This trip in the spring almost didn’t happen. I used Hotel Tonight to make an online reservation at a New Hampshire hotel and the morning I was to leave for my two days of bliss, packed suitcase by the door, I thought I better call the hotel and make sure they had my room reservation. You guessed it, they had no record of my name or room. My cat paced around the suitcase worried about my departure while I spent the next three hours rebooking, cancelling, waiting on hold to get to real people to tell me what the issue was. After all was said and done Hotel Tonight had cancelled my reservation because the hotel I booked would not honor their reservation for some reason. They did NOT email or inform me of this important information or in any way let me know this was happening, so I would have shown up after five hours of driving, only to be turned away. And now I had to find a new place to stay under pressure as the clock ticked my vacation away. Hotel Tonight refunded the charge of my non-existent reservation (5-8 days later mind you) and gave me a half-hearted apology. This was so unacceptable and such a rotten way to start a vacation, that I will never book with them again. So be warned, book direct and save yourself the hassle.
After I did get on the road, I decided to drive straight from Lenox to the White Mountains without time for any hiking or cute-town hunting along the way. I loved driving through real mountains; even if they are not as gorgeous as my western Sierras they are least more than hills. I drove thru Crawford Notch via the cute town called Bethlehem, driving by OMNI Mount Washington Resort a GORGEOUS old grand hotel for a mere $500 a night.
I arrived in Jackson, NH to check into the Christmas Farm Inn. They were so nice they even opened their spa on their one day off to schedule a one hour massage just for me. After checking in and checking out my lovely large room and sitting room, I walked down the hill to the local “falls” that rush through this tiny river town. I sat there on the rocks watching the glorious rushing water and felt the cares of my world fall away.
That evening I went to a tavern called Wildcat that had an open mic night. It was a mix of music and exuberant locals. It ended at 8:30pm and as I was leaving I struck up four conversations with strangers that were interested in what I was doing in their small town. Solo travel draws people towards me that I would not converse with if accompanied by others. Why is that? Do they feel sorry for me? Is it so unusual to see a female on her own? Whatever the reason I like it, I really do. One young gal asked me if I was a “spiritual person,” she was wanting to share her awakening to the changes she is feeling coming to the earth. Very unusual but she inspired me with her vulnerability. The other three gentlemen were some of the musicians from the evening’s open mic, and one was even the owner of the inn that I am staying in. We talked over what hikes I could do tomorrow which was very helpful. Another man was from the Berkshire Mountains and was tickled to have someone to talk to from near his hometown.
I woke up the next morning to slip into the smooth black robe the inn provided and walk down a few flights of stairs to the spa and my private massage. It has been three or four years since my last massage so I was feeling justified to spend money on myself. It was by far the BEST massage I have ever received and I kept thinking I need to do this more often, once a week would be perfect! Chris was intuitive, masterful at being able to manipulate my body and stretch and release my limbs and muscles. I was in heaven! I walked out of there on a puffy cloud, back up the two flights to my room to a view of the mountains through a calm, free body.
I was in such a relaxed state that I sat and read on the porch for a few hours before I could convince myself I should leave the room on my only day in Jackson.
I drove toward North Conway and Black Cap Mountain to the hike that was recommended at the bar last night, touted as having 360 degree views and easy. Well, the easy part wasn’t so true. It was pretty steep and I was still a bit mushy from my massage and the warm temperature. But it was worth it as the views were stunning.
After my hike I drove through North Conway and picked up Thai food to eat while sitting on a blanket by the falls below the hotel. I was able to study my script and relax the night away. Even the bugs left me alone.
It was a quick trip but seeing a new area, meeting new people, and feeling mountain energy seep into my body was so worth it.