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.




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Off to the Mountains for Thanksgiving

The emotional difficulties of caring for a sick parent and two children diagnosed with special needs have begun to take a physical toll on me.

I am tired and feel somewhat sad and defeated after learning of my mother's new diagnosis.

I am beginning to learn about two important new concepts which I have found are critical to the overall well-being of this particular caretaker:

1) Pacing myself
2) Taking some time off

In an effort to rectify number 2......Pete, Weston Nicholas and I are spending Thanksgiving in the mountains of Jackson, NH.

We have spent many a summer vacation enjoying the scenery of this beautiful part of the country. In fact, it is the town in which we were married over fifteen years ago.

To get to the town of Jackson, you must first drive across this lovely covered bridge.

The town itself is nestled in the valley of Mount Washington where it is surrounded by the beautiful colored fall foliage. Although most of the leaves will have fallen by Thanksgiving.

We are staying in a baby grand historic hotel very similar to (but much smaller than) the one we visited last year (Mount Washington Hotel).

We will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner in their casual yet elegant dinning room.

Of course, THE most important thing at least to Nicholas is........a fireplace! And our room will indeed have one as an amenity. Not this one though......


The hotel sits across from a scenic waterfall called Jackson Falls.

It is a waterfall that follows the town road for several miles. There is an upper and lower falls as well as many spots where folks can stop and enjoy small pools within the rocks.

Here is a video of the same falls after Hurricane Irene passed through in August. Kind of impressive since the storm was only a tropical storm as it passed by New Hampshire, imagine if it had been a hurricane?


Jackson NH is very close to both Conway and North Conway NH where there are outlet stores, craft stores, artisan shops, book stores and many restaurants all within the lovely wooded and mountainous environment.


North Conway also has a lovely old railroad station.


For the past several years they have begun offering scenic rail tours. Shorter trips catering toward the young children. And longer scenic tours complete with dinner service available for those without small children. And for Christmas time........a new "Polar Express" designed just for kids or those of us still young at heart.

Things like this however, can be very stressful for Nicholas because of the loud noises, unusual smells and "no escape" route possible but we may consider giving it a try this year.....who knows!

I am very excited about our upcoming trip into the wilderness. I know it is what I need to relax and simply enjoy my life with my precious family. Trouble is......I am just too darn excited about it all!