I hope everyone had a great Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. It's been a week (month) of stress, fun, excitement, and smiles. But seriously, massive amounts of stress. It takes a lot to make magic for your kids. Santa and the elves can't do it alone. This year, the hubby decided to book a little getaway during the winter break so we could all decompress from the lead-up to Christmas.
BACKSTORY: I've been going to Maine almost every summer for 43 years. My grandparents honeymooned in a little town called Naples back in the early 1940s. I cannot even imagine that ride up here from Delaware back then -- but they loved it so much they continued to bring their 3 daughters (my mom being one of them) up every year to the same town. When my mom and my aunts had their own families, they brought us up too. Every August we would all be hanging out on Long Lake and eating lobster dinners. Some of my best memories include that place. Now my husband and I come up each summer with our kids. Give or take a few years when I was in my 20s, and I have been coming up here for 4 decades.
Every year I say, "I wish I could see New England in winter. One day we'll get up there." This year, my husband made it happen. He secretly booked us a few days at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway, NH. North Conway is one of my favorite day-trips from our cabin in Naples. Over the years I discovered that I like the mountains and lakes more than the ocean. Instead of always going east for the day to Kennebunkport or Camden or Portland, we started going more into the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Heading up there in the winter was a magical idea. Even though we aren't skiiers, this was the perfect winter getaway for us. Even more perfect? The resort is totally kid-oriented, with an indoor water park and lots of family-friendly activities. They also have several bars right down the hall from us. Winner, winner!
It takes a while to get up here to this area from Dover. We decided to do the ride up in 2 days. We left around 9am and got to Mystic, CT at 3:30pm. The traffic from the George Washington Bridge to New Haven, CT was horrendous. Horrendous. I hate to say it, but my kids probably heard a few more curse words than they should have. We finally got there, checked into our hotel, and headed out to dinner. Since most places don't open until 5pm, we took a little detour to see the town of Stonington. Oh. My. Gosh.
I always refer to places as "Hallmark-worthy". This town was definitely Hallmark-worthy. It had the houses built in the mid-1800s. It had the cute shops. It had an old library. It had the pretty white church. It had hidden-away restaurants. At the end of Main Street was a place to park and look out over the water. Stonington, Connecticut was adorable.
After spending the night in Mystic, we got up the next day and made it to North Conway in about 4 hours. We did stop in Naples to check out the frozen lake. It was solid ice except for a few areas where the water was still swirling around. There were skaters out in the middle of the lake...not something I felt brave enough to try.
We then drove another 45 minutes west to North Conway. Our hotel was on the main street, but up on a hill overlooking the town. Our third floor room was perfect. The view? Like nothing we have in Delaware, that's for sure.
We immediately went to the indoor water park. It was time to let off some steam. Besides being 100 degrees in there, it was really cool (get what I did there???). There were 4 slides, a wave pool, a water basketball area, splash pads, and areas for little ones. I decided to let go of my normally self-conscious ways and go down the slides. I had way too much fun. It was nice to just enjoy life and be a kid again.
The hubby also booked me a two-hour massage with a local masseuse. I went down the street and had the MOST. AMAZING. TWO. HOURS. EVER. It was also cool because it was snowing....so it was cold and snowy outside while I was enjoying a deep tissue rub with hot stones inside of an old Victorian house. The massage place was upstairs while the cutest bakery ever was downstairs. Can I say, Hallmark-worthy?????
Definitely check out some of these New England towns. I promise you, you won't be disappointed.
Hi. My name is Kelley Cole and I am the new Social Media and Event Coordinator for Delaware Housewives in the City. I am a mom to two amazing kids. My daughter (P) is 12 and my son (T) is 8. My husband works for a local education association and also serves on Dover's City Council. I was a high school English teacher for 16 years before leaving the classroom to work part-time as a trainer for an educational software company. I make sure I reserve time to play tennis, read chick lit, travel, and enjoy the small things in life (like wine and chocolate).