Tuesday, August 12, 2008


a/k/a the family vacation, from which we are now recovering - and in my own case we are literally recovering, because somewhere in the midst of repeated hoistings of Noodle and Beast into and out of cars, trains and theme-park rides, an occasional mild pain in my left wrist became a screaming needle of agony any time I picked up something heftier than the Sunday papers, and so I wait to see the doctor(s) while wearing a drugstore wrist brace that makes me feel like Earl Anthony. (Holy crow, that's a silly shirt Ernie Schlegel's wearing, even for 1981. I digress...)

New Hampshire is great for traveling with kids, and it'll get better once our little ones are more adept in the woods. The heavy rains kept us off the trails, but the mountains and waterfalls along 302 through Crawford Notch will keep the little ones plenty fascinated. And if you're sans kids or traveling with considerably older kids, right on 302 in the middle of the mountains in Hart's Location (population 40, tops) is the inn where Her Awesomeness and I got married, and it's a tremendously lovely and secluded place.

In New Hampshire there are still small-scale theme parks geared toward smaller children that are making a good go of it, from all appearances. We took in Santa's Village in Jefferson and Story Land in Glen, near our base in North Conway. Both will take up your full day quite nicely, and unlike more massive theme parks there's shade. From actual trees, even! Nothing like a 70-degree day in the mountains, even with drizzle, when you know your friends and co-workers back home are shvitzing through 85 and swampy.

The rain also washed out our planned trip to the beach, but the alternative was plenty good for kids: Boston. A great option is the Marriott in Cambridge across from MIT, which can be pricey as heck but often offers tremendous summertime deals, which we pounced on. The floor-to-ceiling windows could be a bit nervous-making at first, especially when Beast ran up to the window full-tilt before abruptly stopping. (Yeah, keep messing with mom and dad, kid.) With the T stop right across the street from the hotel, even at 22 bucks a day it's cheaper to leave the car in the garage for the duration. Get yourselves some CharlieCards from the MBTA and you're good to go. Most T stops have...get this, New York subway riders...actual working elevators! Amazing. Yes, some of them reek of urine, but still. It's a straight shot down the Red line to South Station, from which you can walk to the Children's Museum. The Red line also stops at Boston Common, and outbound it stops at Harvard in case you're doing college trips real early. Two train changes from the Red will get you to the New England Aquarium, and one will take you to Fenway Park.

Which my darling son mooned from the 12th-floor window. I'm so proud of him.

Photos and more info to follow...

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