Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 15, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 18, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Trip Back in Time

We have returned from our Thanksgiving stay at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire.

It is a big, beautiful stunning hotel.

It truly felt like we had taken a trip back in time.

Inside the hotel, there are several wide staircases with soaring ceilings framed by large windows.

 The crystal chandeliers and hand-crafted archways, a reminder of quality craftsmanship of days long gone by.

Look at the carvings on this column (below). This is part of the large lobby area.

Christmas trees and decorations filled the hallways and staircases, making the hotel feel festive and warm.

Several large fireplaces crackled and roared as guests pulled up chairs to warm in their glow. Of course, no one appreciated this more than Nicholas. Notice his backpack. A backpack and a fireplace....Nicholas was truly in heaven.

When we arrived at the hotel, the bellman tried to take Nicholas's backpack....big mistake as Nicholas screamed bloody murder on the large beautiful veranda entrance of the Mount Washington Hotel. The bellman, now horrified.....did not know what to do. He seemed very confused when I simply handed Nicholas his backpack (his most trusted transition item) and he immediately stopped crying. Ahhh life with the Peters family is certainly never dull....or quiet.

The front desk (below) again a reminder of days long ago.

The massive porch would have been a lovely place to sit and rock except unfortunately the temperature outside was a balmy 28 degrees! I am a terrible mother and made my son come out quickly in the freezing cold to snap this photo. Doesn't he look cold? And we were out for only about 15 seconds!

Of course nothing is ever perfect, and in true Peter's fashion when we arrived at the hotel, our room wasn't ready. I told the front desk clerk that I spoke with someone the day before and they said our room was unoccupied and we should have no trouble checking in. She said while that was true, today, they were changing the locks to a new sweep card system. "Now? You do this now?" I ask, "On the busiest check-in day of the year?" I don't think this was one of the best business decisions this hotel has ever made.

I tried to explain that I had two anxious/excited children both of who had problems with transitions. After a 3 hour car ride, this was not a good situation. We waited for almost an hour. Thankfully, the hotel manager finally called us to the desk and apologized. She offered us dinner (on the house) at Stickney's one of the restaurants downstairs. If she had not done this......we would have left this hotel since both boys were off the wall at that point. Thankfully, there was a lot to see and do downstairs.......

On the lower floor was the brick hallway where bars, restaurants, shops and even an arcade was located. This is where Stickney's is located. The food was delicious here.

Off the brick hallway is a bar (below) called the Cave. Cool, huh?

The toy store on the left and the sweet shop on the right. Also off the lower hallway.

The pool, hot tub and spa area are also located on this level. One of Weston's favorite activities was swimming in the pool. Unfortunately for my husband, all he heard for our entire stay was 'Dad, when can we go in the pool?" More than a few times, he had to put on a wet bathing suit.

Our room when we finally got there (below)..... The hotel has really done a nice job of keeping the nostalgic architecture. Notice the double doors and door frames? A very nice touch. Nicholas however, just remembers the room number....319. His memory is amazing....I wish I had it. He was very excited to tell his teachers all about his adventure in 319!

How about that new lock, huh? Hard to believe we waited an hour for them to change this????

The hallway (below)....Weston and my husband, Pete....notice their feet? They both have the exact same gait. Like father, like son, I guess.

Throughout the hotel were old photographs and antiques all from the earlier days. Since it was built in 1902, there were plenty of photographs and antiques to admire.

On the left is a photo of Weston admiring some of the photos on one of the large stairwells.
On the right is just one of several antiques strategically placed throughout the hotel. This one was on the second floor landing.

And of course.......the views! This is the Mount Washington range.....breathtaking. The photo does not do it justice. Every day this view looked a little different and a little more beautiful.  The white building on the right is the "spa" area and behind it is a heated outdoor pool. There are also paths and walkways around the entire hotel...good for walking off a holiday meal.

The Thanksgiving meal was exceptional. Here is photo of the buffet......mmmm! Again notice the beautiful architecture, the archways of the second floor, the lovely chandeliers. Weston pointing at the dessert area, Nicholas too busy eating to notice.

Dessert........even better!

Both boys enjoyed the meal.

Of course no Thanksgiving is complete without Santa....

Where Weston proceeded to tell Nicholas it was not the REAL Santa, since Santa does not have a pimple. Nicholas then began to scream "Muuummmm" and our cozy little "Santa moment" ended abruptly. Just seconds after this photo was taken.

We went off to bed with full tummies, listening to the sound of the folks upstairs walking across the creaky floors. One very big drawback to staying in an old hotel. The folks above us sounded like a herd of elephants walking back and forth. If we return we will most definitely stay only on the top floor!

That night, the winds howled and we woke up to snow the next morning.

Our visit to this hotel was a once in a lifetime experience for our family.
It is an adventure we will never forget, truly a trip back in time.


Mary said...

Wow, this hotel is so beautiful. I have vague memories, I think, of skiing near there when I was in college, but I know I never set foot in the hotel. Glad it all worked out to be a wonderful getaway!

The Henrys said...

That place is amazing and so beautiful! How wonderful that you had a chance to go there and that you all had a wonderful time. I can't believe you had the wait even after you made sure before you got there. At least you got free dinner out of it!

I'm so glad that you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I want to go there now!

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