Tuesday, August 21

Choose Your Own Adventure

We had the most rejuvenating extended weekend in New Hampshire visiting some of Ryan’s family! After a lazy day on Friday exploring Memay and Grandpa Mark’s yard, the surrounding woods and scarfing down dutch oven chicken & veggies, Ryan and I got to escape for a 5th anniversary get-away! YAHOO! Mark and Nancy most graciously watched the boys Saturday to Sunday and deserve a day or two of spa treatment to recuperate for keeping up with these two little busy-bodies! The best thing about New Hampshire is that we only had one thing planned – the zipline - yet managed to fill the two days overflowing with things we loved and can’t wait to do more next time!

The Offroading and ZipLine Canopy Tour
A dozen of us all harnessed up for the zipline filed off the leather upholstered shuttle and into a Pinzgauer – the ultimate offroading mean-machine! You would not believe how this beast of a vehicle attacked those “roads” without even flinching while carrying all of us! No better way to get acquainted quickly with complete strangers than landing in their lap!
Hello! Once our harnesses were checked, we were on our way to the first zipline. Their website says, “There are 7 zip-lines totaling over 2000' of exhilaration. Platforms are 15' to 65' high in the trees and the zip-lines are 100' to 700' long.” Being lowered over the first line’s edge is the scariest, but you never get over the butterflies, nor can you wipe the goofy grin off your face or stifle the nervous giggle that erupts the moment you size up the next line! It was such a rush, I loved it and I’m terrified of heights! A ton of fun!

Feeling quite adventurous still, our plan was to meander up Rt 3 through little towns, stopping when we wanted to peruse an interesting shop or hike into waterfalls on our way to the New England Cattle Company for dinner. Mark and Nancy recommended two restaurants to us and we decided to hit one each day, letting that set our course. And let me tell you, the food was AMAZING! Ryan had a filet mignon w/ garlic butter, Yukon mashed potatoes, and butter rum carrots. I had steak au piouve with a béarnaise sauce, the mashed potatoes and green beans almandine. Add salad and a delicious tiramisu to polish it off and we were fat and happy campers! Ryan assures me the meals were wonderful, but for this mom of toddlers, it was a divine experience to be savored for days, perhaps weeks and months to come! As I wearily schemed to get Easton to eat at least one more bite of his dinner and mopped up McKay’s leftovers from the floor tonight, I thought back to that heavenly experience of a meal being served, eaten, and cleaned up with little to no effort on my part! It’s the type of thing that just keeps on giving in my book!

Simple Pleasures
It takes very little to make me happy I’ve decided. Cool weather, great food, and plenty of outdoor fun. Can you believe I was wearing a fleece most of the trip in mid-August?! It never got over 72 degrees and dipped down to 39 on Saturday night. We caught a late night showing of Bourne Ultimatum in a great old theatre with great sound, high ceiling fans, old wood floors and what appeared to be the original old leather seats.

Loyal Love
We caught the Plymouth branch on Sunday and a recent convert gave a great talk on revelation to which her husband, sitting right in front of us, literally could not contain his anxious pride. At the close of her talk, he turned and exclaimed to us, “That’s My Wife!” and turned back to give his wife an enthusiastic thumbs up and victory sign! It was so adorable and funny I was in tears! You felt like she’d just won an Olympic hurdles event!

Sweet and Savory
We then headed for brunch at the Country Cow overlooking the historic covered Blair Bridge on the Pemigewasset River. Ryan had the French toast amaretto di saronno that had been dipped in toasted almonds and drenched in locally made maple syrup. I had the most delicious omelet with thinly sliced smoked turkey, bacon, swiss cheese, and onion. Not only was the meal out of this world, but washing up in the bathroom was fabulous! Why you ask? It smelled sooooo good I actually wrote down the details of the bottle of fragrance diffuser on a paper towel! Ryan took the more practical approach and asked the owner of the restaurant where she got the fragrance so we could buy our own while there since it too was a local product. Sheer genius, that husband of mine! Chesley’s Glory House of knickknacks was where it’s at! Then we just followed the scenic Kancamagus Highway through the White Mountains and then on down alongside Lake Winnipesaukee.

Once home we ate spaghetti with everyone, McKay had the mother of melt downs for me and we got the boys to bed so we could play some Cities and Knights of Catan with Spencer. We all crashed and had a slow morning before heading to Hampton Beach. Easton was all giggles and loved the waves with Grandpa Mark. McKay preferred to find rocks to throw in the ocean or chase seagulls. It was back to the reality of outings with kids - one overtired and crying, the other whining because he's cold and wanting ice cream. All in a day's work and we still had to fly home. Home Sweet Home! Thank you - Nancy, Mark and Spee!