Mom Is Out Of Town

So what does Dad make? Burgers on the grill, of course. Could do worse!

Weird perspective issue. Huh.

Another School Year Done

Today’s a wrap on the girls’ first year at Mount Royal Academy. They were supposed to have Field Day tomorrow, but the forecast is for about an inch of rain to fall (sad, since the weather has been generally not rainy lately — just bad timing). Clare is moving on to 6th grade, so we don’t have any more elementary schoolers in the family any longer. Grace is going to 10th grade, which is just crazy to me. They had a great year, acclimated well to the new environs, made new friends, and got good grades, so I can’t complain.

Now the summer! The challenge will be keeping their screen time at a reasonable level. For Grace this won’t be a problem, likely — she’s starting in a week and a half as an intern at the New London Barn Playhouse, so she’ll be busy all year. Clare, though, might be a challenge. Since Danica and I both work, if she doesn’t have something dedicated to do during the day… well, you get the picture. She’s at Camp Bernadette for 2 weeks, and we have two week long vacations planned (the PNW and Disney World), but outside of that, it leaves 7 weeks to fill. Challenging! I’m seeing a lot of parent taxi trips to friend’s houses and trips to the library. Makes me want to be a teacher so I can have summers off.

Not really. They’d eat me alive. 🙂

Dude!

Quick post since I’m a bit tired tonight, but it’s been a few days. I opened a support case with GoPro a couple days ago, and the website had an error. Best. 404. Ever.

New England Pizza

New Englanders take their pizza seriously. I’m in Claremont (about a half hour away from our house) for Grace to do some volunteering at the Sullivan County Humane Society, and finishing up some work at Ramunto’s, a nearby pizza place that has wifi and isn’t so busy as to make me feel guilty. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but she’s, in her words, a “therapy human”, spending time with the cats awaiting adoption. A professional cat petter. Hard job!

Back to pizza places here. There’s some great pizza, to be sure. Every store has several different pizza dough balls you can take home to make your own. They tend towards NY style, unsurprisingly, but they do get weird sometimes, too. But one thing I’ve noticed is almost all pizza places here don’t just serve pie! No no! They almost all have subs, salads, pasta, burgers, apps… you get the picture. It’s really American restaurants that specialize in pizza. Interesting.

Feels Like the PNW Today

Cold, cloudy, and rainy. More humidity, though, with the fog floating above the groundout of the day and a brief thunderstorm.

Volleyball practice in the gym today!

Camping in Maine to Kick the Season Off

Memorial Day Weekend was a milestone of sorts for the Holliston Family. As readers know, we spent a lot of time living in the Winnebago Minnie Winnie over last summer. It served us well, transporting us and our essentials from all over the Pacific Northwest to visit family and friends, across the country on an epic two week adventure, and then over six weeks in an RV park in New Hampshire while the prices for Airbnb’s dropped down to something not ridiculous. Since then it’s sat. And sat. Now it was time get on the road again, but this time knowing we had a house to go back to. Home owner campers, not hobos.

On the road again… 🎵

I’ve spent a bit of time in Maine growing up. My Mom was born there. A lot of my family is buried there. The Richard Family sisters met many of their future husbands there. But for Danica, Grace, and Clare, this was their first time in Maine. Check off another of the 50 states! The KOA we went to is in Lebanon, ME, which is right on the border with NH. In fact, it’s on Salmon Falls River, which is the dividing line. I would have had to get wet, but I could see NH from the camp. It counts, though!

Sunday morning peace. I’m sure lots of hangovers were being battled.

This was a great KOA. There was two pools, waterslide, splash pad, arcade (which I failed as a Dad and didn’t get them quarters for), ball field, fishing pond, minigolf course, and a bounce pad. Quite the list of activities. We hit most them, an in a couple cases, more than once.

Where’s the required mat, Grace!?

We learned from this experience, too. Danica and I were pretty good car campers, getting the list down to a science. This time, both because it was new to us, and because we were so busy leading up to the trip, we definitely didn’t pack as well as we should. The first night we didn’t have enough blankets, so Grace and I didn’t get great sleep. We went to Kohl’s the next day and bought some: problem solved, and now we know. There was also some creature comforts that we definitely have to build out to make hanging out outside the RV a little more fun. Apparently we also need speakers — I’ve never heard so much music being played at a campground in my life.

New Englanders, man.

Overall, a great trip. The kids had a great time, none of us got a serious sunburn (much of the trip it was in the high 70’s/low 80’s — very unlike Oregon Memorial Day Weekends), and not too many mosquito bites due to a liberal use of spray. Next trip is in 2 weeks to Strafford County for a KOA there, kind of near Lake Winnipesaukee. We’re bringing the Tesla to that one for a day trip to Fun Spot (if you’re not familiar, check out the link!) and Kellerhaus (fond memories of that place growing up!).

Gem mining contraption!
Decorating cookies. Not works of art, but hey, sugar.
Yes, it’s Memorial Day Weekend. Thank you to all those that made the ultimate sacrifice for us to be able to grill burgers and drink beer in peace!
First game was in a thunderstorm, second game was in the sun. Both fun.
Original photo. Very cool fire coloring chemicals. Pretty.

The Downside of Living in Rural America

In the move across the country last summer, we took along all the family’s bikes: 4 of them. Looking back, I don’t think I would have kept all of them, as it was a huge pain having all of them hanging off the back of the Explorer. I had to unload/reload them probably a couple dozen times, and while the rack can handle 4 bikes, I always had to do more than little Tetris’ing to get them on there securely.

In all that on/off, Clare’s bike got a bit damaged, and I don’t trust myself enough to fix it. In the city, this would probably be a 10 minute drive to the nearest shop to get fixed, but it’s not the case when we’re in the middle of nowhere. I was very surprised that, in a touristy area like Lake Sunapee, the nearest bike shop is in Concord, 45 minutes away. Oh well.

There’s so many great things about living in rural America. 3 cars in a row is considered “rush hour”. You can actually get to know people in town without too much effort. The view is amazing, and if you want to de-stress with a nature walk, you just have to walk outside your door. And clearly, many of the low level toxins that you deal with living in the city are vastly reduced. (How much of that has a substantive effect on your health? It’s really still up for discussion, but it’s definitely not zero.) But yeah, services aren’t as handy and you end up spending a lot more time with things like fixing a bike. Not a first world problem but a rural America problem. I’ll take the trade!

Brunch at Tuckers

I tried to convince my family to try somewhere else for after Mass brunch, but the uproar was deafening. So, carnita bowl and iced coffee it is!

Delicious.

Ready for Some Recreational Vehicle’n!

The family spent a couple hours doing a deep clean on the Winnie Minnie for the first time since arriving in New Hampshire. It needed it! There was still hay on the floor from Lily. Next weekend we’re heading to Maine (first time for 3/4 of the family) for 3 days at a KOA. It’ll be great to camp when we’re not thinking about the next 9 hour drive!

Last Cold Morning for a While

After we kick on the air conditioner, I refuse to put on the heat. It was near 90 just a handful of days ago, and yesterday it never made it above the low 50’s. So, of course, it’s cold in the house this morning — it was 63F when I woke up, and slowly warming. Danica is sick of me complaining about it. The nice thing is today it’ll reach 78 and this weekend in the 90’s, which Clare and I are super stoked about!

If it’s not going to snow and I can go skiing, then darn it, I want shorts and t-shirt weather!