To backtrack a little, we spent our third night in Vermont in the Green Mountain National Forest. It was a great site - private, brooke-side and only ten bucks. And for that low price, we never expected the bonus package to include just a tiny bit of poison ivy on Marlie's leg. She is actually handling it really well, and the placebo ointment seems to work for a few minutes at least.
Packing up that site was our first experience with packing up soaked gear. Tom's leisurely morning tear-down quickly morphed into wild hysterics as it started thunder storming. From there the rain was in and out for most of the day... But we are so hardcore (ie; unnecessarily committed to our itinerary) that we opted to do our hiking in the rain. It was actually a lot of fun, but we were low on sleep and the kids 'tudes were needing adjustment.
We camped in the White Mountain National Forest (night #1) in New Hampshire. We started this morning with new mindsets (and lectures about gratitude), which proved to start the day out on the right foot. Everyone took several opportunities to say what they were thankful for throughout the day, and we celebrated each time with an obnoxiously upbeat and over-the-top group hug. I know it sounds corny... that's because it was a serious amount of corny. But we got more gratitude out of them than when we didn't do group hugs and thankful high fives all around, so, we'll take corny.
Today we did an awesome hike around the Basin at Franconia Notch State Park. There were waterfalls, and natural water slides, and London splashing in a diaper. Annalee found fools gold. Harper went waist deep, fully clothed. And Marlie was very brave hiking in the muddy parts of the trail (despite her intense fear of quick sand, or, more specifically, sinking into the earth.)
After the hike, we surprised the kids and took them on the Aerial Tramway which gives a gorgeous view of New Hampshire, Vermont and (on very clear days) Canada. We did not see Canada, but it was fun and beautiful, and we got to the top and hiked a really cool trail.
We are settled in the tent now, playing cards, lazing with babies and deciding if we should play crazy eights again, or teach the kids poker. (That one counts as "All Tom, All the Time.")
By request: Kids' Faves to date
*Annalee- "Hiking in the waterfalls today, because I found fool's gold. But there are so many more, it's so hard, but I'll just say that one for now."
*Marlie- "The Tramway and the Daughters of the Revolution house, because I just liked it. Loved it."
*Harper- "Going down the red one and it was fun and the Revolution and going in the water and Annalee and Marlie went on the tiny water and I decided not to go because it was too deep and I can get hurted and it was 'gwait.'"
(My best guess for) *London- trying "budge," commonly referred to as fudge.