Travel

 


My Heart Belongs to New Hampshire

We drove up to Lincoln New Hampshire for the long weekend, listening to the third Harry Potter book on CD. I highly recommend the Harry Potter audiobooks read buy Jim Dale. My husband has never been up to see the foliage! Can you believe it?! We had a sweet little AIRBNB condo with a tiny kitchen, open concept with a big TV and a cozy bed covered in luxurious bedding. What a steal! We enjoyed the foliage of course, but most especially love the Flume. Nothing better than the flow of water along with peace & quiet! What a chance of pace from our daily lives.

We made a short trip up to North Conway to see Zebs General Store among all the lovely shops along the way, including a small public library undergoing a renovation. Good for them!

North Conway:

 

Saw these at the Flume gift shop and sorry I didn’t buy them!



My husband had a tournament on Lake Winnipesaukee this weekend. We spent a quick weekend in Meredith NH. It was NICE!

I am trying to remember to take a little journal with me so I can write down our adventures each day of vacation. It sure helps when I upload photos and then quickly forget why I took them or what they are (although iPhone location sure helps, but I am not crazy about keeping that feature on)!

It has been far too long since I have been to the beach. We had only a few hours but it felt good to stick my toes in the sand as the waves crashed over. Don’t you love watching the waves? It is totally hypnotic and also hard to capture in a photograph! Weir’s beach was lovely (and freshwater no less). We enjoyed the ducks who were very comfortable around the beachgoers and also swam nearby us in the water!

My husband and I are early risers, even on days where we have the opportunity to sleep in. We decided to walk downtown Meredith along the water. It was well worth it. Check out this panoramic! WOW!

Love the look of the dock!

My cousins, who we took along for the trip, were curious to see if we could find the filming locations of the old film On Golden Pond. I did some quick research on the Internet and found some information from a local library. It said you could take the Chamberlain Reynolds Memorial Forrest to get to Squam Lake, which we think is where they filmed parts of the movie. We really were not sure but we just enjoyed the walk and the view!

Wearing my Internet shirt in nature. Oh so funny.

I recommend dropping by this store in Meredith called Little Dog Paper Co. What fun (and funny) items they carry!!

We stumbled upon a place called Fun Spot. It claims it is the largest arcade in the world. Holy smokes are they right!!! I could not believe all the vintage machines they had, along with bowling, mini golf and more contemporary, well known games as well. I thought the pinball machines were so fun to photograph.

Can’t believe the weekend went by so fast! Meredith was nice, but if we had to stay more than weekend, there is not much to do except be on the water!!


New Hampshire

I decided to book an AIRBNB instead of a hotel. We saved lots of money and of course had a lovely, small home complete with a living room and kitchen. The owner has some eclectic taste, which made for a pleasant stay.

We loved the Kittery Trading Post. I nabbed some awesome aloe vera laced socks there along with some Christmas presents.If I were a rich girl, I would have scooped up a whole lot more!!! We perused the outlets and bought nothing (shocking)!

We spent most of  the first day walking around Portsmouth New Hampshire. The shops were lovely.  I was especially taken by Gus & Ruby. That place is a paper lover’s DREAM!!

A friend recommended Breaking New Grounds Coffee. Regretfully, the place was mobbed, so it was hard to enjoy our items. My husband had a wonderful soda and I had a great whoopee pie with a side of hot coffee! Delicious!

And most wonderful of all – THE BOOK BAR. Holy moses, I found heaven. Customers settle in on a couch or at a table with friends and eat WITH BOOKS!! Books are 50-75% off the retail price (and they had a decent quantity of books). Sadly, this place was also mobbed so we couldn’t even get a seat!! But it was just nice to be there!

We wrapped up our getaway weekend with a visit to the USS Albacore (on Veteran’s Day – we thought this was timely!). The gift shop had a great staff and there were two veterans on location to tell stories, which was great!

‘Twas a fulfilling and fun getaway!



California

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don’t care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me.
Lyrics by Douglass Cross
Performed by Tony Bennett

Oh vacation, sweet vacation! This year we chose sunny California as our vacation destination! Our family invited us to stay with them at their guest cottage for the week. The cottage is above their property (or as we call it paradise) which is filled with flowers, vegetables and trees that produce apples, pears, figs and lemons. Glorious! We weren’t the only visitors though. We were greeted most mornings by baby deer, bees, and of course a lovable shaggy golden retriever, Sami.

We spent about a week in California. Most days my aunt took us on tours nearby towns as we discussed history and the local economy. We were amazed by what they call hills (seems like mountains to us small town folk). We were pretty excited by the fact that a mountain lion den was right on the property. We enjoyed home cooked family meals and stories from the past, which are always so fun to hear and also very important. We managed to squeeze in reading & fishing!

We paid San Francisco a visit for a day or so. I was on a quest to scope out landmarks that are associated with the popular 90s show Full House (Painted Ladies & 1709 Broderick St). We viewed Crooked Lombard Street, dined at Tomassos, browsed Citylight Booksellers and stumbled upon a Beat museum. The California Academy of Sciences was great but the Golden Gate Bridge really took our breath away. Funny how it takes only a few moments to create memories for a lifetime.

It is so wonderful to spend the hours and days without a regimented schedule.  Regardless, our trip seemed too short but it was an incredibly gratifying and enjoyable one. I’ve been trying to find a word to describe my trip. The first word that comes to mind is SMALL. We were a small part of a large landscape which is a great reminder of this wonderful, large world we live in and how many opportunities it provides us with.


A few months ago L.L. Bean opened in Cranston, RI. We went for the grand opening and a local radio station was giving away prizes. Low & behold, I actually WON something!
We had a choice of sports tickets and other things, but we thought it would be cool to take two tickets to Plymouth Plantations. We decided to book a room through Airbnb so we could take our time visiting Plymouth.

We had a great time. The beginning of the tour shows you how the Native Americans (Wampanoag) lived. We just learned a little about the Wampanoag at the tour we took at Mt. Hope Farm in Bristol so it was nice to carry on learning. Their dwellings were modest and kind of beautiful, especially their round shapes. They used tree bark to cover the outside and when we entered one, it wasn’t quite a cold as I imagined. They really utilized their resources well. They used the entire tree from its bark to hollowing the tree for seating or boats. It is amazing to see all of this. I think how wasteful we are now because we have almost anything at our disposal. I do wish I could be more diligent about fully using my resources.

Then we stopped by the craft center where you can see a variety of things being made like bread, loom work and candle making. There were lots of families around so we missed out on this!

Finally we walked through the 17th century pilgrim village. The houses were very small and shaped more like what we might recognize as a house today – more angular structures with a sloping roof. I don’t want to give too much away because I think everyone should visit Plymouth Plantations!

Also, you will notice on the website the spelling is:

Plimoth Plantations

I did wonder about this. One of the staff dressed as a settler said to the children on the tour that
the variation in spelling had to do with the fact that as long as a settler could read it, then there was no correct way. Often J, I and Y were used in the same way, hence Plymouth and Plimoth. John might have been spelled Iohn!

We spent quite a while at the plantation. We did make it down to Plymouth Rock and walked a bit of the downtown area. We had fun at some antique stores along the way.

Our Airbnb room was so cute and we were happy to get away for a quick night



NYC

This year I decided to take my husband to NYC for his birthday. We’ve been a few times for day trips, which never allowed for a true NYC experience. I logged onto Airbnb hoping to find a cheap place to stay, but no such luck. Groupon proved to be more successful so we managed to find a Days Inn hotel somewhere near the 90s streets.

I have a true love/hate relationship with NYC. I love being surrounded by amazing art museums, food and flashing lights. I hate the people, the crowds and the loneliness of it all. I am sure that is because I was brought up in such a small town. I once dreamt of having a career as a Vogue fashion photographer. After spending time here, I know now that is NOT the place for me.  Maybe when I was young and crazy (author’s note: I have never been THAT crazy).

It never fails that where I go, I get lost. Our first stop was supposed to be the Met Breuer. Instead we took the bus in the opposite direction, which, by some great luck, dropped us off right at the New York Public Library. It was on my list anyway, so we went! So glad we went in. There was a great Alexander Hamilton exhibit and wonderful bookstore. Unfortunately the Rose Main Reading room was closed!!

Finally made our way to Met Breuer (pronounced broy-er).
We saw an excellent Diane Arbus exhibit (where photos were allowed for noncommercial use, WOO-HOO!!)

There was also a fantastic exhibit called
Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible. There were so many pieces by well-known artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, Manet, Giacometti and more whom for some reason or another did not finish their pieces. What a great discussion this provokes! And VERY interesting to see their thought process on canvas.

We walked through Central Park to our hotel to freshen up, then off the Times Square and Lillie’s Victorian Establishment for dinner. That was a lovely place for dinner.

We stopped by Paris Baguette for a quick sweet plate. What a cute little place.

On day 2 we made our way downtown for a tour of the Statute of Liberty & Ellis Island. Wow. What an amazing site to be seen. We toured only the pedestal and that was just a taste I am sure. Once in the pedestal we looked up to see the very narrow spiral staircase up to the crown an immediately did NOT regret getting tickets to go up! Thanks to State Cruises for a seamless and quick trip!
And thanks to my husband for grabbing a broom to fetch my hat which blew off and landed on the back of the ferry!

We finished the day browsing things we couldn’t afford at high-end fashion stores, had Starbuck’s cake pops in the Trump Tower and of course a had a photo taken in front of Tiffany & Co. We also saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Wow.

Luckily Kevin noticed Billy Cunningham street sign, or I would’ve walked right by. I still wish I had my photo taken by him. Alas, my tourist clothing would never appeal to him, this I know for sure.

IMG_0191

Dinner at Serafina’s was amazing. I do believe I enjoyed the most SINFUL meal I have ever had in my life there.

Spaghettini Al Limone

lemon, cream & imported aged Parmigiano Reggiano

Home. Sweet. Home.


Connecticut

We booked an AIRBNB and spent the weekend in CT.
First we stopped at the Wadsworth Athenuem for the 
Guise & Dolls exhibit featuring Mapplethorpe & Warhol.
It was fantastic. I was ecstatic to see prints by Mapplethorpe.
We toured the museum and I even stopped to draw (which made me super happy, even though I am so, so bad at it!)

I packed a lunch of fun things like chicken salad and cheese snacks.
Oh, and ANIMAL CRACKERS!
IMG_0987 2

After that we drove to the Book Barn.
It was freezing cold but it is always fun looking at the books!

After that we headed over to the room we booked. I was very nervous because this was the first time we booked a shared house versus a private house or apartment. We ended up having a lovely time! The host was gracious enough to make us coconut scones for breakfast. YUM!
She works in fashion so we got a glimpse of racks and racks of designer clothes. And the icing on the cake – she had a dog who was adorable and delightful!

That night we had dinner at Devs on Bank per our host’s recommendation.  It was the best food we have had in quite some time! The place was empty and it was a bit romantic!

The next day we had pizza at the famous Mystic Pizza! Pizza was delicious on a cold, cold day! We took the time to walk around town and stopped at a few shops including a bookstore. On our way home we hit up Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods (awful!)
IMG_1106

Finally we returned to our sweet dog who we missed so much!

One snafu though – I somehow BROKE the film in my camera:

IMG_1117