Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. Thoreau
Three years ago, Tommy and I decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary week on a trip and count-down to our 50th. The criteria for each of these trips have been a place we haven’t visited, cool temperature, quiet, special accommodations, a few interesting things to see and near water, if possible.
This year we chose to go to The Manor on Golden Pond, an elegant bed and breakfast country inn, located in the Lakes Region in Holderness, New Hampshire.
Everything was accurate as they described the Manor’s fourteen-acre estate. However, I took them literally when they said Manor “on Golden Pond.” If I’d read more closely it said, with “exquisite views of Golden Pond.” Indeed from the windows and the deck off our room, the Mayfair, had an exquisite view. However, it wasn’t on Golden Pond, but across the street. Now wouldn’t you believe you were “on the Pond” according to this picture of our room on their website?
We did enjoy quiet time reading on our deck in the sun and also on drizzly days. I happen to be a pluviophile, (n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days, so the rain didn’t bother me. The weather was cool enough to have a fire in our wood-burning fire-place and snuggle-up in our comfy bed to watch a movie on one of our four nights there.
The first day we arrived, we had dinner in the Van Horn room, an intimate setting with elegant décor, reminiscent of a fine English table with white linens, fresh flowers, and candlelight. This is a Four Diamond (an accolade given to few New Hampshire inns) restaurant, which recognizes the exceptional cuisine prepared on the premises, as well as the sophistication, level of service, and attention to detail. We also relaxed here each morning over a warm breakfast of omelets, eggs Benedict, pancakes, or French toast, and numerous egg preparations. We anticipated breakfast each morning.
After a yummy breakfast on a sunny, cool day we headed to Moultonborough, New Hampshire to Lucknow, Castle in the Clouds, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. The 1914 Arts and Crafts mansion includes 5,500 acres of trails and waterfalls on the land to the tops of seven mountains down to the shore of the lake. After extensively touring the home and interacting with the staff guides, we enjoyed more of the sumptuous views and a meal on the carriage house terrace.
After the tour of the home we headed back down the mountains with a few stops on the way to look out over the lakes and take a few photos. Then we drove through many of the small towns and villages such as Meredith, Wolfeboro, Ashland, and Weirs Beach including a covered bridge. We headed back to the Manor for afternoon tea which was served every afternoon at 4:00. Nothing could make me happier.
The next day, after another huge breakfast, we relaxed a while on the Terrace at the Manor. In the afternoon, with a picnic lunch in hand from the Manor kitchen, we headed for a 90-minute boat tour of the pristine Squam Lake. We viewed Purgatory Rock, the boat dock, and area where “On Golden Pond” was filmed. Our guide was humorous in pointing out all these locations plus the nesting places of loons and eagles. The flat-boat was equipped with binoculars as it took more than the naked eye to see some of the wildlife. We enjoyed the scenery and beauty of the lake and mountains.
We shopped after our boat tour in several fun and funky NH’s “no-sales tax” stores like the Red Barn, Veggie Art Girl, and The Common Man. We made it back to the Manor before it turned really rainy and chilly.
Our last day, even after a long, hard rain all night, we were determined to actually get to the public beach and water. There are beaches all around, but they are private. We ate our substantial breakfast, did a little sight-seeing and then back to our room to put on our hiking shoes to walk to the shores of Squam Lake through the Chamberlain Memorial Forest. Our super hostess, Carol, assured us that it was a beautiful conservation area and would be a wonderful 20 minute walk through the forest and over a wetlands boardwalk. She said we would get to a small enchanting sandy beach from which we could enjoy a swim or bask in the sun. Well, there was no sun, and certainly too cold to swim, but we were determined. So we headed-out on what seemed like a very well-marked trail and nice and wide and dry. However, once we got well into the forest we were accompanied by small flying things and mosquitos and questionable trails and mud and darkness.
I clocked 9,000 steps on my fitbit and 14 flights of stairs by the time we got there and got back out of the forest. Yes, we did get there and found our way back. The major delight was that we accomplished it not unlike the sense of accomplishment we felt when we walked a marathon in 2002.
We stayed on the beach at the water for only 10 minutes and then headed back as fast as we could. After dinner and a long, hot bath, followed by a fire in our fireplace, bed was quite welcome. We took it easy the next morning packing and heading to the Manchester airport for a long day of traveling. When we landed at midnight we couldn’t find our car in the airport parking lot for about 40 minutes, but finally made it home to our own manor and our kitties, Snow and Tiger.
The summer still stretches before us. Tomorrow I’ll be in the skies again heading towards Chicago for Summer Quilt Festival in Rosemont. Will I see any of you there? When I land back in Houston next Sunday I’ll go straight to our granddaughter, Sydney Huebner’s 9-year old birthday party at Jumping World. The day after that, Madison (17) and Tyler Murrah (14) will be here for a week for Camp Grammy and Granddaddy.
I will spend the rest of today in my studio preparing for an Open Studios demo on making embellished messenger bags from canvas totes we have received at shows for many, many years. Next time you hear from me on this blog it will be a tutorial on how to make the bags. So until then have a happy summer.