Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, 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.




Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Elevator Man and the Parking Valet

Once again our Thanksgiving vacation took us into the white mountains of New Hampshire for another stay at the Mount Washington Hotel.

Interestingly enough, this year both of my children decided to scope out future job opportunities and decided that this grand hotel might just be an ideal place to work. But more on that later.

Our journey began on the cold and rainy Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Pete took the day off (very unusual for him) so we got a head start on the holiday traffic.

 
As we got further north, it became very foggy

 
fog bank over a New Hampshire town

 
As we got further north, it became colder and the ground was covered with an inch or so of snow
 
 
You may remember our previous trip through Franconia Notch where the large granite mountains line the highway. This time it was too foggy to see much of it.
 
 
After a slow wet drive through the pass, we finally arrived at the hotel
 
 
where once again we marveled at the grandeur of this old hotel
 

 
 
After a long drive we were welcomed into the cozy, glowing warmth of the old lobby
 

It was adorned with a variety of Christmas trees in every corner

 
 


And of course a variety of roaring fireplaces for our fire enthusiast, Nicholas.
 
 
We checked into our room where Nicholas was thrilled beyond belief to find another one of these
 
 
A great photo of Pete lounging in the chair he claimed throughout our stay
 

But as usual, I had to take several photos of him behaving like this first......
 
 
The first thing the boys wanted to do was head to the pool
 
 
 
Weston spent much of our visit here
 
 
This year Nicholas and I also enjoyed the warm water
Since we arrived early, we had the pool mostly to ourselves
Thanksgiving day was a much different story!
 
 
The next day was Thanksgiving.
When we awoke, more snow had fallen.
This was the view out our window
 
 
Later in the day we dressed for photos before our Thanksgiving dinner
 
 
 
 
And headed to the dining room
 
 
Having learned our lesson with Weston's over stimulation last year,
we were accommodated with a table in the back
 
 
This time Weston remembered his ipod
It was a good thing, since once again the music in the dining room was very loud
 
 
There was lots to eat at the buffet
 
 
 



After dinner, Pete settled into his favorite chair
while me and the boys took a quick walk outside
 
 
It was crystal clear and freezing with temperatures about 13 degrees F!!
 
 
Brrrrrrrrrrrr



 
Our room was the two windows on the left just above the porch
We were on the first floor and unfortunately a large family with many children were placed in the room above us, sounding a lot like a heard of elephants.
 
Now, for some reason, I do not know why, both of my children decided to use this vacation as an opportunity to explore employment opportunities.
 
Nicholas was spell bound by this old-fashioned elevator.
 

It was operated by this kind man
 

 
He was a very warm hearted and jovial spirit.
He took an immediate liking to Nicholas and taught him how to move the lever handle to operate the lift.
Well that was it for Nicholas
He was hooked
 So perhaps not surprisingly,
he spent the rest of our vacation, here
 
In front of the closet in our room
 

 
Much like the elevator, the doors slid back and forth

 
Nicholas spent the rest of his visit, opening and closing these doors
pretending to be......
 
 
The kind-hearted elevator man.
 
 
The next morning we got up to leave
Once again it was a chilly 10 degrees as we headed to breakfast


 
We stuffed ourselves one last time before leaving
As we headed out of the hotel
Weston announced that he wanted to become a parking valet
 
 
The attendant is the guy on the left in the light green jacket
Weston asked me if perhaps the man would let him stay to help unload vehicles and park cars?
Especially since he was already wearing the prerequisite green colored jacket!
 
 
When you think about it, it is easy to understand how a physical job, outside, greeting people would be attractive to a boy diagnosed with the wiggles.
 

 I snapped a few last minute photos
The frigid temps made picture taking spectacular
 
 
We took one last look at the hotel before we left in our packed-to-the-hilt vehicle.
 
 
and drove our ice-covered car back through the mountain pass
 
 
where this time, Franconia Notch was encased in an icy coating of snow

 
 We returned home relaxed and happy with our belts fastened just a little bit looser.