Sunday, July 30, 2006

Portsmouth, NH

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Hopefully I am not going to regret this, but for the next 5 days we have to leave the house at the cheerful hour of 8 AM so Fiona can do the summer camp at the Montshire Museum of Science. She loves this place (which is why I'm driving an hour and back each way) and what better close to summer than spending every morning there for an entire week? Now, you may be thinking, 8 AM, that's nothing! Hell, I used to leave for work at 3 AM. The challenge, you see, is getting everyone and everything in the car BY 8 AM... really more like 7:45 that first day just to make sure. I'm one of those people that is either just a little bit late or way too early. It sucks, but there it is.

So we went with Doug to Portsmouth, NH for another business presentation. Portsmouth has a lot more going for it than Latham, I have to say. We were also in a very nice hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn . I'm not really picky these days, I like to think. A/C, TV, bath/shower, clean floors and we can get by. Our room had a microwave (didn't use but I brought popcorn just in case and YES I know how to make REAL popcorn---bugger off!), a coffee maker (eh), and not only clean floors, but very clean floors. The beds were soft, white and filled with pillows. The staff was downright friendly. The kids loved the buffet at breakfast. There were minor flaws, but I would stay here again in a heartbeat, even if I had to pay for it (well, we did pay for the 2nd night). We didn't walk much that morning because Fiona just wanted to watch TV in the A/C. That was about as exciting as that time she and I were stuck in a motel room when we had the outside of the house scraped and painted (we have lead paint out there!) and she was about, what, 18 months?, and hadn't seen much TV at that point and wouldn't have except I was sick as a dog so I just left it on all morning and let it eat her brain. Teletubbies are four minions of Satan and Bush except I can actually follow what Teletubbies are saying if I haven't had more than 4 hours of sleep.

Right, where was I? Right--we stayed in the room also because Fiona had a "tummyache" (god DAMN those creatures, I almost wrote "tubbyache"). So even though I got the car down (unfortunately, there is only valet parking) for the baby carrier (no stroller) we walked for about 10 minutes and then we sat, glazed in our clean room. Doug came back for the afternoon and I can not even remember what we did except finally walk around. We also braved the pool which is hard with two young girls who do not know how to swim---and the 21 month old has No Fear of water At All.

The next day was better (except the car still didn't have a/c but it does now after we gave them a lung and $600) because we went to The Children's Museum of Portsmouth. Now, looking at it, it just looks like a nice old house. I'm telling you, it is very cool inside. The yellow submarine was the biggest hit (Fiona still loves Yellow Submarine and the Beatles; it's just that John is no longer the focus of her adoration). There were all these neat little details there that made you (the adult) want to play there all day. We also went to the beach to look at whatever sea life we could find and jump along the rocks (there was a "real" beach there but the water was so cold...however, people were swimming there--I'm going to guess these were native New Englanders who have family here going back several generations when the water was probably even colder in July).

Depsite the heat, we went to the outskirts of Boston to Stone Zoo, where we've been a few times before. Many animals were hiding or were missing except for the cool jaguar and her cubs. They were right next to the window. At this point, our girls were the most wild animals at the zoo.