view from our room

buy Pregabalin online cheap   Like 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.

     Best ways to relax:
1)      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 your trip.
2)      Leave Thursday instead of Friday, and beat the rush if you can.
3)      Pick a place where there’s enough to do even if the weather’s bad.

4)      Bring a good book. (Be sure and read some of it beforehand, so you’re sure you’re hooked).

seriously fishing

5)      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).

6)      Make your reservations for facials, massages and dinners well in advance so you can go at your preferred times.
7)      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).
8)      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.
9)      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.
10)   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

11)   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

12)   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

     PS  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

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