You might have noticed that I didn’t manage to post much at all last week. That’s because I was vacationing with my family in the New Hampshire Lakes Region. I spent full summers up there as a kid, and nowadays I try to make it up to my parent’s home there as much as I can in the summer months!
I felt so lucky to have a chance to spend time with my brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, and cousins throughout our trip; I just couldn’t bring myself to press pause on all the bonding (and babysitting) to go write a blog post.
Anyhow: If you’ve never been to the New Hampshire Lakes Region, you’re missing out. There’s tons of fun things to do, especially with middle-age kids. I brought my 11 year old cousin (aka my Kid Best Friend, KBF for Short) along with me on vacation this past week, and we had an absolute blast! She got to experience all the glorious recreational activities the Lakes Region has to offer… and I had an excuse to act like a kid again!
Our trip started with a waterfront family cookout, complete with a unicorn float that literally made our night.
We also did some boating, and KBF and I failed hard at taking a selfie. SUNGLASSES, GIRL! After a long day of swimming and chatting, we ended the evening with a round of “Heads Up,” aka the Ellen game aka MY FAVE GAME, before heading to bed.
The next morning, I managed to sneak out early for a swim in the lake before the morning fog dissipated. So, so peaceful!
The next day, we made our first trek to the local ice cream shop, and it was so worth it! Look at that smile! There’s nothing like the first dish of ice cream of summer vacation!
That evening, we went out on my dad’s boat to watch some fireworks. The fireworks were gorgeous, but I was more impressed with the sunset beforehand.
We spent the whole next day lounging on the beach. Then that evening, I took KBF and her neighborhood buddies to the Drive-in Theater at Weirs Beach. I might be the only 20-something in the world who volunteers herself to drive 4 little girls, aged 11, 9, 7, and 6, 45 minutes to watch Despicable Me 3 until well passed their bedtime. At least I let them run around on the lawn before the show started; it made for a very quiet ride home!
The next day, KBF and I went on down to visit the (debatably) LARGEST ARCADE IN THE WORLD!!!! I love Funspot more than anything. $20 of tokens will keep you occupied for 2+ hours if you play your cards right. Plus this game allows me to hone my teacher skills.
And KBF and I have learned that the pink can in Tin Can Alley always gives you at least 25 tickets, no matter whether you win or lose. FUNSPOT HACK!
Next up we hit up the supposedly German inspired gift shop and sweet shop, Kellerhaus. Kellerhaus has the best sundae bar in the world, and KBF and I have made a little tradition out of having sundaes for dinner one night of our vacation. Don’t worry; she and I had a very healthy lunch to balance it all out. I definetely over-indulged on the sweets a bit on this trip, but I also enjoyed some great local produce, tons of fruit, and plenty of salad along the way!
Next up we fulfilled one of KBF’s long time dreams; to drive by herself. No joke, this kid has been back-seat driving since she was 2. She’s always trying to give me directions and tips. I’m always trying to ignore it. We headed over to the go-cart track and she could not have been smiling any wider. The rides were only $7 a round, so I splurged and we both did two.
Just FYI, I totally smoked her and she learned that breaks are super necessary to use.
We finished the week with my brother and sister-in-law, eating tacos and going on one last sunset boat ride and swim.
Although I’m sad the trip is over, I’m also so happy to be back home! Caring for a little human, even one as (almost) grown as my cousin is a whole other kind of work. to all you caregivers out there: KUDOS TO YOU. I am tired after only a week!
I’ve been taking KBF up to the lake for 6 summers now. In previous years we’ve done a lot hiking, and we even camped out in the White Mountains one year. I had to skip the hiking this year due to my stress fracture, but if you’re headed up to New Hampshire any time soon, I’d make sure to find a trail near to where you’re staying so you can take in some views.
That said, as AMAZING as nature can be… don’t skip the silly, touristy things too! I LOVE an afternoon of arcade games at Funspot, or an evening of go-karting. The Drive-in might seem a little too late-night to do with kids, but it’s a fabulous experience and worth one late night on a trip.
Reach out if you have any other questions about the Lakes Region of New Hampshire! It really is a fabulous place to reconnect with your family.
Now You Tell Me…
Do you have any fun trips planned this summer?
Any tips on how to make it through a week vacationing with your whole family? Things got tense there for a second…
Ever been to New Hampshire? Recommendations?