So last weekend we decided to take an overnight mini vacation. We went to a region of our state where we've never really visited much before. Although our kids went to high school in the Monadnock region, and we've camped and gone to retreats there, we've never explored the area much. This was a unique opportunity to do so just a little bit.
A friend at The Wilds of New England had told us about this inn. He suggested we might want to check out The Inn at Crotched Mountain
as a possible place to stay for the couples' retreat at TWNE. On looking it over online, we decided that we would like to try this inn, but not for the couples' retreat, as we would prefer to spend more time at the inn than the retreat schedule would allow for.
Mid-August found us in need of a break, so we called the inn and found they had a room available that would meet our needs. We are so busy at church right now that it's tough to be gone on a Sunday, so we were able to go for Friday night only. Even though it wasn't a lengthy getaway, we did see God provide in many wonderful ways to make it even nicer.
So last Friday evening we set off on this adventure to the Monadnock region. The Inn is only about 15 minutes from TWNE, so we dropped some friends there for a young adult retreat, then headed for our lodging.
What a beautiful place! The skies were overcast and rain threatened at any minute, but that could not diminish the beauty of this lovely old inn.
It took a few moments to locate the entrance where we were to check in. See the brick building to the left in the photo at top? The little red-painted area just adjacent to it, behind a bush, is the little vestibule where one enters. The bush is actually more of a tree, and the flowers are more purply than they appear in thse photos. When I asked about it, the innkeeper said it was a Rose of Sharon. There are incredibly beautiful plantings everywhere one looks around the Inn.
After the checking us in and helping to carry our bags to our room, the innkeeper offered to bring us some raspberry iced tea. That sounded so good and when it arrived, on a little tray, there was a large sprig of freshly cut mint in each glass! So refreshing!
We had brought along a picnic supper, hoping to find a bench or other seating somewhere on the grounds where we could eat it ... and also hoping that the rain would hold off until we finished. Sure enough, there were picnic tables out by the swimming pool. Perfect! We took our iced tea out to the picnic table along with our food.
You can just see a corner of a red-painted picnic table in the photo above. And that gorgeous view! You can just imagine how beautiful it would be without all the clouds. And just as we finished our wrap sandwiches, potato chips, and cherries, the thunder began to rumble. We clearly saw God answer our prayer to hold the rain off for our picnic.
|The view on the other side of the picnic tables|
|View of the back on the Inn from the picnic tables|
Our room was very cozy and comfortable, with a huge adjoining bathroom. After stowing our picnic things in the car, we settled in the room for a cozy night, with the comfortable sound of falling rain and the very lively sounds of thunder!
|You can't tell in this blurry Kindle pic, but that picture above the bed, a pretty winter scene, is actually a framed jigsaw puzzle!|
We'd brought plenty of reading material and of course, I brought plenty of needlework.
The comfy chairs above were the perfect place to settle in for reading and embroidery. I chose the chair by the window. The lamps shed wonderful light on our work. You can't see it, but there is also a small old-fashioned type of ceiling light just over that chair which also gave good lighting.
I got out my needlework and then realized I had forgotten to bring my glasses. I thought it would probably be okay; I would just embroider rather than cross-stitch. I often do wear my bifocals when doing any kind of needlework at night, though. However! God had provided for that too. As I got settled in my chair, I noticed something oddly out of place next to the cushion. Any guesses? Yes! It was a pair of [zebra-patterned!] dollar store readers, undoubtedly left there by a former guest. I polished them up and they worked just fine!
We slept very well and enjoyed early-bird coffee being served in the living room. Mr. T brought it back to our room. It was not raining and I took this photo of the mug on my windowsill where I placed it in between delicious sips as I worked on a Bible study. Yes, the early bird coffee was served in these pretty green mugs.
Breakfast was served in the dining room from 8 to 9. There was actually a small menu with several breakfast options to choose from. We both had scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and a grilled English muffin along with juice and coffee. The plate was delightfully garnished with a wedge of watermelon and an edible orange flower -- a nasturtium, I believe. Homemade strawberry rhubarb jam was served with the English muffin.
I really wish I had brought a camera to the breakfast table, but neither of us thought of it. Outside the window we were seated by, there was a pretty garden area with bird feeders. Goldfinches were flitting everywhere, adding even more color to the scene!
After breakfast I enjoyed more quiet time while Mr. T went out and about and took a few more photos.
|The other end of this long set of buildings. Think the owners may live in this part.|
|It rained heavily in the night (enough to wash away part of the road, further down). This little stream beside the parking lot was really flowing.|
|Pretty hedge on the property|
|This little living room was in the part of the inn where our rooms were located. |
By the time we checked out, it was raining again. We decided to just drive around and look at the area and then, when we found a likely-looking market, we would stop and purchase picnic supplies for lunch, which we hoped to eat here: Greenfield State Park
. We followed our plan and it worked well; as we approached the park we saw more and more blue sky.
It was drizzling when we arrived, and we had to walk through water to find a picnic table, but we managed to enjoy our lunch anyway.
After lunch Mr. T did a bit of scouting around and found what seemed to be a nicer beach with no people at it. I guess, though, that when the rain stopped, the people in the campground all decided to go out in boats (there are rentals at the park). We had no sooner got our camping chairs in place and settled, than hordes of people arrived and began taking the boats out. It was their perfect right to do so, of course. But steady streams of people passing to and fro in front of our chairs on a narrow strip of beach seemed like a bit much.
There again, though, God provided -- this time with distractions from all the foot and boat traffic. Mr. T had brought a riveting book about local history and kept reading me snippets of it. I could embroider on my blueberry tea towel and concentrate on that and his funny readings, and all the people seemed to fade into the background.
Thankfully, after a couple of hours all the people left ... probably heading back to their campsites to start supper. Mr. T remarked that even the ducks seemed to be enjoying the peace and quiet! (This really is a very nice state park and the campground looks good. If we take up tent camping again, something we would love to do, we would definitely like to try staying here. Many NH state parks have nice campgrounds, and we've enjoyed state park camping in Maine as well.)
In a little while it was time to locate some supper for ourselves and then head back to TWNE to pick up our friends. This photo was taken on the porch of Cool Beans, the coffee shop, while we waited for them. That's the Sweet Shoppe across the way.
What a blissfully relaxing weekend it had been! It seemed as if we had been away far longer than 24 hours! Most importantly, God showed us that even when circumstances seem less than ideal -- think rain and thunderstorms, hordes of people, and even forgotten glasses! -- He will still turn the time into a blessing if we will trust Him to work in the situation.