Loon Mountain

One of the perks that Meghan gets through her job are invites to swanky resorts.  Last week was Wentworth-by-the-Sea, this week was a client inviting her to the Loon Mountain Ski Resort for a day of snow sports.

meghan's snow-encrusted hat

The sleds kick up lots of snow, much of which winds up on the back of your head

Meghan and I don’t ski, but they have more than skiing; our activity of choice was sledding.  This isn’t any ordinary sledding, though: they seem to have repurposed an old ski lift and trail.  The sleds are snow-tubes with rails and brakes.  You take a lift up to the top, ride down for as long as 30 seconds, and head back up.  There were few other sledders so we had zero waiting.

After a group lunch with the client and their other guests, the two of us decided to sight-see.  We climbed in the car and drove up into the mountains along the Kancamagus Highway.  Despite the clouds the views were beautiful.

kancamgus pass overlook

Looking out from a scenic overlook just below the Kancamagus Pass (3k’ elevation)

looking back at Meghan

The sun was starting to peek out to the east, but west was still solidly clouded over. There had been snow earlier in the day, but only in these higher elevations.

disappearing mountain tops

The low clouds meant we couldn’t see the mountain tops, as they faded into the clouds

Wentworth-by-the-Sea 2017

Meghan’s employer invites all employees and their families to an annual three-day retreat at a fancy spa and hotel called Wentworth-by-the-Sea.  This is our second year.

Last year we mostly stayed n the hotel due to a snow storm, but this year we ventured out a bit to take in some local color.  We found a state park called Fort Constitution (also known as Fort William and Mary), which is situated inside the grounds of a Coast Guard station.

Fort Constitution

Fort Constitution, as seen from the water (or closest I could get it from the little tip of rock that extends out)

I don’t normally pay much attention to geology but the bit of rock that juts out into the water is very eye-catching.

striations in sedimentary rock

I was drawn to the striations in the rock. This is a great example of sedimentary rock with lots of iron in it.

striations in sedimentary rock

A different section, with a shoe for scale. The layer inclusion on the right (might no be the technical term) is what caught my eye

We also drove around a bit; the town is reminiscent of Mystic, CT.

NYE 2016

Date: Evening of December 31, 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Event: New Year’s Eve

baba and alpha

Baba and Alpha, watching the carousel

We rang in the New Year in traditional style: a night out in Boston.  This year we had the very good fortune to be joined by Baba (Meghan’s mother, the girls’ grandmother).

Most years we take a train into the city to avoid issues with ‘amateur night’ drivers, but not this year. Being a Saturday, the commuter rail only runs a limited schedule; there are extra trains but not until later in the evening.

We reserved parking right next to the Commons (Parking Panda to the rescue!) but planned to start the night at Quincy Market.  I dropped the rest of the family off there and ran downtown to park the car.  I made the short walk back to meet with everyone again in about fifteen minutes.

The Black RoseWe shopped a bit before getting an excellent early dinner at The Black Rose.  We’ve been there several times; despite it’s location right next to Quincy Market it doesn’t have the air of a tourist trap.  It does have excellent Guinness on tap, though!

Let me back up a few days before I present the next photo: both girls have had braces on their teeth for a long while, until this past week.  Beta will be getting a second round when she gets a little older, but for now they both have brilliant smiles.

Alpha Mom and Beta

Alpha, Mom, and Beta, dinner at the Black Rose in Boston

Dinner was followed by a little more window-shopping, a brief stop for Blink, the Greenway Carousel, and dessert in the market.

We walked from Quincy Market to Boston Common, about a mile.  We stopped for hot chocolate and hot apple cider across the street at The Thinking Cup Cafe.  Both were very good.

Finally, at 7 pm: fireworks.

fireworks

NYE 2016 Fireworks – my phone’s camera cannot do them justice, but they were right over our heads

After the fireworks, our decision to park across the street paid off.  We picked up the car and made it out of the city before the rest of the traffic.

Baba slept over our house to avoid amateur night traffic, rain – the threat of rain made good shortly after we got home – and for a promise of waffles in the morning.  Meghan and her mom stayed up to watch a show, Hinterland, but everyone was asleep well before midnight.