One cool thing about the Naswa resort is that kids eat free in the main restaurant, the Blue Bistro. And it’s not like a Denny’s Kids Eat Free, it’s a legit restaurant.
The first night, we were pretty tired from all those rides and then all that dancing at dinner, so after some jumping on the bed, we were probably all asleep by 9:00. In the morning, the kids experienced something they never had before…
Naswa is kind of like the Dirty Dancing resort, as Matty put it, “just the right amount of cheese.” They have lots of quaint, cute things like free boat rides, paddle boat rentals, and corn hole. I never carried a watermelon, but I did carry a pina colada, if that counts.
Then it was beach time.
Then, we had some very special guests: Auntie Dita, Uncle Matt, Grammy, RyRy, and Sean-O! The kids couldnt’ have been any more excited if all of One Direction reunited and showed up at the lake. (Seriously, I don’t think they even know who One Direction is.)
Running away from lake sharks, building sand cities, and trying to avoid getting roofied took a lot out of all of us.
Then, we rallied for dinner on the beach.
Even though Matty “accidentally” tackled her in the water earlier, Grammy was nice enough to treat us to dinner. We repaid her by making her take goofy family photos on the ground.
I’d like to say we rallied to stay up drinking wine on our porch, but once again, we went to bed right after the kids.
You don’t just hang out on the beach on vacation when you could hang out on the beach on vacation with the Steinhausers! You might remember them from when we went peach picking blueberry picking tortoise feeding with them. But we didn’t settle for just hanging out on the beach. Oh no.
And then, we went to the arcade (or, the “arcave” if you’re Hazy), where George rode this hog, I blew through $3 trying to win him a minion (one was because George pressed the button before my shot was lined up!), Hazy went old skool, we attempted to score a 1970’s shish kabob but didn’t win the necessary 8,000 tickets, Matty played “wuacamole”, and Leslie gave a master course in skee.
Of course, we’ve already established that George doesn’t go anywhere with the Steinhausers without one of them pulling him around in a wagon.
After the very tired Steinhausers hit the road, we headed back to our “local”, the good old Blue Bistro.
I’m proud to say we stayed up a teensy bit later than the kids, and enjoyed some beers on our porch.
For our last morning, we soaked up a few more bennies (beneficial rays of the sun – phrase credit goes to our family friend, Chuck).
At this point, we were desperately clutching to the cliff that is the last day of vacation. so we went for broke and had ice cream sundaes for lunch at a little time warp called Kellerhaus.
Quick break for glasses photo shoot:
After this, we reluctantly headed home to reality. On Tuesday, Hazy started first grade, George started pre-K, and I had my first day back at work after 10 weeks. We were all psyched to see our friends and a little (okay, a lot) sad to say goodbye to our fantastic summer together. Thank you to everyone who hosted us, went on adventures with us, read this blog, and commented on it.
p.s. Matty made me promise to dedicate at least two paragraphs or 500 words to him in my last post, so stay tuned for an epilogue.
It’s hard to top that, but I think we did it with our Labor Day weekend family vacation.
Somehow, in three and a half days, we packed in all the things that make summer great. On the drive up to our vacation place, on a whim, we went to Canobie Lake Park, the old school amusement park that Matty and I went to when we were kids.
They still have the same old Caterpillar ride, the antique cars that kids can drive, and my all-time favorite, the log flume. I am totally psyched that it’s now Hazy’s favorite too.
I’d been talking about going to Canobie for a while, so Matty had gotten a big stack of $4 off coupons from McDonald’s weeks ago, which I happened to have in my backpack. It was a total A-Team I-love-it-when-a-plan-comes-together moment. Since we had so many extra coupons, I gave them out outside the ticket booths to random people, like some sort of ghetto Oprah. You get a coupon! You get a coupon!
There are like a kajillion rides for kids and we must have rode them all: trucks, horses, rocket ships, boats, swings, horse carts, helicopters, antique cars, bumper cars, dune buggies, and a fighter jet (not pictured). Fun fact: you can click on any photo to view it larger.
Throwback to the day before, when George was thrilled to be on this boat.
But it wasn’t just rides. We got another souvenir 51¢ penny!
There were prizes!
There were fortunes!
There was Super Premium Italian Ice!
There were photo ops!
There were also…
Also, I happened to snap this selfie of Hazy and I on the Caterpillar, and I will cherish it forever.
Then there was a ferris wheel ride at magic hour, which was indeed kind of magical.
After this jam-packed day at Canobie, we headed up to the Naswa Resort on Lake Winnepesauke.
I have a soft spot in my heart for Lake Winnepesauke, as does Matty, since we both went there a lot growing up. It was such a treat to stay in a little pistachio-colored cabin on the lake, which was unexpected, since we don’t have the best track record with the whole family sleeping in one room (I’m having flashbacks to the time we left the Cape at 6 am because the kids basically didn’t sleep all night), but this time it went great. Thank God.
You know near the end of senior year in high school, when you get all sappy, and you’re all, “Last time we’ll drive in White Lightning together!”, and “Last time we’ll drink beers at the town’s Conservation Land” (which we in no way ever did, Oma & Opa)? Well, the end of the summer was a lot like that for me. We had to say goodbye to a lot of things, including Oma’s pool.
Fortunately, we had a special guest appearance by our very favorite guest star at Oma & Opa’s, Dada. He must have heard “watch this!” a thousand times.
Also, this happened, which has confirmed my fears that George isn’t the only one with OCD in this family.
That evening, Opa made us his secret-recipe ribs and Nana’s secret-recipe potato salad, and Oma made us not-so-secret-recipe blackberry napoleons (Last Thursday night summer dinner at Oma & Opa’s – no!!!).
Thursdays at Oma & Opa’s have been so wonderful, we’re planning on doing Sunday dinners now that the summer is over.
in friends. For example, Tuesday night, my friend Dee texted me to invite us for a beach day the next day at her house in Little Compton. It’s like she knew that we had just gone to awesome beaches in the Vineyard and Ogunquit, and needed to complete the New England trifecta.
A big thank you to the universe for giving us so many gorgeous beach days, including this one. We had the whole beach to ourselves, just us and the lifeguards.
I actually left the beach for a few hours to do a conference call. It was a little bit like being yanked out of an all-you-can-eat-nacho buffet to go fold a dozen fitted sheets (perhaps that analogy’s too specific to me?), but sometimes duty calls. Luckily, I didn’t miss much, besides the Great Sea Glass Battle of 2015 between Hazy and her friend Nina. They were still back to being friends afterwards, thankfully.
Then, Dee made us a total Martha Stewart meal of pasta with farm stand cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. And just to continue cementing her A+ friend status, she then took us out for ice cream. Thank you, Dee!
Tomorrow, I go back to work-work. I’m excited to see my work peeps and use my brain again, but I am crushed to say goodbye to this magical summer. I’m still catching up on my post backlog, so stay tuned for posts about our last pool day at Oma & Opa’s and our Winnepesauke family vacation.
On Monday, after we got Beach Fever in the Vineyard, we jetted (Ford Flexed?) up to Ogunquit, where our friends’ parents had a rental house. Sure, you might say a friends’ parents is a bit of a loose connection to descend on them with four people on a Monday, but you’re clearly not an O’Rourke. Plus, it’s the Chans, and they’re like our JP family.
The waves at Moody Beach were the biggest and the water the coldest out of all the beaches we’ve been to this summer, but that didn’t stop us from some serious beach action.
We had record-breaking temps that day, so we went home after lunch time to cool off and nap the little guys. For those of you keeping score at home, this marks the third time George has taken a nap with another little kid in the same room (score!).
After naps, we headed back to the beach, where we basically just had a big magic hour photo shoot.
This pretty much captures their personalities: Hazy is fun, silly, and calm enough to pose for a photo; George is go-go-go and always having fun.
Then we had a delicious dinner off the grill, and while everyone was helping make dinner, I was the a-hole making my fantasy football picks for my draft. However, I did help cut some buns in half and I did draft Tom Brady, so it’s all good. (First game’s Thursday – wish Team Heavy Flow luck!)
I think it’s pretty obvious right now that we have the best friends in the world. And I haven’t even gotten to Wednesday yet! Thank you, Marie, Annabella and Granddad/Tony, for a wonderful day.
Our One Summer At Home trio became a foursome starting last Saturday, as Matty took the week off of work. And if you know Matty, you know he doesn’t half-ass these things. So, summer vacation just got turned up to 11.
First stop, Martha’s Vineyard, to visit Auntie Gigi and Uncle Heavy. Before we had kids, my bestie Jean and I decided we would have cool old lady aunt names, so we went with Gigi and Lala. I’m not sure how Devin got lucky enough to be Uncle Heavy, but you have to admit, it’s cool sounding. Here’s our whole crew:
The last time we went to visit Jean & Devin in the Vineyard, Hazy was an infant, and all I remember is a particularly gross poop blow out on the drive to the beach and a 1-hour crying jag on a boat, so this time, I was relieved that no one pooped themselves and crying was kept to a minimum. They actually played pretty well with Tucker and Sunny.
To break up the “monotony” of being at their gorgeous beach club every day (what can I say? Life is hard.), Jean took us to a lighthouse one morning. After we realized 16-month old Sunny probably couldn’t climb the ladder (thanks, Lighthouse Monitor Lady) to the top, Jean took her back down, so I went up with the three big kids. The three big kids spent .03 seconds at the top and refused to pose for a photo, but after, Hazy put on a photo acting master class and George wouldn’t stop talking about how much he loved the lighthouse and when can we go back there again. Typical kids.
Then it was back to the beach club, poor us.
Saturday night, we decided to do as the Romans do and get a sitter and have a night out. After a few day drinks, we had quite a few night drinks and one thing led to another which means I ended up slapping Matty in the face for what was apparently no reason and the babysitter let me know Matty was passed out in the driveway after I paid her. As Jean’s friend said, “We’ve been training all summer. You can’t just come in and run a marathon on your first night.” Truer words.
We had an awesome time, and pretty much all passed out on the ferry ride home.
Also, not sure where this fits in, but it’s my favorite picture from the weekend:
Thank you, Gigi & Heavy. We are still recovering from your hospitality.
It’s been a whirlwind few days since I last posted. In that time, we’ve gone to beaches in all New England states except Connecticut and Vermont, because, well, duh. I will (eventually) post about all our adventures, but here’s a quick teaser:
After we went to Rockwell Painting, NH on Friday, we got up super early on Saturday morning to visit Auntie Gigi & Uncle Heavy (what? he chose the name!) on Martha’s Vineyard for two days.
Highlights included two beautiful beach days, a visit inside a real lighthouse which George is still talking about, and a grown ups’ night out which involved me slapping Matty “for no reason whatsoever” (the reason was booze). Sorry, Matty.
On Monday, we continued our Beaches of New England Tour with a visit to Ogunquit, ME to hang with our friends, The Chans.
We went to yet another gorgeous beach, splashed in some enormous waves, and had a lovely dinner with our friends, which I partially ruined by doing my Fantasy Football draft in the middle of it. However, I did get Tom Brady, and as of today, a judge has nullified his four-game suspension, so all’s well that ends well, right? Sorry again to your parents, Marie.
On Tuesday, I had to do some work (gasp!) and it was like a cold bucket of water tossed into your hot shower. Going back full time next Tuesday is going to be worse than that Maroon 5 song where he sings about the summer hurting like a mother. And ironically, it will also hurt like a mother. Matty and the kids went back to their favorite place – Boston Bowl – and did some shopping while I did work stuff (okay, and got a pedi).
On Wednesday, we were back on The Tour, this time to Little Compton, RI, for a beach day with our friends, The Days.
We collected sea glass, had a fight about sea glass, jumped off a cliff-side diving board (go, Hazy & Nina!), had an amazing farm stand dinner, and ice cream for dessert. Thank you, Dee!
Today, we’re back in good old Plymouth at Oma and Opa’s.
Here’s a totally accurate map of where we’ve been in the last week:
I have four more days of my summer at home and I intend to make them count!
In the comments section (not on Facebook, jerks!), guess how many swimsuits I’ve washed this summer. Closest guess gets a prize.
On Friday, we went to visit Matty’s childhood bestie, Lesley, and her family up in the NH boonies (no offense, Les), but we’re talking the most picturesque, just-stepped-out-of-a-Rockwell painting boonies of all time. I kept expecting a little black and white dog to run up with the Saturday Evening Post in his mouth. I’m serious, she even lives across the street from the town hall, which has those old timey red white & blue half circle banners (you know the ones), and next door to a general store in a red barn that sells homemade whoopie pies.
When I let Lesley know our ETA, she texted me back saying she’d “alert Slowpoke.” I assumed she meant one of her kids, because, well, kids are slow (at least mine are), but oh noooo, she meant her neighbor, Slowpoke the tortoise. That’s right, a tortoise lives next door. He’s 15 years old, eats fruit and veggies, and has a little dog-turned-tortoise house painted like a tortoise shell and we are in love with him.
It was hard to match the excitement of feeding Slowpoke, but we did get pretty psyched about going peach picking. The O’Rourke kids (and adults) have a healthy obsession with peaches, so I had this vision of bushels of big, juicy, orchard-fresh peaches. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, we went blueberry picking. We are also big fans of “bluebs”, so that worked out well.
Then we had lunch, and one of us helped herself to a whole lot of Trader Joe peas.
While George and Eliza napped (in the same room!), Hazy and Nora performed a fashion show/play/art piece.
Then we went for a walk and some bench jumping, as you do.
Before we went home, the Steinhausers treated us to a really awesome sushi dinner (definitely the way to my heart), and in return, George put the moves on their youngest. Sorry, Steinhausers.
Then the little O’Rourkes passed out while I took the long road home to non-Rockwellian JP. But don’t worry, the fun’s not over yet. In my continuing quest to give these kids the Best Summah Evahhh, we then headed to Martha’s Vineyard for two days with Auntie Gigi & Uncle Heavy. Update to come.