We've been doing this trip every summer and it has become such a good tradition for us. (click here for last year) We look forward to it all year. We really do. This year, for the first time, we went for a full week. And could have easily stayed for two. And, also for the first time, we stayed at the lake ("MorMor and MorFar's Cottage") the entire week (as opposed to sleeping some of the nights at my parents' house)... which was definitely the way to go. It was a spectacular week in New Hampshire. Lake Winnipesaukee was at its finest. We enjoyed every minute of it. And it was especially good to be able to be with my parents while my dad was still in the relatively early stages of his recovery from his prostate surgery. It was a special time.
We got back one week ago, but it has taken me forever to sort through the 500+ photos that we took while we were there. Some of the photos capture a little of the flavor of how great the trip was. But like always, they don't even really do it justice.
Among many, this year's highlights included:
- Meera's first 'real' summer NH trip (last year doesn't really count since she was only a few weeks old and pretty aloof!)... sharing it with her and seeing her LOVING IT as much as the rest of us was a major high.
- MorMor and MorFar's brand new motorboat!!! While the boys weren't riding on it (with Kyle spending countless hours fixated with watching the wake) they were hanging out on it docked.
- Sadie joined us for most of the week at the cottage and we (especially K & O) savor our time with her! We have been able to spend a lot of time with our niece this summer and we feel very blessed for that.
- The annual pilgrimage to Storyland! This year it was MorMor, me, and the "big kids" - Sadie, Kyle, and Owen. Unfortunately, we didn't have a camera with us, so we have no shots from that fun day. But it was fun fun fun!
- A beautiful day in Maine for the J-M's to visit Auntie Stina and Sadie at their house!
- K & O had one of their dreams come true -- being able to do real, actual mowing, like with a real, actual lawnmower. MorFar can't mow while recovering, so Braydon and the boys mowed for him. This was a serious treat for K & O.
- Waterskiing for the grown-ups for the first time in many years. Braydon was a superstar on the waterskiis. Heather and MorMor... not so much. The boys loved watching us try it, and they can't wait to waterski themselves (we told them they have to wait until they are 8 years old to try).
- Re-connecting with Maria. Our special, special, special girl (who is now 20!?!!!??!!!). Braydon and I had her with us every-other-weekend for 6 years while we were in graduate school living in Boston (from the age of 5 to the age of 11). She's now all beautiful and grown up and lovely and it was just so, so, so good to spend time together after many years (we hadn't seen her since Christmas 2004).
- Red Sox... being in New England definitely is refreshing for our two little Red Sox fans (who normally are surrounded by Yankees and Phillies fans). They got to watch the Red Sox on t.v. with MorFar, they got to talk Red Sox with MorFar 'round the clock, they got to look at Red Sox baseball cards with MorFar, and everywhere we went they saw Red Sox things-- which is very exciting. Also while there they got resupplied with Red Sox clothing, stickers, etc.
- Eating lobster and catching crayfish. The boys had lobster for the first time. Kyle wanted nothing to do with it. Owen couldn't get enough of it. While kayaking one day, we found some snorkelers who had found crayfish in the lake. They gave one to the boys. Owen couldn't hold it and play with it enough. Kyle could not be bothered with the thing. They both noticed the striking resemblance between crayfish and lobsters and didn't quite know what to make of it all.
- Trips on the boat to get the mail in Alton Bay, to get ice cream in Wolfboro, to get morning pastries in Center Harbor, and to ride out to get up close to the "Ship Mount Washington D.C." (!).
- A night out (dinner at Ellacoya), alone (!), for Mama and Papi--- a rare and wonderful treat courtesy of the most trustworthy babysitters on the planet!--MorMor and MorFar!
- Lots of good playing
- Lots of good bonding
- Lots of good eating
Yes, it is a long drive... 8-10 hours depending on how it goes... (and we show no mercy in plodding along as fast as we can with as minimal interruption to the drive as possible). But don't feel sorry for the three bambinos for even a second. They take their road trips in style... and they love every minute of it (seriously.)... Photo below exhibits their luxury (pizza and videos in the back seat somewhere deep into the drive!--- they also have now come to fully realize -and maximize upon- the vast number of Dunkin' Donuts throughout all of New Enland... many "chocolate frosted" and "pink frosted" donuts were consumed by two boys in the back seat).
Lots of pictures in the three posts below (click here, here, and here).
For the sake of my mom, and anyone else who might be crazy enough to want to look through a huge slew of our trip photos... you can click here to see them.