Friday, September 11, 2015

Up to the Notch and Back

We finished our day atop Mt Washington with a scenic drive up to near the border of Canada crossing briefly into Vermont.  Since it was Friday night we weren't all that anxious to arrive in Conway and North Conway (our rooms overnight being located near to the morning activities for the next day) before nightfall.  Conway and its neighbor North Conway are playground towns for family getaways and include the usual attractions of what I like to refer to as "the Dells" - fudge shops, tee shirt emporium and ice cream etc... So being somewhat allergic to family-style activities (both us being childless in our 60s- LOL) we chose to arrive in town later in the evening and stop for dinner in Gorham - having spied several dining establishments there the previous night.  We opted for J's Restaurant which turned out to be an excellent choice... TB tried buffalo chicken Rangoon- which was actually quite good- I ordered the salmon and it came nicely prepared (not overcooked.) so we can recommend J's in Gorham for a nice dinner.  "Let's do it!" (the answer our serve gave to everything we ordered- LOL)

Anyway- as I mentioned - we were staying in Conway because we were headed out on the five+ hour train trip to Crawford Notch and back - in the Dome car and with lunch in the Dining Car on the way up...  so we checked out of the Green Granite Inn after a quick breakfast headed to the train station because we would need to be early enough that our "hostess" would seat us before our 11 AM departure.

we were thrilled when we could procure Dome Car seats as it 1. has the dome and 2. has a limited number of seats available and 3. has an age limitation (LOL on the lower end not the higher LOL)

so here are a few photos of our day's journey - we would leave at 11AMm and return shortly after 4PM-

the crew awaiting the arrival of the train - which was hooking up to the engine right after the Valley Train departed-

the dome car!

downstairs in the Dome Car- stairwell up with "curved Lucite railings!" seriously period!

the car holds 24 total - and the furthest rows from the stairs are facing rear on the way up (which is why we booked our lunch for the TO the Notch part of the trip- and the return would have us in front facing and front row seats!!!! WE WIN!

TB peruses the detailed map of the journey-

Shortly after departure and after our "cheese and crackers" (as they were billed) were served we were called to the dining car for our lunch-

I had the soup (broccoli) and the pastrami and ice cream... TB had the pesto bread and the "pretzelwich" and ice cream - while none of it was gourmet it was passable and the service pleasant if slow (of course we had nowhere to go so who cared about the speed?) We finished just as we were arriving in Crawford Notch station - gift shop available for those who wish to browse---

so it was back to the Dome Car for the return trip and most of the rest of the passengers were on the return seating for lunch so we had only four others with us for the bulk of the journey!

alone at last- I take a photo while everyone else is gone shopping or some other activity at the Notch station.

TB grabs the front row and we are living like kings!

thank god the guy doing the narrative told us that we were looking at Mt Washington LOL otherwise we wouldn't have known- but when I did zoom into the photo I saw all the weather towers on top - where I have thoughtfully put the yellow arrow and red box...

an excellent journey just like the Cog RR may be my only cog railway experience in this lifetime, this may be my only Dome Car experience in this lifetime as well- an excellent was to see the scenery but I understand from TB that they are difficult to find and even more problematic - can't be reserved on the Canadian RR where most of them apparently are run...

so off we went - heading onto the Kancamagus Scenic Byway toward White River Junction in Vermont... (see Route 112 along the bottom of the map)

That evening we had another good meal at the - I had the melon gazpacho and then the Asian-style meatloaf and TB had ??? I don't remember ??? but if he does and tells me I will edit- I skipped dessert but he had some - I like to hold out for Dairy Queen or the likes on the DART trips LOL.

we took rooms at the White River Inn which was quiet and much cleaner than the prior night's hotel... and were up and out the next morning for a SUPERB breakfast nearby...

each table came equipped with the Magic 8 Ball-

we started with terrific popovers with maple butter (could have had a dozen of these light-as-air creations) and then went on to an equally fabulous corned beef hash Benedict- OH YUM no wonder there was a line around the place by the time we left...first rate- make a detour for this one folks!!!

back again with another post on our quick day in Vermont - real cheese and cheesy cheese...coming up!

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