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a beautifully strange escape

Hail and Shel Take New Hampshire

A few times a year my partner in crime and I get into some shenanigans, the silly high-spirited kind nothing that requires bail money…..yet…..This getaway was no different.

Here is a little back story about how we ended up in New Hampshire…..in November……in a snow storm.

Me being the resident ghost/spirit believer among the majority of my friends watched a few TV shows like Ghost Hunters and Kindred Spirits.

Amy Bruni one of the co-stars of Kindred Spirits founded Strange Escapes which I describe to my friends as a travel company that hosts events at places that have a history of unexplained and possible paranormal activity.

In 2017 one of the Strange Escapes lined up with my Calendar and another event I was interested in located on Mackinac Island. So I call up Shel, well lets be serious, I probably sent her some stupid meme that insinuated that she needed to pack her bags for a trip, and like that we were booked on our first Strange Escape trip. Fast Forward a year later when the 2018 Strange Escapes Calendar was released we knew we had to book another event. Seriously you’ll get hooked! After reviewing the cool events and the locations we settled on the New Hampshire Event at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The resort hotel has this mysteriously glamorous look. I had to go there.

Except getting there was not as easy as just an airplane and taxi ride. The resort is about two hours from the nearest airport. This required logistics and a road trip. Yes, ROAD TRIP! Shel and I are especially good at those. So I get on the GOOGLE and search the most ridiculous road side attractions from Manchester Regional Airport to Bretton Woods. I found some winners…..and well…some losers. Well they were only losers because they were closed. It seemed most everyone, but us got the memo that a storm was coming. More on that later. I mean how bad could it be, I’m from Michigan and Shel lived in the ‘Burg. So we’ve seen snow, real snow.

So we meet up at the airport and start our journey to Manchester. Very exciting for me because I have never been to New Hampshire. So we land, collect our baggage and head to get the rental car. The car rental attendant asked if I wanted the “extra” insurance because a storm is coming. I look inquisitively at Shel and politely tell the attendant that I am from Michigan and I think we’ll be fine. She says “Okay” looking like I am some sort of crazy.

We head out on our road trip North through the mountains. First stop – The most amazing turnpike rest area home to the famous New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet. Once we load up on liquor and grilled cheeses we get back on the road. (Relax, I am driving, the liquor was still in the bottles to be consumed later).

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Second stop – Fadden’s General Store, in the quaint town of Woodstock. Where it was apparent by a 10 year old boy that we were not from around there. As he left the general store with a gallon of milk in tow, he stated “Be Careful, don’t stay out too late, a storms a coming”. We immediately turn to each other and say some sort of swearing gibberish, then decide we should make each of the remaining stops on our list as swift as possible. Which proved to be quite easy if you remember my note above? Since everyone but us received the memo about the storm – most places closed up early. Haha. Fortunately for us Chutters was still open. We visited the location in Littleton, it has the Guinness Book of World Record’s Longest Candy Counter! Now with the trunk full of candy and booze we can now retreat to our hotel. If by chance we get snowed in we will not go thirsty or starve.

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The Resort… It’s hard to put into words how grand it is on approach. The lighting was beautiful and it was stunning. The pictures do not do it justice at all.

After we get checked in we go exploring, however this time inside in the comfort of the warm hotel with wine. We flew in a day prior to the start of the event for a few reasons, flights were less expensive, I had a couple extra vacation days to burn and there was a small mention of the possibility of snow on the Strange Escapes event information. So I guess we did get the memo…..

We had dinner at Stickney’s Steak & Chop Pub, the food was really good. We had the shrimp cocktail, lobster mac & cheese and something else. No photos, no notes and lots of wine. I guess I need a journal. We then made our way to the Cave Bar which used to be a speakeasy during prohibition and we were told served whiskey in a tea cup. After our nightcap we called it a night.

The next morning looking out upon the snow that had fallen and continued to fall, we headed down to the quick service cafe in the basement and grabbed a coffee and breakfast. Luckily we did travel in the day before because we continued to hear accounts of people that were not going to make it in for the weekend at all or not until the following night. Since our event check-in did not start until the afternoon so we spent the morning at a lovely table in the lobby by the fireplace scrapbooking. We were also able to fit in the guided hotel historical tour before we had to get ready for the evening event, The Masquerade Ball. This was by far one of the coolest parties I have ever been to. From the entertainment to everyone’s costumes/outfits; top notch. Luckily they schedule the morning lectures on the later side of the morning!

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Saturday started with lectures and presentations from different paranormal experts and other closely connected individuals. I always find them extremely fascinating. I do not want to detail too much on the lectures, if you are at all interested in spirits or paranormal I highly recommend attending any of their events. We purchased additional tickets for lunch and dinner. We found the food, service and convenience of this to be great. Saturday evening the event attendees are divided into groups to investigate the resort, the famous Princess room, the stables, and other out buildings. We were in the VIP group so we also were able to have an extra investigation with Amy & Adam. We had some really cool experiences. Some very unexplainable or I guess paranormal….

On Sunday morning we headed to the morning lectures, recounted with the other groups some of the fascinating things that occurred during the investigations and had a wonderful buffet lunch. After lunch we ducked out early for our drive back to the airport.

The weekend was a blast. The Strange Escapes Team was great and makes everyone feel welcome. They are all approachable and we have had great conversations with all of the celebrities and guest. Looking forward to what they have in store for 2019!

Tips and Recco’s

  1. Fadden’s General Store – if at all in the area for whatever reason make a stop there. Cool history and the best pure Maple Syrup.
  2. Chutters – Worlds Longest Candy counter….enough said
  3. The Mount Washington Resort – Simply Stunning, historical beauty and charm. The entire staff that we encountered was great!
  4. Fly to Manchester – The drive was not bad at all! Especially if you make some key stops along the way
  5. Sad we missed Polly’s Pancakes. They were closed by the time we made it up that way and we got snowed in and could not make it the following morning, adding this to the next time list.
  6. Strange Escapes – If you are at all interested in this stuff, and the opportunity arises, go to one of their events!

Make sure to also check out Shel’s IG @mdonofrio1, she is much better at documenting our travels. I am pretty sure most of these pictures are her’s.