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New England

This August Taylor and I went to New England to visit my folks. It was her first time on an airplane since she was one and a half. Due to how young she was, she really doesn’t remember it. Ever since Tay learned that we would be going to visit Papa and Grandma she has been nothing but excited. It has been nonstop questions for weeks about the flying, airplane bathrooms, airport security,  our plans while we are there and the list continues.

On the morning of our flight the plan was for me to wake the kid at 7am and leave around 7:45 or 8am. When I came down for coffee at 6:30am the kid was fully dressed, shoes on and ready to go – but reading a book, waiting nicely. She is just like me and my dad. Whenever we are excited and leaving it never fails, we are up early and raring to go. Many times as a child he would wake us up hours early for a roadtrip and pile us into the car so we could get on the road.

Taylor was disappointed that we did not get scanned by the rotating machine at the airport during our trip. Each time we were directed to walk through the standard metal detector – which was nice because there was not wait. She loved the plane ride – specifically the turbulence, crazy kid. She thought it was like a rollercoaster. Tay was such an inquisitive little traveler. I absolutely love how her brain works and she thinks of things and ask many questions. Every day it feels like we engage in deeper, more mature and meaningful conversations. (The pudgy baby face slept like that the whole trip – too cute.)

On Sunday after we relaxed and watched the birds while Momma and I enjoyed our coffee we visited VINS Nature Center and saw a some birds of prey up close. We also hit up an antique mall and a few smaller shops that were connected to it on the way to Quechee Gorge.

There was a unique spider web that Tay spotted on our hike to the Quechee Gorge dam. It was cylindrical, but inside a hole in a tree. After she got me to take a picture of it she chuckled and told me that there was a huge spider in the hole. Not cool…I am not a fan of arachnids.

Although it was just over ninety degrees out with little to no breeze it was beautiful, just very sweaty. Spending time with my parents makes my heart soar. I have really missed them since they moved out East in May. I am used to having them within a two-hour drive. Even with technology it has felt like they are a world away. Spending this week with them gave me the feeling of peace and home that I needed so badly.

Monday we took a road trip to Hampton Beach  then to Maine! This was Taylor’s first time at the ocean since she was one and a half. She loved it! Most of her time was spent swimming and gathering tons of hermit crabs and spotting a few large crabs for me to try to grab. I caught a few of them and they all decided to pinch me. Apparently they don’t teach crabs to play nice out East! It was fun to give Taylor a mini science lesson on the fly!

With the ocean being a couple of hours from their house we were able to talk and catch up. I feel like when you are in person it is a different conversation and connection compared to talking on the phone. My favorite part of going to the ocean, as silly as it sounds, was cruising along and singing to songs from my childhood with my dad. It is amazing the emotional connection a song can create and envoke when it is heard, even years later. This definitely took me down memory lane of our road trips when I was a kid – just me and my dad in our own little world.

Tuesday Momma and I worked while the kid and papa went out to find some trouble. They went to a waterfall, swam in a lake and picked blueberries. Over my lunch break I was able to visit Momma’s work. I enjoyed seeing where all the magic happens!

Wednesday I only worked a half day before we went off-roading in the Scubaru. We explored Mt. Ephraim and Fall Mountain. It was pretty cool to experience one of my father’s passions. Experiencing the movement of the car and steepness of the hills is so different than watching his stabilized videos online. The mountains are so peaceful and secluded. Everything is untouched. I did not end up getting a picture of it, but all through the mountains are stone walls that are very old and they go for miles. Apparently this is how everyone would make their property lines. Pretty interesting how well they have held up over the years and mind boggling with the effort of back breaking work considering the technology when these were constructed.

At one point I had to ask myself “How the hell did we end up on a giant boulder on top of a mountain?” Must be that infamous Scubaru driver… He has some pretty neat off roading  pictures and videos on his Instagram (@brooksrickard) and Youtube (Brooks Rickard) if you like that sorta thing.

While we were causing trouble Papa gave Taylor a choice between two paths on Mt Ephraim in New Hampshire. One being very steep and the other having 3-wheel action. She chose to turn the car into a mobile tripod. So I decided to video their decent and around 22-27 seconds into the video you can see the front tire is airborne. Then at the end of the video you can see the back tire is well off the ground. It is absolutely exhilarating to experience and to watch.

On Thursday we spent the day feeling slightly afflicted in Salem. Hopefully I don’t turn into a full-fledged witch…I mean hopefully I do! Ooga booga! We walked over six miles (this is a lot for me with my condition), visited a couple of museums and creeped in a cemetery. The kid and Papa got scared in a haunted house while I waited wondering if they would come out alive while listening to their screams of terror. (They did, just in case you had any doubts.)

Over the course of the week we were exposed to an interesting accent that is noticeable only in certain words. We of course mimicked it and enjoyed every moment of playing and poking fun at it. A few of the words that were pronounced in a unique manner are:

Smart = Smaaht         Start = Staaht         Garlic = Gaahlic

Art = Aaht                   Mark = Maahk        Outdoors = Outdoahs

While in LGA Taylor got to experience a moving walkway for the first time. She had fun walking fast, backwards, slow motion and standing still. After our flight was changed back and forth between two different terminals four times we were able to sit and rest a bit. Before we boarded the plane we met a furry friend in an unexpected place.

All in all we were glad to be home after traveling all day on Friday, however I wish we could have fit two people and a furry black stalker in our luggage and brought them with us. We are looking forward to planning our next adventure out East! However, I think we will drive so we can bring the husband and the pooch with us!

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