What a wonderful birthday! We went to Stowe, VT to ski. I haven’t been to Stowe since long before my kids were born. In fact, I think the last time I went I was pregnant with DS the Eldest. So that would put it at 14 years. Stowe is a lovely, picturesque village, with great food (much of which it seems I ate), great shopping (almost none of which I did), beautiful scenery (all of which I admired) and great people. It has some a-MAY-zing places to stay (none of which we could afford this year, but some day – I will have a cabin at TopNotch ). Stowe also has a fantastic ski school, in which we enrolled the kids all day on Saturday. They were all prepared to be unhappy about that, but they had such a good time that they came back yammering happily about all their adventures.
Alas, the weather was not so lovely. Mind you, it wasn’t terrible. The first day, it started raining as we were making our first run. Then it stopped for a couple of hours. The snow, which had apparently been really hard and icy on Friday, was really nice to ski through. The only downside was that the fog was so thick, you could not see more than 20 feet in front of you much of the time. We avoided the mogul patches and the double diamonds. But we had a wonderful time. At about 2:00 in the afternoon, the rain started in earnest. DH and I pulled off the slopes and sat at the bar, waiting for the kids’ ski classes to end. As I say, the kids were happy as Larry, and they didn’t mind the rain too much. And the next day the sun was bright and the temperatures were in the 40s. There were a lot of bare patches that had not been there the day before, but we all skied together for the morning and had a lot of fun.
Then we drove home. It started out so lovely. We left Stowe this morning at about 9:30 and wandered through some of the shops in town. Then as we drove, we’d stop at places that looked interesting – Cabot Cheddar, Ben and Jerry’s for the plant tour, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Cold Hollow Cider Mill – are you sensing a trend here? At about noon we decided to head home. That way I could stop in the office and get a little work done before the day ended.
Then we crossed into New Hampshire.
Before I go any further, let me just say that New Hampshire has nothing to do with it.
But once we got into New Hampshire, DH said to me, “You know, I smell something burning and the temperature gauge on the car just shot off the hot end.”
We were between exits 19 and 18 on I89, and the welcome center was less than a half mile away, so we pulled in there. The fellow at the welcome center was so nice and helpful. He gave us the names and numbers of the local cab company, Subaru dealer and restaurants. We called AAA, and they sent a tow truck out. The local Subaru dealer said they could look at the car today, so DH opted to tow it there. The cab came for me and the DSes and took us into Lebanon, NH, where there are lots and lots of stores and restaurants. Please dear god, let this just be a hose or temperature sensor.
DH called us while we were sitting at the local Weathervane restaurant. Hose or sensor? Noooo… that would be too easy, right? No, the freakin’ head gasket is blown. Dayum. How much will that set us back?? Dayum. Excuse me miss, could you please bring me a very large glass of wine? I’m not going anywere anytime soon. The staff of the Weathervane were so sweet. They brought a bunch of tokens over to the kids so they could play video games. If you are ever in Lebanon, NH and are hungry, I highly recommend the Weathervane. Great lobster rolls, great service and great people.
To make a long story shorter, we spend a couple of hours in some stores along the strip, then DH fetched us in a rental car and we drove home. The Subaru dealer (who was also great, BTW) is going to crack the head on the engine first thing tomorrow and let us know. If the engine isn’t warped we’ll get off easy. If it’s warped, DH will probably have to get a new car.
Well, it was a wonderful birthday weekend until about 2:00 this afternoon. We’re home and safe now, and that’s what’s most important. And we’ll certainly have food for stories and conversation from this one!