Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Love

Turns out we love winters at Duckhead as much as summers and falls!  If you ask the girls they'll say they might even love it more.  I gave Duckhead a little winter/christmas love in December while the girls spent the day sledding outside.  I was so happy just crafting away in our cozy cottage and decorating it with a few things to make it feel even cozier.  I chose not to go nuts with the Christmas decorations up there as I knew we wouldn't be up till the weekend after Christmas and I wanted to have it feel more wintery so the decorations wouldn't have to be taken right down.  Deer horns, scarves and plaid ribbons were my general theme.  I figure I can store all the decorations in one or two popcorn tins.  Lights included.  Perfect.  I like that there isn't a lot of stuff up there.  The lack of clutter relaxes me.  A few changes are all it needs.  The real decorations are the snow and the view of the lake out the windows.

Winter in NH has been so much fun!  It helps that there has been snow up there (although not that much) and there hasn't been in Massachusetts.  And snow means a whole new playground outside.  Plus the lake froze over and without a lot of snow it is skate able.   The ice on the lake has been perfect and the girls are thrilled with the skating there!   We've been enjoying walking on it and exploring the lake community in a whole new way in the wintertime.

We went up over Christmas vacation for over a week and enjoyed the week with the house filled with guests and our days filled with a variety of different winter activities.  We love entertaining at Duckhead.  It's a like a sleepover party all the time but for the whole family!  We have been exploring new places and some of the same spots but in winter.  The first weekend family came up to celebrate a belated Christmas. We had cozy dinners, fun game nights and a little sledding in the backyard (even though it was mostly grass).

We have been getting to know Mt. Sunapee.  This local mountain is about 20 minutes from our house and is known as a good family mountain.  We really liked it when we visited the high ropes course this summer.  We found that it is very family friendly, the staff is super nice and the trails are right in our kids comfort zone.  We had gone to the mountain to pick up the girl's seasons passes and even let them ski the mountain alone for their first half day.  Then our good family friends came up and we spend New Years Eve day skiing at Mt. Sunapee.  We hadn't skied with them before with the kids and we had so much fun exploring the mountain with them and watching our 6 girls enjoy skiing together.  What a fun day!

We came back to the cottage to have dinner and ring in an early new year!  We have been celebrating New Year's with them since before we had kids!  Love that our girls each have a buddy and that they truly are besties!  The next day we enjoyed a day at the lake.  Eating meals together, exploring the icy shore line and testing to see if the lake was safe!  

We met some other friends who came up for the day from RI to ski Sunapee.  They couldn't sleep over but we had a blast exploring the mountain with them once we finally found each other at lunch time.   The lines weren't great but we had fun hanging on the lifts and the slopes with our friends! We even skied until sunset to get the most out of our time together!  We missed you Kirs!

Some other great friends came up last minute over the weekend and brought the cutest pug ever!  They also stopped by our house on their way out of MA to pick up our skates.  Lots of laughs, great food, relaxing, chatting and fun.   So much fun exploring the lake in wintertime!  The girls are barely excited about the rink at home this year after getting such great ice at the lake.  We were spoiled this year by cold temps and not a lot of snow which really made it one of the best years in ages to skate the lake.  

Rod taking a minute to relax between house guests.  
This past long weekend we headed up again.  Thought we'd get a chance to ski but the weather didn't really cooperate.  Freezing cold Saturday and raining and warm Sunday.  So instead we spent the day at the lake Saturday taking multiple excursions out and about around the cottage but being close enough to come home and warm up with meals and hot cocoa.  We even walked all the way across the lake to the girls Aunt and Uncle's house to check on it for them.  I'd been a little nervous about being too far away from the shore on past excursions but after seeing a couple cars and a few snow mobiles out there I eased up a bit.  We always laugh a lot with these friends and somehow end up doing skit night during each of our overnight stays.  There was also a lot of Heads Up, Pictionary and a few other games sprinkled in.

Sunday we went to Arrowhead Mountain to tube. It is a tiny hill that is perfect for beginners to learn to ski and snow board on.  Especially kids.   The lodge is right there and the rates are so inexpensive that you could really just go for a couple hours to make it worth your while.   It started sprinkling on the way there and we were all a little bummed but it ended up being the best way to spend a rainy day.  We stayed for hours taking run after run down the mountain.  We were soaked by the end of the day but all had a blast!

We haven't had much luck with the snowmobile although we've tried.  And we've chatted with the locals that are ice fishing on the lake but haven't tried it ourselves yet.  My dad gave me all our old equipment to keep up there.  Mostly we have been cozying up in the cottage in between walks, sledding, expeditions on the lake and meal making.  Lots of fun games and laughs around the table at Duckhead this winter.  And certainly lots of wonderful memories made.