Life in New England is known to be relaxing which does not make good fodder for exciting writing…so below is a story of how we unexpectedly added some excitement to our lives for a weekend.

From What Happens Here…
From What Happens Here…


First there was the First Friday Art Walk! Streets closing, music, art and juggling…what more could a country person ask for?

Juggling is exciting, right?

From First Friday in Brattleboro

What started out as a little 1.5 hour drive to a town in New Hampshire, ended up a 3 state road trip!

Although we literally live less than 5 minutes from the New Hampshire border, we had not yet done any drives or trips in New Hampshire. So we decided to head out to New Hampshire first thing in the morning on Saturday. We picked Manchester, NH as our destination. A town only 1.5 hours away, sounds like a nice easy trip, doesn’t it?

Well it was, but when we got there we did not want to stay for the night as Manchester seemed a bit devoid of personality for being a “big” city, the largest in northern New England.

The Most Exciting Thing We Found in Manchester…Fidel Castro!

From Saturday Drive to NH!

After lunch and talking we decided to drive to the coast of New Hampshire which was no more than 1 hour away. Still sounds like an easy trip for most people.

Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

We did make it to the coast easy enough. Hampton Beach had an overflow of hotels to choose from but Jim had to check out the next town south. Well, there was no next town south…but there was a next State South, Massachusetts. First state we went to by accident. Funny thing is, Jim kept on driving. He does that. I wonder if it is the “bigger better deal” thing some people are afflicted with. I hope not, he may trade me for a bigger better wife! Ha, after he reads this he may want to!

After some pleading Jim turned around and then the hunt for a hotel in Hampton Beach began. Another exciting HenderBalz activity. In Central America, I would sit with the packs while Jim did the search. Traveling in Central America was usually very hot, tiring and long. We have no excuse here for the hotel picking drama, but without too much of it, we ended up returning to the first place we checked out. Very typical of us.

Maybe it was the stress of working long hours, stress of the drive, stress of going to another State unexpectedly, or it was the stress of not have a bigger better wife, but Jim was spent and not feeling well. So in our fishbowl (floor to ceiling windows on both walls) hotel room across the street from the beach, Jim napped. While he slept, I watched the dark overcast weather change slowly to a beautiful cloud-free late afternoon (okay I watched TV too).

Our View!

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

When my now refreshed hubby got up we went for a walk, which ended in a drink, dinner and some skee ball!
How is that for a night out at the Beach???

Jim’s half-eaten dinner!

From Saturday Drive to NH!

Dawn’s idea of a fun Saturday Night!

From Saturday Drive to NH!

An early night to bed leads to an early rise and we were off and on the road by 10am. Hey, that is early for us kid-free couples! We decided to press our luck and drive up the coast and look for a place to eat. Apparently, no one on the New Hampshire coast eats before 12:00noon on a Sunday! Enjoying the wonderful New England coastline views, we put the worry of hunger and non-caffeine moodiness aside.

The New England Coast

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

We searched and searched for something to eat and finally found a little cafe with not only coffee, but with breakfast sandwiches as well. God Bless them! Little did we know we were less than the 15 minutes from Portsmouth which had a plethora of brunch places to chose from!

Portsmouth, to me, was the best of New Hampshire! The streets were filled with old buildings, quaint cute stores, places to eat and drink, and views of the water. We did not want to leave.

Even the ground is Photo-worthy!

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

We love old buildings!

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

But lo and behold we did have to start making our way back to Vermont. As usual in New England, there will be plenty of cute towns and antique stores that will distract our attention and make us stop along the way home. But, on our way out of town we had already been distracted and somehow we ended up in Maine! The second state we went to by accident.

We basically went in circles from the shoreline to barely-inland for a time trying to figure out how to get back to New Hampshire. The circling was starting to get on the driver’s nerves (me). But in defense of the navigator (Jim), it was agreed by both that neither New Hampshire nor Maine marks their roads/highways very well!

We finally got on track in the general direction of “home” which brought us for an unexpected drive through Dover, NH. We thought about stopping because friends live there, but by this point in time and worry of getting lost again, we needed to keep going.

See, we really were in Dover!

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

After Dover and for what seemed like a forever drive, we made it to Concord, the capitol of New Hampshire. It was late, but we needed to stop to eat something before I got to the point of biting Jim’s head off of either hunger or crabbiness.

Window Art in Concord

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

Capitol Building

From Sunday Drive in New Hampshire

After Concord, we made it home without any more extra States, getting lost, and happily, no more excitement!

~ by My Gnome Little World on May 12, 2010.

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