Monday, April 16, 2012

April Moose Fun

April vacation is upon us, and although the ski season seems a distant memory, we're still enjoying all Northern New Hampshire has to offer, especially with another heat wave in the forecast this week. 

After realizing that the bean-sprout children had shot up once again and that none of the clothes I'd saved from last summer were going to fit anymore, we piled into the car yesterday morning for a little bargain-hunting in nearby North Conway, home of some great outlets.  

Appropriately outfitted for the sun, we set out for some real outdoor fun.  Like a choose-your-own-adventure book, in this outdoor playground, often the hardest choice to make near Bretton Woods is which trail to stop and explore today.  Between North Conway and Bretton Woods in Bartlett is a spot that I had driven by many times but never stopped at: Diana's Baths.  Half a mile form the turn-off to Cathedral Ledge on West Side Road, it's an easy half mile walk to cascading falls, waterspouts, and granite basins along Lucy Brook.   Of course, half a mile with preschoolers and a 5-month old puppy is not necessarily fast, but I reminded myself to enjoy the fact that Timmy was revelling in rock collection and Bridget that was frequently found summiting boulders, and that it didn't matter how fast we made it to the falls, if at all.  But we did reach out destination, and although we just dipped out toes in the icy stream today, the shallow pools looked like the perfect place to head back this summer when we're really ready for a swim.

At the Omni Mount Washington Hotel, the next two weeks are April Family Fun Weeks, and I knew that the Resort would be hosting some fun indoors and out.  Although this evening's hunt for (stuffed) moose, complete with "hunting licenses" and "regulations" set out by the "warden" sounded like a ton of fun, it was set to happen after my little hunters' bedtime. 

But an afternoon stop at Omni Kids to color our own moose t-shirts was right up our alley.  I have to confess that although I could spend all day creating rock and stick huts in the woods, and I know that arts and crafts are a huge draw for kids, if someone else is setting up the opportunity to get creative with markers and fabric, I'm all for it.

So after a quick stop at Morsels for a Gummy-on-a-stick treat, Bridget and Timmy (made themselves comfortable) grabbed some fabric markers and a moose t-shirt.  With the typical patience of a two-year old, Timmy approached his moose art with bold strikes of color, without so much as a thought of coloring in the lines, and declared "I'm done" just five minutes later.  satisfied with his masterpiece, he found his way over to the other toys. 

Bridget, in contrast, made sure to get her hands on a brown marker for her moose and a red marker for the roof of The Mount Washington Hotel in the background.  Eager to show off her new found spelling skills, she also wrote her name right on the front of her t-shirt next to her moose.

After completing their works of moose art, we headed upstairs and out onto the verandah that wraps around the Hotel.  The cushion-filled wicker seats along the walk were too much for them to resist, and they sampled several along the way.  Hopefully Mom and Dad will be back again soon to perhaps enjoy a beverage on the verandah in the not-so-distant future!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Season's End

It's hard to believe the ski season is over.  Even after that week of 70-degree weather in mid-March, I still kept thinking that we had more time.  But despite the relatively early thaw this year, I think I feel that way every year: I anxiously anticipate the first ski day all fall, and when it finally comes, it seems like I've got so much wonderful time ahead of me to play in the snow.  Then the holidays come, then February vacation, and next thing you know the days start to get longer and warmer.  

Bridget and I went on a girls-only mission to Bretton Woods for the final day of the season.  It seemed that lately Dad was the one who had been taking her skiing, and I was eager to see how her skiing had progressed and have some one-on-one time with her. 
We met up with our friend Susan for a run, and Bridget followed me down Bretton's Wood with big arcing turns.  I stopped every once in a while to see if she wanted to take a break, but no, she was ready to cruise on.  I was happy to see that as she turned, she was using her weight to begin to carve turns, rather than just relying on the power-wedge to slow her down.

On Sawyer's Swoop, Bridget watched as some of the older kids scooted across some bare spots where the trail had narrowed, and decided that looked like fun.  She took off ahead of me, and before I could say a word, she headed full-speed, straight for the grassy section.  Her skis flew off and she landed superman-style across the water-drenched grass.  I think she was more suprised than anything else and quickly got up and I helped her put her skis back on.  Before I could click back into my bindings, she was already skiing off down the trail. I'm guessing this is only the beginning of that independent side showing through.

After a few runs, we enjoyed a hot dog on the deck in honor of Bretton Woods Beach Party as we watched the big kids hurl themsleves through the air and onto the Acrobag.  Bridget was intrigued, but I think because it resembled a bouncy-house to her.   She wasn't quite ready to aspire to big air, but she's got her eye on bigger skiing conquests.  "Mommy, when I get big, like five years old, can I ski from the top of the mountain all by myself?" 

"We'll see how we do next year, I promise, Bridget."