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Headmaster’s Blog - 16th April 2013

Posted: 16th April 2013 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

After a busy Spring Term we were all looking forward to the holidays.  We had been planning our vacation for months as we decided to gather the immediate family together and so ventured on a trip to the States.

We plumped for three stages:  two nights in Boston; eight in New Hampshire; and three days in The Big Apple!

Rowan, SamSam, Alex, Fiona and I spent a couple of days sorting out ski clothing and immediately fell foul of Virgin Atlantic’s one bag policy!  I had no idea how much space snow boots and snow wear took up!  Conjuring up 5 suitcases of a permitted size was a feat in itself.

We flew out on the 1500h flight from Heathrow and yours truly spent the whole of the journey watching movies:  The Dark Knight Rising; Spiderman; Rise of the Guardians – and I watched Jack Reacher and the Life of Pi on the way back!   Great escapism!

In Boston we stayed at The Constitution Inn which was basic but clean and enjoyed two meals out – hanger steak on the first night and the famous Boston Burger on the second.

Bostonians are warm and generous.  There is, moreover, much to see and do in the city.  The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is well worth a visit. : here you can become a part of the famous event that forever changed the course of American History! It was more than a stroll through historic artefacts – it was an adventure! Located on the Congress Street Bridge in Boston, Massachusetts, this floating museum was a revelation.  Live actors, high-tech, interactive exhibits, authentically restored tea ships and the stirring, multi-sensory documentary “Let it Begin Here” was a great way to understand this historic event.

Our next stage involved hiring a Grand Dodge Caravan MPV and heading up into beautiful New Hampshire.  The first mistake was stopping at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and  - would you believe – some donuts!  I appeared to be the only one without a sweet tooth and the next week seemed to swim in maple syrup, dough, vast quantities of protein and all sort of dressings and sauces.

We stayed in the White Mountains in Mount Washington Valley.  The area oozes bucolic charm and we were living in a sumptuous house with stunning views.

We hired skis, boots and snowboard and spent the next week discovering that practice should make perfect but an eight year gap from skiing makes the younger ones now better than the fogeys!  The snow was forgiving but I still ended up hugging a tree on more than one occasion!  But a fabulous time was had by us all!

One thing I must state is the fact that without exception the local New Hampshire skiers and residents came across as the most polite and considerate group of people we have ever encountered.  In the event of a queue, there was no jostling and quite often when they heard our “limey” accents, we were ushered to the front!  One lunch time a lady asked me which was the politest mountain or piste in Europe as she and her friend loved skiing but without the argy-bargy (her words not mine!)…I suggested Risoul, remembering it as a fairly quiet resort.

From New Hampshire next stop New York to stay with my German Uncle Gerd.

Two days of sightseeing:  Empire State Building; Times Square; Central Park (Home Alone 2); MoMA – an absolute must; the Staten Island Ferry; Statue of Liberty and, of course, retail therapy!

An ‘awesome vacation!’ with the family and now back to reality for a rest!

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