Vacation means several things: relaxation, junk food, card games, road trips, and (because we are Berkeys, after all) fishing. But most importantly: pictures!
And since I’m already overloading you with far too many pictures of my family, let’s make a few of those anachronistic, to boot. A few weeks ago the twins went to Harvard’s Natural History Museum with their preschool class, and just this morning I got the pictures taken all morning long by some long-suffering volunteer chaperon. Having other people take photos of my family that I can use as blog material might just be my favorite thing in life.
Pretend all of those pictures were just one big parenthesis, however, because the real focus of this blog is our New Hampshire vacation over the weekend! Cliff and Naomi arrived at the airport early on Thursday and then recruited Mike to come help them pick up an extra rental car. Eventually they found a single car that would seat all six of us, but had to get a shuttle all the way out to Revere to pick it up… I’m not clear on the details, but by 10:30 am they returned with a vehicle for us, and by 11:00 we were loading up with luggage and hitting the road.
We made a pit stop at Costco to get some groceries and some lunch. Neither Mike or I have been inside a Costco for a couple years which makes me feel somehow less fully Mormon than my peers. But I want you to know that, although we could only enter Costco relying on the borrowed light of Cliff and Naomi’s membership, my testimony of bulk groceries is as strong as ever.
We rolled into our resort around 3:00 pm, unloaded, and then I took the kids to the playground while everyone else napped. Cliff and Naomi hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before (because that’s how red-eye flights work), and Mike had been at the office until 1:00 am finishing up everything he had to do before leaving for vacation. As the only well-rested adult in the group, I thought it prudent to rescue the others from the well-rested preschoolers. Luckily for us, unfamiliar playgrounds still produce several hours of entertainment.
The rest of the evening was pretty low-key. We cooked some dinner and made sure to jump on the beds a little bit. Our A/C never quite worked as well as we could have hoped, so after the kids went to sleep Mike and I cooled off in the pool for about 10 minutes so we could go to sleep, as well.
The rest of the weekend stayed low-key. The kids wanted to spend more time on the playground the next morning, and then they played their Kindles until naptime. In a desperate attempt to get ourselves out of the house and away from electronics, we geared up for a short hike in the woods before dinner.
“Geared up,” as you can see, mostly means “putting on sunglasses.” It does not, alas, mean “putting on bug spray,” and as soon as we were into the woods it was clear that Jared and I just would not survive. The place was full of mosquitoes, one of which flew straight into Jared’s ear, causing a total melt-down. Cliff and Naomi wanted to forge ahead, so Mike and I took the kids with us to Walmart to purchase bug spray and fishing licenses for the next morning. Because we had some extra time we also took the kids into a PetCo next door so they could look at cats and hamsters. Walmart’s licensing system ended up being down which led us on a mildly stressful goose chase all over Laconia, NH until a fishing store I called told me that you could get licenses online. With that, we headed back to the resort just in time to hand off the kids to their grandparents and head out on a dinner date by ourselves. Cliff and Naomi took the twins swimming while Mike and I used Yelp to find a highly-rated Tapas place just a few miles away. We brought back some leftover fried haddock to share, but by the time we’d gotten back to the resort I was hungry again and managed to eat half of the leftovers myself. Ah, vacation.
The reason we needed fishing licenses was that Cliff convinced us to join him at 4:00 am on a fishing charter Saturday morning. My favorite part of fishing is watching the sunrise out on the lake, so it didn’t much matter to me that the fish weren’t biting. Mike caught the first fish, but it was too small and had to be thrown back. About two hours later, Cliff caught a salmon that we could actually take home with us. I’m just amused that Cliff can’t even go to an entirely land-locked lake and the salmon still flock to him!
When we got back, we relieved Naomi from babysitting, ate some breakfast, and then Mike and I took the kids to the swimming pool. All of Saturday, basically, was spent taking them in and out of various swimming pools, and they could not have been happier. Jared had to spend ten not-very-fun minutes in time out for pushing Rebekah down a water slide, but then we played tag in the wading pool and he was all smiles again. Saturday was also note-worthy because Cliff grilled us some steak for dinner, and then we stayed up late playing Rook, which I always, without fail, have to relearn how to play. Needless to say, Mike and I ended up losing badly. We also made the mistake of leaving the door open to cool the place off, letting in a bunch of mosquitoes who were interested solely in my blood. One of them got nice and drunk on my arm and then landed on the wall nearby. I asked Mike to kill it for me, but wasn’t expecting the explosion of my blood that ended up on the wall in the process! I didn’t realize mosquitoes could get that engorged! Kind of gross.
And then Sunday morning was spent watching TV (did you know that “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is morbidly absorbing?) and packing and cleaning while Cliff and Naomi headed back on the lake for a second round of fishing. They came home with another salmon to their name, we drove back to Boston, cooked up our fish fillets, and then sent them on to their hotel to prepare for their flight back to Washington early this morning.
We feel pretty lucky that Cliff and Naomi make such a concerted effort to come see us regularly. The twins adore them, and we appreciate being forced to take time off and relax. Happy Memorial Day!