Sue and I drove over to Marissa's house Sunday morning 06/09/19 to pick Mia up for a visit. Today is Marissa's 30th birthday (Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!), and she had asked if we could watch Mia for a couple of days while they took a vacation down to Mohegan Sun. The first thing we did after picking her up at 8:00am was to drive up to Pine Mountain in Alton for a hike!
Mia on top of Pine Mountain overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee
We had Beau with us, and so when we got to the parking area for the trail, it was asses-and-elbows with everyone piling out of the car at the same time. While I got Beau squared away, Sue helped Mia get her backpack on, and then we headed up the trail.
Sue and Mia head up the trail with Beau leading the way.
Gramps and Mia pausing on a mid trail rock outcropping to see the view of the mountains behind us.
At the start, the flies were pretty fierce as it's still Black Fly Season around here. But we kept moving, and swatting until we hit the top where the breeze blew most of the bugs away.
Sue wanted to get some pictures of Gramps showing Mia the park's map of the mountains in the background.
This is the picture of the map that Sue and I took on a previous trip up Pine Mountain.
What an absolutely spectacular day! We could see the whole lake!
Sue is soooo imaginative that she took this rather simple sitting on the rock with Mia into her being a horse that Mia was riding!
And then, of course, she and Mia insisted that I take on the role of the horse too!
Mia and I just chillin' out at the top of Pine Mountain.
It was beautiful on top today! 70 degrees with just the faintest of breezes to keep the flies away. The lake was spectacular with the narrows thorough the more southern part a cobalt blue from the blanket of wind ripples, to the more sky blue in the north.
Mia had promised that when we got to the house she'd help Sue in the garden, and so after spending a few more minutes on top, we headed back down the trail.
After short water break, it was time to start to head back down.
Gramps, carrying Mia's water bottle, following her as she swung her walking stick down the trail.
When we got home, we had a major tick check for all of us. And, man, did we all collect our fair share of ticks! Mia had 3 or 4, and Sue and I both found 5 or 6, but we must have pulled a dozen of them off of The Beau Dog!
After helping Sue out in the garden for awhile, we all took a late lunch break out on the screened porch. They went back out for awhile, and when they came back in, had another tick check — none found as we've had the area treated.
Sue showing Mia her garden.
Sue shows Mia how to stop and smell the flowers.
Lunch break! Sue and I had left over tacos from Friday night, but Mia had no interest in that. She wanted scrambled eggs! So, Sue fixed some up for her, and all was well.
After lunch, they were back out to finish up their work by watering the gardens.
Before heading up for her nap, Mia wanted to go up to the screen house. Here she is, flying down the hill chasing after Beau.
Soon, it was time for Mia to head up for her nap. But, of course, she wasn't hearing that at all. We made a deal that if she took her nap, we'd let her watch Sue get the steaks marinating. Up she went!
It was so nice out after she got up, that we all went up and sat by the screen house with drinks for awhile.
Gramps and Mia toasting to the upcoming dinner party.
But then it was time to marinate the steaks. It's not clear from the picture, but here comes Sue, Mia, and Beau flying down the hill to get on with it!
Sue, Mia, and Beau flying down the hill.
Man, those steaks look good!
As soon as Mia got up from her nap, she was out exploring in the yard with Sue for awhile. But when it was time to get the steaks on the grill, she was right there to help out.
Mia out helping Gramps with grilling the steaks.
And they came out great! Not much left on those dinner plates!
After dinner, we got Mia to agree that if she could watch part of a movie, we'd let her stay up a little later. She said that when it was time, she'd head right up to bed, and thought the whole deal was swell. After Sue gave her a nice warm bath, Mia and I watched a Disney movie for awhile.
At 7:45 pm, Sue took her up to her bedroom and read to her for a few minutes. Then I came up, did a few minutes reading with her, lights went out, and so did she. I'm sure she was beat from the hike up Pine Mountain. I know I was....
I got up at 7:30 am Monday morning, and both Sue and Mia had not beaten me up by much; maybe half an hour. Mia had been babbling all along about how much she wanted Sue's pancakes, and so that was the plan.
She jumped up on a stool by the counter, and helped Sue with the whole process. She didn't want blueberries on her pancakes, though; just syrup. But did she get a super surprise when she sat down at the table: Sue had made a special batch before Mia had gotten involved. She had poured the batter out into letters that spelled "M—i—A"!!!!
Sue's pancake surprise for Mia!
Not only did she eat 3 pancakes, she insisted that she could have more. Sue cooked up the rest of the batter they had made, and we all had seconds!
Before I started cleaning the kitchen up, I texted Marissa what a pancake-pig Mia had been. Marissa thought it so funny, that she called and we all had a short video chat.
Marissa said that her birthday trip was a lot of fun so far, though she was pretty tired. Not sure what they were up to today, but she mentioned that they were still planning on being back to the house around 10:00 pm tonight. That's what we had been figuring all along, and my plan was to have Mia back at the house, and into her own bed before that.
After finishing up in the kitchen, Sue braided Mia's hair up into such a cute form that I just had to get a picture of it!
Mia showing off Sue's terrific hair braiding work.
I took Mia outside to move her car seat out of my car and into Sue's. But I could not get the latch holding the seat to the car to release. Marissa hadn't shown me that part, and so I did a quick video call so she could see where I was hung up. Once she told me what to look for, it was a snap, literally!
Beau was in my car, and we followed Mia and Sue in her car to Colin's house where we dropped my car. There was a bunch of work he was going to do on it Tuesday, and so I had to get it down to him. From there, Sue drove us over to the The Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail. She had told Mia that it was just a short hike from one of the entry points to a beautiful waterfall, and Mia was excited to check it out. So was I!
Mia heading down the trail with Beau.
Along the trail, Sue taught Mia how to identify deer tracks, and which direction the deer was going.
Mia stopping to check out a deer track.
It's only about a half mile trek along the trail to where you disappear into the woods on either side of a rushing stream back to the waterfall. We took the north path first, and Beau was in the water so fast I just couldn't believe it! Sue took her shoes off and stepped onto a submerged rock and helped Mia dangle her toes in the water. Not only was it too cold for Mia, who exclaimed in no uncertain terms that she was not interested in being in the water, but Sue came out pretty soon as well, very, very cold.
Which one is the kid here!
Sue trying to coax Mia to dip her toes in the stream too. She wasn't hearing it!
Sue showed us where the access for the south side trail along the stream was, and we walked back to the falls on that. It was a little easier going, but the mosquitoes were fierce! We got some nice pictures, but didn't hang out there too long!
On the way out, we saw the old walls for the mill wheel.
When we got back to the house, everybody had a comprehensive Tick Check. We didn't have many at all, but Beau was pretty loaded up as he had been into the brush all along the stream, and rolling around in the leaves everywhere. And just guess what Miss Mia wanted for lunch? Yup! Pancakes! So, Mia pulled the stool over to the counter again, and she and Sue went to it with the batter.
We could tell that Mia was tired, but knew that she would pitch a fit if we made her take her nap right away. So, Sue made a deal with her that she'd take Mia up into the tree house if she'd go right up to take her nap after. Mia was all excited about the tree house, and readily agreed. So, off the two of them went!
Mia leads Sue up the ladder to the tree house.
Gramps waving through the trees that it's time for nappies.
Mia put up no resistance to Sue taking her hand and trudging up to take a nap. I'm writing this now while she sleeps because keeping up with a 4 year old is full time duty. Particularly, Miss Mia!
Sue went up to wake her about 3:30 pm, and then took her for a short walk through the woods with Beau out behind the house. When they got back, Sue asked her if she wanted to do bathies right away so she could help me with cooking the dogs on the grille, or later while I was cooking. She headed right for the bathroom, peeling her clothes off as she went. Ask, and answered.
But when we sat down to eat, Mia really wasn't interested in having hot dogs: she wanted macaroni and cheese. Of course she did.... But Sue, figuring this might happen, had one in stock. She whipped it up for her, and we all had a nice dinner out in the screen porch.
After eating, Mia wanted Sue to take her out for one last walk up to the tree house. While there, Sue found a lovely Purple Iris back in the woods, and told Mia all about it. She just loved it so much she wanted a picture of it. Sue gave her the camera, and Mia took the shot!
Mia's picture of the Purple Iris in the woods.
Back in the house, Sue marched Mia around to gather up all her "stuff", and pack up. She said her good-bys, and I drove her back over to Marissa's house to wait for them to get home.
It had been a wonderful visit, and Sue and I were just thrilled that we had the opportunity to not only hang out with Mia, but to also help Marissa out so she could have a great 30th Birthday celebration.