Back to the basics

Snow Days. . . It’s one thing when there is actual snow to play in, but what about days like today? Again, two things I can’t control, New England weather and the fact that they cancelled school based on the weather predictions (I’m not even going to go there). Today we had a “rain day.”  There would be no snowman making and sledding outside, just twelve hours of me and my kids hanging out blissfully inside.   It’s not that I don’t love my kids and want to spend time with them, but twelve hours is a long time. I’ve said it before but when you can’t change what’s going on around you change your attitude toward it.

Something I’ve learned in my ten years as a parent is that when my kids have structure in their day things go much smoother.  It seems that when I let them just try to figure it out on their own there is a lot more whining and complaining and definitely a lot more IPAD use.  So we sat down in the morning to plan out the day. Homework in the morning, then a workout video to get the blood flowing, some iPad and phone time, lunch, and then we would invite the neighborhood kids over for bingo, Lego’s, minute to win it games, and to watch Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  Sometimes is good to just get back to the basics.

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What did you all do today?  I love getting ideas.

Hope you enjoyed your day inside, and if not there’s always wine.

Heather

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Baby it’s cold outside.

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Where is spring?  It was here two weeks ago.  Oh. . . wait. . . .we live in New England where you cannot, I repeat, cannot, make any outdoor plans in advance.  Not knowing what crazy weather we will have means figuring out our next adventure at the last-minute.  Will we be breaking out the tee shirts and bikes or maybe squeezing in one more ski trip before the season is over?

So lets talk skiing.  It’s something my family and I look forward to every year.  Both of my kids started skiing at age 3. To say it was difficult to teach them is an understatement, but we got through it, and now at ages 8 & 10 they are better than I am.  It certainly takes lots of patience and now that I look back on it, I’m wondering why I didn’t just put them in ski school.

I think one of the main things that keeps people from skiing with their families is the expense.  It is generally a pretty pricey activity between the equipment, lift tickets, and  lodging if you are skiing multiple days.  I try to think of it as a learning experience and something all of us can do together, and that’s priceless.  Right!?!

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My husband Jon and our kids at Waterville Vally.  December 2016

The majority of our ski trips have been to New Hampshire and specifically to the White Mountains area. Typically I plan ski trips to the mountains that are offering the best deals, because let’s face it SKIING IS EXPENSIVE.  I thought I would share with you my Top 10 ways to save money skiing in New England.

#1  Get good, warm, ski gear.  There is nothing worse than buying a lift ticket and only skiing a few runs because the kids are cold. Hand warmers and toe warmers are a must too.

#2 If you are renting skis & boots for your kids think about leasing them for a season.  Check out countryski.com, who this past year leased used kids skis starting at $140 for the season, but as an added bonus you got a seasons pass to Bretton Woods.

#3 Buying skis is a great option too if you plan on skiing a lot or have kids to hand the skis & boots down to. My advice is to get measured at a ski shop and then check out Evo.com.  We bought 3 sets of skis from them in the past that we  are currently using and are very happy with.

#4  Use Liftopia.com.  If we know in advance where we are going to ski we usually buy tickets from this website and generally save about 30-40% off the ticket window price.

#5  In New Hampshire most mountains offer free lift tickets to kids under 5.  This is one of my favorites.  Who doesn’t like free.

#6 Check out Skinh.com and click on the Deals section in the Menu bar. Each mountain is listed with the deals that they run through the year. Everything is listed in one place so that saves you a lot of time too.

#7 Skiing midweek and non-holiday periods can save a bundle.  Play hookie for the day, and be the cool parent that lets the kids skip school.  Not only will you save money but they’ll probably remember that day forever.

#8 Pack your lunch and snacks.  Overpriced burgers are not worth it. Save your money for Apres Ski (and if you don’t know what that is you’re missing out.)

#9 Check Groupon.com and Livingsocial.com for deals on lodging near the mountain that you are planning on skiing at.  Just make sure to read the fine print.

#10 Lots of places have deals on Spring skiing.  For example, you can buy tickets at Waterville Vally or Cranmore  on St. Patricks Day for $17.00.

So whether you love the snow or hate it, we need to live with it.  There’s a saying that goes something like, “When you can’t change the things around you change your attitude.” Anyone want to go skiing next weekend?  We’ll meet you there.

Thanks for reading, and happy skiing.

Heather

 

 

 

 

Back when I was a kid. . .

being a kid on the South Shore was different. We used to play outside and roam around for hours, mostly in a big pack, house to house on our bikes, no helmets, no one with a walkie-talkie checking to see if we got from one place to another.  We played kickball, hide-and-seek,  and board games for hours.  I don’t particularly remember my parents being very involved in what we were playing or doing on a day-to-day basis, and honestly we didn’t care.

Fast forward twenty-five years and here I am still living on the South Shore and raising my own kids in the town I grew up in.  I came back because, quite honestly, I love it here and it just feels like home. Half way between Boston and the Cape, it still has that small town feel.  What has changed so much from when I was a kid though, is how kids are raised.  I try not to be a helicopter parent and my kids do get some space to travel around with the neighborhood kids (as long as they have their walkie-talkie) but lets face it, everything is so scheduled that there aren’t many kids around just to play anymore. I’m not here to say it’s right or wrong, it is what it is.  My kids have way more planned sports and events than I ever had, but that’s just they way things are now.  I think parents just want to be more involved and make sure their kids are involved.

I find myself constantly looking for new things to do with my kids.  My goal is for my kids to really know the area they live in and experience as many things as they can. I love the South Shore and New England in general. It is full of amazing places to explore with any age group.  Just when I think I have done everything there is to do with my kids, they grow up and that opens up a whole new set of activities for us to do.

One of the main reasons why I love this area are the seasons, and with the change of the weather comes the different activities and events in each one.  My family and I look forward to the dog days of summer spent on Duxbury Beach, cruising around Plymouth bay in our boat, camping in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and adventures on Cape Cod.  Fall brings back routine, and sports, sports, and more sports!! Playing sports and watching them.  I mean who doesn’t love the Patriots. There’s apple picking, fall festivals, and cool nights around the fire pit.  Winter is dreaded by so many people, but honestly Christmas in New England is magical.  The lights, the snow, catching a show at the local  theater,  and most importantly, in my family, the start of ski season.  Then,  just when we’ve had enough of the cold, spring brings new life to our home and it’s time to plant the garden and clean out the cob webs. It’s time to dust off the bikes and sports equipment once again and get outside.

I hope with this blog I’ll be able to share with you the adventures I have with my kids, my family, and friends.  This blog is about discovering all that the South Shore and New England have to offer, about where to go and what to do.  I’m hoping not only to share with you some great ideas but also to get some great ideas in return. I can’t wait to go back to our favorite spots every year but I’m also looking forward to learning and experiencing something new and I hope you all can help with that. So where should our first adventure take us?  Is there a place that you love to travel to every year, a restaurant that you recommend? Where do you and your family go when spring arrives around the South Shore or New England?  What’s on your bucket list this year?

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My family and I on one of our adventures over February vacation.  The little town of Lake Fairlee, VT.