Saturday, August 6, 2016

Day Five: New Hampshire, Vermont, Ben & Jerry's and Being Grateful

Today started with a sad good-bye to our friend Mary. We laughed about the air mattress fail that left the girls sleeping on the floor in the middle of the night, drank some tea, packed up our suitcases, and said our good-byes.
Mattress Fail 2016
And then we hit the road. All. Day. Long. Since I'm not tracking statistics I can't say how many miles, but a quick Google Map calculation tells me about 350. Due to the mountainous terrain, and small female bladders, I have to say it equated to a full day of riding in the car, with a large ice cream stop in the middle.

We drove into state #47, New Hampshire, around early afternoon.

State #47, New Hampshire
We walked a bit down crazy interstate 89, and caught the Massachusetts sign we had missed earlier ... state #46.

State #46, Massachusetts
Although the day consisted of lots of driving, and I fully admit I complained about the damn rule that doesn't allow my 17 year old to drive a rental car, the day was lovely. Annelies rode shot-gun, and the whole day we spent singing, discussing our favorite songs, talking about life, telling stories about our pasts, sharing our dreams, talking about our futures, and simply enjoying one another. "Life" doesn't give me the opportunity to do that much, and as I write this post I can't help feeling grateful for the long drive.

As we made our way up north, we crossed into state #48, Vermont. The state sign along the highway didn't allow for a safe stop (ah, are any of these stops really safe?) so we made our way to the Welcome Center.

State #48, Vermont
The drive through Vermont was just stunning. The weather was perfect, and we all enjoyed the views of the mountains. Late afternoon we arrived in Stowe, VT for a little ice cream. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory Tour. Did you know that all employees get three (3) pints of FREE ice cream every day? They would have to wheel my fat body into work every day ...

My motto ... "If it's not fun, why do it?"
Ben & Jerry's yummy goodness
After eating (way too much) ice cream, we made our way east and crossed back into New Hampshire. The sun was just perfect, and the views were beautiful as we drove through White Mountains National Park. This area is filled with resorts used both during summer, and for skiing in the winter.

Mount Washington Hotel

We ended in Conway, NH around 9:00pm. It was late. I had drove all day (ate too much ice cream) and wanted to simply crawl into bed and scroll through the numbing pleasantness of Facebook (don't judge, please). But my travel team insisted on walking next door to Applebee's for a late dinner. After I ate my meal which consisted of more alcohol than substance, enjoyed our very pleasant waitress that knew I was a bit tired, and raced my girls back to our hotel parking lot, I was thankful they suggested we go out. I was asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

I'm pretty sure I won the race through the parking lot.
However, it is now 3:17am and I am sitting on the floor outside the bathroom, wrapped in a towel writing this post. Sometimes sleep doesn't come easily in the middle of the night, but I'm thankful today will end in Portland, Maine where I can take a nap on the beach.

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