Vacation New Hampshire, Day 1!

It’s not often that I can say this, but the drive to Pawtuckaway went off without a hitch!  We left our house at 5:15 am and arrived at the park well before 2 pm.  Both kids were loaded into the truck without fuss and they both fell back to sleep for quite a while before waking up for the day. They were still in their pajamas, and clothes were handy for the first “awake” rest stop.

We managed to get to the last food/fuel stop in NJ before they woke up – quite a feat!  We had a cooler of drinks and snacks which cut down on the need to purchase food so we only stopped for food once (at lunch time) at the Sturbridge stop on the Mass Pike, where Ryan and I shared a huge Chicken Caesar Wrap from Fresh City (both money saving and healthy!). The kids went with their old standbye – McDonald’s. . . not our favorite place, but okay in (extreme) moderation.

We arrived at Pawtuckaway and because of our early arrival, we were able to leisurely pitch the tent and orient ourselves to the campsite (playing with the sticks, water, & dirt).

We loved the site (a waterfront spot at Horse Island) near both water and restrooms/showers but found that there wasn’t much flat area for the tent (a downfall of selecting your site online).

While Ryan recovered from his half of the drive (I drove until we hit CT, he drove the rest), I took the kids to hang out at the park at Pawtuckaway Lake before dinner.  Dinner was Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai – good tasting, but requiring more time to “cook” than I allowed.  It was clear that I had forgotten how to make camp food!  The kids didn’t like the Pad Thai, so we supplimented with Mac & Cheese.  I think it was more a result of my cooking than the taste of the food – atleast that’s what Ryan said.

As we prepared for bed, we arranged the tent so that the kids slept on the crashpads (with sleeping bags and blankets) while Ryan and I slept on our camping pads in between the kids.  R kept sliding down the crash pad because of the slope of the ground.  Ultimately everyone slept but it wasn’t very pretty.

Note to self: Next time, check with the rangers/park staff upon check in to see if the site is appropriate and/or if there is anything better available.  The second night, we decided to move our tent.  We weren’t waterfront with the new site, but flat was certainly preferable to slopped! Even the slightest slope can mean the difference between good sleep and no sleep.  

1.  Leaving early is best for us. Figure out what time works best for you and your family.  2.  Keep everything accessible for the ride (food, toys, clothes). It cuts down on stops.  3. Guaranteed, you’ll forget something.  Do your best to make sure it isn’t anything important.  We forgot the kids camp chairs and our 5 gallon water tank.  Nothing to cry about, but annoying nonetheless.

All in all a good start to our vacation!

New River Gorge with Kids

New River Gorge Climbing Trip We finally made our way back to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for a weekend of climbing.  It has been years (pre kids) since we had been to this area as it seemed to be a bit less kid friendly than other areas that we had been to.  Our ClimbingWeather.com app was showing predictions of snow on Friday night - and it wasn't far off.  The drive took us eons, especially in the Appalachians with the travel trailer.  We … [Read More...]

Hiking in a Creek

Have you ever started out on a day hike with children only to have it turn into something completely different that what you planned?  Ha. Of course you have. Many of our adventures start out as one thing ("I want to climb X route" or "sleep at X campground". . . "I want to relax in a tube on the water", or "I want to sleep in the sand") and end up as something completely different ("The route had a group staked out on it for the day" or "I couldn't … [Read More...]

Climbing Gym Etiquette With Kids

Tips for taking kids to the climbing gym. There are few things more troublesome than going to a new place and not knowing the spoken and unspoken rules.  Add to the uncertainty the presence of children, and it can be quite intimidating to enter into unknown territory.   For those new to indoor climbing and/or new to indoor climbing with kids, here are a few tips for bringing your kids to the gym. Those that know me will laugh at the irony. . . My … [Read More...]

Stand Up Paddleboarding

The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests.  There are exceptions, of course!  Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found.  As usual, my husband and I sought out something both "active" and "family friendly" to try with the kids. Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that's a solo endeavor, as … [Read More...]

The Mount Rushmore Dilemma

Visiting Mount Rushmore with Kids Our summer trip to Wyoming and South Dakota was amazing.  We combined climbing with family time, history, geography, science and more.  When we planned the trip, climbing was the main focus, but hitting some of the National Parks and National Monuments were also a must.  Mount Rushmore is one of those locations that combines both.  There are amazing climbing opportunities in the shadow of the National Monument.  There are … [Read More...]

About Laura Boniello Miller

Laura Miller is a internet marketing professional and a mother of two. Her interests include sport climbing, bouldering, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She believes that playing outdoors is integral to health and well being, and that if your kids aren't dirty, they haven't had enough fun.