Monday, July 7, 2014

Vacation to NH! Part 2

We woke up Sunday morning planning to spend the entire day at Story Land, so we arrived about 10 minutes after they officially opened.  There was still a huge line to get in, but since we had our passes from the day before we were able to skip the masses and get right into the park.  We went right over to the antique cars ride first, which is one of the few rides I remember from my family’s trips to the park when I was younger.  We had to wait for about 10 minutes but Toby held it together with some distractions from us, like asking which color car he liked best.  It was finally our turn, and the ride attendant told Toby the rules and to jokingly keep both hands on the wheel.  He sat up front with Daddy and was smiling ear to ear the whole ride. 


Next we went back over to the nursery rhyme and Little Dreamers areas, and of course it was hard to tear him away to explore something new.  We finally got a chance to bring him over to the carousel.  He wasn’t so sure at first, but seemed to like it towards the end.




We then went on the Buccaneer Pirate Ship, which wasn’t one of his favorites since he had to sit down the entire time.  Luckily this ride only lasts a few minutes before you re-dock.  He loved the play area with the mini pirate ships which we explored after, though.  We stopped for a photo op in the pumpkin and he was being so silly, jumping up and down and poking his head out the front.



I wasn’t sure if he would be able to sit still on the Ferris wheel, but we tried it and he did pretty well.  Once everyone actually got in their balloons and we started going, he loved going around and around and looking for Daddy on the ground.  I’m hoping Toby doesn’t inherit Daddy’s fear of heights as he gets older or else I’ll be going on these rides by myself in the future!



I think at this point it was lunch time, which took forever since he was too busy people-watching to eat his PB & J.  We brought sandwiches with us but ended up buying some more snacks to try and get him to just eat something.  After we did a couple other rides and then decided to go back to the condo for a bit to see if Toby would nap there.  Well, as soon as we got loaded into the car and pulled out of the parking lot, he was passed outttt.  So Hubby and I took a right out of Storyland and headed up further into the White Mountains.  It was a beautiful scenic drive – I just didn’t remember how green and vibrant everything was up there!  We had been driving for a little over a half hour when Toby woke himself up, so we decided to go back to Story Land.  After a snack and some water, he was ready to go!

Other rides he loved were the Whirling Whales and the Dutch Shoes.  We also spent a lot of time in the Oceans of Fun splash pad since he’s a fish and would spend all day in the water if we let him. 


He did really well at the park both days – I don’t remember him throwing a tantrum until we getting ready to leave.  Story Land is perfect for kids his age – he was able to do about 2/3 of the rides.  We’re hoping next year he’ll make the cut-off for 36 inches so we can do the others that have the height restriction, like Bamboo Shoots (log water ride).  The park is very clean, super organized, and it was even shaded well so we never felt too hot or like we were in the sun for too long.  The lines for the rides were fairly short, most averaging 5 minutes at the most.  I’m guessing the lines get longer as the summer goes on but considering we visited on Father’s Day, it didn’t seem crowded.  We can’t wait to come back next year!

We left NH early Monday morning, which was Toby’s actual birthday.  Unfortunately he must have picked up some kind of virus and was hacking up a lung all Sunday night into Monday.  He napped on the way home until we were about 45 minutes away and was coughing so much we decided to stop for lunch at Ninety-Nine.  Well lots of coughing plus too much food = puke at the table and let’s just say we high-tailed it out of there fast.  I felt so bad for him not feeling well on his birthday.  We were at the doctor’s later that afternoon and he ended up having an ear infection, but that really had nothing to do with the cough since they thought it was just a viral thing (which did end up being true since I got it about a week later after his birthday party).  At least he was still too young to realize it was his real birthday!  We had such a great weekend that I think it made up for a not-so-fun actual birthday :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vacation to NH! Part 1

A few weeks ago we headed up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for a long weekend.  It happened that we drove back on Toby’s birthday but this trip wasn’t specifically meant to celebrate, it just worked out well timing wise!  We rented a privately owned condo in Intervale through and were so happy with our accommodations.  3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a big living space gave us lots of room to spread out.  It was a great deal after all the research I had done with finding smaller two bedroom condos that were much more expensive. 

I was nervous about the 3 hour drive up to NH and how Toby would handle it so we stopped in Dover, which was almost the half-way point.  There was a great children’s museum we spent almost two hours in and since we’re members of a local museum close to our house, our admission was free!  We are thinking about heading back up to Dover for a day trip again this summer because Toby had such a great time exploring the exhibits.  He did end up falling asleep for about 45 minutes in the car afterwards so it worked out well. 

The weather was very rainy the Friday we left, and we didn’t end up getting to our condo until 3:30 anyway, so we headed to an early dinner at the Muddy Moose (great family restaurant, definitely recommend) and then stopped by the L.L. Bean outlet after.  Toby thinks it’s hilarious running all around the stores now and playing hide and seek - we’ve become those parents that I was always judging pre-baby with not keeping their kids in line.  So much for trying to get any bargain shopping done.

We started Saturday morning with breakfast at Peaches in North Conway.  Food was decent and the wait was short.  After we headed down the street to the local park and also walked by the adjacent historic train station.  Toby’s new favorite thing at the park is to go over to the top of the slide and instead of sitting down to get ready to slide, he hangs on the bar at the top and says “monkey bar”.  I packed an extra mini first aid kit in my diaper bag just for this trip because of the daredevil stunts he pulls now.



Even the fire trucks were outside of the fire station next to the park, so of course we had to walk by those, as well.  After we were tired of the park, we headed a little way down the street to the Mount Washington Weather Discovery Center.  It’s free, though they suggest a small donation.  It wasn’t as big as I thought it was going to be and they were having a members breakfast but still allowed the public to come in so it was kind of awkward.  Toby just wanted to run around but we didn’t let him so we left before a meltdown ensued.  We walked through downtown a little more but didn’t stop to shop.  I love all the small local stores in North Conway, though, hopefully I get to explore them next year if we come back! 

We drove back to the condo for an early lunch and then everyone promptly took a two hour nap.  Yep, we all needed it!  We woke up to Toby stirring around 1:40ish and decided to quickly get everything ready so we could head to Story Land.  If you come in 3 hours before closing time, they will give you tickets to come back any day of the season so we wanted to make the most of the rest of the afternoon there. 

I barely remembered any of the rides from our trips to Story Land when I was a kid, so we started out in the nursery rhyme section and worked our way through the other areas.  Toby saw the Grandfather Tree play area and could have stayed there until closing if we let him.  He went up the stairs in the tree all by himself even though I had a small heart attack each time until his little head would poke out at the top and then he would look for us and smile SO big.  He would run over to the slide and then want to climb up all over again. 


We managed to snag him and go over to the Little Dreamers Play area, which was perfect for his age.  He went up and over the bridge probably thirty times in a row, played the big piano keys, and shut doors to a play house over and over and over again.  This section was definitely made for kids who love repetition!



We skipped Alice’s Tea Cups as I wasn’t sure how he would like that as his first ride.  He did like playing under the card tunnels, though.  Next we moved onto the Storybook animals.  He was more interested in pressing the button to hear the nursery rhyme and putting his hand on the speaker than looking at the actual animals.  I tried to get his picture with the wolf statue but he was not interested in standing still at this point.


We walked through some more of the park to get a feel for some of the rides so we knew what to try first thing when we came back the next morning.  There’s a new digger exploration by the roller coaster, so he loved doing that with Daddy. 


Then we went on the Tractors ride – Toby loved every second of it and didn’t want to get off so we got back in line to do it again.  He unfortunately is still too young to get the concept of waiting in line…so that was interesting as I tried to explain how he couldn’t just cut in front of other people.  I think he was also pretty tired at this point but luckily we only had to wait 5 minutes or so.  He loved being up front by himself while we sat in the back.  He would pretend to drive, look back at us and grin and say “Drive”, then press the buttons to honk the horn, and repeat the process.


After the second go-around on the tractors, we decided it was time to make our way to the exit as it was almost closing time anyways.  Toby threw a fit once he realized we were leaving, so it must have meant he had a good time.  I think this is when we asked if he had fun and he replied with “too much fun” and then started whining about being carried to the car. 

We went out to eat for dinner again, but Toby just wasn’t in the mood to sit still so it wasn’t enjoyable to say the least.  We knew we should have just eaten back at the condo but the thought of making something ourselves seemed exhausting at that point.  After we went over to Pirate’s Cove for mini golf since Toby’s free and we figured we could try it out.  He was interested in holding his mini putter for about two holes and then got bored of that.  He loved taking our balls and putting them in and out and basically messing up our scores :)  We were about four holes from being finished when he became obsessed with a water pail fountain and kept dunking his hands in it.  I was grossed out by the water inside and didn’t really want him touching it but he kept insisting and of course this ended in the meltdown of all meltdowns so we were forced to leave before finishing.  Hubby was pissed to say the least but I think Toby did better than what I was expecting of him.  Maybe next year he will be interested in learning to putt. 

We ended the night with ice cream at a place called Lick’s which was expensive for what they offered.  Positive side was they had a good-sized playscape for the kids to burn off all the sugar so Toby would play for a few minutes, run over to steal some of our ice cream, and then run back onto the playscape.  All in all, it was a great first full day and we explored a lot of the area!