Wednesday, July 29, 2015

To New Hampshire, starting with the train

So a couple of weeks ago I took the train, with my mom, to New Hampshire. Well actually we took it to Boston and then took a rental car the rest of the way.

This all started when we were kids and would go to visit my grandparents at Lake Winnipesaukee.   I take that back, it really started when my mom was a kid. My mom and her parents came to America when my mom was 10 years old. They came from Germany and didn't speak much English. So my grandparents worked for a couple that had a lot of money. My grandfather fixed the cars and took care of the grounds. My grandmother was the house keeper and took care of the kids. The family they worked for had a house on Lake Winnipesaukee on Bear Island.  You could only get to this island by boat.
(this is Bear Island, that Bear didn't use to be there)

(Because they only way to get to the island was by boat, the mail is delivered by boat too. My mom can remember running down to meet the mail boat)
My mom and my grandparents  would take a little fold boat and go to bear island. They would bring a tent and camp out. They also brought their cat with them. My mom said they would take the leash off the cat and off she would go. But as soon as they started packing up, the cat would show up, just in time to go home.
Eventually my grandparents learned to speak English and got other jobs. My grandfather worked for PanAm and my grandmother worked at a bank. They remained very good friends with the couple they worked for. That couple decided to buy another house on lake W.  but this time it would be accessible by car. So the bought a small summer house on Governor's Island. It was a small log cabin with two bedrooms and one bathroom.  The couple wanted the lot but not really the house. They wanted to build a large house that was a year round place. The lot with the cabin was on it, was very large. So my grandparents asked if they would divide the lot in half and let my grandparents buy the lot with the cabin. So that's what they did.
Here was the log cabin.
That door on the bottom left was added when I was already in college.  My grandfather was making a basement and they were trying to see if they could live there in the winter. They only made it through one winter, it was to cold for them.
I took this the year I graduated from college. They first thing I bought when I graduated was a dog. Even before I bought a new car. LOL  Anyway, this was the fire place in the cabin.
What a cute puppy!!
We went by the property while we were up there, this year. My grandparents had to sell the cabin because they reassessed the properties and the taxes were now more  then what they made on their retirement salary. The people who bought it, just wanted the lot. They bulldozed the house. Here is what it looks like now.
This was their friends house , that they bought the cabin lot from. Their house still looks the same except for the buildings added on the back there.  But the big house, looks just like it did when we were kids.
This was the house on the other side of my grandparents. They had a girl the same age as me and we played and hung out together. I don't know what her family did but they were rich. Their house looks the same.
One year, their daughter and I were outside, probably swimming. He her dad was landing his new helicopter.  The helicopter had pontoons on the legs, to land on water.  Well when the pontoons hit the water, the water is freezing cold, they started to deflate. Her dad took his pants off and got out of the helicopter.  I think he was trying to prevent it from sinking.  It didn't sink. Tiffany and I were just laughing and Im sure he didn't think it was to funny. The next year when we went to the lake , the helicopter had a platform.
I just posted this so you could see the helicopter. I was much younger when he first brought it to the lake.
So now you have some history. We went to the lake every summer for 2 weeks, that I could remember. We had lots of good memories of the lake. So my sister decided to buy a house on Lake W. and asked me to come up for my birthday. (We always went to the lake around  my birthday).  I decided to ask my mom to go with me since she had lots of memories there too. I knew she wouldn't fly, so the first plan was to drive. But after thinking about driving 20 hours, I didn't think I could do it. So we decided to take the train.
The train took about 24 hours. The first half of the ride was had a "roomette". It has two small chairs and fold down into a bed and another bed on top that pulls down. The toilet is right in the room too.
Here is the room and my suitcase is sitting on the toilet.
I know you want to see the toilet. That is the sink above, you pull it down to use it.
This is a picture of me lying in my bed. You are looking at my feet. You can touch both sides of the walls with your hands.
This was the aisle way to the room. You felt like you were drunk when walking in the hallway. It swayed a lot.
This was the dinning car. The meals were very good . I had steak  Coming home the ride during dinner was rough but going up it was fine.
So we left Savannah at 8pm and we were suppose to change trains in New York at 1pm. But our train was running really late and the train guy (who takes care of you in the roomette section)  felt we were going to miss our train in New York. So in Washington DC, he called the conductor of the other train, that was now in Washington DC at the same time as us. And asked if we could switch trains now. He said we could. Lucky we didn't check our bags and had them with us. You didn't have much time and got off and went over to the other platform and got on the other train. Of course I get off the train and start walking and I can feel I must have started my period. Ugh, that explains my migraine at 3am. . There were no bathrooms , that I could see, and we didn't really have time to stop. We got on the other train. You cant use the bathrooms until the train starts moving. we only sat there about 2 minutes and the train started. So I got to the bathroom ASAP.  Oh the joy of being a women. Good think I had every thing I needed. You couldn't really buy anything on the train.
Now we  stayed on this train all the way to Boston. We got to Boston a 6:30pm.  Then took a taxi to the airport to get the rental car. There is a rental car place at one of the train stations in Boston, but they closed at 4:30pm on Sundays.   So we got our rental car and were on the way to New Hampshire.
Did you know at McDonalds you can get a lobster sandwich?
And they tasted pretty good. Not as good as the hot lobster sandwich I had later in the week but not bad at all. And 1/2 the price too.

We pulled up to my sisters at 10pm that night. I was beat and a little grouchy.  LOL
More on the trip tomorrow.


Helen said...

I'd like to try an overnight train ride. I think it would be fun to have a roomette and eat in the dining car, that seems so gracious somehow. The pictures of the lake are very pretty.

Sara said...

I loved hearing about your family history! What great memories. Sad that they tore down your old cabin. It was so cute. That's what I'd like when I retire - a small cabin. But taxes in the northeast are ridiculous. We're going to have to move south when the time comes. I could take a couple european vacations a year based on how much I'll save in property taxes.

My first mclobster was in Halifax in Canada on our way to Prince Edward Island. Sooo good! I wish they had them here. I guess I don't live close enough to the coast.

Dawn said...

What an adventure! I'd like to do an overnight train ride too. And how wonderful your mom got to go.