Come with me the storyteller … If you’d joined our 2-week road trip for the first time, my hubby and I had started our journey at Boston Logan airport, and so far you’d followed our exploration across Rhode Island, Connecticut, Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Finger Lakes , Niagara Falls and Lake Placid. On the 6th day, now at the midpoint of a challenging ambitious circular loop East Coast American road trip plus a short hop to Canada, our thankful hearts were filled with joy! It had been a thrilling adventure of a lifetime! On this day, the Halloweens Day 2014, we’d covered vibrant foodie haunts of Vermont, before being greeted by the Welcome to New Hampshire road sign at Littleton around 3.57 pm. My eyes caught the quaint little town of Bethlehem and its forest a perfect blend of purplish, amber and green colors, eagerly catching their reflections in the river. Although the fall foliage had past its best at this point, we’d decided we’d make the best of what we’d been given (It’s our life motto!). If you would allow me to paint a picture in your mind, New Hampshire looked the epitome of elegant New England. Taste the flavors of late autumn on Route 302 before turning off into Route 16. People travel all over the world to watch fall foliage on the White Mountains, don’t miss out!
Spark the old fashioned romance of crossing wooden covered bridges… What can be a more romantic gesture? How about crossing the Ellis River in style, over the Honeymoon Bridge (the featured image)? Lovers will kiss under the Honeymoon Bridge for good luck … 😉 This beautiful red bridge, the color of passion and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1876 by Charles Austin Broughton and his son Frank to the Paddleford truss design. It’s also known by its lesser romantic name, Covered bridge 51 by the state. I prefer its nickname, what about you? The Honeymoon Bridge was the third wooden covered bridge we’d had the opportunity to enjoy, the West Cornwall covered bridge and Bartlett N.H. covered bridge (built in 1851 and now a unique gift shop) over the Saco River.
We drove past the rustic town of Jackson, N.H. and into what looked like a road less travelled, the deep woodlands of times past, over rickety rust bucket of a metallic one-lane bridge, right into the heart of the valley, where the majestic Eagle Mountain House and Golf Club resides. Stepping into its charming embrace, my heart fell in love with its white colored wooden facade, its stone colored roof, and the romance of an American veranda decorated with American flags lined with old rocking chairs. Steeped with history, this 1916-rebuilt and 1928-expanded mansion exudes grandeur, listed as one of the Historic Hotels of America, and a beautiful reminder of the golden era of the White Mountain vacations of yesteryears.
In the lobby, a scarecrow with a carved pumpkin head, was relaxing on its rocking chair with a ‘Give Thanks’ banner on its lap. How about an ancient washing machine, vintage gramophone or ye olde Chesterfield leather sofas, catch all these and more at the Eagle Mountain House! Relive the heydays of the prosperity following the economic hard times of the 1870s, and enjoy the romanticized experience of sedentary outdoor pursuits too. I noticed its exquisite touches of hospitality, a little corner at its reception overlooking the roaring fireplace, whereby you can enjoy a refreshing chilled fresh fruits flavored water, enjoy a really proper cup of tea (fine Harney and Sons tea in a silken tea bag, treasured by tea connoisseurs on an American vacation!) and help yourself to some sweets. The highlight of the Eagle Mountain House must be its ancient lifts, you’d open its wooden door and then its metal shutters gate, close both of those again before pressing the button of your desired floor number. As the lift slowly woke up from its deep slumber and came to life, the next few seconds would be spent hoping and praying with abated breath before breathing a sigh of relief when you’d reach your designated floor! You must experience it, it’s interestingly fun! If you are still curious, do read up on its history.
For dinner, we headed to the nearby Christmas Farm Inn and Spa, only a mere 3 min drive away. Trust me, you would not wish to walk to the restaurant! It’s really pitch dark, and not just because its Halloween’s night!! The Christmas Farm Inn and Spa celebrates Christmas all year round. Celebrating Christmas and Halloween in one evening is kinda awesome! I think we might try to stay here next time. We love its ambience. The food is really tasty and well executed, you have to trust me as I live to eat! For appetizers, we had New England Crab Bisque and French Onion Soup. For entrees, we had braised beef short ribs and lamb shank. And to satisfy the oenophile in me, I had some wine to go with the food. There was no room for dessert, really happy but seriously no room left for more! Now get ready for a simple test on how well you know me! Guess which food choices were mine 😉
Hauling our heavily laden bellies filled with dinner, we drove back to our hotel. The Eagle Mountain House is reputed to be haunted too! Our decision to turn up and stay over on Halloween’s night could not have been a more apt and festive norm 😉 It did send some shivers up our spine walking along its creaking wooden floorboards of its ancient corridors, and hoping that it was only us who had entered our room for the night! We slept really soundly.
In the morning, after breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed 24 minutes drive away to North Conway for the Settlers Green Outlet Village. Something a little different, and a great way to spend 2 hours of your life. We always do some shopping at the outlets on our every visit to America. For example, we are avid fans of American brands such as Brooks Brothers, Cole Haan, Michael Kors and Timberland. What about you? Do you love shopping too?
Until we meet again on our Maine adventures, have a lovely autumn. I’d spare you from our tales of icy Maine snow adventures until its nearly winter, will try to bring you on our other heart rendering adventures in the meantime. Fly me a dream? Hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘Message in a Bottle’. Take care. Much love from romantic New Hampshire and I, your storyteller 😉