It's true. I don't care what anyone says. It doesn't matter that our skin colors aren't the same. We are soul sisters. My friend, Chenedra, and I...are soul sisters...it is obvious to us.
I can see it in her eyes. She can see in mine. There are few times in life where you cross paths with another human being and there is that "click". That wonderful, beautiful, bonding that happens between women...that moment when meeting one another goes from a 10 minute chat to a 2 hour marathon of watershed moments of delightful conversation in one minute and heart-wrenching the next.
My lovely and spirited friend, Chenedra, flew all the way up from Texas (she loves the heat of the south) to New Hampshire (she hates the freezing winds of the cold) to spend a precious weekend together. We bear hugged, I introduced her to apple cider donuts, we laughed until our tummies hurt, we cried a bit here and there, and if truth be told, I don't believe there were very many moments of silence between the two of us.
|Omni Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire|
That's because...like I said...we're soul sisters.
We've walked parallel paths as children. We both learned at young ages that the world first and foremost is an unfriendly place...where coping was the name of the game and self-love was only a tiny kernel of flame that managed to grow strong and bright in the two of us eventually...eventually, only after years of struggle.
Today, we are two mighty women indeed.
We are survivors of what the world threw our way. I don't know if there are many obstacles today that we couldn't survive and continue to embrace in this world with fascination, enjoyment, and appreciation of a happy life.
So when your soul-sister flies all the way up here to New Hampshire (oh, I forgot...she doesn't like flying), it is a memory-making weekend that is relished, appreciated, and unforgettable. It is like a tonic that rejuvenates the body and soul.
|Spiced Linzer Cookies with Dulce de Leche filling|
My head was swimming with the possibilities of what to do over the visit. Should we head to the coast and take in bustling Portsmouth, dine on seafood dishes, and breathe in fresh salted air?
Or, should we climb Mt. Kearsarge on a hike, picnic at the top, and lay flat on our backs without a care in the world looking up at the glorious sky?
Finally, I reasoned that I wanted her to see mountains. "Go North," I thought. "Towards the White Mountains." Texas is expansive land, ranch land, and open as far as the eye can see. The mountains would be a different scene...a different kind of beautiful.
|High Tea in The Princess Room at Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire|
I was roaming around the internet world and I landed on a destination spot which became our weekend highlight...the majestic and historical Mount Washington Hotel.
Up and over into the majestic White Mountains, we headed straight north of our little town of Warner to Bretton Woods. Regally placed like a jewel amidst a crown of mountains, sits this massive white resort with its ruby red pointed turrets beckoning weary travelers to retreat, relax, and rejuvenate.
I noticed that the resort offers an authentic English afternoon "high tea" in what they call "The Princess Room". I booked us a table for 3pm and off we went on our New Hampshire weekend adventure. I remembered the absolutely lovely English High Tea that my son, Riley, and I had at the resort Dalvay-by-the-Sea on Prince Edward Island a few years back. We enjoyed it tremendously. I still remember sipping Lady Slipper tea for the first time and loving it.
The history behind this grand dame of a hotel is fascinating. I'm not sure if there exists much up here in New Hampshire that doesn't have oodles of stories attached to it. People here love to rekindle the history of this part of the US and it is evident in the architecture, the food, and the people.
|Our beautiful river trail near our farmhouse|
At home, I decided to make an Acorn Linzer Cookie filled with Dulce de Leche filling for after my friend's arrival dinner the first night.
I imagined this simple on the outside cookie, but so rich and decadent on the inside cookie, sitting atop one of the daintily painted floral porcelain plates that rest on a 3 tiered tea stand during high tea at the Mount Washington Hotel.
Our farmhouse in New Hampshire was built in 1828. I can only imagine when this grandiose resort way up North opened its doors 1902, how amazed people were to see something so extravagant and luxurious appear in front of the looming mountainside.
Many of the latest design and construction methods of the day were used. Some of what I read about the resort was that, "the most innovative and complicated heating and plumbing systems of the day were installed."
As we strolled around the lower level of charming shops, waiting for our high tea time to open the doors to The Princess Room, we learned that the resort has its own private postal office.
As the wealthy stepped out of their carriages from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia in the early 1900's, they would have been greeted with the work of two hundred and fifty Italian craftsmen, skilled in masonry and woodworking, that were brought to Bretton Woods, housed on the grounds to create this opulent resort location. Visions of Downton Abbey come to mind, don't they?!
We stood on the back veranda and took in the view of the mountain scene splayed out before us. It was breathtaking, majestic, and expansive. It must be a sight to behold in all seasons of the year...when spring flowers are sweet and fragrant, fall leaves are bright and colorful, and winter snowfall is soothing and impressive.
We sipped on our tea. I'm not sure how many tea cups we drank as we chatted and simply enjoyed each other's company immensely. Friendships are so vital to our well-being as women. I am forever grateful to have found my sweet friend, Chenedra. She was a pillar of strength to me over the last 5 years as we shared each other's life stories, supported each other's decisions in life, and identified that life is precious...no matter how it began...it is ours to choose to live to the fullest. Happiness is a quest...a forever quest to reach, reason, and remind ourselves that we are free to be driver's of our own destiny. Events do define us. But, once free will is obtained, that definition of freedom can be of our own choosing.
|The view from the back of the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire|
The Omni Mount Washington Hotel
310 Mount Washington Road
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire 03575
Labels: cookies, Linzer cookies, making dulce de leche, New Hampshire lodgings, New Hampshire resorts, Omni Mount Washington Hotel, spiced linzer cookies with dulce de leche