Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Return to civilization...or something

We're finally back from camping. Well, technically, we got back around 3pm, but I've been de-camping - doing laundry, unpacking, making dinner and bathing children - since then. Had time to peruse Twitter briefly and then moved to FB. Whoa. When you're gone a few days, it piles up fast! We had WiFi at the campground, but the signal at our site was crap and we were too far from the lodge area to merit going there just to get online. It was enough to walk there to use the bathroom. Note to self: camping is still fun, even with small kids, but, um, gotta be more strategic in choice of campground and site!

We had a great few days. Saturday was mostly a travel day, but we also took the kids for their first trip up Mt. Washington.

Sunday we met MIL, BIL, SIL, and their two kids at Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH. We had a blast and got an adorable picture of the four kids with Santa. We ate pizza that night at a place near our campground, Catalano's Main Street Pizzaria & New York Style Deli,
in Carroll, NH, and it was, hands down, some of the best pizza I've ever had. DELISH! (BTW, hubby and I often gauge the success of a trip on how yummy the food was). Sunday night was our s'mores night. Of course, we eat s'mores regularly around here. Last year, hubby got a small fire pit for Father's Day and we've been using it to make campfires and s'mores at home ever since. But we had to make them at the campground at least once. The other two nights, the kids were too tired.

Monday, the four of us went to The Whale's Tale in Lincoln, NH - it's a waterpark. The kids had a great time and the weather was actually pretty decent - not as hot as we'd hoped, but not cold, either. After, we ate dinner at a local place called The Common Man. We'd been to a different branch before and loved it. The food this time did not disappoint. Made it back with daylight left and had time to hang out together while the kids dozed in the car. Finally had to make them get up and change into pjs, then go to sleep in the tent. Spent the rest of the evening hanging out at the campfire with the husband. The sky was filled with stars and it was a gorgeous night - perfect evidence for why it was that we went camping in the White Mountains in the first place.

Today, we got lucky and managed to finish packing the campsite just before the rain let loose - it was misting toward the end, but we had a good tree canopy over our site and it helped protect us a little for the load out. Even with a stop at Dunky's (that's Dunkin' Donuts for you peeps who don't know) and a furniture builder (looking for a stool to fit daughter's vanity - weird size), plus a trip to McD's in Farmington for a late lunch, we still got home around 3pm. I was never so happy to drive into my driveway. Man, camping wore. me. out. And we only went for 3 days!

On a hilarious note, I kept thinking about Shannon Stacey's first Kowalski book, Exclusively Yours. I was sure I'd see ATVs with Kowalskis speeding by me at any moment. And I wondered which cabin was the one where Joe and Kerri stayed. LOL. If you haven't read the book (or any of the series), you probably won't get it, but trust me, it was funny. Mostly because they were camping. In NH. At a place a lot like the one where we stayed. I'm not kidding. And you should totally read her Kowalski series. I especially love Sean and Emma.

So, the trip wasn't completely devoid of writing. I loaded the PDF of my latest draft for Only One (Ward Sisters Series Book #2) on my Kindle and spent some time editing. I had my laptop, but once I realized how far it would be to travel to the stupid lodge to power up, I only turned the thing on long enough to download our pictures. But I used my Kindle to make notes to myself and it'll be back to work soon enough. Hubby is still on vacay, so probably not as much this week. Boo. Hiss. Good thing I finished Back to December before his vacation. Yes it is. Stories keep churning in my head, however. And I'm excited to get back to writing. Every once in a while, you have to recharge the batteries somehow.

My new Facebook cover photo is me on top of Mt. Washington, highest peak in the Northeast. If you've never been there, you should go sometime. You drive the not-quite 8 miles to the top and ascend about 5,000 feet (the peak is at elev. 6,288 ft above sea level, but the base isn't exactly at sea level). If you're wondering whether the road it steep, it is. VERY. It's a scary ascent because it's a barely-two-lane road and sometimes there is a cliff next to you. My 4-yo son had a panic attack at first (not unlike me on my first trip about a dozen years ago). We all made it up in one piece and it was worth the drive. We'd both been twice before - once together and once each with someone else (him with his family, me with my boss for work) - and we'd never seen good weather at the top. Saturday, the weather was clear and nearly limitless views at the peak. Unfortunately, it was also 60mph winds (Mt. Washington holds the worlds record for the strongest ever recorded wind speed at 231mph) and between the wind chill and the cooler temps, it felt like it was about 34 degrees. Yes, I said 34. Lucky for us, we heard word while at the visitors center at the base and changed into pants, socks and sneakers. I had a wind-block fleece (it works!) and the kids wore long-sleeved T's over their short-sleeved T's with sweatshirts on top of that. And we were still cold.

Anyway, hubby says the pic looks photoshopped. It's not; that's me braving the wind for a decent shot on top of the mountain because no one ever takes pics of me and I wanted a cool one to post on my site. Those are the Presidentials behind me - just below where I'm standing is the Appalacian Mountain Club's hut, Lakes of the Clouds. And by just below, I mean about 1,200 feet lower in elevation. I hiked down to that once for work - one of the coolest things I ever did for that job. If you've never seen the White Mountains in New Hampshire, you should. If you live in New England and haven't seen them, what are you waiting for? My son said he'd like to walk up next time. In a few years, we probably will; that boy has an adventurous spirit, he just likes to be in control of his adventure. Guess I've got to condition him to make some smaller hikes first, then we'll tackle Mt. Washington together. I miss hiking. It'd be cool to have a little hiking buddy, since daddy's knees don't much like hiking these days.

Well, despite the fun of the last few days, camping doesn't lend itself to great sleep when you're tenting and lying on a sleeping pad. See, I'm nice and gave the hubby the self-inflating air-mattress-like sleeping pad. My hip is not thanking me (I'm a side sleeper). Ow. Glad to have my bed back. Time for a few more chores, a nice hot shower and sleep.

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