So I'll be writing a post every night, and post-dating them so you won't see them until we're back in our house in Massachusetts, carefully guarding our 5-year-old TV. I don't know what else you'd want to steal, besides my laptop, which I obviously brought with me. We did not bring his Mac because Macs suck. Deal with it.
So here's the vacation so far: the boy woke us at 7:30, as usual, and we packed some snacks and showered and dicked around until 10:00. I gave our two beloved cats two heaping bowls of food, three bowls of water, and about 10 treats. I hugged them and gave them pep talks about taking care of each other. Then they hid for the last 10 minutes that we were in the house, because they are passive-aggressive bitches. It's okay for me to say that about them; we're family.
We drove for about 17 hours, and the boy ate a day and a half's worth of snacks. Then I looked at the clock and learned that we had actually been on the road for only an hour. Rough. The Tom Tom (narrated by C3P0 for an extra $12.95) tells us that it takes a little over 3 hours to get there. I have had no breakfast or snacks and I'm starving. We decide to stop at 11:30 and get lunch. We ended up at Martin's Drive In, because the Yelp app on my phone told me to. Four and a half stars, they say. I think we ordered the wrong things. Their onion rings are supposedly "famous," and they seem to specialize in seafood. We didn't get those things. I got a "chicken burger" that looked like public school food (but tasted slightly better than it looked). The boy subbed mac & cheese for his fries and received a cup of Easy Mac. Seriously. I think it must be a townie place that people love because of nostalgia, not so much for the food itself. I did not try their signature dessert.
Guess. Just guess which one I'm referring to.
Back on the road, we used the empty threat of turning around and going home in order to get the boy to take a nap. We arrived at our hotel, the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, a little early for check-in, but luckily our room was ready. Have you ever read or seen "The Shining"? Okay, then you know everything you need to know about this place. Eagle Mountain House is a "historic" hotel, which means they have an elevator from 1782, no air conditoners, and a 19-inch Zenith TV. We chose this place because it met our parent-specific criteria: living room and bedroom separated by an actual door, Wi-Fi, mini-fridge, and $100/night cheaper than the hotels in North Conway proper. Although I really wanted to stay here. Maybe someday.
There is no man in a little hat.
After moving in, we were off to Story Land. I was apprehensive about Story Land. I know I went there as a child, and although I don't have any specific memories, I recall a general feeling of it being lame. I mean, I was probably 4, and I still thought it was lame. Apparently it's under new management. That could be the reason it's no longer lame, or it could be that I went with my mom and grandmother, and they refused to accompany me on rides. I could easily believe either.
Story Land still absolutely has some lame elements, but most of the rides are rad. The first ride we went on, Bamboo Chutes, was the best. It's a very short roller coaster that ends in a splashdown. I hated everyone there, because they were people, and I hate people. Story Land actually has designated smoking areas, which is insane, since it's for children, but "Live Free or Die," and all that. Would you believe I saw multiple people smoking outside the designated areas, that I had to drag my kid away from? I mean, come on! I smoke, so please don't think I'm insensitive to smokers. But I have never smoked in front of my son, and I make it a point to avoid smoking near any kids. We frequent Davis Farmland, which does not allow smoking at all, and it's never been an issue to wait until we get home. I've actually tattled on people for smoking there.
I was concerned that the boy wouldn't get the full experience, since he's not familiar with any fairy tales, nursery rhymes, or classic children's songs. I mean, we've never even taught him "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." He has no clue who Cinderella or the Three Little Pigs are. My husband always questioned this, but kind of shrugged his shoulders and deferred to me. He finally got it when we walked by the "Goosey Goosey Gander" exhibit. This was a goose in a pen, with a sign that showed the first half of "Goosey Goosey Gander." We walked by, and the goose honked angrily at him. I told him it was because he is an atheist. For those who don't know, here's the complete poem:
Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs.
After learning the second half, he agreed that this was something our son didn't need to hear.
After Story Land, the boy kept complaining that he was tired, which those of you with kids know is super rare and really weird. We got dinner, then stopped at a gas station for wine and Twisted Tea (yay, New Hampshire!). Then, went back to the hotel, and put him to bed on the floor in his brand-new Mario sleeping bag.
For the next couple hours, we sat on the couch, him watching "The Empire Strikes Back"* on Spike, me reading Entertainment Weekly. He went to bed at 11:00, and then I wrote this. Look how I sacrifice myself for you people.
*The new, edited version