Monday, July 14, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation, Part 2

The first day of vacation turned out to be very HOT. We went straight to Santa's Village from home and panted like dogs as we roamed the beautifully manicured park for the day:

The below picture is not cloud cover on the mountains but pure haze from the heat:

As it turned out, we made it through the day, and a few hundred bottled waters, and enjoyed all the rides and feeding Santa's reindeer. It is such a small place and the kids never have to wait in line for a ride. You just have to tolerate endless Christmas carols in July.

As we were wrapping up our day, the rain drops started to drip on us as we whipped around on Rudolph's roller coaster. We slowly made our way over to the parking lot and as we walked through the igloo exit and emerged on the other end it started to POUR. Not heavy rain, but torrential downpours. The kind of rain where you can't look up because it pounds your face. We started running across the lot to our car and the kids were squealing with delight. We were drenched to the bone by the time we got in the car and we all laughed as water was dripping off of Alex's head. This was the beginning of Abby's exclamation that it was the best vacation ever.

The next morning we woke up and could easily see the mountains - it was much cooler:

We took it easy and enjoyed a gondola ride to the top of Loon Mountain where the kids ride free and once again there was no line:

There were caves to explore and a little wooden walkway into the mountains with fun facts. Did you know chipmunks only live 2 - 3 years?

They also offer Sunday service on the side of the mountain (literally). That would make a gorgeous wedding site.

On Thursday afternoon we popped in at StoryLand. If you arrive after 3 p.m. they allow you to come back any other day in the season for free. Since we planned on being there on Friday we thought we'd get a jump start on some rides and then come back at our leisure the next day so we didn't feel rushed to get it all in in one we had NO IDEA what the weather was going to be so we didn't want a wash out:

It was a great day. The kids love this place too because there isn't a single "big person" ride. However their restriction that an adult must ride with anyone under 48inches is a tad annoying. The flying dutch shoes proved to be almost too much for Daddy:

He's kidding of course. But we did get our fill of rides that go round and round. It was a very successful day as little Alex pooped out around 6:15 that night:

Our final full day was spent wandering around North Conway, shopping at a craft fair where I bought some great WildTree seasonings and oils and we got to see Thomas the Tank Engine up close - but it was revealed that we aren't as big of Thomas fans as we thought. The kids could have cared less about Thomas and just wanted to slide down a giant blow up slide. Fine by me.

There were so many moments when we were laughing out loud and really enjoyed ourselves. Everything was so clean and the people were all so friendly. I think we may only have one or two more years left of this annual trip before we take the plunge to Disney which is a totally different league.

Now we are back home facing reality - Abby has a cold which arrived conveniently the last night we were in NH. Alex didn't want to go to daycare this morning. I am sifting through emails for work. Daddy is back to work tonight. But at the end of the day we created some great memories up in the White Mountains, many of which include things I did as a child from which I still have great memories. Good thing mountains don't move or melt :)


Julie said...

Sounds like a great time!
Just wondering what hotel you stayed at?

CSierra said...

There are lots of great places up there, but we have stayed at Nordic Village every year because they have a StoryLand package that includes 4 tickets to the park (which is a mile down the road) and a 2 bedroom condo for the week (or half week - whichever you prefer). I like it because it has a kitchen and that helps us avoid the chaotic mornings trying to get out for breakfast. Plus, they have magic shows, 3 pools and a fire each night for making s'mores. They are at Luxury Mountain Getaways