Granite State Ambassador Volunteer
Recommendations & Tidbits

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  • 24 Mar 2018 11:42 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    Sign-ups open at 8am on March 27th

    Getting to Know the Appalachian Mountain Club in the White Mountains
    This tour series will be part of a special AMC / GSA Certification. If you attend two tours that cover both topics AMC summer & AMC winter, you will receive a special certification pin. There will be one tour held annually, alternating between summer and winter topics.

    GSA Eligibility: This tour is open to all active GSAs with  at least 100 volunteer service hours. 12 of those hours must have been volunteered in or scheduled for 2018.  On April 11 at 9:30am, if there are any seats on this tour available, it is open to any GSA with at least 3 hours volunteered or scheduled. We do have seats set aside for GSAs that are working in the industry. Email Kelly at

    Date / Time: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
    Arrival Time 9:30am
    Start Time: 9:45am
    Estimated End Time: 3:15pm

    Is this tour weather dependent? No
    # of stops: 2: 1. Pinkham Notch 2. Crawford Notch

    First Meeting Location: Pinkham Notch Visitor Center (Joe Dodge Lodge)

    ** This tour will include a complimentary buffet lunch at Highland Center.

    Tour begins at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC’s) Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in the White Mountain National Forest, on N.H. Route 16 between Jackson and Gorham, N.H. Staff will provide an overview of AMC’s mission, programs, activities, and guest services in the region. Tour the Trading Post/Visitor Center, Joe Dodge Lodge guest rooms, and Woodchuck Lodge meeting rooms. View new bridge and boardwalk at Lost Pond Trailhead (a segment of the Appalachian Trail).

    Tour then continues at AMC’s Highland Center at Crawford Notch on U.S. Route 302 in Carroll/Bretton Woods, between Harts Location and Twin Mountain. Tour Highland Lodge, built with environmentally friendly features; view High Mountain Playscape; tour Shapleigh Bunkhouse; view Crawford’s Depot/Macomber Family Information Center; tour Thayer Hall and view Bradford Washburn photo exhibit. Staff will give a presentation on hike preparation and safety.

    Meeting locations:
    AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in the White Mountain National Forest, on N.H. Route 16 between Jackson and Gorham and the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch on U.S. Route 302 in Carroll/Bretton Woods, between Harts Location and Twin Mountain

    Difficulty Rating: [ ] 1 [ x ] 2 [ ] 3
    1 = Easy/One location, accessible
    2 = Average/Some Walking & Maybe Stairs
    3 = Difficult/Lots of Walking &/or Lots of Stairs

    Host Company: Appalachian Mountain Club
    Contact Name: Rob Burbank
    Phone: (603) 466-8155

    Parking: Parking lots at both locations

    There will be some walking between buildings, so please wear sturdy footwear and dress for the weather.

  • 09 Mar 2018 1:24 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSA Sue Greenbaum, Currier Museum of Art Class of 2010

    Forty years ago I attended NHTI, (New Hampshire Technical Institute). The name was changed to NHTI Concord's Community College in 2008. Imagine how excited I was to attend the presentation and tour the campus of my alma mater! 

    We met at Sweeney Hall and first had a one hour presentation and extensive question and answer period with:

    Dawn Higgins, Director of Cross-cultural Education and ESOL

    Cory Schofield, Office of Admissions / Advising Center

    along with NHTI students Eric Miller and Lily Richos, and our own intern Sindy Chown, who made the arrangements for this tour.

    NHTI opened its doors in 1965 with 3 engineering technology programs. There are now over 80 academic programs, with Liberal Arts/General Studies being the largest major on campus. NHTI now enrolls 4500-5000 students annually, and 350 students live in their 3 co-ed residence halls. 97% of the student population are New Hampshire students, and the average student age is 24.8. There are over 30 student organizations, and a dozen men's and women's intercollegiate athletic teams. Tuition varies by major and the number of credits required. Most classes are 3 credits for $698.00. NHTI provides a jumping off point to Bachelor degree programs with other schools that have Articulation agreements with NHTI. It provides students with NHTI Associates degrees a seamless transfer into both public and private institutions as juniors.

    On campus there are 600 ESL students, and 80 languages are spoken on campus. Can you guess which language is spoken the most? Is it French, or perhaps Spanish or.......? Nope, it's Nepali! 

    With such a large base of ESL speakers, we learned that NHTI utilizes a program called Conversation Partners with their ESL Students. This program facilitates cultural exchanges between native English-speaking students with non-native English-speaking students outside of the classroom environment. This promotes cross-cultural communication, and maintains a friendly environment at NHTI. As an example, they could pair someone from a culture that fears authority and police with someone from the police academy, which just so happens to be on campus! The result of this is beneficial for both sides. For more information on this click on    

    After this presentation we were off for a tour of the campus. The campus itself has undergone a lot of changes since I was a student here. It has quadrupled in size, with so many new buildings, I no longer knew my way around. What were once grassy spaces are now much needed parking lots, and the campus entry is completely flipped around, now accessed via I-393, not I-93 North. 

    We went into the new library, complete with state of the art Computer Labs and Media Services. We were quite amused to see another addition, a treadmill desk. One could get a workout in, relieve stress, and get a reading assignment completed all at the same time!

    Naturally my favorite part was seeing the nursing classrooms and labs.  When I was there, all 65 of us nursing students attended the same 2 hour lectures at the same time. The instructors had so much information to impart to us during class time that there was no time for any questions, no time to fully comprehend the content during class, and just trying to keep up with note taking was brutal. Many hands would cramp, but again, there was no time for a break. Many students brought tape recorders so they could review the content each night. Talk about stressful! Having 4 years of college behind me at this point in my life, I was frankly shocked at how tough the curriculum was at NHTI.

    In contrast, the classrooms we peeked in during our tour had far fewer students. The students appeared relaxed, and they all wore the mandatory wine colored scrubs. 

    Back in my day, we learned our nursing skills in the simulation lab by practicing on each other, live guinea pigs, you could say. When it came time for your partner to give his/her first injection, you prayed it would go well. Getting a bed bath from another student was frankly embarrassing. Many skills we never learned until after we started our first nursing job, like starting IVs, and performing urinary catheterizations.

    We were able to look into the modern sim lab, a huge room with 9 computerized mannequins in hospital beds with all the usual bedside medical equipment. The mannequins have a pulse and heartbeat, and even pass urine. The students get to work on the dummies and do almost everything they will have to do when working on actual patients. By the end of their courses, students have to be prepared to take an exam in which they tend to the mannequin as it goes through a series of realistic symptoms. It is said by the students that this can be as stressful as working on a real patient. They even run simulations where the mannequin don't make it, as from a cardiac arrest, as they will surely face in the real world.

    We also peeked in a simulation pediatrics room with a crib and other bedside medical equipment. I have worked in a Neonatal ICU (NICU) and would have loved to have gotten closer to both of these labs, which unfortunately were empty and dark when we toured! 

    In addition to Nursing and the Dental Hygiene program that was available 40 years ago, there are now new Allied Health programs. For instance, there is an Orthopedic Technology Certificate, where students learn such things as Casting & Splinting, and Sterile Technique, and there is a Paramedic Emergency Medicine program as well. 

    Our tour ended with a $7.00 "all-you-can-eat" lunch in the dining hall. I really enjoyed this tour, and wish to thank Cory and Eric very much for all the time they gave to us, showing us NHTI and answering our (okay, mostly my) questions!  So much has changed, and has been vastly improved since I started in 1978. I couldn't help but wonder how my experience as a NHTI student would be in 2018. Go Lynx!

    Sue Greenbaum, RN

    Photo album of tour:

  • 05 Mar 2018 11:08 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSA Sue Geyer, Currier Museum of Art Class of 2010

    We had a great lunch at the Oasis Café in SkyVenture Park in Nashua, NH. What a facility! We watched surfers practicing on the fantastic waves, and then went upstairs to watch the Skydivers. WOW! We were so impressed with the diversity of the fliers. Some were novices while others really flew! There were people on the climbing wall, as well as in the Fish Pipe water slide. These were especially fun activities to do during school vacation week, which it happened to be. We were shown the separate rooms that can hold meetings as well as celebrations. One room was set up for celebrations with tables and a large screen system. It played videos of the kids when they had been playing on the various activities earlier. Nice setup! This place offers single events, rents out for special events, runs summer camps,  and even has full single day activities! They also have Keno. Fun for all ages!

    Laurie, one of the owners, did a fabulous job taking care of us., spending time showing us around and answering our questions.  Lunch was delicious and it was a great space, next to the Surf’s up pool. They had a special of a walnut and cranberry sandwich on a croissant or ciabatta roll that was wonderful. It’s a very inviting place for lunch even if you aren’t able to partake in any of the attractions.  Check out their menu at

    For more information about Sky Venture, give them a call or check out their website.

  • 26 Feb 2018 8:48 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSAs Dave and Joan Baldessari
    Childrens Museum of NH Class of 2013

    While we were on our shift 3-6pm we noticed a couple come in with a balloon arrangement and standing at the bottom of the escalator.  After a few moments Tom Blair President of the New Hampshire Manchester Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, approached us and asked if we could help welcome 5 folks arriving from around the world to start a 2 year mission in the area spanning all of Northern New England and extending into Mass.

    Elder Connor Meinzer, and Elder Jonah Kunzler who were coming from assignment in Paris France greeted Joan in French.  They were accompanied by Sister Aimee Tobler, Elder Kyler Powell and Sister Anierrei Haner. They are here at their own expense to serve wherever they are asked, and each has a unique live story.  For example, Elder Meinzer indicated his family owns a 9,000 acre ranch in Utah and was very enthusiastic when I mentioned the lakes region and Presidential range; he also had questions about Moose sightings and was impressed when we told him of the Moose in our backyard few years back.  Also very impressed with the 7,000 miles of groomed ski mobile trails in NH, since his family conducts snowmobile tours on their Utah property.

    We also had a very pleasant discussion about family backgrounds.

    They asked us where would be the most appropriate place to take a picture commemorating their arrival; we selected the Moose as a symbol of NH.  Mission President Tom Blair and his wife Heather insisted we be part of the photos. (attached)

    The Elders and Sisters indicated they would be assigned to certain towns and cities within the four State to help family’s with service projects and to help build their faith in God.

    Update: March 15 by GSA Tim Adams

    Tom Blair was back at the airport on Wednesday meeting another couple of persons starting their 2 year mission here in New England. Both of the new arrivals were heading north and were from Mexico!

  • 23 Feb 2018 12:23 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    Moonlight Meadery was ranked 2017 Best NH Brewery by Zymurgy’s Best Breweries by State and has earned numerous national and international awards -- by the time we were done with our tour, we knew why!

    Our hosts, Michael Fairbrother and his wife Berniece Van Der Berg, invited 20 GSAs to Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry to sample their Tour & Tasting Package which normally goes for $25 per person. The package includes samples of 7 meads of your choice and their cider, a keepsake Moonlight Meadery tasting glass, and a deluxe tour which included their fascinating and entertaining company history, the history of mead, and their production process.

    Mead is an alcoholic drink made of fermented honey and water. All of their honey is True Source Certified which means that they can trace each shipment back to its hive of origin. It is just pure, tasty honey. Their fruit ingredients are sourced locally. For those fruits like Mangoes that don’t grow in NH, they make a point to find the highest quality available.

    In their new tasting room, we were able to choose to try different varieties from their different categories of Dry, Semi-Sweet, and Sweet. In the Dry category, I chose one called Temerity which had a deep currant aroma followed by floral honey notes. After my first sip, I was hooked on mead! Another favorite (which I bought a bottle) was the semi-sweet Fling which had orange blossom honey, rhubarb and strawberries. For my sweet pick, I tried Smolder with raspberry and chipotle spice. Wow, what a great combination. They also served us some wonderful cheese, crackers and spreads. They had one spread, Kurt’s Apple, that honestly tasted just like an apple pie. You can even pick up a jar of that in their gift shop.

    Moonlight Meadery is open to tours and tastings Monday-Saturday and you don’t need an appointment. The last tour kicks off 1 hour before closing. Hours: Mon-Thu 8:30am-5pm; Fri 8:30am-7pm; and Saturday, 11am-7pm. With more than 45 meads, guests are sure to find something to love. Gotta have beer? They also make a Braggot under the Hidden Moon label. A Braggot is either a beer fermented with honey, or a beer and a mead blended together after fermentation. This process dates back to around 1800 BCE.

    For more information visit To view our tour photos, click here.

    Visited Moonlight Meadery today with NH Granite State Ambassadors. Fantastic Tour by the owner and fun time tasting various meads. Learned a lot about bees and honey as part of Tour as well as mead making. Reminds me of the time I first toured Stonyfield Farm in 1986. Moonlight Meadery is a fine example of how a small business can take off in New Hampshire and become a leader in the industry.
    ~ GSA Veronia M

    I could tell from the way our hosts conducted themselves during the tour that they are very passionate about their business. Michael was a great speaker and very funny too.  Berniece told us so much about the bees that I did not know - it was very interesting.  Living locally, I have been to Moonlight Meadery before - each time I learn something new.  I will be sure to tell my friends and also people that I assist as a GSA about Moonlight Meadery.  It is so easy to get to and a stop that they will not want to miss if they are in the area.
    ~ GSA Maryellen McG

    I learned so much and the tasting was very special.  I had not tried any of their products, so it was such a great experience.  I will definitely recommend this as people come into Manchester airport and are looking for things to do.  I also plan to bring friends when they come to visit.
    ~ GSA Nancy S

    What a NH success story Moonlight Meadery is! Owners Michael and Berenice have grown their business from a small home brew operation to one that sells its products around the world. Mead has so many different flavor profiles (raspberry chipotle, strawberry rhubarb, Sumatran coffee, peach and ginger...) but all include honey.  This would be a great tour to recommend to guests who have never tried mead or who are interested in the processes behind different “beverages”. In addition to all things “mead” there are other bee-related gift items available.
    ~ GSA Diane M

    This was an awesome tour, will recommend visitors to our state to tour. Thanks ~ GSA Linda D

  • 23 Feb 2018 10:01 AM | Naomi Halter (Administrator)

    by Emily Goulet, NHGSA Intern

    The Ice and Snow Festival in Keene is not to be missed! On a cold winter day, everyone bonds over the February chill, searching for hot drinks.  

    It is fascinating to watch the ice sculptors work away at their craft, delicately carving each design and demonstrating their dedication to their day-long project. Families and friends are mesmerized by their patience and artistic talents. While walking to the GSA booth, we even discovered a turtle carved into the snow, painted blue and green. We were quick to point it out to children as they passed by.  

    The GSA booth in Railroad Square was also positioned directly next to the snow removal machines from the airport, which were a highlight for children to climb in and to test the horns. The family friendly festival included various booths with food and drinks, two areas in the town boasting ice sculptures, and even a princess who was posing with children for pictures. 

    Next year, don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to be a part of such a fun and family friendly event.  Don't forget to dress warmly! 

  • 20 Feb 2018 8:29 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    Sign-ups open March 14th, 8am

    Name of Tour: Intro to the American Independence Museum

    Date: Friday, 4/20/2018
    Arrival Time: 10:00am
    Start Time: 10:15am
    Ending Time: 12:00pm (museum)
    AFTER the museum we will head to the Exeter Chamber (new center)
    and have lunch on our own - explore  theMain Street
    Expect an actual end time around 1:15-1:30.

    How many GSAs can attend? 20 to 25 total.

    Tour description: The museum highlights NH’s role in the American Revolution. Tour the museum including the Ladd-Gilman House and Folsom Tavern. End with Q&A and snacks in the Folsom Tavern.

    Meeting location: Folsom Tavern at 165 Water Street (part of the museum campus)

    Ladd-Gilman House and Folsom Tavern are both on the museum grounds. Guests meet at Folsom Tavern for greeting and intro and then will walk up to Ladd-Gilman for a tour. Guests will return to Folsom Tavern to conclude their tour and have a snack.

    Difficulty Rating: [ ] 1 [ X ] 2 [ ] 3 Due to the historic nature of the museum, the property is not handicap accessible.

    1 = Easy/One location, accessible
    2 = Average/Some Walking & Maybe Stairs
    3 = Difficult/Lots of Walking &/or Lots of Stairs

    Host Company: The American Independence Museum
    Contact Name : Victoria Su, Public Programs and Engagement Manager
    Phone: 603-772-2622
    Address: One Governors Lane, Exeter, NH 03833

    Parking: The Museum parking lot which is at the bottom of Spring Street in Exeter. There is also two hours free street parking available.

    The Exeter Chamber may be interested in hosting the group in the afternoon. There are many lunch options along Water Street close to both the museum and Exeter Chamber. The Exeter Chamber will be a new GSA visitor center.

  • 09 Feb 2018 1:23 PM | Naomi Halter (Administrator)

    With contributions from GSA Roz Lowen, Waterville Valley Resort Class of 2017; GSA Rose Shajenko, St. Mary's Bank - America's Credit Union Museum Class of 2008; and GSA Bob Spoerl, Strawbery Banke Museum Class of 2007.

    There were so many fun things to do at the Farm and Forest Expo this year!

     GSA Roz had this to say about her time helping out in the KidZone area:

    The 4H exhibitors had scientific fun projects. One had herb seeds to plant. The children brought their planted seeds home to grow. They each also broke apart soaked bean seeds to see the little embryo inside.

    Another exhibitor had the children draw a picture on coffee filter paper and then spray it with water. The colors spread to form a chromagraph. They came back when it dried to pinch the paper in the middle and cinch it with a pipe cleaner to make a butterfly!

    A third exhibitor had 2 boys operate a stationary bicycle they modified to run a blender. They made smoothies that they gave out that were made in the blender.

    Fun Facts About Max the Moose

    We had a new job this year, minding Max the Moose and helping guests take photos with him. GSA Rose S. was the first person to do this, and she got so many questions about Max that she found someone who could help - GSA Bob S, who also happens to work for the State and often chauffeurs Max.

    • Max was manufactured by The Stuffed Animal House in 2000
    • He weighs in at 180 pounds, it only takes two adults to lift him!
    • Valued at five thousand dollars, but Max is priceless to New Hampshire
    • He is a Goodwill Ambassador, employed by the State of New Hampshire: Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
    • Max spends his summers at the Flume’s Visitor Center
    • And he winters at Springfield Rest Area – Northbound, Seabrook Rest Area (Welcome Center), and NH Welcome Center – Salem, NH.
    • He travels on business, and attends trade shows in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City
    • “Max is available for other meetings (conservation/forestry/recreation related) requests go to DNCR (Department of Natural and Cultural Resources)”
    • He was proud to attend U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and the NH Congressional Delegation's “Experience New Hampshire Reception” on June 7, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
    • Likes to hobnob with politicians, has been photographed with Senator John McCain
    • Max loves to have his picture taken
    • He ives to make people SMILE
    • Hobbies: Skateboarding - that’s how Max travels from place to place

    For more photos of the fun we had at the Farm and Forest Expo, click here!

  • 04 Jan 2018 11:50 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSA Sue Greenbaum, Currier Museum of Art Class of 2010

    Twenty-one GSAs drove up to Lincoln one cold and snowy afternoon in December and turned into elves.  

    They really did, and it was a truly magical experience. That is how the GSA "elves" who participated in the Journey to the North Pole described it. They were right, of course.

    The elves, who were told ahead of time to come up with their own "elf name", were asked to arrive at the North Pole Theater Tent early to change into their costumes. They were provided with Elf hats, red mittens, red jackets, green pants, (all in fleece and organized by size) and later put on brown elf coverings over their shoes. Before the show, the elves were given explicit and humorous instructions complete with role playing by the staff, and all felt confident in their roles. The staff couldn't have been more professional, supportive or enthusiastic, as they reviewed exactly what to expect, and how to help with the performance. 

    Meanwhile, the families were boarding the Journey to the North Pole train and departing on a 15 minute ride to the North Pole. On the ride the adults and pajama-clad children were served delicious hot cocoa by magical chefs. 

    All the elves were given lanterns and then walked a short distance down the hill to the train tracks to await the families. They spread out along the tracks and swung their lanterns as the train pulled up. The real magic started as the children spotted the elves welcoming them. Some couldn't wait to get off the train and were pulling the windows open, leaning out, and excitedly greeting the elves. 

    The families disembarked the train and were escorted by elves to the North Pole Theater. During the walk some pretty entertaining conversations took place.  Emma, our own Executive Director's teenage daughter, had the cutest interaction with 2 little girls, about age 4 and 6. First they came up to her and asked her name. When Emma said "Twinkle Spice", the girls were thrilled, because they had met Twinkle last year. Of course it was another Twinkle last year, but Em didn't miss a beat. She asked the girls their names, told them she remembered them, and commented on how much they had grown and how nice they were. After the show, the girls ran up to her again with big hugs, and said that they missed her and would see her again next year. Em was pretty excited that she was able to make their experience extra special with just one comment.

    Many children wanted to know if the elves knew their "Elf on the Shelf" at home. Of course they did, responded Elf Happy (AKA Betsy Booth)! She worked in Santa's Post Office, and loved the children who really didn't want to let go of their letters to Santa. It usually worked to send them to the mailbox across the way.

    As the families entered the large tent, the elves stayed outside, handing their lanterns back to staff and forming 2 lines. They waited for the signal to enter, and then skipping with enthusiasm, entered the tent while singing a Christmas song, and headed past the audience to the brightly lit stage. As the show began with a classic reading of the poem "The Night Before Christmas" the elves were having some fun of their own. Elf MoMo (AKA Moe Demers) grabbed a broom and was sweeping the stage. One little girl in the front row was so fascinated by his curled up feet, she just had to reach out and feel them. Was it perhaps to see if they were really curly? When the show concluded one parent called him "The Friendly Elf", probably from trying to engage the children in the first few rows.

    Back on stage, other elves were picking up props and having fun incorporating them into the act. One naughty elf, Susy Snowflake (AKA Sue Greenbaum) was lifting each elf's arms and whisking their armpits clean. Other elves were pretending to paint or hammer toys, or string bells, among other things. Each elf was asked what was his name, age and job. The elves proudly announced "I feed the Reindeer!" or "I paint stripes on the toy Tigers" or "I sew clothes for the Dolls!" or "I make Trucks!", and most seemed to be around 500 to 600 years old. All the elves joined in singing the Christmas carols, and by carefully watching the staff in the back of the room, were able to mimic their motions and act out the Twelve Days of Christmas. While this was going on, Santa was making the rounds in the the audience, speaking to each and every enchanted child, and shaking their hands.

    Finally the show ended, the elves left the stage singing and grabbed their lanterns again. They waited outside and escorted the families back to the train. After many  exclamations of "Merry Christmas!" and "Thank you for coming!", the families boarded the train. As it slowly went down the track, the elves waved goodbye with their lanterns lighting up the dark. On board, each child received a special gift as they rode back to New Hampshire.

    There was a second show about an hour later. During this down time, the staff fed us lots of pizza and water. They had way more pizza than than they needed as another group of Elves didn't show up as arranged. The GSA elves professionally and proudly carried on the show all by themselves. It was a great night to be an Elf!

    Some of the elves drove back home that night, and some opted to stay over. Wine, cheese and other snacks flowed in at least one motel room, and old friendships were stoked while new ones were ignited. More than a few GSA elves are already eagerly awaiting next December to join in the fun again. 

    A big shout out to Elf Okey Dokey (AKA Sue Geyer) for arranging this volunteer excursion. We had a blast!

    This 2 hour adventure takes place in Lincoln as well as North Conway, New Hampshire. Net proceeds from the Journey to the North Pole Event fund Literacy Programs of The Believe in Books Literacy Foundation, a Charitable 501(c) non-profit organization.

    41 Observatory Way, P.O. Box 1800, Intervale, NH 03845  (603) 356-9980

  • 03 Nov 2017 2:33 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSA Rose Shajenko, St. Mary's Bank - America's Credit Union Museum Class of 2008

    You found your family once you go to the Mid – Week Getaway for Adults at The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, NH.

    The adventure begins on Sunday. I was asked if I would be arriving for Lunch or Dinner.   My plans were to hike beautiful Mount Monadnock. It was a sunny glorious day for the hike up the mountain. Arrived at the Inn before dinner and was given my schedule with activities for the week.

    My first impression was how do all these people know each other. Everyone was sitting at the family style long table were chatting away. After dinner, everyone moved to the comfortable living room to catch up with each other.

    Starting on Monday, activities were twice a day at 10:00 and 2:00. During our crafting session with Jane, I layered fudge brownie mix ingredients in a mason jar, decorate the jar, and then attached the recipe card.

    Everyone at the getaway had been coming for years. Some had been coming to the Inn with their families for 44, 46 years, and someone new this would be there third year. I was the newbie of the group being my first time except for my one day Granite State Ambassador tour I participated in.

    There is so much to do or if you like then just rest and relaxation.  You partake in activates as much as you like. On my second day I fell into the routine, breakfast from 8-9. But before breakfast I’d like to hang out in the dining room to check my emails for the day.   

    Fresh coffee is always waiting for you. There is no way to explain how good the food is. My first morning I served myself from the cart / table that’s set up every morning with oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, fruit etc. After I was full from this I found out it was now time to order from the specials for breakfast. Then I ordered one of the specials, then tried one of their freshly baked muffins. By the second day you realize you don’t need to order a special because this Inn is so accommodating you order whatever you like, eggs, toast and I had bacon every day. At the end of breakfast, after hearing your lunch choices, then you place your order. Always there is desert after lunch & dinner, with one choice being locally homemade ice cream. You never go hungry during the day either. There are two huge cookie jars filled with homemade treats, like cookies or muffins. Many of the meals are family style, served on platters that you take as much as you like and pass it down. Near the end of the week I would already be planning what I’d order for breakfast the next day.

    The weather for the three days of the week was rainy but that didn’t dampen our moods. One morning at 9:00 I went out to the barn to milk a goat. Then went to the chicken coop to look for eggs. Only found one that time. I don’t know any other vacation that you leave with eggs. By the end of the week I had a half dozen to take home.

    I can’t say enough about the staff at the Inn. Everyone had worked there for years, I never in my life felt the warmth like I did there. The farm has been passed to the second generation to run. But the staff feel like part of that family. Since so many of our group have been going here so long, the staff make the extra effort, knowing their names, asking about families so much caring. You can tell it isn’t just a job. I loved hanging out in the dining room between meals to be part of the interactions that were taking place.  Even the handyman introduced himself to me because I didn’t look familiar but he knew everyone else and wanted to be of service to me during my stay if I needed anything.

    There were a lot of laughs and silliness during my stay. Two nights we broke up into teams and played Family Feud. My team won the first night. Our prize was cozies to keep your soda cold in. Everyone enjoyed themselves so much that Nora found more questions and there was a rematch the second night. Our team ended up losing. I participated in yoga with Cindy, book club with Connie, intuitive readings and domino games.

    Our last night our Gretchen came to the Inn, to have the group share travel tales.  My only regret is that I hadn’t brought a pen & paper to write down travel destinations and helpful hints.

    Friday morning, Maribeth and I had a trail ride. Perry led us around.  A few of the group came out to watch us. Hadn’t been on a horse in decades. Some were staying on for lunch, I said my goodbyes and headed home.

    When I got home, I set on the table my Fudge Brownie Mix, 3-d Felt Reggae man I made instead of the Nome, Two Monadnock Oils, I purchased, Cinnamon Raisin Bead I made, half dozen eggs, pictures I colored, book I finished reading and finds from local antiquing. I have met some wonderful men and women, shared so many laughs and told many stories. I’m left with the sadness of saying goodbye. Thursday night our last evening, everyone was talking about when they planned to come to the Inn again, many are coming for the April Get-a- way.

    The next day after my vacation, I made French toast with the bread and eggs. Still have the farm in my head, until we meet again.

    photos: East Hill Farm

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