Sesame Place


We were only home for two days after camping before we took off again on Wednesday morning the 8th to start our trip to Myrtle Beach. We left a day and a half early this year so we can spend a day at Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. We made it to PA by late afternoon and checked in at our hotel, which was right across the street from Sesame Place. The hotel was nice and had a good size pool. We all swam for a while and then went out for dinner.

The next morning we were all ready to go! The kids had no idea we were going to Sesame Place until that morning and were really excited.

Ready for a fun day

Sesame Place was great! They have regular amusement rides AND it’s a water park. It was so hot and humid that day so I was really glad to have the water to keep cool. There was a ton to do and all 3 kids had a blast!




We went camping August 3-5 at Crawford Notch Campground with nine other families. What a blast! The kids had so much fun running around and playing with each other the entire team. Since there were so many of us, we took up a good area at the campsite and they were able to pretty much go where they wanted.

The best part: we stayed in a cabin instead of a tent! This was a first for me and I don’t think I could ever go back! The kids had their own room with bunk beds. There was a fridge and an electrical outlet to plug in the Keurig:)

Home Sweet Home for the weekend.

We spent a lot of time at the river where the kids went “tubing” down a small section of rapids.

On Saturday, we ventured out for a hike with the Riedels, Gorries, and Greens. It was a fairly easy hike, but since I was out of shape, I was still sucking wind. That and I had to carry Luke almost the whole time up and down! But it was well worth it. It was a really clear day and we had great views.

The kids taking a break on the way up.

Love Dana’s face!

Tom and Kristin

Plenty of sugar was had by all.

Hugs after playing beauty salon.

The adults enjoyed themselves too, when the kids went to bed!



Story Land

We decided to do a trip to Story Land this past weekend as Sammy’s big gift for her upcoming birthday.  The girls were beyond excited all week for Story Land, but probably even more so for spending a night in a hotel!  They LOVE hotels.

After Sam got home from school on Friday, we had a quick lunch and were off.  Luke slept most of the way and the girls watched movies.  We got to North Conway around 3 and went to a few stores at the Outlets.  Then we checked in to our hotel, dropped our stuff off and went out for an early dinner in town at Horsefeathers. Our meals were good, but Luke is really tough to take out to restaurants right now. He likes to yell and throw things. We’re THAT family….it’s not that enjoyable for anyone.

We stayed at a Hampton Inn and got a room with an extra bedroom.  It was nice to put Luke in (although it was 9:00 before he went to bed) and still be able to stay up with the girls and watch TV.  One of the best parts of a hotel, if you ask the girls, is the pool!  This Hampton Inn actually had a water park.  They were all thrilled!  There were different size slides for each kid and a zero entry pool, which was perfect for Luke.  It is just about impossible to safely take pictures while watching 3 kids in a water park, so you won’t be seeing any from Friday night.

We were at Story Land by 9:45 on Saturday morning.  It had rained the night before and was really humid, but it wasn’t raining in the morning when we got there.  Our past two trips to Story Land have been in the rain, so this was a welcome change.

Luke was mesmerized by the talking tree.

Sitting in a desk in the old school house.

There’s a small section with animals and there are places to press a button to hear a nursery rhyme about the animal.  Luke liked that section.

In front of Cinderella's castle

Inside Cinderella's castle with the princess herself

When the girls misbehaved, we put them in jail. They spent a lot of time there....

Milking the cow

We were too early to see good foliage. This was about all the color we saw this weekend.

It was really foggy at the tops of the mountains all day.

Luke was loving all the balls. He was throwing them at everyone.

Sara worked really hard at filling up this crate by feeding balls into a vacuum tube. They loved it when the crate opened and all the balls fell on them.

Sam liked shooting balls at us from the balcony area.

The girls definitely like doing the rides best.  There aren’t a ton, but it was more than enough to keep them happy for the day.

This turtle ride is like the looked nauseating.

Crazy Barn House

The girls must have ridden the roller coaster 6 times.

This is about when the camera battery died.  Hopefully I’ll remember to check on that before venturing out for the day.  Overall it was a nice, quick family getaway.  Since the girls are SO into the rides, we’ll probably just stick to Canobie Lake Park next year.  I figure we have one more Story Land trip in the future, maybe in a couple of years!

Next post will be for Samantha’s 6th birthday…time sure flies.

Myrtle Beach 2011 – Part 4

This is FINALLY my last Myrtle Beach post.  It has taken me entirely too long to complete writing about our vacation.

I was really bummed that my lens wouldn’t clear up and a bunch of the pictures came out so foggy.  Here are a few I tried to salvage.

This was our home sweet home for the week, Windy Hill North Myrtle Beach.

Thursday was cut short due to a storm coming in.  The winds picked up and toppled our canopy.

Ominous sky.

We headed over to Barefoot Landing for dinner at Dick’s Last Resort.  Dick’s is a raunchy restaurant with rude waiters and waitresses….it’s great!  Sammy, however was not amused when the waiter just threw the napkins and silverware across the table!

This was one of the tougher meals we had out with Luke.  Brian ate super quick while I walked around with Luke, then we switched.

Everyone who eats at Dick’s gets their own special hat, made especially for you by the waiter with your own special message that you “proudly” wear throughout your meal!

Sam's said "My butt itches and my finger stinks"

Sara's said "Poster child for birth control"

Brian's said "1 inch from being a woman"

Maureen's said "Yell BINGO when I get laid"

My hat said "Smoked more sausage than Jimmy Dean"

Art's said "Only thing I can get up is my blood pressure"

We went to a few shops after dinner.  The girls had fun trying on hats!

Me and my goof balls!


same picture, 2010

Friday, our last full day.  It’s always sad when vacation comes to the end.  We spent another long day on the beach, not wanting it to be over.

Sam and her baby

We went out to dinner and then we let the kids stay up late while we got a bunch of the packing done.  Brian got the bubble packed on top of the van and I did a lot of the indoor stuff.  Saturday morning was a quick breakfast and more packing.  We were off by 10:00.  The ride all day Saturday wasn’t too bad.  We really didn’t hit any traffic and the kids were great in the car.  We stopped just south of Baltimore for the night.  Brian took the girls for a quick swim and we ordered sandwiches.

We were all pretty tired, although Luke took a bit to settle down.  He kept wandering around the room in the dark!  Then we got a call around midnight that the side door of the van was open!!  Nothing was missing, it was strange though.

We tried to beat the rain and get right out Sunday morning, but we totally got caught in probably the worst downpour I have ever seen.  We crawled for about 20 minutes and stopped for breakfast.  After being trapped in the rain for a little longer, we were clear!  We had a pretty smooth drive home and made it back by about 4:00.  Sara started to lose it about 45 minutes from home.  She got upset about something and flung all of the contents of her purse at us.  Brian took the brunt of it, getting hit with all her change!

Mom and Dad were there with some groceries and Princess!  That was a HUGE help, plus they were there to see the kids while we unloaded the van.

All in all, this was a GREAT trip.  We’ll miss you Myrtle Beach.  Until next year….

Myrtle Beach 2011 – Part 3

After another beautiful day on the beach Tuesday, we decided to head down to Broadway at the Beach for dinner, rides, and fireworks.  It was SO crowded that night, probably because of the fireworks.  We ate at the Tilted Kilt, an Irish bar/restaurant.  We were all pretty disappointed in our meals and the service, but, we tried something new.  After dinner we got tickets for the girls to go on some rides.

waiting for the carousel

they loved how the car whipped them around the corners!

We made the mistake of starting on the rides for the smaller kids.  There was another side that had some “big” kid rides Sam would have loved, but we ran out of time and only got to do the Tea Cups.

We ended the night with fireworks (again!) and then it was a long, hot walk back to the car.

Brian took a picture of what he believes is the place that sells the most expensive cotton candy in the USA, or possibly the world. I think he's right 🙂

We slept in a bit on Wednesday and spent another glorious day on the beach.  Brian and Art picked up very yummy pizzas from an Italian restaurant down the street.  It was WONDERFUL not having to get off the beach early and get ready to go out!  We went back down for a little more beach time after we ate.  All the beach pictures are starting to look the same, so here are a few random shots from the day.

I think they really do love each other!

Sammy wanted a picture with her baby

so Sara wanted a picture with her blankie

Myrtle Beach 2011 – Part 2

I took my laptop with me on vacation with grand hopes of blogging every night or every other night.  I got as far as drafting one post…and gave up!  So I’ll be working on the rest of our vacation in dribs and drabs.

On the plus side, my last post was my 10th post!!  This is an accomplishment for me!

Back to our vacation.  Monday was spent all day on the beach (of course).  Even though we were constantly watching/chasing/playing with the kids, it was still so relaxing and peaceful.  I never tire of listening to the crashing of the ocean waves.

We stayed in that night and Nana cooked a great dinner of pork roast, baby red potatoes, and veggies.  Then we headed back to Barefoot Landing for a little fun before the fireworks.

Me and Luke on the carousel

Sam climbed to the top of this tower.

It was pretty tall!

Waiting there turn for the Euro bungy.

Sam went first. No flips this year though. When she did the bungy three years ago she kept flipping!

Then it was Sara's turn.

They FINALLY like having their pictures taken! This was in front of Tiki Jim's.

We watched the (late) fireworks show – 10:15.

One of the best things about being on the beach all day is how it totally wipes the kids out.  They were all so tired each and every night….bed time was a piece of cake!

Myrtle Beach 2011 – Part 1

We made the trek down to South Carolina again, and it went pretty smooth.  We left the house by 10:15 PM Thursday night to start our journey south.  The girls never went to bed – they were too excited to sleep.  So the Caravan was loaded up and off we went.  We made it until about 5 AM before we both hit a wall.  We took a quick 30 minute catnap at a rest stop while the girls read their books.  By the time we got up, the sun was up and we felt somewhat refreshed and ready to keep driving.  We made it to a Cracker Barrel in Maryland for breakfast.

The kids were GREAT the entire time we were driving!  I don’t think we could have hoped for anything better.  Even Luke was spectacular….he was probably best of all of them!!

We stopped in Wilson, NC around 2 PM on Friday.  Nana and Papa were able to get us both rooms and we had some much needed down time and a swim in the hotel pool.  After a quick shower we all went out for dinner and then headed home for an early bedtime.  Everyone was out for the night by 8 PM.  Luke was the first up Saturday morning at 7:30.  We all slept great!

The girls were imitating the girls on the shampoo commercial.

We got to take our time in the morning, have a little breakfast, and take off for the last 3 hours of driving to Myrtle Beach.  We stopped about 1/2 hour from MB to have a picnic lunch…in the car because it had just finished raining.  We drove to get our condo key and even though we were early, our unit was ready!

We all unpacked and the girls were happy putting away all their clothes and toys in “their” room.  I was told several times by Sara that I was NOT allowed in their room.  She had a lot of rules….

Brian and Papa took the kids down to the beach while Nana and I went food shopping.  We had a nice easy dinner, played some games, and all went to bed early.

Sunday was the first real beach day.  We were on the beach by 9, and other than a quick lunch, we pretty much didn’t move off of the beach until after 3.  Sam made friends with a boy named Trey and they were in the water virtually the whole time.  Sara is getting braver and braver and would sit on Nana’s lap pretty far in the water.  Luke chased seagulls, hit his T ball, and dug in the sand all day…all on 1 twenty minute nap!

Ladder ball

We went to T Bonz for dinner and planned on spending some time walking around Barefoot Landing, but the rain started coming down so we headed home after getting an ice cream.  We weren’t home for 2 minutes when the power went out!  Of course this caused a lot of excitement for the kids.  I put Luke, who was totally wiped, to bed and the rest of us hung out on the porch for about an hour until the power came back on.

Vacation has gotten off to a fantastic start!  I can’t wait for the rest of this week, and I hope it goes by super slow:)