Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A winter afternoon's excursion

During the time that Clay, Joanna and baby Darrin were with us, Mr. T took a couple of partial days off from work to spend time with them. One thing he had particularly hoped to do was to find a place where we could all take a sleigh ride. Of course, up until Valentine's Day (which was the night they arrived) we really didn't have enough snow to make such a thing feasible! I promised to check into it on the Internet.

Needless to say, since there was no snow before their arrival and little free time after their arrival, I hadn't gotten around to doing any research on sleigh rides. So, on Tuesday morning -- the day we hoped to go -- I googled sleigh rides in our part of New England and came up with 3 possibilities in two different states. Of those, one was out because they only offered sleigh rides on weekends. The research I did do showed me that prices varied wildly from about $10 to $45 per person! (Naturally, the weekend place was only $10 and included admission to a farm museum. It would have been great fun if we had had a weekend to work with.)

Mr. T called the other 2 possibilities and when he inquired about sleigh rides, they both said, "Oh, we're not doing that this year." (Because of the lack of snow, we assumed.) But one of them did tell him of another possibility of sleigh rides at an inn in the New Hampshire mountains. He called the inn and was told the sleigh rides started at noon. If we could get there by noon, we could go right then! Besides that, the price was right!

We did get to the inn just at noon and sure enough, these magnificent Belgian draft horses were waiting for us!

As soon as we could get baby Darrin bundled up enough (quite a frustrating process for a baby who's been living in onesies in the Caribbean!) we clambered into the sleigh and wrapped ourselves up in the quilts and blankets provided. What a wonderful time we had!

It was a very nice day -- only about 18º or 20º when we started out, but partly sunny and with no wind, which helped a lot. We had a lovely half-hour ride through glorious winter countryside with mountains all around and of course the photogenic inn in the background. For quite awhile baby Darrin looked as if he wasn't even going to blink, all of this was so foreign to him. But eventually he began to seem quite comfortable with it all.

When we returned to the parking lot, our congenial driver (and owner of the splendid team of horses) offered to take our picture, so we took him up on it and he did a marvelous job, as you can see here and at the top:

He also suggested we go into the lounge area in the basement of the inn, to warm up. It was very nice, with a huge rustic stone fireplace to warm up by.
We stayed there for a short time and then headed out on the rest of our adventure.

We were all hungry, so we headed to the nearby town of Littleton for lunch at the famous Littleton Diner. We had a delicious lunch -- and I actually had breakfast for lunch! (I love it when places serve breakfast all day.) My pancakes were wholegrain ones and absolutely wonderful. They were made with flour from the Littleton Grist Mill, a very old mill which has been restored.

After lunch, we went to see the grist mill. I had read somewhere that they offered tours, and we thought that would be an interesting thing to see. However, the mill was undergoing maintenance and we could not go downstairs to see the workings. Instead, we could view models that showed how it worked and also some actual millstones which were on display. There was also a nice little shop where I bought a few gifts and a bag of bran raisin muffin mix which I am looking forward to trying.

After another photo op or two, we headed for home and enjoyed the splendid views of the mountains along the way. What a happy day it had been!


  1. It was, Vee! Such a fun time. Since then we have taken at least one other sleigh ride as a family, at the Remick Museum in Tamworth, NH. And that was every bit as nice.


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