Sorry for disappearing for a week. We were in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and though the campground was Wifi, I found no time to blog. For those who have not yet visited New Hampshire, it’s a worthwhile destination (even if you’re not running for President). We spent seven nights in Eastern Slopes Campsites in a nice little cabin, which had the added attraction of giving the boys a chance to sleep in the loft. I was a little afraid that Dana (5) might fall down the steep steps if he woke up in the middle of the night to pee, but though he did get a bump on the head falling off his bike, he handled the loft just fine.
Of course, the cabin was only for sleeping, and occasionally resting between activities (though the kids loved both the store and the camp swimming pool and kept begging to spend more time there). Perhaps the most fun was the zipline on Wild Cat Mountain. The zipline is like taking a long slide — except you’re suspended by a wire and zoom down at about 45 MPH from a point part way up the mountain to the base. It’s not as much of a rush as I’d hoped for, but still fun! We also headed to the top of Wild Cat mountain on a gondola for some nice mountain hiking.
For the kids we did Storyland and Whales Tales (the latter a water park). Ryan at 8 is already growing out of Storyland. It was OK, but not worth the $114 we plopped down. Whales Tales ($128 for four) was. We spent all day Friday at the water park, despite cool morning temperatures and a threat of rain. That kept the crowds down and it was a blast going down the water slides, either just sliding or with a tube, depending on the ride. The water was cold but once you got used to it, it was great. I was also surprised to see a young Halle Berry working there (at least she looked like a 17 year old version of the star).
Ryan and I hit every water ride, and it was great zooming down the long slides, or twisting along on the inner tubes. Personally I like the nature stuff better than the expensive “family fun” stuff, but the variety of pools, rides, and activities at Whales Tale made it a fantastic day. The rain stayed away too!
We also went to the Plume Gorge, the Cannon Mt. tramway, Diana’s baths (a great rocky area with falls and rapids, stretching out for hundreds of yards, climbing the mountain), Echo Lake, the independence day parade in Lincoln NH, and an OK train ride on the Hobo rail. The one disappointment was July 4th, when the Conway fireworks, scheduled for 9:45, didn’t start until 11:00. With tired kids we gave up at 10:20, and let them do some sparklers back at the campsite. Still, it was fun.
Family vacations in the early 21st century are interesting. Everything costs money, it seems, and marketing/billboards are ubiquitous. As much as I want to rebel against that marketing of family fun, I have to admit the water park was awesome, and the zip line was fun. Still, I think the natural (and inexpensive — $3 state park daily fee) fun of Diana’s baths, Glen’s falls, and enjoying the beauty of the White Mountains is the real draw. Lincoln’s parade on the 4th was typical New England — nothing fancy, just locals out showing their colors and throwing candy at the kids on the side of the road.
So it was a nice change of pace, even though I had to keep up with my on line classes while there (and given the times, it should be no surprise that Eastern Slopes Camp Sites have free wifi — I could connect and sit in the screen porch after the kids were in bed and read papers and comment on discussion board). But now I have a weekend of catching up to do, and it’s back to reality!