Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The #OronaSquad in New Hampshire: A 4th of July Train Experience

I have been observing the 4th of July for 11 long years now. But I don't really celebrate it like most Americans do not because I'm NOT an American. In fact, I AM. Well, that's what my passport says. You know what I mean.

The 4th of July should be celebrated with family. Though I have my American family to celebrate with it would be more special if I have my Filipino family to enjoy it too.

The #OronaSquad first 4th of July.

Last summer, I did. I celebrated the 4th of July with my brothers-from-the-SAME-mother and enjoyed it in the most luxurious and old-fashioned train ride on board the Conway Scenic Train in Mt. Washington Valley in New Hampshire.
The #OronaSquad waiting to board the train.

We took the Notch Train Excursion where we travelled on what was once known as the Maine Central Railroad which was part of the famed Mountain Division line back in the day. When I say "back  in the day" I mean, way way back, like, in the 1870s.
The #OronaSquad selfie before boarding the train.

The BEST seat on the train to enjoy Mt. Washington Valley.

The Doom Seat of the Conway Scenic Railroad Train

The first time I took this train was almost a decade ago. It was in the summer of 2009. It was our 2nd Wedding Anniversary if I remember it right. But Hubby and I didn't take the Notch Train. We only took a 2-hour round-trip Train Excursion and it didn't include diner. But it was fun considering it was my very first train ride.

However, this time, we took the Hattie Evan which is the Premium package which includes 3-course diner and doom seats. Yup, I leveled up.

The Conway Scenic Railroad Station in North Conway, NH was packed and bursting with tons of 4th of July festivities. Tourists and locals were all over the place strolling, picnicking, shopping and whatnot. It didn't take long for us to board the train since we were on VIP list. [I felt like a celebrity, LOL] Though it took a while for the train to leave the station because we had to wait for the other passengers to board the train. But while waiting we, who are on the upper deck were already getting comfy and were offered with the welcome drink and appetizers.

The ride was a 5 and a half hours round-trip that gave us the opportunity to see the most dramatic scenery of the Mt. Washington Valley. The train travels through the breathtaking Crawford Notch passing every sheer buffs, cascading creeks, brooks and streams,  steep ravines, and jaw-dropping bridges amidst  magnificent mountain vistas and panoramic landscapes. It was utterly a feast to the eyes. And since we were on a premium package our seat assignment was in the doom where we were on vantage point all throughout the entire trip.
The layover at Crawford Notch gave the #OronaSquad the opportunity to enjoy the trip exploring the Saco Lake area.

About half way to our destination lunch was served at the Hattie Evans which was prepared by the Attitash Mountain Resort Culinary Team. It was fine dining 1800s style in a historical coach amidst the magnificent God's creation.

When we reached the Crawford Notch, we took an hour layover to stretch our legs or enjoy the scenery and explore the surroundings of Saco Lake which is actually a pond where the great Saco River originates which by the way runs as far as Maine.

On our way back we switched seat assignment so that we can see the other side of Mt. Washington Valley. The view was totally different. It was like you are traveling to another place again.
When we got back to the train station, my brothers and I took a quick stroll in the park and tried some of the goodies from the food vendors.
Japol with some of the kids enjoying the 4th of July festivities in the park.
Gary with his co-worker and friend, Betsy who is also from Maine.
We left New Hampshire at around 4 PM and went straight to Gary's friends at work. We had a nice chat and a relaxing boat ride in the calm lake  before we went home to retire and prepare for the #OroanSquad 2017 US Tour of the East Coast.

This is one of 'MERICA Posts Series. A regular post dedicated to my HOME away from home.

Read more about my 'merica HERE as I share my experiences in this land of amazing People, Culture and Traditions.


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