about but we did get a take and bake dinner from Half Baked & Fully Brewed! That was the little coffee shop I talked about earlier in the week. We bought the lasagna and bread sticks. They make everything using organic and/or fair trade items. It was a fantastic meal! The bread sticks had a surprise in them.. mozzarella cheese!
At around 8:30PM we started our lantern hike at the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Cave Tour. Honestly, I wasn't excited for the tour. I thought it was going to be some lame walk through the woods and into a cave that was fairly easy to navigate through. BORING! Thankfully, I was in for a treat! I had an awesome experience going through all the twists and turns of the cave! The fact that it was dark out made it even more exciting! There were parts of the cave that were so small we had to crawl on our bellies! I almost made it out without any bumps or bruises but I had a little slip at the end, no worries though! The smallest part we went through was about 18 inches tall.. it was called the Lemon Squeeze. I was in front of a younger boy and his dad when the dad didn't think he was going to make it through. I told him it was too late to turn back now! There was also a family there with a 4 year old who was.. wait for it.. afraid of the dark. Apparently this night tour was supposed to help her overcome her fear. She was very impressive and didn't cry the entire time! Maybe it worked! Sorry I don't have really any pictures of the hike.. it was 1) dark and 2) hard to take pictures when I was busy crawling on my stomach through water. You'll just have to come here and see it for yourselves! At the end of the tour there was a little campfire and s'mores for everyone! Aside from all the gnats.. the hike was a fun way to end the evening! Thanks for checking in on me once again! I love having all the readers I do! :) xo
The morning jog was a tad bit unpleasant due to the rain, but I hear in Indy you guys are begging for rain.. wish I could send some your way! I have never been to a greener state then New Hampshire. It's the most vibrant and lush land! Everywhere you look is green! Not much was on our agenda for today, which was nice. My mom went to drop off the sis'n'law at the airport so SRD and I explored the area and found the 'old hole'. A swimming hole at the river! It wasn't the greatest spectacle but the hike there was really relaxing! There were tons of little spots to stop and rest in/near the water. I'm going to make an effort to get back to that trail again before we leave. It would be the perfect place to take a packed lunch and a book to hang out all day!
Once my mom got back to the room, we went to Woodstock, a little town down the road. There were a few more shops to browse through and I got my future mom and pop some gifts! I won't tell you what they are because I know they read this. :) I was asking the lady in the store if we could take a certain something on the plane. (Yes, papa Weddle.. it's food!) She said yes and then asked where we were from. I told her Indiana and she said 'No way.' I side glanced at my sister giving her the 'Is Indiana really that far?' look when the cashier said that she was from Kokomo! What a small world! Then we talked about how hot it is in Indy and how lucky we were because it is so nice here. I also stopped by the local brewery to pick up some beers for my beer connoisseur fiance. Hopefully I picked out a few good ones!
Tonight, dinner was at the Gypsy Cafe, specializing in foods from all over the world! After reading about a million reviews of the place (mostly all great reviews!) .. I ordered the New England Mac n Cheese which was macaroni baked in cranberry sauce and cheese with bacon and potato bits on top. As strange as it sounds.. the flavors really went well together! My mom ordered the pumpkin pasta and we both had a little of each others. I personally liked the mac n cheese better but I think she enjoyed the pasta! After dinner, Cindy, Mom and I went out to sing some karaoke! It was SO fun! There was a pretty eclectic crowd there so we got the whole range of genres! I sang a couple songs and mom even went up there and sang a song! It was priceless. :) (video below photo slideshow) Sorry for posting so late, we just got back!
Tomorrow we're goin' on a train ride and a night time lantern hike! Can't wait to tell you all about it!
Started off the day with a 2 mile run with the Mom. It felt nice to get outside and clear my head from all the commotion in the room. It was a breath-taking morning, the clouds were finally letting through some clear blue sky! Once we got back I went to a local coffee shop/bakery called Half Baked & Fully Brewed with my sis'n'law. We got a couple coffees and sat outside to watch the little town of Lincoln wake up.
10:30AM rolled around and we headed out to the zip line course for a day of fun and adventure! I had never been zip lining before and I was the slightest bit nervous about soaring over the trees at 200 feet on a tiny little wire. After wiping my sweaty palms off a billion times, it was my turn to go. This one was a 2 line jump so we 'raced' the person next to us, I was up against my mom so there was no hesitating when it was my turn to go! I jumped off the platform and soared! It was an awesome feeling! I thought the ride would be bumpy and uncomfortable but it was surprisingly smooth! The longest line we took was also the tallest, we rode for 1600 feet and were 210 feet above the forest floor we also went 50 mph!! The video of the view is at the bottom of the page, but don't stop reading yet! :) The rest of the zip lining was really enjoyable! We did 5 lines and with each line I got more comfortable with the experience and started letting go of the handles and really soaking in my surroundings. There was an older lady with us (around 70?) who was there to cross zip lining off her bucket list! She was so much fun, I'm glad we were there to be able to experience that with her!
After zip lining we stopped by Udderly Delicious for some ice cream. Don't mind the bipolar reviews that are on the link, we didn't have any problem! The shop was cozy and family oriented and the ice cream was tasty too! Nothing award-winning, but who really cares... it's ice cream! Dinner rolled around and we finally ventured out of our 1 mile radius to Littletown, NH to Bailliwicks. It was actually in the basement of an old inn. The prices were a little steep but the food was fabulous! I thoroughly enjoyed the creme brulee I got as an appetizer and the salad with blackberry vinaigrette. They also served Jones Sodas with the kids meals. Neat!
Tomorrow my sis'n'law and nephew head home! We've got until Tuesday to explore, hopefully finding a hidden watering hole we've been hearing about! More adventures to come! xo
(videos and photos below)
Good morning to a wonderful breakfast, kids locked out of their own bedrooms, a beautiful mountain view, and the world's most adorable toddler. Our 10AM 'walking out the door' time turned quickly into 11:20AM. We made pancakes, sausage, and eggs for breakfast and enjoyed the gloomy but beautiful morning. I sat on the balcony and read for a little bit while everyone else scrambled around to get ready.
Our day trip was to Clark's Trading Post. Clark's had plenty of fun things for the kiddos to do including a train ride, trained bears, a magical mansion, and candle dipping! It wasn't an adult's place of choice but it was fun seeing the kids enjoy themselves! The train ride was entertaining, there was a wolf man there who chased the train! There was a story that went along with the 'wolf man' that was pretty hilarious. He reminded me a lot of my big brother.. shooting guns while wearing a raccoon tail hat. We also went and got our picture taken at one of those 'old fashion' photo places where we dressed up in scandalous clothes. Haha! Our theme was 'Gangsters and Gals', with my 1 year old nephew being the gangster and his Mom, 3 Aunts, 2 Grandmas, and Niece being his gal. It was pretty hilarious. We all were holding props like cards, pistols, bottles of booze, and he got to hold a shot glass. We got an awesome shot of us while he was knocking back a shot. Too funny!
It was family night at Elvio's Pizza! Mo the clown was there to create some pretty stunning balloon characters, he even made a guitar that actually played! The kids ate for 1 penny for each pound they weighed. My nephew ate for 23 cents.. good thing we paid before we ate.. he probably would have cost 50 cents on the way out! For those of us under 12.. pizza was only 1 buck a slice! The pizza was awesome! It was super thin and flimsy but packed with flavor!
We're all home relaxing now.. my engagement pictures have been put online if anyone is curious to see them.. Click here to see them! They're also on facebook! :) Check back tomorrow! xo
The morning started off with a 5:30AM wake up call. I literally laughed at my alarm when it went off.. I thought I had set it for the wrong time. Unfortunately it was set for the correct time and that meant I had to get out of bed. Our flight took off at 7:25AM and we landed in Chicago at 7:10AM. Weird, eh? We had a bit of a layover until our 9:20AM flight to Manchester, New Hampshire. We sat to the most annoying kid on our flight. He creepily watched my sister sleep (with her eyes half open) and then went on to tell her he almost took a picture of it. He asked about a trillion questions about the plane and what not. Granted, it was his first time on a plane, so I guess I can't bash on him too much.
Once we touched down in New Hampshire, we got in our rental car and headed to the resort! We are staying in the Nordic Inn, it's right down the street from tons of little shops and diners! On our way to the resort, we stopped to grab some lunch! We had 2 GPS systems and neither of them could get us to our destination. We ended up having to ask a random guy where the diner was, his directions were spot on! We pulled up to the 104 Diner and it was all we could have asked for and more! The decorations were super retro and the food was mouth watering! I had a tough time deciding between the Arnold Burger or Tom's Last Hurrah! Thankfully, my sis'n'law got the burger so I got Tom's Last Hurrah! The burger had pineapple, bacon, and teriyaki glaze on top. As weird as it sounded, it was tasty as can be! Tom's Last Hurrah was basically Thanksgiving dinner on a sandwich. Roasted turkey and stuffing with cranberry mayo to top it all off. I couldn't have been more impressed with the sandwich! The waitress we had was telling us all about the new menu they had but that 'We knew that already because we've been in here before.' I didn't have the heart to tell the sweet old lady that we were from a few states away and have never seen this place in our lives.
After lunch we headed next door to Air Stream Ice Cream for some frozen treats! The ice cream was served from an old Air Stream camper parked in the parking lot of the 104 Diner! It was obviously tiny so you ordered at the window. There were picnic tables for you to enjoy the scenery on.. but with the rain/wind that we had been having so far during the trip, we opted to eat our treats in the car! I opted to, once again, try something new and got the Arnold Palmer sherbert! For those of you that don't know what Arnold Palmer is *cough* HVM.. it's a drink that is half sweet tea and half lemonade. I was very surprised at how accurate the taste of the sherbert was! Refreshing and unique!
We finally arrived at the Nordic Inn and settled into our massive town home! It sleeps 14 people! It's stunning on the inside with vaulted ceilings on the second story! The resort has everything you need to have a relaxing time in the mountains! The Mom, sister, and I have claimed the upstairs! We rested until the rest of our family's flights came in and then we were off to dinner at The Common Man! Now, I normally post pictures of my food but I didn't even think about it when they brought our dinner to the table! Engulfed by the delicious smells, I just dug in like a starving child! White Chocolate bread pudding was my appetizer of choice (always eat dessert first!) and I had the Salmon with pineapple salsa for my entree! Tasty! As most people don't get dessert first, I've learned to spread the wealth when I order mine. I passed the bread pudding around the table and everyone fell in love with it.. except my mom. She was skeptical and claimed it was 'outside her comfort zone'. I told her to buck up and try it, she loved it too! She said 'Wow, that is good!'
Back at the resort we're resting for the night and planning some adventures for tomorrow! Rain is in the forecast so hopefully it lets up and we can get outside for the day! Thanks for checking in! Look back for more tomorrow!
Tomorrow my family and I hop on a plane to Lincoln, New Hampshire! Wait.. what? Who takes a family vacation to New Hampshire?! Honestly, that's what I felt like at first. I have never been to New Hampshire and I've never had the desire to go, what are we even going to do there?
I looked into some things to do and I actually found a bunch of stuff! Hiking, mountain biking, train rides, festivals and more! Even if we don't do anything cool, we'll be in the mountains, and what's not to like about that?! I'll be posting daily about the trip so you can all feel like you came along too. :)
Check back tomorrow! xo