DAY 6 = A Pleasant Surprise
The next day, our morning started out with an overcast sky but an optimistic forecast. Cue Google search. Rather than head north that day, we went west-southwest to Tamworth. We read some reviews about a farm out that way.
We ended up at Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm. We had zero expectations. Turned out to be a pretty cute place. The kids really enjoyed it. Great excursion and definitely a destination slightly off the beaten path. THE WIFE snapped photos like we were preparing to leave for prom. We fed some sheep and billy goats. We admired piglets until mama pigs snorted the kids away from getting closer. We strolled among gardens of flowers and produce. Very picturesque.
Across the street, we had a picnic in a sweet spot overlooking the Swift River then headed home.
That afternoon, Mommy and Greta had their big date out on the town. Though I heard the stories only second hand, it sounded like a nice adventure. The ladies opted for mani’s and pedi’s, of course. Then, the women be shopping. After a nice dinner together, Gigi had an agenda: back to the toy store.
The night before during my date with Greta, she tried to convince me to buy a bunch of stuff that I resisted until we compromised on a Cinderella jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately, she was disappointed. She kept talking about some jewelry box that I dismissed as being a purchase she really didn’t want. I was wrong.
When the ladies arrived home from their night on the town, Greta strode into the house triumphantly with a large plastic bag. Mom agreed to buy the “treasure box” that Greta had oohed and aahed over. (During a visit by her pre-K teacher this week, Greta proudly showed off the pretty jewelry box with several secret compartments as they toured her bedroom. Too cute.) Score one for THE WIFE. I schemed about how I might be able to retake the lead in the favorite parent competition.
DAY 7 = Icing on the Cake
Let’s just skip directly to my attempt at father-daughter bonding to end the trip on a nice note.
On our multiple trips into town during the week, we passed by a studio in Conway. I’ve only done yoga about three times total in my life, but it’s starting to grow on me. Lately during Gus’ P.T. session with Kristie, both he and Greta do yoga as part of his therapy, though typically not longer than ten minutes or so.
Once Gus and Tilly went down for their naps after the beach, Greta and I headed to the studio to get our Namaste on. We met Miss Dawn. She generally teaches yoga to children with special needs. I figured that just the two of us would make for a pretty eventful thirty minutes.
Miss Dawn turned out to be quite a character. She did everything possible to make Greta feel comfortable. Miss Dawn opened introductions by giving a small teddy bear to Greta. Soon, we walked around the studio pretending to be in a jungle looking at animals. Then we did some poses pretending to be animals. Miss Dawn had me barking like a dog, meowing like a cat, and roaring like a lion. (As I was bent over on all fours howling like a wolf, a relatively quiet voice inside my head began to wonder if perhaps I had misread the studio’s sign.)
Despite all of the effort, Greta was still lukewarm. Miss Dawn set up a little house of cushions and blankets for Greta to sit under. She played the hokey pokey on a CD player. Unfortunately, Greta hardly flinched. Soon, the thirty minutes came and went. It was time to leave.
Miss Dawn presented a bowl of fruit to Greta so she could choose a snack. Greta actually nibbled on some grapes. Miss Dawn and I chatted. Considering her background, I talked to her about Gus, Tilly, and THE WIFE. We hoped to reconnect during our next visit and to introduce the rest of the fam to her. As we got ready to leave, I prepared to discuss what I owed because I never asked how much a half hour private session would cost. I had $100 in my pocket to be safe. Miss Dawn asked me for ten bucks. I tried to give her forty. She finally relented and took twenty. What a sweetheart.
So that was basically the end of vacation. Greta and I picked up a pizza to bring to the house for dinner before our road trip home. Then, we packed up, cleaned up, and locked up. Finally, we drove away into the rainy night.
As we drove home, we (naturally) encountered severe thunderstorms on the highway that just chuckled at the downpours we drove through previously on our way up to Madison. After a few movies in the FUV, the three amigos finally fell asleep. We inexplicably yet inevitably encountered traffic on Route 1 at 11 o’clock at night on a Friday. We moved at a mile per hour as three lanes merged into one, yet I did not curse or even complain. Somehow, I was relaxed.
Mission accomplished, family vacation. Thank you Madison, NH.