Ahhh, Hello New Hampshire! How I’ve missed your green mountains, moist air aaand my family!
Sunday the 26th of July when we made it to my mom and Craig’s house we just relaxed and decompressed and enjoyed what was left of the day.
Monday while Phillip worked upstairs I completely unpacked the car. It gets a little stinky and messy when you’ve been living out of your car for three weeks! Our tent and other camping gear had to be taken out and laid out on the grass, wherever we could find space because Craig was doing the same thing! Everything was soaked from our very wet pack up on Sunday morning. As our tents, tarps and chairs were drying, I tackled a couple of the many bins we had in our car, cleaned, re-organized and put things back where they were supposed to be.
Tuesday, I went over to Opechee Park which is where I remember one summer in particular when I was maybe 12. My neighbor Sandra and I were inseparable and had “boyfriends”. I still remember it being the longest summer during my childhood years. So many memories there! Mom and I went grocery shopping later. I worked on chapter 3 of my blog for a while too. That evening some long time friends Ken and Jackie Kolburn came over to drop off a couple of projects for my folks to do for them.
Wednesday I finally got Chapter 3 up and live! I’ve been so far behind, but hey, I’m enjoying myself so that wins over being glued to my computer! After I got the blog up, mom and I finally got our shopping fix. We went to Kohl’s where I showed her how I shop! I love to just get a cart and pull anything and everything I think I might like into it. That way you are just making one trip to the dressing room. We had so much fun! I even got her into clothing she never knew she’d like!
That evening I made dinner, with some help from Craig manning the grill! I made us chicken gyros and they came out great! Grammy and Grandpa Ortakales came over as we were finishing up dinner to pick us all up. We went to Sawyers! Its a local ice cream shop I went to growing up. They make their own and it has always been de-lish! While we were there Phillip saw on the app that there was a Geocache nearby. After signing all of our names and putting it back we headed for home.
Thursday I worked on re organizing more of our bins. I also found out through a fellow classmate from my high school that our 20 year class reunion was coming up on Saturday. I only had a small handful of people I was kind of friends with in high school. One in particular I’d had a falling out with but since had mended things. All in all though, I hadn’t had that great of a high school experience, so the thought of going just caused me anxiety. More importantly though, I had told my dad that Phillip and I would be getting to his house that evening. Oh yea, and it was our 6 year anniversary! I decided not to go and tried to meet up with the people I did want to see but alas, it didn’t work out.
That evening we went out to eat to The Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub. This company buys old churches and turns them into restaurants, really fun. Once home we played a few board games.
That afternoon I went with my mom and grandma Ortakales to the local farmers market. They got fresh bread, freshly made dill goat cheese and a few other odds and ends. Once home I made a cheesecake for Phillip’s birthday which was coming up the next day.
Phillip and I went to visit my aunt Jenny at the hospital that day too. She was in an induced coma and the outlook wasn’t good. She survived breast cancer a short time ago. Then the cancer came back in her liver. Her blood was now septic. It was hard to see her hooked up to machinery like that but felt good to be there for family if only for the hour we were there. Friday I received a call that aunt Jenny had passed on.
Friday I worked on my blog some more, and went for a walk with my mom along the tracks. My high school ex boyfriend had been one of the artists to paint murals along the newly created cement path called the WOW Trail
Once Phillip finished working for the day he got to dye my roots! Cousin Patti showed Phillip how at the last hair appointment I went to. She hooked me up with all of the supplies so that I could cover my roots with the same stuff she uses. He did a fantastic job! Came out great!
That evening we celebrated Phillip’s Birthday! Max, Emily, Grammy and Grandpa Ortakales joined Mom, Craig, Alex and I for a salmon dinner! We had asparagus, corn on the cob, rice, bread and some wine. For dessert we brought out the cheesecake with trick candles on it. Mom swears there weren’t any regular birthday candles where she went to grab them. Suuure Mom!
Saturday mom made us a waffle breakfast on the patio in honor of our 6 year Anniversary! They gave us a card with some money that we were to put toward our camper. When we were just about finished packing mom and Craig brought us out to a favorite place of theirs called T-Bones.
We were then on our way to Alexandria, just outside of Bristol. We took the long way and stopped to go for a short walk. My step mum Bonnie, sister-in-law Danielle and nieces were there as we pulled into the driveway. It was heartwarming when the nieces came right up to us with hugs. They had visited us last year in California and apparently remembered us! We were tickled! After a big hug from Dad who came around the corner next we went inside and did some catching up. Dad and Bonnie gave us a card for our anniversary with money in it to be used for a dinner date for Phillip and I that evening.
We went to a place in Bristol called Kathleen’s Cottage. They just happened to have a Dogfish Head night! I got to drink Namaste all night! As we were finishing up our dinner we heard a loud CRACK! outside. Then another, and another! People started going outside so we joined in and it turned out to be fireworks! At first we were thinking, “aww! Bristol set off fireworks just for our anniversary!” we had a good laugh! Turned out that the town couldn’t get anyone to set off their 4th of July fireworks on the day so they had to reschedule and it just happened to be on August 1st! What a great surprise for us!
Once back we went over to my brother Erick and sister-in-law Danielle’s house. They live right next door to my dad which makes visiting really fun. We had a few brews and did some catching up before calling it a night.
Sunday, August 2nd we went for a drive up to the top of Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet up at the top, needless to say, the drive up is hairy enough on its own. Erick, Danielle, Phillip an I drove up in Bonnie’s car while the “grandparents” had all of the kids. The fan wasn’t working in the car so it kept overheating. Then it started spitting old acorns out of the vents! My brother had to keep turning the car off to let it cool down. Crazy drive up! One we made it up there Erick made us all yummy sandwiches while we admired the view. It is absolutely gorgeous up there and we were blessed with a clear day which apparently, is not common up there. While we ate we saw a glider fly by a few times, really cool!
We then headed up to the very top where we checked out the old observatory bunk called the Tip Top House titled that consisted of a line of bunks, kitchen and dining area. We watched the Mount Washington Cog Railway chug up and down the summit a few times, boy is that scary looking! Still wish we’d had the opportunity to ride it! Since 1869 you could take the train to the summit of Mount Washington. It uses a Marsh rack system and was the first successful rack railway in the US. We also checked out the museum where we learned that on April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded a windspeed of 231 miles per hour at the summit. This was the world record for most of the 20th century.
As we were nearing home we stopped at The Big Catch Restaurant. I had some yummy grilled blackened shrimp! Logan was being funny with his Cheerieos! My cousin Sarah and her boyfriend David came out with us too. That night we had a campfire at my brothers.
Monday it was back to work for Phillip. I went shopping for a few odds and ends for the week, painted little bird houses with my nieces and then the we all went out to Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery in Woodstock, NH. My favorite of the lineup was the Fellowship IPA at 6.4%. With floral hops and grapefruit bitterness there is no wonder!
Tuesday we all went to Funspot! It is pretty much like a family fun center. Phillip and I got a 1000 ticket win on some silly game, we also played some ski ball. We then played stick pin bowling with everyone which was pretty fun! I thought it would be too easy but turns out, its more difficult to get them all down in one bowl! Another fun thing about the outing was that my brother Alex on my moms side was there working so he got to casually hang out a bit while working. Before leaving we traded in our tickets for a Funspot pint glass, a yo yo, a little zip up pouch and one Laffy Taffy! We had a blast.
Dad had found the New Hampshire licence plate online from the year of my birth while we were visiting. He had been trying to locate one for a few years now but they are hard to find, and he finally found one! That evening we had a family dinner prepared by yours truly. I made chicken tacos. Kylie the youngest of the girls loves tortillas with lettuce and cheese, she calls them pizzas. So funny. Later we had another fire.
Wednesday was a relaxing day. I played with my nieces and Ellie came over too. We filled up water guns and had a blast! Wish I had some photos of the fun but I was too busy having it!
Thursday was Aunt Jenny’s Celebration of Life party. An urn with her ashes was set up amongst photos in the living room. The food was plentiful! It was great to see family I hadn’t seen in many years. My cousin Stevie who is her son was strong through the whole thing. I can’t even fathom losing a parent so soon.
After the folks went to bed that evening, Erick decided that he wanted to set up the fog machine in his house. After waiting by the fire for the house to fill up we went in. Wow! We were tripping on things because we couldn’t see! He set up a crazy green laser light too. We had a good time!
Friday I did laundry and did a little packing. Then me, Khloe, Kylie and dad went to Lowes, Market Basket and to dad’s doctor in Meredith. I had fun zooming the girls around in a race car carriage at Lowes! Once home I played with the girls a bit more and then we had our last family dinner before our departure on Saturday. Bonnie and Dad made Chicken Cordon Blu. We had rice and cauliflower for veggies and everything came out delicious! That evening I got dad and Bonnie to play Cards Against Humanity with us. Sarah, David, Danielle and Erick also played. Its always hilarious hearing some of those cards read by your parents!
Saturday morning we finished packing up and said our farewell for now. I’m going to miss the kids! The adults too I suppose!
On our way through Tilton we had the opportunity to meet up with Grandma and Grandpa Ortakales and my mom for lunch. They had been out yard saleing and were nearby. They took us out to a Thai restaurant that was so yummy! It was nice to spend some more time with the grandparents before we departed!
And thus ended our time in New Hampshire! I am going to miss you all so very much!