New Hampshire: Vibrant & Veg-Friendly

When I visit a new place, it sometimes takes me a while to decide if I like it or not.  I know, that seems weird, but it's true.  A few years ago, hubs and I went to New Orleans for a wedding.  It took me a few days to evaluate the city because it was different from any place I'd ever visited.  By the end of the trip, I decided that I loved the city - its architecture, food, culture, and people.  

As for New Hampshire, I was quick to love it.

If you remember, a few weeks back, I had some lovely ladies fill in on my blog while I went on a ski trip to NH.  (Visit their posts by going to my RECIPE INDEX and clicking on the Guest Posts category.)  Let me tell you a little about our trip on this Throwback Thursday.

We live in Virginia, about 3.5 hours from my husband's parents in Pennsylvania.  He and I drove up there, picked up his dad, and continued our journey north.  Along the way, we stopped in Bethlehem, PA for gas.  I grabbed my phone and noticed that we were only 10 minutes from Vegan Treats!

Vegan Treats
If you've never heard of Vegan Treats before (and you're vegan), you've probably been living under a rock.  They are wizards in the kitchen and the special thing about them is that they ship all over the country - I'm talking cannoli, chocolates, doughnuts, etc!  

Hubs and I first noticed them at DC's VegFest in October.  The line to visit their booth was at least 50 people deep.  I'm pretty impatient, so we didn't wait.  I did start following them on social media though.  Vegan Treats has quite an empire!  

Their shop is smaller than I imagined, in a blue collar part of Bethlehem.  (Perhaps all of Bethlehem is blue collar?)  It's an interesting location for a vegan store, but I'm glad it's thriving.  I bought a Speculoo Cookie, a Chocolate Crunch doughnut, and some type of Peanut Butter Bombe.  Needless to say, everything was amazingly delicious.  Be sure to look them up online or stop by if you're in the area - they even have vegan soft serve!

We drove up to Boston for the night - a long car ride.  Hubs' aunt and uncle live in that area, so it was great to visit with them.  Aunt Dawn even made me some special vegetarian options for dinner, which I greatly appreciated.

Driving up to NH, the mountains are quite big...and beautiful!  I haven't been skiing on the west coast yet, but it's hard to imagine the mountains any bigger.  The landscape was dusted with snow as we rolled into the small ski town of Lincoln, NH.  We stayed at the South Mountain Resort.  They were very friendly and, upon arriving, we were offered free samples of Tom's of Maine Natural (& Cruelty-Free) Toothpaste.  I of course took several!

I only skiied two days while we were there - it's hubs' thing, so I play along.  I actually skiied much better than I thought I would!  I enjoyed seeing dogs around the town - in the ski rental shop, sitting at the bar with their owners, etc.  Pet-friendly places are always okay by me.

When we stopped for lunch on the slopes, they offered veggie burgers, vegetarian soup, sweet potato fries, and organic iced teas.  It's so refreshing to have choices other than hamburgers and hot dogs when you're stuck on the mountain!  I was ravenous, so the veggie burger hit the spot.  And the resort had recycling bins everywhere.  Such a good sign.

We also played tourists and visited the ice castle exhibit at night.  It was impressive, although much more fun if you were a kid with snow pants on!

Dining Out
We ate in a lot - hubs' mom made the boys lots of food to keep the full, while I brought some soups and snacks for myself.  One night, we went to The Common Man for dinner.  It was delightful!  They had a wood fire burning in the bar area and the smokey smell permeated the restaurant.  Nice and rustic.  TCM has a gluten-free menu with a few vegetarian options, including a tofu vegetable stir fry and a seasonal harvest plate.

My favorite part about TCM?  They give you your receipts in old hard cover books - you  know, with the old book smell.  LOVED IT.

The Spa
While the boys were skiing, I visited the Viaggio Spa & Health Club at the Mountain Resort on Loon.  I got a facial and pedicure, which I suppose monetarily made up for me not skiing for two days!  The staff was lovely, accommodating, and helpful.  It is pretty much the only spa on the mountain, so I was limited in my choices, but I was thrilled to learn that they offered so many organic and vegan products!

They sold Pacifica (cruelty-free) products and Spa Ritual nail polish, vegan.  I ended up using the nail polish for my pedicure and I really liked the quality of it.  I'd never heard of this brand before my spa visit.  Another brand I was unfamiliar with was Eminence skin care, an organic beauty company focused on sustainability and natural products.  I absolutely loved their products for my facial.

In short, I really loved the natural beauty of the area; the kindness of the people and staff; the area's focus on sustainability and recycling; and the vegan and cruelty-free options that the area provided.  It was pretty darn cold most days, but I suppose you'd expect that for January.  I could definitely live in New Hampshire some day.

Let me know if you've been up there or another great place you'd recommend!