Monday, June 15, 2015

10 rules for your summer vacation

With no guest breakfasts one morning last week, I enjoyed my tea while flipping through the National Geographic Traveler – June/July issue.  It’s one of my favorite magazines.  I love to imagine traveling to new places and remember some of the wonderful places I’ve been lucky enough to visit.

This issue features The New Rules of Summer.  There are 15 rules which are too many for something as free flowing as summer but there are 10 worth sharing with a Henniker House sensibility.

1)  “Take your vacation.  It’s good for everybody.”  The article notes that on average, Americans leave 3 paid vacation days unused a year.  That sounds right given my 27 year corporate experience.  Now with 10 years of innkeeping under my belt, I know how restorative vacation can be and try to savor every day off.  You should too.

 2)  “Eat ice cream every day.”  It’s summer and to quote Dave Anderson of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests – “A perfect summer day has a hike, a swim and an ice cream.”  We try to alternate indulging our sweet-tooth at Intervale Ice Cream ( at the foot of Pats Peak and Beech Hill Ice Cream Barn ( with their baby farm animals in Hopkinton. 

3)  “Give up the car keys.”  Bring your bicycle and we’ll send you off to explore the region.  Following the river is a nice level ride.  When you’re ready for some hills, we’ve got those too.   For years we partnered with other B&Bs in the region to conduct inn to inn bike tours.  We still have the routes and are happy to share them with guests.

4)  “Keep calm and paddle on.”  In the Spring, the Contoocook River is favored by kayakers. 

In the summer a tube is a preferred 'vessel'

Pleasant Pond has good fishing from your canoe and swimming at the beach.

5)  “Put your nose in a new book.”  With window seats in rooms and a canopied swing on the deck, we have great reading venues for a summer afternoon.

 6)  “Be kind to animals.”  The article urged you to plan a safari now.  We can show you some wild life right around the house. 
These baby squirrels imprinted on Phil

The snapper knows about the pace of life. 
7)  “Don’t be stupid.”  Your safety is important.  Please know to avoid "leaves of three", have sun block and a hat.  And as the article says – “don’t hike in heels”.  Actually no heels required for your stay at Henniker House.

8)  “Go local or go home.”  This is the primary reason to choose a B&B (anywhere) over a impersonal  hotel.  Your hosts know the area and come to know you.  Tell them your interests and they will have recommendations for you.  From hikes to restaurants to historic sites – the locals know best.

9)  “Stop and smell the wild flowers.”  The article listed a few outdoor festivals and events.  While Tanglewood might have the Boston Pops, the Henniker Summer Concert series is bringing blue grass, Dixieland, Doo Wop and more to the Community Center lawn Tuesday evenings at 7 from June to mid-August.  The Chili Festival in August is a great day for fire on the mountain ( .   A ride in a  balloon at the festival is on many a bucket list.  (  For a little history and a great weekend, living history appeals to all ages ( .   The summer is full of fun here in New Hampshire.

10)  “Carry extra batteries.”  Really?  You’re not camping here at Henniker House; we have electricity so just bring your chargers.  Better yet, turn off the devices and listen to the birds.  

The last frame says "sometimes you have to lose the signal to get the message"

Come, let the river soothe you.

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