We did a long weekend trip to Bretton Woods in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in early October of 2022. It was such a wonderful and memorable trip. I love fall in New England, and it always feels important to me to celebrate it fully! I’ve often said that Stowe, Vermont is the most beautiful region in all of New England during the autumn season. But I’ll now correct that by saying that the Bretton Woods region is 100% comparable! It’s absolutely breathtaking, with the most stunning and rich fall color!
We stayed at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, which is an historic hotel that looks like something out of a fairytale. As I was editing our photos from the trip, I felt that a lot of the backgrounds looked fake. But it’s actually just that stunning of a property!
I don’t like old hotels, but this resort had a brand new “Presidential Wing,” and we stayed in a gorgeous one-bedroom suite there. I’m rarely blown away by hotel rooms, but this one was stunning! It was surprisingly large with incredible views of the mountains. It also had two balconies. Per usual, I loved going out on the balcony off the bedroom at night after Tru went to bed. On my first night, there was a full moon and a sky full of stars. A nearby river provided the soothing sounds of a babbling brook. It was truly a dream – I love how nature always works to restore and calm me!
The hotel had both a small toy store as well as a candy shop, so Tru was happy. I love shopping and Tru hates it, so I’m always excited when we discover the types of stores he loves!
One sweet memory: As he frequently does, Trevor started up a conversation with a hotel employee. The employee was excited to tell us all about the animals at the resort – he had seen several black bear cubs recently. The bears go to the nearby river to drink, and he had the most adorable photos of the cubs on his phone! He encouraged us to check out the resort horses and told us where to find them. Then he gave Tru a couple of apples to feed them. So that afternoon we took a trip down to see the horses. All but one horse completely ignored us. But we got one taker! She approached us slowly and timidly, and ate a bite or two of the apple. Isn’t it amazing how those seemingly “tiny” moments of connection are all we really remember?
We did two trips out to the golf courses on the resort property. As I’ve mentioned, Tru can’t ever get enough golf! I haven’t been to many golf courses but the resort courses – surrounded by the mountains – were the most beautiful I’ve seen. I decided not to play, and instead just walked the course and admired the views. I enjoyed taking lots of videos and photos!
One of the most special adventures of our trip was our Fall Foliage Gondola Ride on the Bretton Woods Skyway Gondola. From the peak, it felt like we could see the mountain ranges (including Mount Washington) for miles and miles. After checking out the views from the top (Tru had fun throwing rocks off the side of the mountain and doing some silly videos with me), we went to the mountaintop restaurant for lunch. The food was surprisingly delicious (I normally have low expectations for touristy, high-traffic restaurants with incredible views!) We sat outside at a table overlooking the mountains. It was one of those crisp, clear fall days where the bright sun warms away the chill in the air.
We also did a few easy hikes. Trevor often argues and says he doesn’t want to go for hikes. But then he finds all of these amazing treasures, like giant sticks and unusually colorful rocks. On this trip, he figured out how to gently shake some of the sapling trees to create “leaf showers” of seemingly hundreds of falling autumn leaves. He ends up having a wonderful time and saying how much he wants to return!
I can remember the days when I used to be pretty frantic when we traveled. I was determined to see every sight, as though I had some checklist that I was required to complete. I’m much more interested in seeking out peace and tranquility and beauty these days. I don’t have a “bucket list” when I travel anymore. My priorities are just to appreciate as much as possible and connect with my family as much as possible.
And of course I’m laughing as I reread the paragraph above, because how possible are “peace” and “tranquility” when you’re on a trip with a rambunctious 6-year-old boy?! Tru was up at 6am every morning (as always), jumping around and making requests about where he wanted go. We have to continually remind him that he can’t yell and bounce around the room in the early morning hours in a hotel room! We’re definitely not able to relax in our hotel room (before he goes to bed for the night), or anything like that! We have to move from one activity to the next, all while making sure everyone is well fed throughout. Chris often takes Tru out on a search for breakfast while I’m getting ready in the room in the morning, for example. Or we’ll do a trip to the pool as our mid-afternoon “break.” We bought a map game at the toy store that kept Tru busy for a little while; it’s otherwise really difficult to keep him entertained in the room. But I find my moments though. I loved sitting down and relaxing by the riverbank with Chris one afternoon while Tru played with pebbles and sticks near the water. I loved watching the golden leaves rain down over the water when the wind blew. I hadn’t realized the riverbank was muddy, and Tru got absolutely filthy – he loves dirt and has no problem getting dirty! But still. It’s always possible to find those moments if you look for them!