Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Vacations: The best thing about retirement

Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, October 12

Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, October 13

For many years, I longed to see New England’s spectacular fall foliage, but it’s just not possible for a teacher to take off a week or two in October. Southeastern PA is beautiful but we just don’t have all those deep reds and purples.

My husband and I just returned from our retirement gift to ourselves – a trip to New England in October. We were chasing that mythical “peak.” We just missed it in Vermont (but it was still beautiful) and we had a great time visiting with good friends.

Then off to New Hampshire in quest of the peak. Our innkeepers told us we were a little past peak. My reaction: if this is past peak, the peak must be unimaginably beautiful. We had one glorious day in New Hampshire—blue skies, brilliant sun. Then it SNOWED!

When we were visiting our friends in Vermont, I said, “It must be beautiful here in winter. I’d love to see it someday, but don’t think I could take the icy roads and cold.” Be careful what you wish for. In a few days we were experiencing a New England winter. We had a great trip (and a few more dazzling sunny days in Maine), but I sure had not expected the freezing cold.

Maybe next year we’ll catch that mythical peak on a balmy Indian summer day. Will I spend my retirement years chasing the mythical peak and not quite catching it?

An inn recommendation for anyone going to New Hampshire: The Notchland Inn at Crawford Notch, situated in the heart of the White Mountains. The 2 guys who run it do a terrific job; they make all their guests feel like old friends. They serve breakfasts to die for and great dinners Wed-Sun.


  1. Chasing the unimaginably beautiful while experiencing the merely glorious sounds like a doable goal! Here's to the first of many fall minibreaks and full out vacations, Karen.

  2. Yes, guess I need to learn to make do with the merely glorious!

  3. It was great to see you in Vermont. Try us again next year a week earlier. If I can manage my plan for "semi" retirement, I hope to be able to have the time to fully appreciate the autumn leaves next year.