My family stayed at the Mountain Club on Loon Mountain the weekend before last. It’s a resort that’s located right at the base of the mountain. We took a few steps out of our room, walked out of the door to go outside and were were literally standing at the bottom of the ski slopes. Here are a few pictures I took of the ski/snow boarding chair lift and slopes just so you could see what I saw when I stepped outside.
**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets for snow tubing and lodging at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
My boys absolutely love playing in the snow and one of their favorite winter activities is snow tubing. When we had the chance to go snow tubing at Loon Mountain recently, we were all super excited. Usually, I just “supervise” while the kids go tubing, but this time – I actually went, too!
The Tubing center was marked and easy to find.
Inside, we signed waivers, were given lift passes to attach to our coats and grabbed some tubes.
Yesterday, I told you all about our adventures on Wickenden Street in Providence. Wickenden Street has numerous independent shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants that are popular among local artists, professors and students. Among the shops on Wickenden Street are a few antique stores. Chris and I get a kick out of antiquing sometimes, so we stopped into one of them while we were down there.
As soon as we got into the store, I walked right into this little beauty.
I have no idea what anyone would do with that hideous thing, but frankly, she kind of creeped me out, so I moved on quickly and didn’t look back.
As I walked a little ways into the room, I saw that they had this old version of The Poky Little Puppy for sale.
Last week, Chris had a day off from work and since the kids were at school, we decided to head down to a trendy, artsy little neighborhood down in Providence, RI called Wickenden Street. I actually haven’t been to that section of the city in ages, but what you need to know is that Wickenden Street has numerous independent shops, art galleries, a farmer’s market, coffee shops and restaurants that are popular among local artists and students. Wickenden Street is nestled in between Brown University, RISD and the Moses Brown School, so it’s pretty happening there.
Our first stop of the day was Willy’s, which is part coffee shop part organic market. It was a little strange to be honest, but we hungry, so we went in.
The thing was, all their bagels, pastries and muffins were sitting out in the open, probably getting stale and breathed on by the girl working behind the counter, so Chris & I decided to get hot chocolates. Sadly, they both ended up being luke warm chocolates & we decided to blow that Popsicle stand for a better place. A much better place.
At our condo on Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, there is an outdoor hot tub by the pool area. If you’re keeping track, we were up there recently (November) and it’s pretty chilly up there this time of year. Not to mention that I just posted about the boys sledding on the mountain the other day……
So needless to say, it was cold and the thought of going into the outdoor hot tub in frigid temperatures was not appealing to me in the least – but the boys on the other hand. Well, they couldn’t wait to get in to it.
Yes, that IS snow you see all around the hot tub.
But if going into the outdoor hot tub in the freezing cold weather, they thought it would be funny to roll around in the snow.
While we were in New Hampshire in November, we stayed on Loon Mountain. When we arrived, we were excited to see that they already started making snow on the mountain and the boys couldn’t wait to go out and play in it.
It was still really early in the season, so we weren’t expecting there to be snow and didn’t go prepared. Chris stopped at a store up the street and we picked up a couple of cheap sleds so the boys could take them out for a spin. The thing is, where the hills are, even the small ones, were at the base of the ski slopes, so we had to wait until after dark before we went out to sled. That didn’t seem to bother the boys, though – they were just happy to get out in the white stuff.
When we were in North Conway, NH in November, we spotted this awesomely decorated snowman outside of the MWV Children’s Museum. The boys loved it and we immediately ran over to it to take a picture.
As we drove away, we spotted yet another one:
It had this sign on it, which led me to think that there were more than just the two we had come across.
When my family was up in New Hampshire back in November, I booked us seats for a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad. The boys love train rides and the price was right, so I bought us tickets for a round trip ride through the mountains.
There are several different options including a dinner train ride, but I opted for a 55 minute ride on the Valley Train.
ON THE VALLEY TRAIN, you’ll enjoy an old-fashioned railroading experience as you journey on historic rail routes in vintage passenger cars (most from the 1920s) from our 1874 train station in North Conway Village to either Conway or Bartlett and back again. Children under 4 ride FREE in Coach on the Valley Trains, and well-behaved dogs are always welcomed at Conway Scenic Railroad!
The 11-mile, 55-minute roundtrip Conway excursion is ideal for visitors wanting a shorter train ride, especially those with young children. On this excursion, you’ll travel south past the Moat Mountain Range and parallel Route 16 before passing through farmlands and crossing Moat Brook, the Saco and Swift Rivers on the way to Conway. Here, you can watch the powerful locomotive “run around” the train in preparation of the return trip.
They have two departures on Saturdays and Sundays: 11:30 to Bartlett (1 3/4 hrs) and 1:30 to Conway (55 minutes). I paid $15.50 each for our ride, which I think was pretty reasonable for all that fun. My only complaint was the seating situation. Apparently back when these train cars were built, people were much shorter. I sat with my six year old and Chris sat with the nine year old and we were literally crammed into the seats like sardines. Seriously, this is how we had to sit for the entire hour:
Back in November, we headed up to New Hampshire for the weekend and one of our stops was The MWV (Mount Washington Valley) Children’s Museum. It’s a great indoor kids activity center with tons of interactive, hands-on exhibits. The MWV Children’s Museum is a great place to bring kids ages 0-9.
At the museum Kids Can:
- Put on a puppet show
- Dress-up in their Drama Center
- Play with Trains in Transportation Exhibit
- Climb the Life Size Tree House
- Play with Shapes and Designs
- Cook in their pizza Kitchen
Remember last month when I told you all about the Magical Express? The Magical Express is complimentary round-trip airport transportation and luggage delivery for guests who are staying at Disney resorts. The day before your flight, you’ll get an envelope on your door with the time your bus leaves the resort for the airport. It’s usually two to three hours before the flight.
Let me start by saying that the Magical Express isn’t so magical on the return trip back to the airport.
One of the things that we like to do when we go to Disney World is pin trading. What is pin trading? Disney Pin Trading is a fun, interactive experience where guests can trade collectible Disney pins with Disney Cast Members and other guests (although I don’t think many people trade with other guests – at least not that I’ve seen).
All you have to do is locate a Cast Member wearing a lanyard with Disney pins and find a pin you’d like. Then present them with one of your Disney pins to trade.
Hidden Mickeys started out as inside jokes among the Walt Disney Imagineers. A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse concealed in the design of a Disney attraction (ride, resort, etc…). Originally, it took the shape of a head and ears silhouette, , i.e. one large circle with two smaller circled on top in the appropriate place.
In designing, constructing or adding the final touches to an attraction, Imagineers subtly “hide” Mickey Mouse silhouettes in plain sight. Soon, it became a tradition, and as the word spread, Disney fans everywhere went on the search for Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies and theme parks.
I ordered a book off of Amazon a few years back that listed many of the Hidden Mickey’s scattered throughout the parks & resorts at Disney World (there is a separate book for Disneyland) and the boys and I always love searching for them every year.
Here is one that’s hidden inside the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot. There are at least three on that ride (that I know of), but this is the only one I was able to snap a good picture of.
Do you search for Hidden Mickey’s when you go to Disney?
On our last night at Disney, we decided to head back to the resort and let the boys play at the arcade for a little while. We walked past it every day and they kept asking & asking to play, so we let them. Chris got them each an arcade card with $10 loaded on to it and they played until their money was gone (which didn’t take long). They each got to play about about a dozen or so games.
About a month before my family was scheduled to go to Disney World recently, I got an email from Disney with this as the subject line:
“You’re invited to participat
It was a Sunday and I was at the playground with Chris and the boys when I got it. I was giddy when I saw the email that day because I knew exactly what it was in reference to thanks to a friend of mine who had gone to Disney a few weeks prior.
It was an offer to test out their new MagicBands.
MagicBands are wristbands that are an all-in-one device and they effortlessly connect you to all the vacation choices you made.
Once I got that email, I signed up for our Magic Bands on MyDisneyExperience.com. I was already registered on the site because that’s how I booked my dining reservations, but if you’re not registered – you will need to do so before you go any further. I was able to customize all of our bands, which basically meant that we could pick our colors and have our names printed on the inside of the bands. If I didn’t customize them, they would have just given us grey ones when we checked in. Plus, while I was on the site, I linked our reservation and all our plans to the MagicBand, so it was all loaded on to the band for me.
One of the things I truly love about staying at the Caribbean Beach resort in Disney World is that they show “Movies Under the Stars” every night (weather depending, of course). Each night, they blow up a big inflatable movie screen and show a “G” or “PG” rated, family friendly Disney movie. The movies are played at Old Port Royale, which is the hub of the resort and the movies are shown right next to the main pool, so you can literally hop out of the pool and catch the movie.
The cast members set up chairs in front of the screen, but there are also tables in case you want to grab a meal or snack while you watch – which is exactly what we did.
Every time we go to Disney, Chris tries hard to convince the gruesome twosome to go on Splash Mountain with him. Usually, he can bribe them somehow and get them both to go on with him, but this year was different. The oldest wanted nothing to do with it no matter what Chris offered him, so Chris and the little man went on by themselves.
Here’s a copy of the photo they snap as they fall down the big drop on the ride (they are in the front).
During our past three trips to Disney World, we have stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort. It’s very family friendly and we really like the atmosphere there. At Caribbean Beach, the rooms are divided into six brightly colored villages representing different areas of the Caribbean. Trinidad, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba and Jamaica. The villages are all centered around a lake and each village has its own small man-made beach.
There are signs posted that no swimming is allowed in the lake, but the kids are more than welcome to play in the sand. The quick service meals at the food court there are actually served in little plastic buckets that come with shovels, so it ends up working out perfectly if the kids want to spend some time at the beach.
We usually don’t spend a lot of time at the beach area -just because there is never enough time. This year, we spent about an hour at the beach in our village of Jamaica and here are some of the pictures: