|view from our room|
last summer, Henry and I remained in our mostly-empty nest until Labor Day
weekend. Unlike last summer, we opted
for Mohonk Mountain House and choosing to spend our long weekend at a lake and
mountain retreat instead of the ocean and beach at Gurney’s Inn. (See "Nest Getaway," 8/27/14). In most ways, Mohonk was a better, more
relaxing choice, although the spa treatments at both resorts were excellent.
Choose a place that’s less than 3 hours from
home. That way you’ll eliminate some of
the stress of the inevitable holiday traffic jams at the beginning and end of
Leave Thursday instead of Friday, and beat the
rush if you can.
Pick a place where there’s enough to do even if
the weather’s bad.
Bring a good book. (Be sure and read some of it
beforehand, so you’re sure you’re hooked).
Take your favorite CDs to listen to in the
car—something upbeat, with happy memories—so you’re entertained in traffic.
(Skip the songs about lost love and dreams).
Make your reservations for facials, massages and
dinners well in advance so you can go at your preferred times.
If it’s a big, spread-out resort like Mohonk, be
sure your room is centrally located or close to places where you’ll be spending
a lot of time. Hint: it’s probably best
NOT to be too close to the bar or main dining room, because you don’t want to
be disturbed by early bird families going to breakfast at 8 am or tipsy
revelers stumbling back into their rooms at 2 am (unless you happen to fall into either of those categories).
Take what you need, but travel light. Wear those white jeans for the last time with
a few different tops and a dress that folds without wrinkling. Pack travel-size cosmetics, aspirin etc.
Buy a souvenir that helps you stay relaxed a
little longer. If your skin is as dry as sandpaper from too much time in the
sun, splurge one last time and buy the moisturizer, serum or exfoliant the spa
recommends for your skin type.
Be sure to get plenty of exercise: swimming,
hiking, biking, paddle boating, kayaking or working out in the gym, so you can
enjoy brunches and dessert without worrying that your clothes won’t fit when
you get home.
|not for the faint of heart|
Try to check out an hour earlier than required,
so you don’t spend the end of your vacation waiting . . . first for the bellman
and later for the valet and your car.
Equally important, you’ll avoid the possibility of ending up behind that
guest who questions every charge. If you want to go for one more hike or swim,
most hotels are happy to store your luggage and some even offer changing rooms.
|view from hiking trail|
Be on the road before the masses if
possible. Even if the weather’s great,
leave before or after lunch to help beat
some of the traffic and get home with time to unpack and unwind before going
back to work.
|I'm smiling...halfway around the lake|
Did I happen to mention praying in advance for great weather? Otherwise, all the guests, (especially the
children) are cranky and disappointed. People stay inside and linger over their meals. No one signs up for the
outdoor barbecues, so lines form to get into the dining room. The otherwise
friendly hotel staff becomes stressed out. They stop asking guests whether they’re having a good time because they
don’t want to hear anymore weather complaints.
Happily, my prayers were answered this
year and the weather cooperated. Other
than an overcast Friday, Labor Day Weekend was picture perfect. Meteorologists on TV have been saying that we need more precipitation for our reservoirs. But I’m happy that the last weekend
of summer was filled with sun. There’s plenty of time for rain now that I’m
home with my arsenal of umbrellas.
|ready for a monsoon|
Labels: biking, brunches, dessert, Gurney's Inn, hiking, holidays, kayaking, Labor Day, Lake Mohonk, massage, moisturizer, mountain resorts, rain, spas, summer, sun, swimming, traffic, travel tips, umbrellas