Back in August Tary, Daniel and I went with some of our cousins on our first family trip in the White Mountains of NH. We stayed at a very family-friendly campground called Green Meadow Campground from August 17th to the 19th. We had a great time!
As with most trips, Tary and I stayed up really late packing the night before. I barely snuck 2 hours of sleep in and Tary didn’t sleep at all. It felt like forever to gather the supplies and transfer them to the car. We really need to get better at not procrastinating when it comes to packing.
I dropped off Matthew with my parents and picked up my cousin Joe in the process. I went back to my house to pick up Tary and Daniel and finish loading the car. The trunk was filled to the brim and I had trouble seeing over the top of everything. We were now on our way!
Nearly 3 hours into the drive Daniel threw up some of his breakfast as we got close to the White Mountains. He was coming off of a bad cold and I was concerned that he would be too sick to enjoy Story Land and the rest of the camping trip. We stopped at the Saco Ranger Station to clean Daniel up and take a quick break.
We got back on the road and found Story Land without incident. Once we got in I was very impressed at how kid-friendly the park was. There were lots of open areas, shaded places to sit, food stands, stroller parking, and bathrooms. I also liked how the park was not overly crowded.
First we rode the train around the park. Daniel was visibly more enthusiastic about this train ride than he was while riding Thomas at Edaville USA. The train circled the entire park. It was very cute when Daniel pumped his arm in the air and shouted, “Choo! Choo!”
Next we went on an Antique Cars ride. Daniel got to steer while Tary kept her foot on the gas pedal. Joe and I tagged along in the backseat. The car followed a guided track and auto-corrected when the car veered too far off center. Daniel was easily distracted by the fake animals which lined the track.
We then went on a Water Raft ride where you sit in a circular raft around a windy pathway. I knew Daniel doesn’t like to get wet but sometimes it’s good to be exposed to new things. He was a little tentative during the ride but he sat through most of it pretty well. A geyser splash startled him and he started to cry. Good thing the ride was over and held him to console him. He was not a happy camper after getting wet.
After a quick lunch, we continued walking around the park. We saw some live animals that were meant to represent the animals from popular nursery rhymes such as the Three Little Pigs, Goosey Goosey Gander, and Peter Rabbit. We then tried to take a picture of Daniel with the Cat in the Hat but like green eggs and ham, he did not like it.
We rode the train around the park one last time because it was Daniel’s favorite ride. I had to practically peel Daniel out of the train. It was getting late in the afternoon and the other cousins were due to arrive at the campground so we left for the campground to get the campsite and dinner ready for them.
We checked in and drove to our two adjacent campsites. Joe helped me set up the 3 tents while Tary started cooking dinner. Tary talked with the other cousins on the phone and they said they were close. However 4 hours later the cousins still had not arrived. I grew weary of waiting so Joe and I went and bought some firewood. Then we got changed and took Daniel and went swimming in the pool. It started to get dark as the other cousins finally pulled into the campground. They were lost because they ignored my directions and came from some other highway. I was annoyed that they basically wasted the first day driving in circles when they had multiple people in the car with smart phones and GPS. Ultimately I was glad they finally found the way and we were together.
We all went back to the campsites to eat dinner. Some of the other cousins had already eaten because they stopped to eat at a local KFC because they were on the road for so long. After dinner a few of us went back into the pool for a quick swim.
Later that night we gathered around a fire and made s’mores. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and have fun. I was pleasantly surprised at how much Daniel liked eating his.
The next morning we ate a pretty big breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausages, and bacon. It took a long time to cook everything. After breakfast we hopped in our cars and drove to see Arethusa Falls, the tallest waterfall in New England. We got to the parking area and a sign read that it was an hour’s hike to the waterfall. I was confused because I could have sworn it was only a half mile from the parking lot when I backpacked here last year. We drove back and forth along the highway for about 15 minutes pulling into random roads hoping I’d recognize the parking area that I used before. I was embarrassed that I had to admit that I could not find it and we had to turn back. It was only after the trip that I realized that I was thinking of Ripley Falls which was only a few minutes further down the road. I should have double-checked these facts before our trip.
We made it back to camp and we all went for a swim in the pool. We had the entire pool to ourselves and it was so much fun playing Marco Polo. I tried to learn how to swim a little bit more. After swimming we played some basketball, tossed a Frisbee, and played some beach volleyball in the sand pit. Seeing how happy everyone was made planning and organizing this trip entirely worth it for me.
It felt good to freshen up with a quick shower. The cousins played what looked to be a very competitive game of Uno. It was really late before we started cooking dinner. I cooked steaks over the campfire while Tary cooked burgers and hot dogs on the camp stove. It was a lot of fun to make s’mores again that night.
I spent most of the following morning packing things up while breakfast was being cooked. Breaking down and packing always takes forever and it’s my least favorite part of camping. I had to hurry so we could be ready to check out on time. I finally finished packing and was able to quickly eat what was left of the food. Whew…
I really enjoyed our first family camping trip. I was really proud of Daniel and how well he behaved throughout the trip. I loved seeing how much he enjoyed riding the train at Story Land. Matthew will love this next year! It was great spending quality time with the family and seeing how happy everyone was together. I hope everyone else enjoyed themselves as much as I did and I can’t wait to do this again next summer!