A Fall Road Trip

Fall is my favorite season. All my senses seam to go into sensory overload in a good way. The air smells different. The temperature is cooler.  Foods are suddenly heartier and flavored with pumpkin or apple and spice. And then there is the fall foliage hitting it’s peak in the mountains. When our daughter Allyson got accepted to Dartmouth, then decided to continue playing the sax in their scatter band, I envisioned my husband and I going up every fall for a football game and watching the band perform. As a band mom for four years of high school, I knew I would miss those days. Life always had other plans for us though. We always seemed to drive up too early in the season or the other seasons entirely. Fast forward to senior year we finally made plans to do it right this time.

We picked a date that worked for Al and our sister (who just happened to make the move from Boston to New Hampshire!) so she can meet up with us too. We patiently waited all summer for our little getaway. Finally the weekend came! With our mom in on the trip, the three of us hit the road on Friday morning.

The ride up was beautiful. Here in parts of PA, we still have a lot of green on our trees. NY and MA had the most vibrant red, yellow and orange leaves of the whole trip. 

VT and NH probably hit peak color last weekend but still didn’t disappoint. There is one area approx. thirty minutes south of White River Junction, VT heading north on I91. No matter what season it is, it always mesmerizes me. I posted it to my IG account. Go check it out when you are done reading!

It takes about six hours to arrive at our hotel in WRJ and we are minutes away from campus in Hanover, NH. We arrived just in time for an invite to meet up with Allyson at the football field to watch the band practice.

It was a full moon this weekend. The moon looked so big and beautiful! No matter how many times I tried to capture it, no picture did it justice. But I do like this one from Friday night a lot.

We stayed at the field for a little bit then decided to head to town where we met up with Al for a later dinner and drinks.

I call this picture Reflections. That’s our mom, my husband Dan and Al.

Saturday morning we got up early for breakfast then squeeze in a hike before the afternoon football game. Al wanted to take us to Gile Mountain to the fire tower to show us the spectacular views. 

The hike itself was about an hour. I wish we had more time to explore but we needed to get back so Al could meet up with the rest of the band.

That’s our sister in the gray jeans and unfortunately the only picture I have of her from the weekend 😔

I have video of the performances but they are long so I will spare you. But this screen shot of them marching off turned out ok.

The band has a tradition that if our team wins (and we did!), the band will parade through Hanover on then over to the campus library where they quietly march up to the Tower room, aka the quiet room, and play music while the quickly march through. Then they quietly exit the building. Being the stalkers that we are, we finally got to see that too… And of course I filmed it. 

After the game, we said our goodbyes as Al had a social engagement to attend and the rest of us were going back to our sister’s new place about an hour away, meet up with her boyfriend and get another late dinner. I hope to see the area in the daylight sometime. Unfortunately it was already dark when we arrived. Their house is cute and they have a great, private back yard with chance visits by bears and foxes. They are right on the edge of the White Mountains with prime hiking spots to visit sometime. Lucky for us, they are big hikers too.

One new place in Hanover that I have to mention since I fell in love with the vibe here was The Skinny Pancake. It’s a small food shed & crepery chain out of Vermont. All the food is local and they have a good craft beer selection as well. We stopped in for a drink on Friday night and we loved the place so much we went back for breakfast. The decore is (or looks like anyway because I am not sure) reclaimed barn wood with tin ceilings and simple light fixtures. And our bartender reminded me of a young Jennifer Tilly. When we went back for breakfast, I chose the Noah’s Ark which was 2 eggs, bacon and two crumpled sweet crepes. No stuffed crepes for this dairy challenged girl. But everyone else really enjoyed theirs! I had to top off my breakfast with a pumpkin spice latte with almond milk.


What a great way to start the day… A great breakfast and a hike. Or how about watching a football game with a colorful mountain view and ending with a family dinner? I have to say it was pretty perfect to me. It was very hard to leave this morning and come back to reality. My little corner of PA is picturesque too but nothing compares to that part of New England. It was time to make the six hour drive home, pick up the pups from the kennel and settle back in to our daily grind of life. The next time we go back up will most likely be in June for graduation. Where does the time go? I am happy that we took the time from work to make the trip happen. It’s one I will remember for a long time.


First-Year Family Weekend

This weekend we headed up to Dartmouth for their First-Year Family weekend. Most schools do a parent weekend in the fall but I liked this much better. It gives the kids time to be settled, know their way around and have favorite spots on campus to show off to their parents. There were sessions available for you to attend such as financial aid, Greek life, undergrad studies. There were also cookouts, tours, breakfasts and an ice cream social to name a few. We went to the financial aid seminar and a tour of the bell tower. Other then that, we relied on Allyson to show us around. Even though it rained off and on, she did a good job and we really enjoyed ourselves. I wanted to share some photos of the weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw them as we walked, and walked, and walked some more.

Allyson indulged my morbid fascination with cemeteries.

Allyson indulged my morbid fascination with cemeteries.

Baker bell tower

Baker bell tower in the rain.

My favorite picture from the trip.

My favorite picture from the trip.

Saturday was Dan’s birthday and we took him to Jesse’s Steaks, Seafood & Tavern. Al surprised him with tickets to see Weezer in August! This happens to take place the day after MY birthday so this was also my birthday gift. The best surprise was that she is coming with us! She’s not a big Weezer fan but knows the music from hearing it all her life and has never been to a concert with us before.  I did not take any food pictures because I think it embarrasses both Dan and Al. But I have to say, their crab cakes are A-MA-ZING!

On Sunday we woke up late and missed the scheduled hike but that’s ok because it started to rain. We decided instead to drive into Vermont and go to Ben & Jerry’s. We took a factory tour (they got samples of Mint Choc Chunk ice cream). The tour was interesting to hear the I.C. Making process and our tour guide was very puny. It was a bummer that there is no actual production on the weekends. That would have been cool to see.
I was very happy to see sorbet at the ordering window! They had three choices: lemonade, mango or what they called Berry Berry Extraordinary. It is a swirl of blueberry and raspberry sorbet. I chose the berry flavor and because I always get a single scoop, I treated myself to a large instead. It was so good! I have never seen B&J sorbet in the stores around here. I will have to start looking harder from now on.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s

Monday was rest day and picking up the dogs from the kennel. They both got spa treatments but Greta really stinks bad! Weird. I used the day to catch up on my daily yoga challenge. I forgot to pack yoga pants and skinny jeans just are not the same for most yoga positions. I could have done naked yoga but nobody needs to see that! So, your welcome LOL. I really needed a good stretch after being on my feet all Saturday and in the car pretty much ALL day on Sunday. Then right after I finished yoga, I moved wrong and tweaked my lower back again. UGH! I am hoping the new stretches I have learned that open the hips will help release the muscles faster. Good thing I had nothing else planned! I as comfortable as I could in bed and watched St. Elmo’s Fire before having to make dinner. I love that movie! It reminds me of my old crew of mismatched friends growing up.
I wanted to post this yesterday but Rob Lowe & Demi Moore won out. I am hoping to blog more this month as I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head.

How was your weekend? Did you do anything that made you smile?