Summer Vacation – Week 1: NEW HAMPSHIRE

So it took me two weeks of detox to finally go through pictures and find the strength to post notes from our vacation. [Note – that if 2 weeks seems long, I still have not posted notes or photos from last year’s 10-state in 10-day road trip. That trip was sans children and had 5 times the amount of photos. I still haven’t given up hope that I would post the photos, mostly because they’re MUCH BETTER than these.]

Overall the first vacation with the 4 of us was a great success. It wasn’t easy, or necessarily relaxing, but absolutely memorable. Both the 8-year-old and the 2-month old were fabulously behaved. Jake read the first 7 books of the Series of Unfortunate Events series as well as the third Harry Potter book. He NEVER complained about being in the car.

Mackenzie loved eating boob on top of the inflatable brest friend in the car and on the mountains.
Week one of the trip we bounced around a bit (Portsmouth, White Mountains, Portland) and week two was all in Bar Harbor where we rented a cottage. That was easier. The packing up of the car every two nights was insane. Next time we travel much lighter and bring much fewer snacks.
Here is what we did, for those who are curious enough to read. Or for those planning a family trip anywhere to NH or Maine. Mostly these notes are for myself to have record since the older I get, the faster time goes, and the weaker the memory muscle feels. (You can also scroll to the bottom to see a few photos.)
Sunday, August 15, 2010

  • Drove to Acton, Massachusetts to visit Sadie, Dan & Family.
  • On way, we stopped in Yalesville, CT to feed Mackenzie and take some impromptu snapshots of a reservoir.
  • Dinner with old college friends and family – delicious heirloom tomatoes.
  • Drove to Portsmouth, NH.

Monday, August 16, 2010

  • Breakfast at the Friendly Toast. The food was great and the décor was both interesting and great entertainment for an ‘I Spy’ game.
  • Walked around downtown Portsmouth including down the Portsmouth Harbour Trail.
  • Stopped in cute stores like Macro Polo where they sold doggy turd, books with pictures of cock on it, and overpriced fake silly putty marketed as something else.
  • We perused a gorgeous garden with the Moffatt-Ladd House in the background. I don’t know who Moffatt or Ladd was – but the light blue Colonial house was home to William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence. (No relation to Mr. Whipple of the Charmin toilet paper commercials.
  • Indulged in ice cream at Annabelle’s.
  • Walked around Prescott Park – beautiful gardens and since they were having an arts festival, they had a theatre backdrop set up and Jake loved to pretend. I jumped.
  • We watched the Memorial Bridge raise for a boat over the Piscataqua River. We also liked saying Piscataqua over and over.
  • Dinner at the Portsmouth Brewery.
  • Jake took forever to fall asleep so Andrew & I have adult time in the bathroom and try to download more iPod apps.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

  • Breakfast at the Friendly Toast. Again.
  • Beach day – attempt to hit Hampton Beach, Rye Beach and Plum Island. Instead spent most of the day on Jenness State Beach, where Jake makes a friend and falls in love with a boogy board.
  • Back to hotel for indoor pool sand clean up and shower for dinner (but not before Mackenzie had a little 7pm “I’m tired” cry).
  • Dinner at the Common Man, which had great service but mediocre food. Their specialty crab cakes just tasted raw inside. Josh, the server, though – lovely guy who has a passion for orange soda.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

  • Packed up room to check out. This is an act we mastered over the course of the two weeks.
  • Breakfast at the Friendly Toast. Again – where 3 times was not a charm. Soggy (later comped) French Toast and overly spicy and undercooked home fries. The ‘I Spy’ game had reached maximum capacity.
  • Went to Water Country where Jake didn’t get to go on all the rides and gave me a heart attack when we went into the wave pool by himself. Ended up making friends with two 12-year-old girls and went on a ride with them – girl’s name ended up being MacKenzie.
  • Drove to Littleton, NH, through the White Mountains in the dark. Dinner at McDonalds. Two stops required for feeding.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

  • Mackenzie’s first official (awake) giggle – Andrew playing peek-a-boo with her in the morning on the hotel bed.
  • First stop was to Franconia State Park in the heart of the White Mountains.
  • Stopped at The Basin where I breastfed in the car and Jake & A went to see it.
  • Hiked to The Flume Gorge.
  • Rode the Tram up Cannon Mountain.
  • Took a short hike to observation deck – where we were able to see Vermont, Maine & Brunswick, Nova Scotia in Canada (They all look like distant mountains to me).
  • Drove to Littleton downtown … Main Street.
  • Took a walk across Littleton’s covered bridge.
  • Had a sweet visit to Chutters Candy Shop, home to the world’s largest candy counter.
  • Dinner at the Littleton Diner (old train car) where the homemade food surprised all of us.

Friday, August 20, 2010

These yellow wild flowers were in abundance in New Hampshire and Maine. (They were like the hearts everywhere.) I LOVE them.

Welcome to Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Flowers in the foreground, bricks in the back.

The clock downtown.

Preview of the Maine to come.

More flowers. The wild flowers and gardens were gorgeous and I’m obsessed with capturing flowers on macro. I have tried to restrict how many I post.

Flowers in the gorgeous garden between the Moffatt-Ladd house and the Seaport.

The Moffatt-Ladd House.

The Portsmouth seaport. In sepia.

Prescott Park.

Portsmouth Seaport.

In the gardens of Prescott Park.

Mid-fountain. Prescott Park.

My boy.

My girl. Back of the car diaper changes were standard protocol.

Wooden bridge in Franconia State Park.

Family photo mid hike at Franconia.

Covered bridge on the hike to The Flume at Franconia State Park in New Hampshire.

Jake in front of the Glacial Boulder on the hike to The Flume.

The tram up to Mt. Cannon.

The view from the top of the tram ride up to Cannon Mountain.

Me and my kiddos on top of Mt. Cannon.

The covered bridge of Littleton, NH.

Flowers in front of the covered bridge in Littleton, NH.

The candy counter at Chutters. Littleton, NH.

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