Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Catching up on blogging about our family vacation...

In what is becoming a family tradition of ours, I took the boys on a day trip down to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

I got up early ("early" being about 7 a.m. on vacation) and loaded our bicycles onto the boat. We got underway about 9:30 a.m. for the 40 minute boat ride down to Wolfeboro.

ES took this pic of his dog Lotis arriving in Wolfeboro.
(Lotis goes with us everywhere.)

Wolfeboro is a really pretty town on the southeastern side of Lake Winnipesaukee. It gained a little fame in the not too distant past when French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a vacation to Wolfeboro in the summer of 2007.

We tied the boat up at the town docks and unloaded the bikes for our ride into town.

Heading out from the town docks.

The old train station.

There used to be an old railroad that ended right at the waterfront in Wolfeboro. At some point like many other railroads across the country, they paved over the railroad tracks and made it into a nice bike path. Well, in this case it isn't paved, but it's a very nice hard pack dirt and gravel trail that's easy for biking, jogging or walking.

Wolfeboro Jogging / Bike Path

The boys and I hopped on our bikes next to the old Wolfeborough train station and rode 3/4 of a mile to visit the two attractions that brought us there for the day: the Klickety Klack model railroad museum and the Wright Museum.

Klickety Klack Model Railroad Museum

My boys have always loved model railroads and model trains. As a result, everyplace we go, we visit the model railroad museum if there's one to be found. We've been to many, and this little place in Wolfeboro, is a hidden gem and TOTALLY worth the price of admission.

It doesn't look like much from the outside. I could tell it has grown in popularity since we were last here 3 years ago. The parking lot has expanded, and there are signs saying it is okay to park on the grass if the lot is full. The last time we were here, it was fairly empty, but this time there were at least half a dozen other families in there with us.

I liked this photo ES took on his camera.

It may not be very big, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in a Where's-Waldo type of fun. The scenery around the railroad tracks is incredibly detailed. There are lot of miniature scenes that will make you laugh. Plus, there are a lot of things hidden around the railroad that you are challenged to find - like the miniature Superman or the miniature Indiana Jones. Those sorts of things keep me occupied for quite a while.

For example: Things to look for in the Metropolis Union Station.

Metropolis Union Station

I see Superman! (I couldn't find Indiana Jones though)

For my boys though, this railroad is better than most others we have visited because there is actually a lot of hands-on stuff for them to do here. There are buttons to push every few feet along the walkway that make something happen in the scenery - make a building light up, make smoke come out of a smoke stack, make a whistle blow, make a train run... At a lot of other model railroad places, the boys just have to stand and watch and there are lots of "please don't lean on the glass" and "don't touch" signs. This place actually offers the kids an outlet for their desire to touch things.

For Example: One of many buttons the boys can push.

They also provide these stools for the kids to carry around and put wherever they want to get a closer look.


A few things to note in the picture above:
1. You can see how the train used to come right to the edge of the lake.
2. That big yellow building is still there. If you scroll up to the top of this post, you can see it is a prominent feature of the waterfront.
3. Behind the big yellow building and some trees, you can see the old train station.

Wright Museum

Next, we got back on our bikes and rode about two blocks south to the Wright Museum. The Wright Museum is dedicated to the 1939-1945 time period both on the overseas front lines and here at home in America.

It didn't take much convincing the first time we came here. The boys were instantly interested when they saw the tank crashing out of the front wall of the museum.

Inside, there is a large room that talks about life at home in America during the war and has lots of antiques like radios, bicycles, toys, appliances, etc. Then there is a "time tunnel" that walks you through the events of 1939-1945 and leads you into the large vehicle display room.

This is the time tunnel with a room for each year 1939-1945.

Each year's room is decorated with magazine and newspaper covers, personal letters, citations, and a board with statistics like the price of milk, gas, a car, and a house.

You're not supposed to climb on any of the exhibits, but one of the museum docents said the boys could sit in the Jeep for a photo.

This Pershing tank took place in the battle at the Bridge at Remagen as the U.S. 1st Army crossed the Rhine River on 7 March 1945.

The boys were very interested in the display of military hats and headgear.

Bomber jacket
Each bomb is for a mission flown,
red bombs mean the plane was hit
by enemy fire and took damage.

They have a nice display of bomber nose art, too, but those are NSFW / not really for kids.

Our timing actually worked out perfectly. We finished both museums and the boys were ready for lunch. We rode our bikes back to the waterfront and had lunch at the Dockside Grille followed by some really messy, melting, dripping ice cream cones.

Mmmmmmm, iiiiiice creeeeeeam. :-9

On the way back, I did some helmsman training with both boys. This was the first time I let YB drive the boat on this trip, but I kept a hand on the wheel while he was driving.

So long Wolfeboro!
See you again next summer (we hope).

ES on a high-speed run.


Overworked said...

Hi Blunoz.

I was just wondering, what do you think about your Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx? I've been doing some hiking lately and am looking for a useful handheld unit that I can load Topo Maps and Water Charts onto.

Your insights are appreciated.

Hilary said...

What a great way to spend the day. Your kidlets must have loved it. They're going to remember their times with Dad so fondly as they grow. :)

blunoz said...

Hilary - I sure hope so!

David - I LOVE my GPSMAP 60CSx. I have been intrigued by some of the newer models that have come out like the Oregon. I'm still extremely satisfied with my 60CSx though and haven't had a reason to spend the additional money on a newer model. Your question has inspired me to write a new blog post about it though, so I'll write more details there.