Have I mentioned lately that I am a dork? As in REALLY big nerd? Have I mentioned that I’ve taken my dear, sweet, once-cool husband down with me? I mention it now only to clarify why I have no photos of our 15 hour road trip…you know, the one where we passed a zillion gorgeous farmhouses and then New York City with it’s sparkly lights and pretty pretty bridges? I have no photos because I was reading…out loud…to my patient husband…who adores me so much that he is letting me read him a “girly” novel…for 15 hours…straight. I knew he was a keeper!
While we landed initially in Justin’s hometown of Hollis, NH, we only had a day to spend with his parents before we headed right up to Franconia Notch for the wedding of our friends, Sara and Dave. The drive alone was so fantastic, the rolling farmland giving way to the beginnings of the White Mountains whose rocky facade remind me so much of the western ranges. Our time was rather limited after we arrived, since I had the honor of photographing Sara and Dave’s rehearsal and rehearsal dinner at the Sunset Hill House inn (photos coming soon!), but we quickly fell in love with Franconia and it’s sister town, Sugar Hill.
The next morning saw Justin driving back to Hollis (a 2 hour trek each way!) in order to return Pickle to his parents after our “pet friendly” hotel turned out to be not so pet friendly after all. But we managed to squeeze in a little hike on the trails near Cannon Mountain upon his return and couldn’t have had better weather!
So, I will be the first to admit that one of the things I love most about Justin is his sense of humor and the fact that he keeps me laughing. This is also, however, the reason that I don’t have any photos of him that are remotely serious.
We bought a little digital camcorder before our wedding last year and have barely used it at all (it’s terrible in low light and our wedding was in the dark! oops!), so we decided to embrace the tourist within and carted that thing EVERYWHERE this trip! Here is Justin, documenting for posterity…
The morning after the wedding, Justin and I woke up at 4:45am to take some sunrise photos with Justin’s childhood friend and talented photographer, Emy. I can’t begin to properly articulate how magical I find that time of morning and how wonderful it was to hang out with Emy, her boyfriend, Varis, and Justin as we watched the sun part the glowing mist in the mountains. By no stretch of the imagination would I call myself a landscape photographer, but it’s impossible to begin your day with this and not try to capture just a little bit of its essence!
One of my weaknesses in life is Jane Austen…Pride and Prejudice was a book that I shared with my grandmother as a child and for some reason I re-read everything she’s ever written every single fall. It’s become part of the season for me (I’m getting very strong cravings for her already!). And controversial though it may be, I confess that I love love LOVE the Kiera Knightley movie version of Pride and Prejudice with all of my Jane Austen heart. Without going too far into it, I think that the movie captures the essence of the novel better than the more precisely accurate BBC version (gasp!)…not to mention that I just can’t get enough of the musical score-gorgeous!! I bring this up only because, as we stood in the chill air watching the sun peek through, I couldn’t get the landscape of the big scene between Lizzy Bennett and Mr. Darcy near the end of the movie out of my head…don’t you see it?
After the initial sunrise, Justin and I made our way down the mountain a bit to this farm that just captured my imagination. I am a little bit obsessed with it…it’s just everything I think a farmhouse in New England ought to be! And, though I’m sure that I would feel differently had I been the farmer who wrested these fields from the forest, I love the rocks and boulders strewn about the meadows…
There is this wall of old souvenir plates in the inn that caught Emy’s attention first…I had to get a shot as well and loved how the light was hitting this one!
Since we were already up, we made sure to head over to Polly’s Pancake Parlor before the crowds descended! Polly’s is FAMOUS and rightly so! If you ever find yourself in Franconia, make plans to get over there despite the often 2 hour wait (which can be avoided if you wake up at 4:45am to take photos…we were the first ones there!). I was a total glutton, but they were, hands down, the best pancakes I’ve ever had!
(this is not a very pretty image, but you get the drift…) 🙂
That’s it for “Part I”…I promise more soon!