Well, we're back to real life. Back in the city, back to doing laundry and making dinner for 3 (really 2, T barely eats what I make), back to the sirens and police chases through our neighborhood. Seriously. Welcome home, huh?
Anyways, its the escape from real life that makes our annual NH hiking trip so amazing. Fresh woodsy air, beautiful scenery, great food and friends, quick visits with family on our way up and back down.
Despite my irrational, hormone fueled paranoia last week about taking T hiking, we did actually make it out for a short hike. I was worried that the rest of our party wouldn't be as interested in a "family friendly" hike, seeing as in past years we have climbed 1500 feet in elevation over 4 miles, but given that the weather was questionable the whole weekend, it actually worked out. We took a nice 1.5 mile hike to "Diana's Baths". The path was wide, clear and pretty flat. There were streams alongside and a massive waterfall at the end.
We stayed far, far away from the waterfall (insert paranoia here), but were able to view its beauty from afar. T got to pick up pinecones, leaves, rocks. She got to jump little streams (with help), climb on boulders, and stand on tree stumps. She waved "Bye" to everything. I was so happy she got to get outside and experience all of that. It breaks my heart that she doesn't have a backyard to explore the world in right now, and I'm not about to let her explore the city parks where dogs and people relieve themselves and people abuse drugs.
Anyways, the weekend is much more than just hiking. The friends we meet up with there every year are the kind of friends that no matter how far away you live or how infrequently they see you, you know they've got you back. In fact, recently, we were trying to find a way to make a move back up north. In the end, it just wasn't going to work, but one of these friends was willing to open their home to us to give us time to find a new house. Can you imagine? Two adults, one child (and one more about to makes its appearance, a dog and two cats and they were still willing to let us stay with them? Now that's friendship!
We ate gluttonously all weekend. Pepperjack mac and cheese, amazing homemade tomato soup with the grilled cheese spectacular (Oh my word, it was sooooooo good!), vegetarian chili, braised pork tacos (ok, veggie tacos for me), pancakes, egg and cheese sandwiches, never mind the brownies, Chex mix, chips and dip, etc. Oy. If I was feeling 100% the entire weekend, I would have gained 20 pounds! Luckily (?), I'm still feeling nauseous regularly and vomiting occasionally (sorry hiking trip ladies for the reality check, but that's pregnancy!).
But really, the best part about the trip was just being able to relax with my family and our amazing friends, getting to watch T play with the two little boys that were there and watching her attach herself to our friend Karen. I truly have never seen her adore someone so quickly! There were no schedules, no timelines, nothing that had to be done ever. Ahhh, it was so peaceful!
During out last stop at my in-laws (I love them! Have I mentioned this before?), T got to play with her cousin K for a while. It was so sweet to watch them instantly bond. I have visions of the two of them spending a week or two at the grandparents over the coming summers and beign the closest friends. Here's a pic of them "helping" Grandpa feed the birds and playing with K's new bro, D. So cute!