Coming back to Boston for the start of summer was meant to be lazy. I’m certainly doing well at it, and thanks to Vic, doing it well in style.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are New England’s premier and historic resort area. Coming up to the mountains to cool off during the summer has been happening since before the turn of the century. Thanks to largesse of Vic’s employer, we stayed, along with 1600 of his co-workers and their families, at the old-timey resort pinnacle: The Mount Washington Hotel. Built in 1902, site of the founding of the IMF, and staring in the horror flick, The Shining, the MWH is sprawling formal affair and is surrounded by golf courses, swimming pools, fly fishing and New England’s best hiking. In a word: sweet.
Of course, sweetness makes sour harder to bear. Unfortunately, earlier in the week, I got my second case of a pulled back leading to intense nerve pain down my leg. We think this is due to hauling my heavy bags all over the subway system on the return from Seattle and eating too many donuts over the winter. The most notable issues, besides my temperamental mood, were that it felt much nicer to sit and our room reeked of Ben Gay.
Saturday, we chatted a bit about backing out of our scheduled kayaking adventure due to the continuing rain and my bad back. I told Vic, “If there’s a vote, we vote YES for staying home.” Luckily, it was not particularly democratic and we found ourselves floating down the shallow Saco River looking at cliff swallows. I got in an unintentional swim and paddled into my first visit to Maine. Vic and I believe we are now prepared to find those icebergs in Newfoundland.
After a bit more swimming (in pools) that afternoon, we got dressed for the large dinner and chatted late into the evening with Vic’s math genius friends and co-workers. These folks might not be as fancy as some of my Microsoftie or ad agency pals, and certainly, math jokes can grow tedious, but workers in mathematics do love to get funky and the dance floor was crowded, as we looked on from a seated position. I like it when people are intent on having a good time and then sharing it. Workers in Math obviously rule. For those of you that are without Math Geniuses in your life, I highly recommend you find yourself some. Your life will fill with bright reward.
Sunday, found me on the Grand Veranda, taking pain pills with coffee and playing yet another hand of “Knox-destroys -Vic-at-Cribbage”. Not really wanting to leave, we finally got in the car, but stopped just north of Concord at the Canterbury Shaker Village. The short tour we found ourselves on focused on the work of the Sisters. So instead of finding about more about their creed, we instead learned about their inventiveness, embrace of technology, and love of linoleum. Our afternoon drifted away in a long, rambling conversation with Dick, the resident printer. As we sat on the stoop to the print room lined with trays of type, I thought, why go look at empty buildings, read signs, and look at videos, when we can sit here and chat with someone who lives and breathes this place every day. If you find yourself at Canterbury, go talk to Dick: he’s erudite, funny and you’ll meet someone glad to share what he knows and doesn’t about the folks who used to call this home.
I’ve worked long enough to be skeptical of company outings and I’ve had my share of company parties that have ended in disgrace, if not for me, than for some poor drunk sap I’ve been working with. I figure I see more than enough of my co-workers and try to generally avoid these types of things. This weekend was one of those times where I said to myself, “Well, I’ve heard dating requires compromise…” but I could not have picked a better thing to compromise on. It was swell.
Summer Weekend in New Hampshire
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