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July 20, 2018

New Hampshire Vacation 2018

Barrington, New Hampshire

It’s been a while since I shared a personal post, so I thought I’d use this week to update you on our family’s summer!  One major thing we’ve done this summer was take our first family vacation with just the three (and a half) of us!  

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve traveled together many times since Caleb and I got married, but we’ve never gone as a single family unit.  Usually we are headed to my in-law’s farm or go away with my parents and extended family to Maine.  This year, we thought it was time to make a new tradition!  We packed up our bags and headed to New Hampshire for a week of relaxation!

Now when I say this was a “new tradition,” I’m not quite telling the truth.  In fact, Caleb’s family has been vacationing at a little cabin on Swains Lake in Barrington, NH for generations!  His great-grandparents were the original owners of “Camp,” as well affectionately call it, and five generations have now enjoyed spending summers there! 

We arrived at Camp late at night and stepped out of the car to loons calling and stars overhead.  I’m not exaggerating – it was perfect!  The next morning Elizabeth was so excited that she woke us up at 5:45 in the morning!  By 10 am she had already explored the property, gone fishing for the first time, caught her first fish, swam in the lake, played on the swing, and had taken out almost every children’s toy in the cabin!  It was, needless to say, a very good start to our week!

Favorite Moments

We didn’t make any specific plans, but just did whatever we felt like each day.  The weather was gorgeous, so we had plenty of options!  Some highlights were:

  • Visiting Calef’s Country Store and letting Elizabeth buy penny candy!
  • Spending time at the beach, exploring tide pools and finding cool creatures!  Elizabeth’s favorites were definitely the periwinkles.  I loved the hermit crabs, and Caleb was pretty pleased to have caught a starfish!
  • Taking a train ride along the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee!
  • Visiting the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire!
  • Taking boat rides around Swains Lake (both in the kayak and in Caleb’s Aunt and Uncle’s pontoon)!  Uncle Kelly even let Elizabeth drive the boat, which was definitely a treat!
  • Staying up late working on puzzles (a Camp tradition)!

Some of my favorite moments from this trip were watching Elizabeth experience new things.  After tasting a bit of sea water, she said to me, “Mommy, this water doesn’t need any more salt!  It has enough!”  And in response to 4th of July fireworks, “Mommy, those fireworks tried really hard to be quiet, but instead they were really loud!!”  It’s always a treat to see the world from a two-year-old’s perspective!

Boston Adventures

One of the best parts about this vacation was that my sister, Chelsea, was able to join us for a few days!  She made it up to New Hampshire just in time to for July 4th.  After spending a day at the beach together, we all went down to Boston to bring Chelsea back home and explore the city.  

This was only the second time we’ve been able to visit Chelsea in Boston and we had a great time!  We spent an afternoon at the Boston Science Museum and the most delicious burgers at a pub in the theater district.  Elizabeth got to ride the T for the first time and had a blast!  

The next morning we explored the Boston Public Garden. Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings is one of my favorite children’s books, so I wanted to show Elizabeth the duckling statues that are in the garden.  She definitely enjoyed “petting” and sitting on the statues, but enjoyed seeing the real ducks in the pond much more!  

Caring Hands

I think it’s safe to say that our first solo vacation was a huge success!  Caleb and I both remarked how relaxing it was to get away and be able to focus on each other.   The time we spent making memories as a family was definitely my favorite part of the trip!  Elizabeth would agree, saying that her favorite part was “seeing Auntie Chelsea!”  I can’t be certain, but I think Caleb’s favorite part might have been completing two puzzles (a 1000 piece and a 500 piece) in five days without much help from the rest of us! 🙂

In front of the steps leading up to Camp there is a stone plaque that reads: “Everywhere we look, caring hands have preceded us. – G. B. Shaw”  As we stood packing up the van to leave for Boston and then home, I couldn’t help feeling incredibly thankful. Thankful, not only for the generations of family who have enjoyed and taken care of camp over the decades, but also for the opportunity to have added our names to that list!  

Here are some photos of our trip!  They are mostly cell phone and point-and-shoot camera images, and we certainly didn’t capture everything, but I’m glad to have these memories preserved!  Also, shout out to Chelsea for capturing some of these moments!!! 

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