Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NH Day 3: More Lollygagging - this time, with friends

Tuesday morning started off with reports of rain so we bagged our original plans to explore the Saco by kayak. The timing was kind of okay since we had to deal with last night's flat tire anyway.  Gordon took the Subaru into Conway to buy a new tire and dropped me and the kids off at the Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum.  It's a little museum when compared to something like the Boston Children's Museum - but it's really a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.  I much prefer the smaller, more intimate, more accessible layout.  The rooms are nicely decorated and the themed areas are wonderful.  I went grocery shopping, watched a puppt show and spent time playing in the castle room.  Lily quickly found an astronaut outfit and wore that around while Quinn put on show after show for me in the dramatic play area.  We spent some time reading books too in the quiet reading/baby area.  The museum staff are all very friendly and welcoming.  I highly recommend it if you're hanging around North Conway with little ones and some time to kill.

Gordon picked us up with a new tire on the car after about 2 hours.  We drove into North Conway and had lunch at one of G's favorite spots - The Stairway Cafe- a yummy, cozy little restaurant across from the N. Conway Railroad Station.  We sat out on the upper balcony eating sandwiches and people watching.  Soon after we finished we got a call from our friends Robin & Jeff that they had made it to North Conway.  Robin, Jeff and their kids are happy hour play group friends, but I actually met Robin even before that group formed when Lily and her daughter, Cybele were babies in the JCFS new mom's group.  Our girls are about 3 months apart and the boys are only 2 weeks apart in age.  It's crazy to think that we've been friends for almost 6 years now!  We had invited them to come spend some time with us during our vacation and were thrilled they could make it.

Once we got the new arrivals settled into the house we all got into our bathing suits and headed down to the river along with the inner tubes.  We had been scratching our heads trying to figure out how to get both in AND out of the river.  Getting in at our house and floating down-river would be easy - but all the access points out appeared to be like ours - onto private property.  Same issue up-river.  We finally just got in tubes and kind of went.  Quinn was with me and seemed increasingly concerned that we were floating away from everyone without a plan (okay that last part may have been my concern).  We floated along and then eventually found a way out of the river down by the covered bridge.  We had to scramble up a rocky slope and then cut through a small path of bug-ridden woods to get back to our road.  So it was fun, but not totally repeatable with the wee ones.  So we spent the rest of the afternoon just walking a little way upstream and tubing back down to the house.  It was a bit of a feat fighting the current to walk upstream as the river had risen quite a bit after the previous night's storm - but it was still fun.

After tubing the crew spent some time building a dam to create a nice calm pool for playing around in.  As Gordon said - he'd look at me like I was crazy if I told him he'd be spending one day at home moving around rocks in the backyard, but for some reason this experience was totally different.  I sat back and took some pictures of them working.  It was particularly fun watching Quinn entertain himself in the water.  He just kind of wanders around talking to himself completely in his own little world.

Robin made us some killer fish tacos for dinner and after tucking all the wee ones in bed we sat around eating cheese, drinking wine and talking until much too late.  Oh and Gordon snuck outside at some point post-dinner to capture these cool long exposure shots of the river.

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