Monday, August 10, 2009

Family vacation. NH Aug 2009.

We just got back from our first time camping alone and being in charge! I have only camped 4x in my life (aside from army training but that's diff):

  1. PEI when I was 6.
  2. Then when Jay and I were dating, we went to Bar Harbour with his Dad and Noella. They provided everything - even putting up the tent as far as I remember.
  3. In 2001 we went with friends to NH but they provided the food.
  4. And in 2003 we went with the Cliffords to a local campground for a night. We stayed in their tent!
So you see... we have been pretty slack when it comes to being fully responsible for everything and even though Jay is VERY experienced camping, it's different to be in charge of a family. To limit stress we booked a cabin at a campground. Nothing fancy - just a glorified tent with beds & mattresses. We had to bring our own linen. We had electricity to recharge my camera batteries (I took over 700 pics), cell phone, & iPod. How I depend on electronics! But we were still roughing it. We had to walk to the bathrooms and cook outside. We stayed at KOA Littleton/Lisbon the first 2 nights. There was no availability the 3rd night so that's why we went to KOA Twin Mountains. Our last night away was spent in southern Maine where Jay's cousin got married. We stayed in Navy Lodging across the river in NH though because we got a military discount.

Our cute cabin:

Day 1. Wednesday.
We left our house aft 10am. After almost 5 hours on the road, we made it to KOA Littleton. We explored our cabin, the playground and the store. We went down the road to Shaw's to get groceries and Walmart next door to get some things we forgot.
Lesson learned: plan meals, buy food before leaving & enjoy the campground more. I also have to create a master camping packing list so we don't forget things like a tablecloth, mugs, dishsoap, zip lock bags, etc.

We brought a camping stove with us so Jay cooked up some beans and spam. We had hot sandwiches, chips and fruit. The kids had perma smiles! They loved being outside. We even had a little chipmunk that hung out looking for scraps.

Vienna had an extra spring in her step and Lance's fav thing was going in and out of the cabin. He loved the screen door. And he played on the stairs a lot too.

The kids helped Jay build a fire and they had their 1st roasted marshmellows. Lance shoved the whole thing in his mouth and gagged on it. Silly boy! When it was bedtime, Lance went to bed willingly and slept on the bottom bunk. It had a nice high log frame so he couldn't roll out. It was the first time he slept in a big boy bed. Vienna went to bed the same time as Lance but got up again and stayed up til we went to bed. We sat by the campfire, had hot chocolate and enjoyed the evening stars. Day 1 was wonderful!

Day 2. Thursday.
Lance woke up first at 6:40am! He's normally up at 6am so that was great. Jay cooked us bacon, egg & cheese sandwiches for breakfast. We joked that he was Daddy Disposal because he finished anything the kids didn't. We laughed and made a grinding sound every time he reached for their plates.
We drove about an hour to Storyland and saw turkey and a red fox on the way. No moose. *sad face* The mountains were beautiful and we enjoyed the scenery. We stayed at Storyland from 10am-5pm! 7 HOURS! It was sooooo fun for all of us. The kids were super well behaved. Lance was so tired that he was just a little lump. No tantrums! I love being passed that phase! Vienna's fav things were Cinderella's castle, the Scarecrow show and the circus. I don't do animal circuses so this one was great. Hoolahoops, trampoline act, magic quick change act, trapeze & trained house cats. (I wouldn't have gone if there were bears or tigers doing tricks.) Lance loved the Ball Crawl but when I asked him what his favorite thing was, he said: "Pirates". We went on a pirate ship that sailed in the water.
Just look at their smiles.... (you can click to enlarge):
I didn't get pics of all the rides we did. We split up a couple times. Jay took Vienna on the river raft wet ride. And I took her on the roller coaster. (I love coasters - that was my fav.) Jay took Lance on the little Dutch shoes. I think I got pics of just about everything else we did! SO FUN!

We went back to the campground to cook supper and we made our first smores. Jay is the only ones who likes them though. I think I'd like them if we bought diff chocolate. I don't care for Hersey's.

Day 3. Friday.
We checked out of our cabin and decided to drive around looking for spots to explore before we had to check into our next place. We stopped at Swiftwater Covered Bridge. A beautiful spot with waterfalls and a great view down river. It was early and rather chilly so the kids didn't swim at this point but they waded in the water.

I didn't have proper shoes so I just hopped along the rocks and took many pics. Sadly I left Lance's little shoes in the parking lot after I changed him. Thankfully we brought another pair. I was a little sad though. They were his Crocs I got on eBay. Dummy Mommy.

Our next stop was the Basin. Lance loved the wooden bridge. We took a nature trail to the little flume and it was just so beautiful. I couldn't capture the beauty with my camera no matter how I tried. A huge flat wall of rock with moss and a big wide waterfall rushing by. Gorgeous!!

We arrived at our new lodging at KOA Twin Mountains. We played at the playground before it started to rain. We sat and watched the rain fall for a bit before going for drive. We drove about an hour to Conway to find a McDonalds with an indoor playground (thanks to a friend's recommendation - thx Kim P). We got stuck in traffic in Conway's Shopping Village and hated that, but McDs was great for the kids. Afterwards, we went shopping to find me waterproof shoes. We went to 6 stores before finding EMS which had just what I was looking for! Nice, form fitting Tivas! I've never owned a pair and Jay laughed at my excitement. I was ready to take on the world!

On the way back to the campground (not raining) we found Lower Falls so played there and took some nice shots of the mountains in the distance. The lighting was perfect for photos.

There weren't many people there this late which was to our advantage! We drove by the following day (a Saturday) and I couldn't believe the amount of people. The only thing about Lower Falls in that there is a lot of sand between the rocks. The kids were wearing Crocs and the sand clung to their shoes making it very slippery to climb. Jay and I had to help them a lot here.

We stopped at many places on the way back to our cabin and enjoyed the scenery.
But when we got to the campground, we realized that we were gone far too long. We didn't get to enjoy it there; mind you in rained. But we were in the car far too long that day. Jay couldn't get a good fire going so we just turned in. We didn't like this campground as much. Even though there were more trees, the lots were closer together and we were surrounded by people. It was very confusing driving on their roads too. We got lost looking for our cabin in the dark! Also it was colder this night and comfortable under the blankets but the other cabin had a heater and a fan. This one did not.

Day 4. Saturday.
Lance woke up at 7am (yay!) and played in his pack and play for a bit. We tried to keep the kids quiet before 8am because of the other campers but they kept slamming the screen door and screeching so we packed up quickly and got out of there. We ate breakfast at Longhorn Pancakes but the food was just ok. We drove along the Kancamangus and looked for places to explore before we had to get to the 6:30pm wedding in Maine.
We stopped at Sabbaday Falls which was a beautiful flume and waterfall. We went for a nice walk and found a nice area to play in. I put the kids in their swim suits to play. We stayed here for a long time, just relaxing and enjoying life. I had my Tivas on! hehe

We left to get to Navy Lodging where we stayed night 4. We wanted to get cleaned up and ready for the wedding. As we were driving, I realized I couldn't find the address so I called my sister-in-law who got the # and I called for directions. It took forever to get there, especially when our GPS took us down wrong roads. We rushed to get ready for the wedding and since there wasn't a bathtub *slight gasp*, I had Jay pass me one child at a time in the shower. They cried like crazy while I washed their hair. They HATED the shower. But we made it on time to the wedding.

Jay's cousin Desiree married Joe and the wedding was beautiful. The weather was perfect. Desiree looked like a goddess in her dress with a flower in her hair. They had ors d'oeurves galore and Vienna went to town on whatever came by on trays. We had a sit down meal that was delish followed by dancing. Lance was occupied for the most part with some toys Nana bought him. A treasure chest, a toy gun and lantern were the big hits. Vienna danced up a storm! We left before 11pm - the latest night the kids have ever had, but we managed to leave before any breakdowns which was a big plus for us!

We had a great time while away but were happy to get back to our Lopsi and home. We had a friend dogsit for us! We learned many things on this trip and realized that we have to get out camping more to become better at it. Oh and two more great things I learned.... check the drawers of the hotel before you leave. Toddlers like to play in them and can leave toys behind. And secondly, if you stay at Navy Lodging in NH, they ship things you left in the room. Remember that lantern and gun? Ya just a memory for me right now too.

For more pics, you can CLICK HERE to see them on Facebook.

1 comment:

Bethany said...

one pointer - I bought some fire starter bricks (like we use in our woodstove in the winter) and took them camping. a nice hot fire in minutes - even in the rain!!