Saturday, August 25, 2007

From one side of the continent to the other

On August 13th our family embarked on a eight day trip east to New Hampshire. One hundred and ten years ago Rockywold-Deephaven Camps (RDC) was created by my mom's great great grandma Mary Alice Armstrong. So there is a lot of rich family heritage at this camp. My parents worked at the camp one summer when I was little, Birch and I worked there the first summer we got married ten years ago, and most of my siblings have also worked there for at least one summer. When our family goes to RDC we don't actually stay right at the camp but just outside at the "Log House," a cabin that my grandparents built thirty-two years ago. Nothing has changed at the cabin--it has the same ceder smell, the same decorations, the same fun toys that I played with when I was a little girl visiting, and probably even the same mice family that has occupied the house for the past thirty-two years. Anyway, we took the kids back to RDC three years ago and ever since then we have been saving our pennies and frequent flyer points so we could visit again.

It was a VERY long flight. We left at 11:00 pm and split up the family on two different airlines in order to take advantage of our frequent flyer tickets. Due to "technical difficulties" on two of Birch's planes we didn't all join together until 18 hours later. We were all glad to finally make it to the Manchester, NH airport and finish our journey to Rockywold-Deephaven Camps (aka - RDC). Birch took Alysee, Nathan, and Cooper on his airline and I took Alex and Tyler (doesn't sound like an equal split??--well, Birch said I could pick). Don't feel too bad, though because my parents were also on the flight with Birch and the little kids.
I had forgotten how uncomfortable sleeping on a plane really is. The little kids seemed to still get comfy and slept periodically throughout the 18 hours of traveling. Cooper even slept all tucked in underneath the airplane seat.
We celebrated Alysee's fifth birthday while at RDC. She had a wonderful day and definitely enjoyed all the royal treatment and birthday gifts!
We all (well I did get in once--I am not a fan of chilly water) did a lot of lake swimming and playing in the water. Nathan was especially fond of riding in the canoes, and of wearing a life jacket. The boys and Birch played a plethora of tennis. Tyler and Alex didn't even mind being the ball boys when it wasn't their turn to play. One night after a busy day Alex whispered in my ear, "Mom I think you have become more athletic since coming to RDC." This, of course, would be Alex's dream of a cool mom. I did play tennis (or at least try) a couple of times and I did climb a mountain while there--certainly whatever athletic bone my children have did not come from me.
When the weather was a bit overcast we had fun kayaking and canoing. It was so great having Alex feel so confident in the water this year. Alex really got brave and loved participating in all the crazy games that the uncles and Poppi made up to do off of the docks.
Cooper is definitely our best water baby!! He was so cute jumping in and out of the water and then acting like a little fishy in the lake.One of my favorite parts of the trip was spending time with my extended family. My sister Emi and I had a great time laying out on the docks attempting to add a little color to my legs.
Tyler loved everything at RDC. What he did love most, though (and I have no pictures) is eating unlimited ice cream at the dining hall.
Almost every night there was some sort of family activity that we could all participate in. One night we listened to the famous Odds Botkin (a storyteller), another night we watched a magic show, but our favorite was Friday night--the traditional Square Dance. The kids were a little shy at first to let their hair go but as soon as the music started and their uncles, aunts, Ami, or Poppi started twirling them around, they had a wonderful time. Birch and I stayed and participated in the Adult Square Dance while my parent's tucked the kids in bed. Now there is some good exercise!!
Uncle Seth and Alysee letting loose.Saturday with the weather being a bit chilly we decided that it would be a perfect day to hike Rattlesnake Mountain. The view from the top of the mountain is absolutely stunning!!Although we were missing my sister Laura (serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Switzerland), and my sister Leah and her husband Geoff and two kids, and my brother Matt and his wife Jessica, we did have a great time with those in our family that were able to come. Seth and his wife Caroline are still at RDC working at the camp for the next couple of weeks.
Another shot of the Ditto clan on top of Rattlesnake Mountain looking over the Squam Lakes Region.
Sundays are always a unique treat. There is an island a short boat ride away where we attend a non-denominational service. I always enjoy being around other people who also believe in Christ.
Nate had the best time following Birch around. In the early mornings Nate would tag along with Birch and Poppi to go play tennis, then the afternoons Nate would hang out on the docks to watch Birch dive. Nate just can't get enough of his daddy!

Cooper was such a good little boy on this trip. He adjusted easily to the three hour time change and did moderately well with others helping care for him (as long as his mom and dad were out of eye shot). Coop's favorite thing while at RDC would be the big sand box.

The travels home were less eventful than the trip to New Hampshire. We all arrived safely back on the west coast and were glad to pile in the car and make the two hour trek home. We can't wait for our next opportunity to make it back to RDC again!! It is a magical place!


Mama Nirvana said...

Wow! What an amazing trip that your children will have memories of for a lifetime. It certainly looks like the most beautiful place.


emily said...

I'm impressed you got your post up so soon. I'm still working on adjusting my pictures.

It was such a fun trip. We miss you guys!

kg said...

Looks so beautiful! Glad it all went well, loved all the pictures...

Leah said...

Ok, on to my comments.

1. I would like a heart cupcake please.

2. DYING that Alex said you were becoming more athletic, that is down right hilarious.

3. Nakey Coop and his tan lines. Darling.

4. The "sister" shot-you guys totally tried to recreate Emily and I's Church Island shot.

5. Mom looks real cute in Emily's clothes.

6. I wish I could have been there!!!

Jared and Heidi said...

What a wonderful trip. It sounds like you all had a great time. Love the pictures.


Cami said...

How fantastic! Seems as though there wasn't a dull moment. Glad your home safe.

KimiK said...

What a great trip! I wish I could travel more, you seem to have such wonderful travels! Great pictures!

meta said...

how fun! fun to see the photos of Emily's site too.
I love the photos of your kids and the family shot.

robandsara said...

You guys always have such a great time at RDC. Us Ramptons should get on board and come along some year. Great photos and memories!