I don’t think I would have to argue that Summer is one of the best times to make family memories. This Summer has been no exception for us between our Strong Bonds mini vacation to our most recent in New Hampshire, we’ve made lots of memories. It’s been two years since we were last in New Hampshire. My husband is from there, andΒ  his family still lives there. With Joe’s work schedule the last few years, it’s made any type of vacation nearly impossible. So we loaded up the Volvo and headed North!


That’s how long (roughly)it takes to drive from Savannah to Joe’s parents. We left at 4:15 a.m. and didn’t get coffee until about an hour into the trip and I was completely bleary-eyed from going to bed late the night before. But we made pretty good time only stopping for quick coffee and bathroom breaks. We took our first family picture in Virginia.


We had packed lunch meats so we stopped in Pennsylvania and made sandwiches and didn’t stop for dinner until the New York border around 8:00 p.m. No stopping again until we reached New Hampshire. It was a really long day, but we could not have asked for better behavior from the kids. Exhausted, we went to sleep and woke up a few hours later to the only “down” day we had during the trip.


We went hiking in Pawtuckaway which is essentially in my in-law’s backyard. Great trails for hiking and a beautiful lake and ponds. Joe’s cousin and his three kids joined us.

We hiked South Mountain…

The girls in Pawtuckaway
Jac and her cousins.
Uriah hiking Pawtuckaway
Uriah hiked the mountain by himself almost in it’s entirety.
Joseph hiking Pawtuckaway
Joseph stayed ahead almost the whole time. I had to run to keep up with him.

Pawtuckaway State Park, NH

Pawtuckaway State Park, NH

Kids hiking Pawtuckaway

Kids hiking Pawtuckaway

Daddy and Uriah hiking Pawtuckaway

Daddy and Uriah hiking Pawtuckaway
One of the few times Uriah got a free ride.

Pawtuckaway State Park, NH

Fire Tower at Pawtuckaway
Fire Tower at Pawtuckaway
Top of the fire tower at Pawtuckaway
Top of the fire tower at Pawtuckaway
Top of South Mountain Pawtuckaway State Park, NH
At the top
berries on top of the mountain in pawtuckaway
Not a blueberry…

There were blueberries at the top of the mountain. We ate a few, and then I found these berries…which are not blueberries. I tried one. I don’t recommend trying a berry when you’re not sure what it is. lol I was okay though. I only ate one. It didn’t taste bad…but it didn’t taste like a blueberry either.

After we finished our hike, we went to Manchester and ate at Giovanis. There is no other area of the country that does roast beef sandwiches like the North East. I’ll have to share my recreation one day. I promise you will not be disappointed if you love roast beef. We also drove around the coast and took in the beauty. No pictures unfortunately.


I believe day 2 consisted of Joe helping take down some trees in his parents’ yard. The kids played hard and wore themselves out! There are cows and chickens to play with, and Uriah played in the pool and with the trucks and bikes in the yard.


The kids spent the morning playing and then we went down to Massachusetts to visit the graves of Joe’s grandparents and then headed down to The Century House. My mother-in-law had called ahead with reservations and made sure we all got rare prime rib. If you’re ever in that area, you should visit The Century House. So much food (so much I couldn’t eat it all), and it’s delicious!


We headed to the tractor show up in Maine. The kids enjoyed checking out all the old tractors and seeing the different booths including a blacksmith who was making key chains (free for the kids). They topped off the show with a “tractor train” ride.

Tractor Show

Tractor Show

After leaving the show, we went up to Kennebunk to get lobsters, steamers, and muscles for dinner that night. We had a seafood festival at my sister-in-law’s house.

Picking up the lobster.

Here I am picking up our dinner.😊

After finishing dinner, a major storm popped up and gave my sister-in-law waterfront property.πŸ˜‚ Even though we got soaked it was a blast!

That night the kids traded and spent the night with us…all the cousins.


Sunday my in-laws had a cookout and we ate lots of food while my husband got a chance to shoot his guns. It doesn’t happen very often, and he ended up doing it for about four hours!! No pictures…but it happened. πŸ™‚


We traveled two and a half hours north and went to Storyland! Basically a nursery rhyme themed park. The kids had the best time. It’s meant for little kids so even Uriah and his cousin Ruth were able to ride most of the rides…

“The Three Little Pigs”were real pigs!! So cute!

The kids were worn out!


Went to Castle In The Clouds. Joe and I went 14 years ago, and it’s even prettier now! (New ownership.) I loved this place so much back then, and it was so nice to go back.

14 years ago when we were babies…

Now with our babies! (Who aren’t really babies.😒)

These pictures were taken on the property on the way up to the actual mansion.

On the property (because it’s over 5000 acres) there’s a fish and duck pond…so we fed them.


So the last full day we had there, Joe went off on his own to check out a car he’s been admiring since he was a teen, and I went to see a friend and family member withy sister-in-law and all the kids. The next day we packed up and had a quick stop over with my parents before heading home Saturday. It was a long and busy trip, but one I’m sure the kids will never forget. And can I just say, I was so concerned about how the kids would be on such a long trip and all the driving we did while we were there….they were incredible! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say that again, but I know for sure I can say it for this trip. Praise God!

So that’s our big summer vacation! More coming in the Fall as we take on homeschooling. Can’t wait to share the experience with you.

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Till next time…

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