Girls Weekend: New Hampshire

IMG_3746Sometimes it happens every year, and sometimes there are a few years in-between, but there is a group of ladies that surround each other with love, laughter and kindness, and I’m lucky enough to be a part of this joyous group. On and off for the last 18 years, some or all of us gather together for a weekend and share in great food, great company, and some outdoor adventure. This year we rented a place on the lake in New Hampshire.

Even though it was too late to go ice skating and too early to go boating, it was warm enough to hang out on the deck in the sunshine and hike in the woods. We spent a little time in the Fox Forest and visited the Virgin Forest (a grove of hemlocks that have never been cut). Our two little furry friends loved our walk around the lake and hike in the forest. There was still snow on the ground and the trail was pretty muddy, but the woods were rejuvenating with their moss covered boulders and large uncut trees.

Back at the house we played a few rousing games of Blokus, did a couple tarot readings, ate some amazing food, had a crazy dance party, talked, read, and laughed. There is nothing more rewarding then having a group of friends you can be yourself with. As an introvert, it’s usually draining to spend time in groups. However, this group of ladies and our weekends away always leave me refreshed and rejuvenated.

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So if you’re looking for some advice on great get-a-way ideas with your girlfriends, I recommend the following:

  1. Look at places centrally located between all of your friends. We live in Maine, NY, and Massachusetts. So we aim for New Hampshire a lot. We looked on Air BnB and Home Away. This gave us the opportunity to have a whole house to ourselves.
  2. Save money by cooking in! We love sharing food together so we each take a meal or two and split the cooking and cleaning. Renting a house means you have to do dishes and cook. So if that’s not your thing, look for weekend deals or specials in places where you can eat out or an all-inclusive where everything is taken care of.
  3. Look for places that allow pets.  Three of the four of us have furry kids. We all love outdoor adventure and often our fur kids come along. One of the benefits of renting a house is that our fur kids can join in.
  4. Plan around something to do. Sometimes we like to just stay in, but we always make sure there is something nearby to get out into nature. The four of us love to hike and kayak, so our trips are usually planned around somewhere that we can be outside. Some years we camp, some years we hike in to a cabin, and other years we kayak camp. If you’re not a nature loving group, research the areas around where you are staying to find things you might like to do.
  5. And last, but most important. Find a group of friends you can be yourself with. People who enjoy doing things you like to do. People who are easy to be with and bring you joy and happiness.

Fall at the Cabin 2017

So here it is, months after we returned from Spain and we haven’t filled in any of the gaps, written more about our trip, or the various other places we have been since then.  The spring turned into summer which bled into fall. Hard to believe with the 80 degree temperatures, but it’s October! Three quarters of this year is already over. So while it’s fresh in my mind, and because I want to document it, I’m going to write about our recent trip to Pennsylvania.

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For as long as I can remember, my (Emily’s) family has been going to the cabin for weekends in the summer and fall. Our family loves to go there for my dad’s birthday in October! The crew: Emily’s parents, her sister and her husband, their two kids, their dog Quincey, us and our two dogs.  This year the boys (our dogs) stayed in NY while we threw a little 50cc four wheeler in the back of our Mazda for my niece to try out. A big shout out to Frank’s mom and her husband for letting us borrow it! She was too scared to ride it. I think a few more days with it, and she would have been racing around the yard, but a weekend wasn’t long enough for her to get comfortable and no one was going to push her to do it. She loves to ride and I definitely see one of these in her future. Pretty soon my dad won’t be able to see over her head riding together.

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But the weekend in the mountains isn’t just about riding four-wheelers, it’s about family time. For the last three years, we have taken family photos. I love to play with my camera and it’s fun to see the kids grow. And it’s usually pretty entertaining! This year, I forgot my tripod, so we had to use the back of the four-wheeler to prop up the camera, while I set the self timer and try to run to get into place before it snaps the picture. I have a wireless remote, but it’s unreliable. Might have to do some more research before next years photos. But then there may not be as much joy and laughter as they all watch me rush to make it into the photo without falling flat on my face. Like the photo below where I nearly slipped on the rocks as I rushed into place!

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Or them being crazy while I take a test shot to see how the lighting is:

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The best part about getting away for a weekend in the mountains, is the cabin has zero reception! All electronics get left in the car or turned on airplane mode and used as glorified cameras. We have a tv, but it never gets turned on. If we are inside, there is usually a rousing card game or board game going on. It’s possible that someone is napping on one of the 5 couches. But most of the time, we are outside. We ride, we walk, we play in the driveway/yard, we target shoot, or we just sit on the porch and enjoy the silence. It’s the best kind of weekend with some of my favorite people in the whole world.