This is one of those picture overload kinds of posts so just prepare yourself. I had to split this day into two different posts just to accommodate all of the pictures I wanted to post.
First of all, bright overcast days and I do not mix, photography wise. Almost all of the sky pictures are way overexposed. Unacceptable. Must work on that. More lamenting about that on the photography blog soon. :) Any help out there on this topic?
Anyway, besides that technicality, I did manage to capture the day the way I wanted- and that was just to take photos of the family. :)
Fort Stark in New Castle, NH. Now, this Fort Stark is not the Fort I was originally thinking of. I was thinking of another one that happens to really be in Kittery, ME. That's what happens when my childhood memories of going to ME and going to New Castle become intertwined.
When you first get to Fort Stark it looks pretty shabby. I was a bit horrified that I planned a family get away here. And it was hard to find. Ahem. However, it turned out to be a lot of fun. The tide was out so there were a ton of rocks to climb, tidepools to discover, and shells to claim. And Fort Stark was originally built in the early 1900s to protect the Portsmouth harbor and all of the concrete structures are still intact. It's actually a really cool place to explore. I wish they had a map or pictures of what it used to look like but they didn't so I just used my imagination. Also, Ethan added his colorful commentary on the history of the place which I found hilarious. :) The place is free and if you go when the tide is out there is actually a lot to do. One side of the pennensula is great for shell collecting and the other side has a small beach that I suspect only locals go to. We didn't go to the beach but I think we might sometime when we don't want to spend the $15 to park at the state beach down the street. I will say however that there aren't any bathroom facilities so that made potty time with a toddler a bit of a challenge.
We found lots of shells and rocks. At one point Brendan smiled at me and said "Hold out your hand." I refused as I thought he had some slimy seaweed or a crab to scare me with. Nope, he just wanted to hand these rocks to me. Um, yea, we are still LOST dorks. We always will be.
Damien found this little critter after some careful searching. I love finding crabs! So cool!
I just realized this is the 3rd picture in a row of a closeup of a hand. Oh well. There were lots of things to find. Charlotte was entertained by these pieces of seaweed for awhile. I showed her how you can pop them and she thought that was both gross and fun. I told her they were called squishies to which Brendan, ever the pop culture reference guru, said, "I shall call him squishie and he shall be mine."
Haha, I just love Aidyn's face in this picture.
But he loved the squishies after awhile too. :)
See? Both grossed out and loving it at the same time. Just look at that face!
From the ocean, all you can see of the fort is these concrete slabs which I assume protected the rest of the area at one point. When I looked online at the history of the place I also noticed that these slabs once held large guns that have since been taken away. Thank goodness because I think the (older) boys would have loved that a little too much.
At the top of the slabs there were what looked like a large tunnel. I wonder what it was used for? We didn't explore it further. It was dark and scary. :)
Cole and Damien talk shells and rocks. This was right before Cole stepped into a large tidepool. Not a big deal since he was wearing water shoes. You would think right? Hummm....
Then we broke for lunch since we decided sugar levels must be low overall. :) Cole really wanted to bring his Operation game to show Cameron and they played for a little bit. Cole really tries to have that steady hand. It is tricky! I am amazed at his patience though.
Then it was off to do some exploring. Here is one of the structures. I think at the top on either side there used to be cannons. I really think this is cool. I just love imagining what the history used to be..who was here...what they did....what it used to look like when it was operational. It may not have seen any action but I think it is cool nonetheless.
Just being a goof.
This is on the far end of the pennensula. I think a lot of people fish out on this jetty.
Part of the entrance from the rocks. This is on to the cool part.
Cole loved looking in and really wanted to go in there. We discussed if it used to be a jail. At one of the windows the bars were pulled apart where it looked someone tried to get in...or get out! I like to think it was a jail too..makes it more exciting that way.
One of the doors was open and we started to go but it got really dark. Cole held Ethan's hand and at one point Ethan said, "Ahhhh, what's that?" and scared poor Cole to death. :) Cole ran away back into the light and Ethan and Brendan advanced a bit further to see if they could get any ghost readings on the video camera. Um, yeah, I don't know what else to say about that. haha!
Cole waits for Ethan and Brendan to come back.
Ahhhh, what did you see??!!
This does look like it could be part of a scary movie though, doesn't it?
Back to happiness and playing tag.
Just look at that smile!
And this one!
We went inside one of the bomb shelter rooms (ok, maybe it wasn't a bomb shelter but it was sealed in concrete and had a steel door so I'm going with my imagination on this one) and the kids just had a blast yelling and being silly.
I love how Cameron is laughing at Cole and Aidyn is looking at me like, what is going on here, Aunt Kelly?!!
Pics from our time in Portsmouth to be posted next!