Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Trip Back East

When friends and family come calling the Stoker family makes it happen. We were planning on going to visit Diane and Phil in New Hampshire this summer, but I was going to take the kids all the way from Seattle to NH by myself. Fortunately Brandon's high school buddy announced he is getting married in Boston. It was a perfect excuse for us to go visit the family and attend the wedding in the same trip. And I am so glad Brandon made the trip with me. It was 3 hours on the airplane to Chicago with an hour lay over and then another 2 to NH. 5 hours on an airplane with three kids by myself would have been torture. Christian has a really tough time on the way to Chicago wanting to walk around and lay on the ground. He couldn't sit still. The other two spent the whole time kicking the old lady in front of them and she was not happy making several comments and rolling her eyes constantly. I tried my best but kids will be kids. (And let me point out we were sitting first so she choose to sit in front of us). Thankfully the second leg of the trip went much better with all the kids sleeping, even with the hour delay and not getting into NH until 1AM.

Once we were settled we had a great trip. Lots of beach time, it was cold but the kids didn't seem to care, and touring around Maine. We saw amazing light houses and the water smelled so good, it made me miss WA. Actually Maine is a lot like WA. Lots of trees, the beach, and small towns. We ran into some bummers, a lot of things were closed still because the summer season doesn't start until May 1st and we got there the week before. But we made the best of it.

 The wedding was perfect. Some light sprinkles but the Boston temple was beautiful and cozy. We had a great time catching up with old friends, most of who live in Arizona but we never seem to see them. But the best part was seeing Justin settled down and happy. 

We didn't get to see much of Boston when we went to the wedding but Brandon and I did get to take an adult day trip and left the kids at home later in the week. If it wasn't so cold I think I would have really enjoyed the city. We took a tour bus which was fun, the tour guide provided lots of fun facts and tidbits that added to the experience. I loved history and the piers by the waterfront. Knowing all the events that took place in the city that formed our country, it was an experience everyone should see at least once.

We visited an Amazing farm in Vermont and the Joseph Smith Memorial site. The JSM was incredible. I learned so much about the early church and the prophet. He was an extraordinary man that lived an incredible and trying life. I think the next time I am feeling sorry for myself I will think of him and all the trials he overcame not only from persecution from society and members but everyday trials in his family including losing several children, a major leg injury that had to be surgically repaired with no anesthetic, and investments gone bad.

The farm contained a lot of history as well. It contained a full museum of original farming tools and equipment, historical documentation and pictures of the first families that lived on the farm, and an interactive farming experience that the kids enjoyed. Plus there were so many baby animals including cows, chicks, sheep, and horses. Christian loved the hay ride and made friends with all the baby calf giving them all kisses. It was adorable. We even saw the milking process which reminded me a little too much of my own pumping experience.

Despite most of the tourist event being closed for the season we found plenty of museums, play places, and attractions to visit. But I think the kids loved being at the house and hanging with Grandma and Grandpa the most.