Michael and I actually had to set the alarm for 6:00 am on Monday morning. Alarm setting is never a good thing on vacation, BUT, when it means you are on your way to visit good friends, it's tolerable.
We left his aunt and uncle's house at 7:00. We remembered to bring everything with us except for the damn bag of Cabot cheese we had bought to bring to people in New Hampshire. We had talked about it the night before and still, nobody remembered it was in the refrigerator. Michael's Uncle Ruggie actually chased us down and finally caught up to us after 30 minutes when we stopped for gas. Can you even believe he did something so nice?
With the cheese back in our hands, we pressed on through the fog. Yes, fog! It was a foggy, dreary, drizzly and totally lovely morning in Northern Vermont.
After about 90 minutes we stopped at the Cold Hollow Apple Cider Mill, specifically to buy cider donuts and coffee for breakfast. We bought some Vermont souvenirs too. I got a maple chapstick that's kind-of lovely.
We ended up with two dozen donuts- a dozen to eat in the car and a dozen for people in NH. Now, a dozen donuts does sound like too much for two people to eat, but they are small and can be consumed in about 3 bites. Don't judge.
We finally arrived in Nashua, at Cathy's house, right around noon. It is slow going with that 65 mph speed limit in VT.
One of the first things I saw when we walked in was the wedding anniversary memory book I gave to Cathy and Mike for their wedding last year.
She also had the photo book her photographer made for them. I took pictures of the pages I am on.
Oh, and a picture with Cathy too!
Soon after our arrival Megan arrived with her son, Nicholas. It was our first time meeting him. He was born in October.
He was so cute I kind-of neglected to get a picture with Megan.
Cathy made a delicious lunch for us. Even after the dozen cider donuts, we were really hungry.
And thirsty for sangria.
After lunch there was more looking at pictures.
And more taking of pictures. Nicholas and I did a selfie,
before I remembered there were 3 adults present to take our picture.
Just to review, in case you are wondering why the heck I was visiting these people......I spent one semester attending the University of New Hampshire as an undergraduate as part of the National Student Exchange program. Megan was my roommate and Cathy lived down the hall. That was 16 years ago and we have remained friends all this time.
One more adorable picture of Nicholas, and then it was time for dessert.
Megan brought this cake. It says "I'd rather be in Claremont". Here's the story behind that.
Michael and I were in Vermont in August, 2001 for his cousin Amy's wedding. I wanted to see my friends, but we didn't have time to drive to anywhere that any of them lived. We were all also driving from all over- Western Massachusetts, Southern Maine, Southern New Hampshire and Northern Vermont. So, we met in Claremont, NH at the only McDonald's in town because it was the close to half-way point for all of us. This was before there were apps and websites dedicated to things like this and it took a lot of googling (right when googling was brand new) to figure out where to go and to get all of us there. We still marvel that we all made it and found each other. It was me, Michael, Megan, Cathy, Jess and Dave. We went to eat at a Chinese buffet, walked around a huge antique store (where I actually bought something that I still have in the living room) and went to Walmart.
It was a Boston Cream Pie Cake.
Cathy also made Chocolate Crunch Bars, because there weren't enough calories in the cake and the extra donuts we brought for everyone.
By the way, before we move on, I promise that Michael was there. We just somehow managed to not ever take a picture of him. I didn't even notice until right now. Poor Michael.
We hung out at Cathy's house until about 4:00 and then made the quick 20 minute drive to my cousin's house in Manchester.
And guess what we did? Ate again! This time, a lobster dinner.
My cousin, Alex.
See, he exists.
Poor, live lobsters about to be thrown into a pot of boiling water.
Alex's wife, Tionna, and their daughter, Eliana. Not to be confused with the daughter of Michael's cousin Pat, Aliana. Because, yes, I have to silently think their names each time I say something about them.
And then Tionna broke out a bottle of wine and I ceased to take any more pictures for the night.
Up next: my sad last day. Not sad because it was a bad day, but sad because it was my last day.