Well, actually… I lied. It wasn’t a full vacation; only a weekend away. But we really needed the time to relax. We’ve been doing some renovations in the house (look for an upcoming blog about The Wall) and we needed a little break.
Hi there, Catie here – We so needed this get away, like even before we started The Wall we needed a get away so 1/2 way through The Wall project we REALLY needed one.
This weekend had been planned for a little while. Unfortunately, we all have commitments; four of us have jobs to work around, and the other two have school.
Catie: Stupid school schedules…this is why I homeschooled.
Planning time away is like planning a wedding. There are questions of: who’s going and when are they available; formal invitations need to be sent, and formal acceptances have to be received. Once all that’s done, then we decide where.
Catie: Ok, they aren’t quite formal invitations yet but if it would increase the odds of all six of us getting away I’ll buy some and the postage needed to send them.
Lincoln, NH, was the place this time. We got a three bedroom unit, complete with full kitchen and a king-size bed in the master. (Yes, the adults all sleep together–most of the time, anyway.) It’s a great location, minutes away from The Kancamagus Highway, and when we’re there, we take a drive through it. How can we not? It’s a gorgeous place.
Catie: I’m not a huge fan of drives but I do love to take pictures and there are a TON of pretty places along the way. Of course getting everyone together for a family pic is something like herding cats, especially Ri. He may be 20 but he loves running amuck in nature. And teasing his sisters, which makes them start chasing him and then he runs and I think you can see where this is going…
The good/bad part about it is that there is no cell service. I’ve already mentioned that the little one has her face in front of a screen, all day, every day, so being unplugged was quite a hardship for her. So, Catie had to give up Fancy Pants. (That’s what she calls her super awesome camera. She’ll have to tell you how she feels about that camera. There’s a reason she calls it Fancy Pants, The Fancy-iest of Pants.) Ironically, T still had a screen in front of her face, but at least it was an activity. Also, she was required to walk through the trees to get her shots. It was great.
Catie: O..M..GEE Fancy Pants, how I love you. Fancy Pants is the super-nice professional photographer quality camera that Paul and Lena gave to me for Christmas a couple years ago. I love taking pictures, having them printed, changing out photos in the frames around the house, taking portraits of the kids (when they let me) and generally documenting life. I may love Fancy Pants so much that I don’t let anyone else touch him most of the time. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) T seems to have my love of photography and a decent eye. So even though she insists on putting my fat, ugly ass in otherwise beautiful pictures, when she starts to complain about being “bored” in the mountains I will hand off Fancy Pants to her. She enjoys nature by looking around for the perfect shot, I can relate. Plus she’s always extremely careful with him, so I trust her….mostly.
I think not having cell service made the trip better. We did have WiFi in the room so no one was entirely disconnected at all times. It was a nice balance there was just enough connectivity to get T (and Paul and I) through at night and activities during the day to keep her (and the rest of us) engaged and happy.
The drive through the Kanc, as the locals call it, takes at least forty-five minutes without stops. (Might be a little less for the locals who do 80 mph on it.) But we stop and appreciate the beauty. The scenery is breathtaking. Especially for those of us who have a tiny fear of heights, like me and Ri. And it’s slightly annoying when those around us walk right up to the edge of a horrible drop and start making jokes about falling over. So-not-funny, by the way.
Bina: That’s me, by the way. I love giving the parents a heart attack.
Catie: Apparently me too, I didn’t think I was too close to the edge but Ri disagreed and suddenly I was several feet back. Damn he’s stronger than he looks.
Since we had no service on our cells, we were forced to do the unthinkable–we had to talk. Yup. Even T. We reminisced and made jokes. Some of us even sang – quite horribly, might I add. All in all, it was a great time.
Catie: Oh god the singing. Do NOT let Lena fool you, she and Bina break into song at least 3 times a day for no apparent reason. It’s maddening, in the most adorable way possible.
Half way through it, the heavens opened and the rain poured. For the locals, it was probably a normal occurrence. For us, though, it was a little terrifying. We couldn’t see well, and there are a lot of hills. I mean, they call it the White Mountains. So, we made the decision to turn around and head for the pool. And a half hour later, the rain had passed and there were blue skies for miles. Of course. Why wouldn’t clear skies return after we were back at the resort?
Catie: Hey there was a huge plus side to this downpour, remember? Sexy time in the room for the adults (yay!) and then a relaxing chat in the hot tub by the pool while the kids swam. Also, lunch. Food is very important to me.
Fine. Off we went again, and this time, we made it all the way to Conway. There, we stopped and played in an arcade for a bit, then played a round of laser tag. It was no surprise that Ri won. He’s quite good at (pretend) killing, be it at laser tag, paintball/airsoft, or general video games.
Catie: That’s my boy…
Unfortunately, that about covers most of the trip. It really sucks that we’re only able to do quick getaways. This work-thing blows… Time to book another one!
Catie: This so doesn’t cover the whole trip. On the second trip over the Kanc we stopped at Lower Falls where T and I both took a ton of pictures while Ri and Bina climbed all over the rocks. Those of us that skipped bug spray were also attacked by some crazy ass mosquitos (that was fun, sorta.) We also met that super cute chipmunk, seriously why wasn’t he more afraid? Did the chipmunks we keep feeding in our own yard tell him about us? It’s a crazy theory but I like it so I’m going with it 😉
While in North Conway we also wandered the main street and visited a bunch of adorable shops. My favorite was The Penguin where we picked up a few very nice, useful nick-nacks and where T got the annoying tongue sticking out panda thing. Zebs Country Store was a close second for me. Tons of interesting foods. We had a great time chatting while wandering. Yay exercise in the mountain air! And then we stumbled on Horsefeathers, where we had a very excellent (and allergy compatible) dinner followed by ice cream (because T was not leaving Conway without having some) at Scoops which was literally downstairs from where we had just eaten dinner. So cute! (Gosh I’m a sucker for old timey cute, I’m just realizing this now.) Admittedly, the drive back to Lincoln was quiet but at that point it was nearly 9pm and some of us had been up and running around since before 7am. I found the drive back over the Kanc errily relaxing, if very, very dark. Then we scurried around like nuts packing up so we could leave in the morning early enough to get breakfast.
In the interest of keeping it real here (because I said we would) morning was not without it’s frustrations for me. Poly-family life sometimes means “try very hard to let it go” when Bina and T annoy me. DO NOT get me wrong, I love them very much. But Ri and I can be up, dressed, packed and out a door in less than 20 minutes. On a normal work day I get up at 7 and I’m out the door by 7:15, food and coffee can be had on the road if needed. Paul, Helena and the girls…not so much. The girls slept the latest and clearly had not packed *everything you will not be using* the night before (I sorta don’t think T packed anything because she knows Bina or her parents will do it for her.) T did wander out and demand food immediately after she was dressed though because you simply CAN’T do anything if your stomach rumbles **insert eye roll**. Then we all just sat around and waited for the Bina (who had disappeared to somewhere) to finish packing. After the first MASH episode ended I finally mentioned that we were all waiting on her. At which point Paul went into her room to help her finish packing before the day was over. Let me remind everyone that it was now after 9, on a Sunday morning, in a tiny tourist trap of a town at peak summer season. Does anyone here think that they will get into a sit-down breakfast joint without at least a 45 minute wait? No? Good because you won’t. So why anyone (Paul) thought that we would be able to is beyond me. We get to place #1 and found (guess, what?) a LONG WAIT and lots of people ahead of us (I’m shocked! How could that be?) I found the “want to check somewhere else” suggestion annoying and laughable. There are 3 places for breakfast….we’re going to have to wait at all of them because it takes over an hour to get out of the hotel room. So… commit or grab something fast. Dunkin and McDonalds are both right up the road. Bina is too good for McDonalds (whatever) so to Dunkin! Now I’ll admit that I did NOT handle my frustration well and I did snap at people (mostly Paul.) Why we bothered to stop in the first place (when everyone knows there will be a long wait time at this point in the day) is just an annoying waste of time for me. Thank god we had 2 cars, Ri and I went through the dunkin drive thru for coffees (we weren’t hungry), gassed up the car and jumped on the highway for home. At that point I needed a little distance from my poly-fam who also went to Dunkin for food before heading home. In retrospect I should have said: “You guys should go see if the other places have less of a wait but Ri and I are going to head home now. We aren’t really hungry and we don’t feel like going from place to place to check wait times.” I was clearly too annoyed at that point to do that, so I snapped at Paul and told him to just go get breakfast sandwiches at Dunkin. But relationships are difficult and sometimes you’re not going to handle things well. I think this is true for every relationship, poly or not.
I do agree that we should be booking the next trip ASAP though.