The day was completely unplanned
The morning started out lazy - no rush to get up and get going. It was a beautiful sunny day in New Hampshire, so we did a few small loads of laundry in our washer and hung the clothes up to dry outside in the sun. We then filled our water bottles and headed off to a nearby trail we had heard about called Kilburn Crags.
Entering it into our phones, the GPS first took us to the wrong location but we followed signs that lead us to the trailhead. As we were getting out of the truck, I was quite hesitant to take the kids on the hike. The trail was overgrown and muddy at the trailhead and it looked like there were going to be ticks and mosquitos everywhere. However, we were prepared and we started the hike off with a fresh coat of bug repellant and ventured up the hill.
The hike was much steeper that I thought it would be but it was beautiful and short.
Even though it was steep, the kids did great. The four oldest could have run up the mountain. Matt and I hung back with Elliot and moved at a 3 year old pace while hollering at the others to slow down and wait for us. I loved every moment of the hike. There were so many wildflowers and the view from the top was stunning. It was great coming around the corner with our muscles maxed out and seeing the vast view before us.
From this vantage point, we spotted the town of Littleton, NH below. Littleton is an iconic Northeastern small town that is beautiful and scenic. It even has a covered bridge over a beautiful river. A calendar photographer’s dream. The view was backdropped by Mount Washington and uncharacteristically for all 9 of us, we all sat and soaked up the view and were perfectly content for a moment. After we had relaxed in the serenity of the beautiful landscape, we enhanced our moment together by making funny videos for family using silly voices and filters.
The hike downhill was more of a "follow the leader" game. Elliot "had" to make sure he was the leader. I joined him in the front to make sure he didn't run which always leads to him tripping. I needed to make a few "brake checks" to make sure nobody was following too closely which led to an impromptu car-driving lesson.
We got home tired and refreshed at the same time. We had a few hours to eat lunch, do more laundry, naps for the younger children, and play at the playground. Matt's ribs had been hurting so he made an appointment at a local chiropractor in town. The kids and I dropped Matt off in Littleton and then headed down the street towards the river.
I had a surprise up my sleeves. I had read about a candy store called Chutters and we happened to drive by it before dropping Matt off so I knew it would be close enough to walk to. The kids were so excited when they noticed it. And when we walked through the doors their jaws dropped.
Chutters boasts the world’s longest candy counter.
Our kids loved looking at all the different and new candy. We bought a little chocolate and some gummy candies. My favorite, as always, was the dark chocolate covered caramels with sea salt. Teddy's were the fruit gummy slices. Gavin loved the gummy crocodiles and Evelyn wanted a giant jawbreaker.
Pollyanna is the darling of the town of Littleton since the author, Eleanor H. Porter, was born there. Pollyanna is the world’s most optimistic character. So, Littleton is the Glad Town. “Glad this and glad that” - and it was rubbing off on us too. Don't get me wrong, there was still fighting, but the whole family was generally happier while walking around the streets of Littleton.
One of the most beautiful spots was the amazing long covered bridge over a stunning river full of rocks. It's like we were walking in a story book. The setting was perfect: blue skies, picturesque buildings with a water wheel and a church steeple, birds chirping, kids playing, people saying hello to each other, colorful pianos on the street and the sounds of the river.
The kids were so excited to show Matt everything after his appointment. He walked down the street and met us. At this point most of the kids (and Matt – the big kid) couldn't resist any further and navigated newly bare feet onto the slippery rocks and into the river. The kids showed him everything we had seen with excitement and were glad to share it with him.
We decided it was time to go home but took a small detour along the reservoir near our campground. We wanted to see it and check it out. Well, a quick stop turned into getting our feet wet which turned into kids getting wet, which turned into full on swimming in our clothes. It almost seemed a little magical. The older kids found logs to float on, Teddy and Elliot played on the edge and Jonah slept in his car seat.
Soon it really was time to head home. We ate a late dinner and went to bed happy. I don't even think there was any fighting at bedtime (well, there probably was...there always is), but this day that had started off without any plan at all had turned out to be a truly unforgettable day.
We learned that you don’t have to plan things to have a great time – just be open to whatever ideas you have along the way.What is your idea of a perfect day? Send me an email and let me know! - Tabitha
… on the next Ditching Suburbia blog post: We've been many places in the past few months and Tabitha's articles on them are forthcoming.