New Hampshire, The First Time

After Normandy Farms and all of the rave reviews of New Hampshire and Maine, we decided to make the journey 3 hours north of Portland Maine to Bar Harbor. Our friend Tanya had promised that she could find us a babysitter in Bar Harbor and we thought, "Heck ya! We'll drive 6 hours round trip for a night out sans kids!".

However, before heading to Maine I had to make a trip to Indianapolis for some iOS training so we thought that New Hampshire would be a good place for Cathy and the girls to hang out. Plus.. it's a long way to Maine!!

Our first stop was right over the Massachusetts border in Hampton Falls, NH. When Cathy booked the spot we thought it looked a little touristy like Atlantic City. However, we soon learned that it was a much less glamorous and rundown version of Atlantic City. I'm not sure if it was the cold, dreary weather or just the fact that season was over, but Hampton Falls was definitely not a place we wanted to hang out in for very long.

Luckily our spot at Wakeda Campground was awesome! After getting everything set up, we finished school and work and then left to scout out Hampton Falls. Our search for a cool place to eat did not bear fruit down by the water and we ended up finding "Mexico Lindo" in the next town over after an hour or so of searching. We never went back to Hampton Falls again and that was enough for Cathy.

We stayed around the campground Tuesday and Wednesday, doing work, running and generally having some down time. After school Wednesday Cathy decided that we were in desperate need of some apple picking before dinner. So we found a cool farmer's market with an orchard down the road and had a blast picking, eating and generally fooling around with apples.

The apples were delicious and we brought a sack home for the girls to eat for next couple of weeks. After that, it was dinner time but everyone was nearly stuffed with apples! However, our quest is to eat our way across America so we did our best to find a cool little pub and get the girls some dessert and us some beer. Our quest was successful and we poured the girls into bed overflowing with apples and chocolate cake. We stress proper nutrition with our girls. It's important.

Thursday was our last full day at Wakeda and we decided to do something special so... we surprised the girls by taking them to the movies!! We'd had a hard day with work and studying and the girls really wanted to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles so it sounded like something fun to do. We found a local cinema (it was nearly empty!) and had a blast watching the movie and dancing afterwards in front of the big screen.

On Friday we pulled out and drove roughly two hours north to Alton which was situated squarely in the middle of nowhere. We picked Alton as it was close to both the Manchester and Portland airports where I was flying out of and into, respectively. We pulled into Turtle Kraal RV Park around 11am, got unpacked and then headed to Manchester for my 3pm flight. Cathy and the girls cried most of the way back but made a quick stop at Camping World for a new bendable shower curtain.

Most of my time in Indy was boring (except for the drinking and stealing of bar paraphernalia) but Cathy and the girls partied while I was gone. Saturday was Salem day!! The girls left for Salem shortly after the mid-morning snack. After arriving and having lunch they hit the Witch Museum. Kira was totally freaked out by the exhibits and Hali followed her to "scaredy-cat-town" shortly thereafter. After a trolley ride around the city and looking at spooky things (haunted campgrounds, Dead Horse Beach, etc) they had a quick dinner at the Village Tavern and headed home.

My absence and the trip to Salem had taken a toll on everyone and she became ill for the next few days. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were down days as Cathy was feeling horrible and soon afterwards Kira and Hali fell ill as well. The girls made a fort outside and did school work by themselves while mommy lounged around the RV and tried not to die. Wednesday everyone felt a little better and they went for a hike after school in the beautiful NH weather. Unfortunately Alton was in the middle of nowhere but it was gorgeous!

Thursday was a fun day for the girls. After finishing school around 1pm they took off for Castle in the Clouds. On the way up the stopped by the "Pebble" (aka a giant rock) and hiked up the path. Kira was nervous about the walk but did a great job. She's becoming more confident as we drag her up and down mountains and valleys.

The castle was a lot of fun and the girls participated in a scavenger hunt for prizes. After hanging out in the castle for a couple of hours the girls decided they didn't want to go out for dinner and just headed back to the RV for a quick bite and then bed.

Friday was a big day as I was returning home from Indy. I always enjoy returning from a trip as everyone is so excited to see me! The girls did their school work in the Jeep as Cathy drove the two hours to Portland to fetch me. I arrived around noon so we set out for lunch. We finally found an Irish pub down but the water after a jaunt around downtown Portland.

One of my favorite beers, Allagash White, is brewed in Portland just outside of town so we headed over for a tour of the brewery and some tasting adult beverages. The girls love touring breweries (as evident from the photo above) and so do I! Hali wants to brew beer with me when we return to Sarasota. She's my new beer-brewing-computer-nerd buddy!

After being steep in brewing culture, we decided to get the girls some more "good learning". Apparently one of the "don't miss" spots in Portland is the Victoria Mansion. We were the last group to go through that day and we spent about an hour touring the home that was built in the late 1850s. It's been recently restored and is considered to be one of the most important historic homes of the nineteenth century anywhere in the nation. If you are in Portland you should really make it a point to see it. After the tour ended we made the two hour trip back to the campground for our departure to Maine the next morning.

Dates: September 15 - September 19
RV Park: Wakeda Campground, Hampton Falls, NH

Dates: September 19 - September 27
RV Park: Turtle Kraal RV Park, Alton, NH