Saturday, October 16, 2010

Climbing Cannon with the Frat Boys

In January of 2007, Ethan and a bunch of his fraternity brothers rented a condominium in Franconia Notch so that they could ski at Cannon Mountain.  This was their senior year and they were ready for a skiing vacation before heading back for their last semester.  Unfortunately, the weather gods did not cooperate and the snow conditions were abysmal for skiing so Ethan suggested calling his mom who could bring some winter hiking gear over and then we could all climb Cannon.  Yes, I think that I might be the only mother ever invited on a fraternity outing.

I brought along thermoses of hot tea and hot jello, crampons and snow shoes and microspikes and everything else that I could come up with and headed over to meet them at the trail head.

The weather most of the way up was misty and the ground conditions were snow and ice.  I climbed fearlessly knowing that there were a dozen strong young men to carry me down if I broke my leg.

I have thick hair and lots of it and hats just aren't that comfortable for me.  So, in the winter I usually hike with as little on my head as possible. That day, my hair was getting pretty damp from the mist but I didn't think too much about it on the way up while my body was warm from exertion.  I should add that I was much more of a novice winter hiker than I am now and in no way endorse my winter hiking methods of 2007--do not try this at home, kids.

So, we climbed through the mist and slipped and slid our way up the mountain.  Some of the boys hiked in jeans, some in sneakers, some in ski boots--we were a motley crew but having the best time.  As we reached the summit suddenly it wasn't warm any more and there was a frigid wind and things started to freeze fast--including my hair.

The way I remember it, someone snapped a picture in a hurry and we all ran as fast as we could into the trees and drank tea and hot jello and put on whatever clothes were still dry in our backpacks and laughed and slid our way down the mountain and into the part of my brain labeled favorite memories.

Thanks Ross, from whose facebook photo album I stole these pictures.  I'll treasure this forever.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I've been meaning to tell you this for over a year.......

There is actually a hostel at the airport in Stockholm that is built into a 747 Jumbo Jet.  I kid you not.

In 2009, after spending time together in northern Sweden, Sara was flying back to Macedonia and Charlie and I were heading back to Maine so we were looking for someplace to stay the night before our flights.  Stockholm hotels were out of our price range which is why we had been spending our time up north reindeer country.  But, Sara, being young and wise in the way of youth hostels, found us the Jumbo Hostel at the Arlanda Airport.

After returning our rental car, we walked across the street to what looked like a gigantic plane parked in a field.  It was, actually, a gigantic plane parked in a field.  A series of metal airport-like steps led up to the entrance where we were immediately told to take off our shoes.  I'm not sure why, but I am a rule-follower so the shoes came off.

The rooms were off a narrow corridor and were small but we fit.  There was a double size bunk on the bottom in our room and a little crow's nest upper bunk that little Sara could squeeze into.  Our suitcases went under the bottom bunk and there was room for one of us to stand up at a time--just not room enough for that one person to actually turn around.

It was great fun and cheap and very convenient to the airport.  A bus stopped right across the street to take us to the terminal.

The Jumbo Hostel is even listed as #1 on a website devoted to the World's Weirdest Hotels.

The Jumbo Jet was different and weird, but according to this website there is a hotel in Idaho inside a giant wooden dog.  I think that might be my next trip.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

So, where did we leave off.................

Oh, I have missed this little blog.  It's time to dust it off, spruce things up a bit and continue sharing what is in my heart.

Facebook is good for a quickie but doesn't allow the insight into the soul that is a blog post--so let's try this again, shall we?

Since we last visited, some things have happened but the essentials are the same....I live in obscurity in a forgotten corner of Maine surrounded by great natural beauty and possessed with an imagination, five cats, a loving husband, eccentric parents and globe-trotting children.  

Over the summer, I closed my little law practice in the carriage house and took a job with the State of Maine, Judicial Branch working with two grant programs devoted to assisting families in the child protection system.   While my efforts are devoted to the same topic as before, there are no more front-line skirmishes.  After eleven years of being in the trenches, it was time to let my battle scars heal and use the hard-won wisdom to try and improve things.

What else happened in the last seven months--oh yes, we went to Chile in April to see how Vila Alhue had survived the earthquake and found that the charming little town had lost all of its 200 year old adobe structures but the spirit of the people was intact.  The trapped Chilean miners are giving us all some insight into what that culture is made of--they have some strong internal stuff going on, for sure.  

In May, son Ethan busted his legs six ways from Sunday.  Rugby----what more can I say.  Sara will finish up with the Peace Corps in five weeks--it doesn't seem like it could be more than two years but it is.  

I've missed you all, my dear blogging friends, thank you for your patience and the facebook chats during my hiatus.