Making sure we are taking advantage of the leaf peeping window, we packed up and did a long weekend in Vermont and New Hampshire. To break up the drive to the White Mountains in NH, we stopped over at a charming hotel in Vermont, the North Shire Lodge. Each room has a sliding glass back door that opened to an expansive lawn with a classic bucolic vista complete with a red barn over the hill in the distance. The town of Manchester was only a 5 minute drive where you can get your outlet shopping on, if you are so inclined (the Pendleton outlet has a Starbucks in it in case you need that extra jolt of caffeine to help you decide to buy ALL the blankets).
Continuing our journey north, we made it to the historic Cog Railway at Mount Washington. I've always wanted that bumper sticker, "This car climbed Mt. Washington." Turns out, you can't just buy it at the souvenir shop on the top of the mountain. You actually need to drive your car up there. Given that we took the ole locomotive, we did not get to come home with the bumper sticker. I would highly recommend this rail journey though! The leaves were stunning along the way and it has that old-timey charm that The Harrises eat up. Sadly, when we got to the summit, we were told there were 85 mph winds, so we couldn't get out and mill about. We jumped out for a quick photo and look at the gift shop (we can't help it), but had to load back up soon after to make it down the mountain safely.
A while back I got a book called Historic Hotels of America and sometimes when getting stuck as to where to stay, I'll pull it out and see which historic hotels are in the area that we are heading towards. This is how I found the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, which dates back to 1865, and often hosted the likes of President Dwight Eisenhower. There was an extensive renovation in the early 2000s, so the hotel feels fresh while retaining its old world charm. The hotel is the lucky home of the oldest elevator in the state of New Hampshire. This requires someone to manually drive it and they have to line it up just right to make sure it's level to the floor when you step off. While I did not have the opportunity to check out the spa, we did do the farm tour in the morning. There are a number of alpacas (they sell their own alpaca yarn too!), goats, chickens, and who knows what else there. Sally got the opportunity to collect an egg that was just laid, but she was not particularly gentle when throwing it back into the basket, so that experience was short-lived. But Sally did get to pet the goats and check out the alpacas. A must do for families visiting the hotel! It happened to be quite cold the day we were there so we didn't stroll the grounds, but for braver souls, there is a golf course and one of those really massive outdoor chess boards where the pieces go up to your waist. More our speed is an indoor pool and hot tub. This is no ordinary pool, it has a hand-painted mural on ALL THE WALLS. Lots of painted woodland animals ready for a pool party. Overall, a lovely stay with beautiful views all around!