John and I used to assume we’d never repeat a vacation. “Why go back to Ecuador when we haven’t been to Chile,” we’d say. Perhaps we will keep that mentality going forward, but not in this case.
On Day 6 of our peaceful vacation in Waterville Valley, we agreed that we’d be up for a return visit. Yes, there are more stunning vistas and more diverse cultures to experience in the world, but Waterville Valley in the beginnings of fall is easy and kind and beautiful. It is the perfect escape from city life.
So, the next time we go to Waterville Valley, what will we do?
- Plan time for more trail runs. I only got one in during our stay, but now that I have the taste, I want more. The groomed cross-country trails make for fantastic running in the non-snowy times and they literally start out the backdoor of all the lodgings in the area. Paths are well-marked and reasonable lengths for flat-landers like me. They link to other paths, making nice, long and hilly runs for people who are more buff.
- Go to Canada and/or Maine. Neither is particularly far away, and with a rental car, anything is possible.
- Revisit the small but mighty Margret and H.A. Rey Center. It’s in Waterville Valley, and in case you don’t remember, the Reys are the good folks who created Curious George. They had a cottage in Waterville Valley, and that cottage is now home to the nonprofit which honors them with its commitment to lifelong learning about science, art and nature. It is, in my opinion, the very entity that every small community should have in place in order to maintain thoughtful and contented living.
- Invite friends again. It really was an awesome way to spend time with people we love. We know that short day trips are great for babies. Turns out, they’re also great for friends. Sometimes a person just wants to chill alone for a few hours, but doesn’t want to miss out on an entire day of fun. Short day trips make that very, very possible. Combine that with quiet evenings of wine and homemade dinners, well, it can’t be beat.
- Hike. There are so many options, there’s no sense in redoing the trails we loved this time around.
- Take a train ride through the White Mountains.
- Eat pancakes every morning. New Hampshire’s maple syrup is the same as Vermont’s, and who really needs an excuse to eat pancakes every morning while on vacation? If we go in the spring, maybe we’ll even get to see some sugar shacks in action.
Wrapping up the trip, neither John nor I felt ready to go home to the heatwave that awaited us in Chicago. The only thing that made us feel better is the knowledge that we can always visit again.
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