What a glorious 12 days we had in the beautiful state of New Hampshire. Highlights include bike riding along the beach, ice cream, Rummy, Uno, paint by numbers, puzzles, laundry, mystery, fantasy, chocolate, shopping, dogs, heat, humidity, and fun, fun, fun with friends!
For the first several days, we “moochdocked” in the backyard of our friends’ house. A.J. and Juliann live in a sweet neighborhood of Hampton, NH, just one straight mile away from the beach. They have a spacious backyard with easy access to it from another street. We had no problem backing into the perfect spot of their yard, and our Airstream looked like it belonged where it sat.
Juliann and A.J. are both currently working from home due to the pandemic, making their Great Danes, Karmé and Bairn, very happy. Our days visiting with them were fun and relaxing. They graciously let us use their washer and dryer to do laundry, served as our post office for various deliveries, and hosted a get-together with Juliann’s family who live about a block away (and Carl enjoyed some lobster!). We rode our bikes along the beach. I was victorious in Rummy two out of three games, and plan to beat A.J. again the next time I see him. Juliann won the “controversial” Uno game—controversial because we played with weird rules that left me holding over half the deck (thanks, NOT, A.J.!).
A.J. works for Ravensburger, a board game and puzzle company. So, of course, Juliann and I completed a puzzle, and A.J. gifted us with a 1000-piece puzzle for the road. Another fun project they introduced me to was paint-by-numbers on canvas. I am now working on a challenging painting. I know … you are thinking how challenging can a paint-by-numbers piece be? Well, let’s just say, over 10 different colors can make just ONE sunflower leaf. I work on it a little each day, so it will take a few months to complete (if not longer!).
The second week we moved to Tuxbury Pond RV Park, an Encore campground in the Thousand Trails system that sits along the border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts about 20 minutes from our friends. Although we enjoyed staying in our friends’ backyard, we made the move to empty our tanks and be able to run our air conditioning because temperatures soared into the upper 80s and lower 90s while there.
There is a lot of history in New England, given that was where the first colonies formed. We passed houses with placards dating to well over 300 years old, many beautifully kept up. We didn’t explore too much of the history since many places were still closed due to COVID-19, so we mostly did sightseeing and playing.
Thanks to AtlasObscura.com, we found some quirky places to check out. The first was Winnekenni Castle, nestled near Kenoza Lake. Although it was closed for tours, the area was open for outdoor activities, and we went on a four-mile hike around the lake. We also drove into downtown Haverhill (pronounced HAYverill), MA to see what is reportedly the first U.S. statue of a woman, Hannah Dustin, who escaped from her murderous kidnappers back in 1697. Nearby was also a Korean War memorial.
On another day, we drove to Plum Island, Massachusetts to drive by the pink “spite” house that sits all alone on a salt marsh (more info at https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/plum-island-pink-house and https://www.supportthepinkhouse.com/), and we continued our drive to Gloucester and Rockport, MA. Both are next to the Atlantic Ocean, and we enjoyed driving along the coast. There is something about the rocky shoreline and boats in harbors along the way on a beautiful day that speaks to me on a deep level. Now, if I could just win a multimillion dollar lottery to afford the $6.5 million house (with guest quarters and an indoor/outdoor pool) that has the perfect setting and view! I know… I have a rich fantasy life. We were driving somewhere and Carl asked me if I saw something (don’t remember what it was), and I said no because I was thinking intently about my new house and wondering if the current owners have detailed information about its care and keeping. A girl can dream!
We made a quick trip to Maine with A.J. and Juliann to shop at the Cole Haan outlet store (Juliann works for Cole Haan corporate), and we all left with a purchase! Before crossing back into NH, we stopped at the Kittery Trading Post, a huge, three-level store (think Cabella’s on steroids!)—one level is just for fishing gear!
We ended our stay in New Hampshire with a visit to “America’s Stonehenge” near Salem, NH. Research on the site began in 1937 by William Goodwin, and it opened to the public in 1958 as “Mystery Hill Caves.” It has been undergoing continuous archaeological study and research since the ’30s, and was renamed “America’s Stonehenge” in 1982 partly do attract more public attention but, more importantly, because they found stone markers strategically placed for the astronomical equinoxes and solstices. It is still a mystery though, why there are miles of stone fences/walls, lots of interesting caves, an ancient draining system, and a ceremonial tablet.
Since we were visiting America’s Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice (June 20, 2020), a drumming circle was scheduled. Spare drums were available for those who didn’t have one, so I joined in on a few beats. It was fun, and I would like to do that again.
One last tidbit … the Lindt Chocolate Factory is located in New Hampshire, and A.J. took us to the Lindt Chocolate Outlet store. So much chocolate in one place! I did not get enough, and I want to go back at some point.
Since the pandemic has affected so many businesses and attractions and forced us to change our initial travel plans, we decided we will spend the Spring/Summer of 2022 traveling through the New England states and into that end of Canada. It will be here before we know it. We have already placed our “moochdocking” reservations with A.J. and Juliann!