There's a fun amusement part about an hour and a half away from us in New Hampshire called Santa's Village, and we have been wanting to take the kids there for years now. Of course the first year they were born was out of the question because they were babies. The next summer, they were 18 months, but I was pregnant and wouldn't be able to go on rides and there wasn't many they could go on at that age either, and our financial situation didn't allow for us to go at that time. Last year, Mason was too little and there was no way we were traveling with an infant. So, this summer was the perfect time to do it, and the kids will remember it now as well. We knew they would have an amazing time after seeing how they were at our local county fair with going on those rides too.
We left on Friday around 1 in the afternoon and got to the campground we were staying at around 2:30. We had rented a cottage for the whole weekend, and had the biggest one at the campground, with a screened in porch, kitchen and dining area, bathroom, and 3 bedrooms. The kids were excited to be there!
We checked in and unpacked and then drove down the road to a deli and got some grinders for dinner. We went back to the cabin and let the kids play on the playground there and then Merasia and I got changed to go in the pool.
We had to wait a little while for the pool to get cleaned, and while we were waiting it started to rain. It was a short shower though, and we killed the time by having our dinner on the screened in porch.
Afterwards, it was sunny again and Merasia and I hit the pool while we had the chance!
Merasia wasn't so sure about the water at first, so she sat on the stairs. I swam to her and away from her over and over again and she loved that, and there were a few times she wanted me to hold her and "swim" with her and all in all, she did enjoy it and it was fun. :)
After we were done with the pool, we went back to the cabin and got changed into jammies and roasted some marshmallows. This was the first time the twins had s'mores and it was so fun to see them experience them for the first time!
Merasia wasn't sure what to think at first, but she soon loved it and scarfed down her whole s'more! Connor wasn't a big fan, but I think his marshmallow might have been too toasty for him. ;) Mason was in bed before we roasted marshmallows, and the twins followed soon after. This mean mommy and daddy had a little alone time to enjoy the quiet and the fire before we headed to bed ourselves.
The first night was a little rough. For starters, Mason was over tired and I started his bedtime routine around 7. I thought he was going down fine but then he started crying. That's when I discovered his monkey that plays lullabies or ocean sounds and glows, was not working. The batteries had died and we never brought new ones with us. He cried off and on while Frank ran down the road to the store to grab some new batteries but he was fast asleep soon after he got back and changed them out. The big kids went down pretty easily, and we went to bed around 10. I was awake every hour until 1, and that was when I woke up to check the time and just could not fall back asleep. And then I realized we had never put Merasia in a diaper before bed. I knew it was too late to bother at that point, but she woke up a few minutes later and I noticed she was slightly damp, but practically dry, definitely not soaked and had not had a full pee yet. I put her back to bed and a few minutes later she was screaming she had to pee. It took me a few minutes to get to her room and get to her, and she had peed in her undies already by that time, but did go a little on the potty too. I put a diaper on her and tucked her back in, but I wasn't able to go back to sleep so easily. Mason was up and ready to talk and play and jump around from 2 until almost 5 a.m.! We tried putting him in bed with us, kept giving him milk, changing his diaper...nothing worked until he finally passed back out, in his pack and play, from sheer exhaustion, and I never slept so good as I did in those last couple of hours before we had to get up for the busy day ahead.
Saturday, we were up at 7 and got bathed and dressed and ready for the day! The kids played on the playground for a little while before we left, and then we were off to Santa's Village!!
We were all so excited!!
We got to the park a little early, but we just couldn't wait any longer, and it was a great photo opportunity, and allowed us to get our tickets and things beforehand.
The park was a complete BLAST!! We took a TON of photos! One of the first things we did when we got into the park was get Connor and Merasia each a little punch card to go around their neck, with each letter of the alphabet. There were 28 elves all over the park, and each one was a different name with a different letter of the alphabet. When you found one, you were supposed to stick your card in the slot and pull the lever to get that letter stamped. I think you were supposed to get a prize at the end of the day, but there was nobody checking at the gate as we left. But, that was fine, we didn't need that anyway, but it was still fun for the kids. We went on sooo many rides! We went on every ride except for two or 3. I really felt like a child again, seeing and experiencing everything through the eyes of Connor & Merasia. It was such an amazing experience! We saw some cute stores, checked out some other cool sight seeing things in the park, had some lunch, met Santa's reindeer and fed them some snacks, played in the sprinklers and the water park, and of course, met the man himself, Santa Clause! Merasia asked for him all day and then when the time came, she wanted nothing to do with him! Mason was not a fan either, but Connor loved him and sat on his lap like a big boy!
Merasia and Connor's personalities really shown through on this trip. Connor is so quick to want to jump and take risks, but soon regrets them. He wanted to go on the Rudolph roller coaster, but as soon we it started, he was crying for daddy. He was a tough guy and stuck it out though! Merasia wanted to go on the same roller coaster so I took her on after Connor and I went, and she loved every single second. She is such a thrill seeker and I LOVE it! Connor was not fond of the water park. He loved the sprinklers and did get wet, but he was happier sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else play and get wet. He was flirting with the lifeguard and telling her to get in the water and then he was trying to splash her with the water on his hands and get her wet. It was so cute! Merasia jumped right in the water and wanted to go all over the water park area and on the slides with me. Mason even got in on that fun and went on some of the water slides with mama! When we asked them what their favorite parts of that day were, Merasia said the "choo-choo train" and Connor said "the fire truck ride" where he got to spray his "fire work." ;) So innocent and cute!
When we finally left the park, we were all exhausted and eager to get back to our cabin, have some dinner, and fall into bed. We roasted hot dogs on the fire and just hung out for the evening.
The second night was much better then the first and we got a lot more sleep, so that was nice.
Sunday morning, we woke up and got everything and everyone packed up and loaded in the van. We checked out of the campsite and headed off to the Flume Gorge, which is an amazing gorge of rocks and waterfalls. It was an amazing and scenic hike, and well worth it. It was truly breath taking!
After we were done with the hike, we grabbed some lunch in the food court. One thing that was cool about this part of New Hampshire is the story of the Old Man of the Mountain. Decades ago, a hiker discovered a
"face" in the rock mountain. It looked exactly like an old man's head/face! Here is a painting of it and some real photos of it:
At some point not too long ago, the rocks suddenly gave way, and the old man's face disappeared. It's thought that the chin rock came loose somehow, and it created a sort of domino affect that made the rest of the rocks come loose and fall, and thus, the old man of the mountain is now gone, but it's still so fascinating!
After we were done here, we hit up a couple places for shopping and finally headed home. It was a long weekend, but a beautiful one. It was beyond worth it and I am so thankful we were able to do this, because we made so many amazing, beautiful, cherished memories and I can't wait to do it all again! It was a marvelous way to end the summer!