Ice Castles and winning Pats. A very New England Sunday Funday.
After much logistical to-ing and fro-ing, a group of us finally settled on a date to drive the few hours north to New Hampshire's Ice Castles.
Lia had been coming to this area to ski for most of her childhood, so she pointed out a bunch of mountains -- including the one she has inked on the back of her arm -- to us as we drove up. We bundled up in our thickest layers as we were promised single digit temperatures, and all except one wore environment-appropriate footwear. The one wore a pair of thin, low slung canvas sneakers. He did not have a great time.
I was also in the throes of a stinking cold which my beloved had kindly given me after being sick for her birthday. But loaded up on meds, my nose stopped running for long enough to enjoy the experience.
The castles were certainly grand, but none of us was really prepared for quite how touristy they were. The snow underfoot was so well-trodden and dirty that it had become as slushy as sand, and about the same colour too.
There were children everywhere, families with tiny babies strapped to chests, and one Russian-sounding lady who was traversing the tricky terrain in a pair of heels. All in a day's work for her though, I suppose.
It was like the "Frozen" wing of Disneyworld, but with the most genuine scenery of any amusement park. Actual ice! This was clearly an easy marketing ploy the organisers had themselves realised, as the Frozen movie instrumental soundtrack was on loop from the time we arrived to the time we finished. An Elsa and an Anna even stood at the exit ready to take photos with children wearing hats featuring their favourite Frozen characters.
Nevertheless, it wasn't a fruitless road trip. Castles made of ice are still incredible, no matter how many other people are also there. With screaming children.
Also, I got a bunch of cute photos of Lia, so clearly it was well worth the day trip.
We explored a wee bit around the neighbouring town for a while after, to thaw and get a little more out of the journey. We found a surprisingly hip coffee shop, a tattoo parlour (nobody liked my idea of getting tiny spontaneous New Hampshire tattoos) and a general store to pick up some beer for the #BigGame later that night.
Enjoying New England while we can: check. We're currently in the middle of several winter storms here in Boston, which cancelled our flight to Mexico City :( We managed to get it rescheduled for the beginning of March, so one day after I touch down back from LA, I'll be off again! Exciting times. And I can't wait for a bit of sun.