North Conway Week

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Coolest Bunk Bed Ever

We had a fabulous vacation this August in Madison, NH, complete with friends, family, theme parks, mountains, lakes, and a black bear. We rented a house for a week in Edelweiss Village in Madison, NH. Not only did our house have the coolest bunk bed ever (see picture - that's a twin, over twin, over triple - a little scary with the 2 year olds), but from our deck, you could catch glimpses of Middle Pea Porridge Pond through the green trees. Edelweiss contains five beaches spread over three ponds - Little, Middle and Big Pea Porridge. And despite their names, they are pristine, clear, spring fed bodies of water - the largest of which is closer to a small lake than a pond. Just right for young children, which worked for us because our household consisted of six adults and five kids between ages two and six. So even though we adults outnumbered (barely) the rug rats, it often felt like there was a horde of kids swarming our compound. It was actually really fun - the kids had a ball playing together and the household chores (cooking, cleaning, and entertaining kids) seemed less daunting when split between six adults instead of two. Leaving was harder than I imagined, and our house seems so quiet with just the four of us - I really miss having everyone around.

So what did we do? The first few days we spent at the ponds - swimming, canoeing, and cooking. Tuesday was rainy so we stayed in the house for the morning, then headed to North Conway for a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad. We chose the shortest route - fifty-five minutes round trip from North Conway to Conway and back. This proved to be a good choice since both two year olds were getting very restless by the end of the ride. En route, we had some pretty views of the White Mountains including cloud topped Mt. Washington (the tallest peak north of the Carolinas and east of the Mississippi, according to our adorable, elderly conductor).

Conway Scenic Railway

Wednesday was the big visit to Storyland. I know in the past I've turned my nose up at this theme park - this was my first Storyland visit, ever. See, this summer I realized my baby girl is turning six! How many more years do I have to do things like Storyland before I start getting eye rolls and attitude in return? If you haven't guessed by the name, Storyland is a nursery rhyme based theme park ten minutes north of North Conway. The target age is eight and under (prime age is probably two through six). There are lots of little scenes based on nursery rhymes for the kids to explore (The Three Bear's House, Old Mother Hubbard's Shoe, etc.). Further into the park, there are kiddie rides including a (very) small roller coaster, a log flume with a decent drop off, teacups, and a tiltawhirl where you sit in turtles instead of little red cars. Nothing too scary - I was able to bring Mr. Gregory on all of those (the required height for the bigger rides was thirty-six inches and the marker bar just scraped the top of his head so he was in). I must say everything was very clean, and I only saw one gift shop.

Unfortunately, Wednesday morning Greg woke up with the stomach flu. I won't go into the gory details but trust me when I say it wasn't possible for him to make Storyland. I braved it with the two kids, and the two other families staying with us helped me out a ton. One of the coolest things was en route to Storyland we took a less traveled route (the main road through North Conway had major construction and traffic). Slightly off the beaten path, it still was pretty heavily populated. The night before I had taken the same road to retrieve a forgotten wallet at Ben and Jerry's by the North Conway Scenic Railway Station with one of the other Moms, scoping it out for our morning Storyland trek. It was pretty dark but I definitely saw something bear shaped in one of the yards we passed. People (myself included) were pretty doubtful that I had seen a real bear, so as we drove the road again in the morning light, I watched yards to see if any had one of those sadistic bear cutouts that always make you think you saw a bear, until you get a good look at it. And what do you think happened? That's right - right around the place I thought I saw a bear the night before, a REAL black bear ran out of someone's yard, directly in front of our minivan, and into the woods on the other side of the road. I saw it, Rebecca saw it, everyone in the two trucks following me carrying the rest of our brood saw it. When I checked to see if Gregory could see, he was fast asleep with a little drool running down his chin, so he missed it, but everyone else saw it!! So that made my day and kept my mood happy as I spent the day in Hell, I mean Storyland (just kidding - it was very nice and the kids both loved it).

Thursday was slightly overcast so the three Moms made the spontaneous decision to head to Santa's Village (translation: Storyland with a Christmas theme). It was much further - close to 1.5 hours from our rented house, but the drive was gorgeous - right through the heart of the White Mountains (no bears this time). Santa's Village was actually very nice too, except for these very annoying 'Elfabet' figures, each based on a different letter, placed all over the park. The kids were all given cards printed with the alphabet, and as we traveled through the park they had to stamp their card in each of the twenty-six 'Elfabets'. It got old after about three stamps, trust me. The Santa's Village roller coaster was actually bigger than Storyland's. Rebecca refused to go on it although Gregory jumped right on and loved it. We fed reindeer, took a 'sleigh' ride, and saw Santa before the day was out. I have now hit my kiddie theme park quota for the year and will officially go insane if I go within ten miles of The Sesame Place or Polar Express.

Our last full day, Friday, was warm and sunny, and we spent a marvelous day at Middle Pea Porridge Pond. Then it was time to make dinner, put the kids to bed, pack, clean the house, and crash into bed. We didn't even have the energy for a six person game of cribbage by the time we were done. And that was it. Great week guys - Greg and I are hoping to do it again next year.

For tons of pictures, check this out.

Bookmark and Share


Alfred Kolb said...

I love this blog! keep up good works...its to be nice if we can know each other, do you think so?

Brentwood Airport Limo Service