East Coast Love

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The Notorious B.I.G once said, “If I got to choose a coast I got to choose the East, I live out there, so don’t go there.” I say, I’m with you Biggie, except DO go there. I just spent a totally fabulous weekend in New Hampshire with my little sister and her BF in their new fancy house on Lake Winnipesaukee, and was reminded of all the joys of New England living (the greatest of which being the wide availability Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, which I missed deeply and dearly in California!).

The weekend actually began in the great city of Boston, when I stopped off to see a good friend from my Syracuse days, Scott. We had a lovely dinner and a good old catch up. The following day, I lunched with my San Fran friend Natalie, she of the Sonoma birthday party a few weeks ago. She’s moving to Boston (good luck, Natalie!), and happened to be there looking at apartments and things. Was great to see a friendly San Fran face when I’m still missing it so! (I am!)
Friday afternoon it was on to NH with Miranda (the aforementioned sister) after she got out of work. We had a delicious dinner at a local restaurant with Abe (the aforementioned sister’s BF) and went home to get ready for a weekend so chock-full of activities I might have been up there for a month! As this is a travel blog and therefore meant to provide information on what one might do when one travels somewhere, I’ll share the highlights of the Center Harbor area, interspersed with my general musings.
We kicked off on Saturday with a New Hampshire-style epic voyage to Polly’s Pancake Parlor (http://www.pollyspancakeparlor.com/). Wow, those were some good ‘cakes. Whole wheat chocolate chip, served in two batches so one half doesn’t get cold (such a simple concept and yet makes all the difference!). But Polly’s not limited to just one sort of pancake. Oh no, you could have yourself a sampler of all six types with tons of toppings to choose from. Polly’s Potatoes were nothing to mess with either.
Later on, Abe took me for a ride in his 1974 MG Midget. It was my own Mad Men moment and a great way to see more of the beautiful scenery up there. I love the little country towns, particularly (this will sound weird) the post offices! They’re all so tiny, I went into one that was literally half the size of my studio in SF, and anyone who knows me knows I loooove mini stuff. The travel-size aisles at Wal-Mart and Target practically give me seizures.
In the afternoon, I was privileged to be part of that most domestic of tasks – purchasing a grill. Abe and Miranda had invited everyone over to the house for a barbeque the next day, but were missing that one vital component. So, it was off to the local Lowe’s where more hilarity than one might expect ensued, mostly to do with getting the grill home.
Once purchased, we three looked at the Toyota Corolla and said, no problem, the huge heavy box will go in the back seat- not a chance. Ok, we said, it’ll probably go in the trunk – no way in hell. We eyed the new roof rack. Somehow, with three people, two bungee cords and the entire population of the Lowe’s parking lot unabashedly laughing at us, success was had! We had to take corners veeeery slowly, but the Corolla handled it like a dream. Say what you want about Toyota, but we got the Master Forge home safe and sound. (We were about three minutes from home when Miranda suddenly said, “We should have taken it out of the box!” Aaaaah, yes, good idea.)
We woke up Sunday to a gorgeous day- sunny, warm, just perfection. We had initially planned to go kayaking, but it was too windy so we did ourselves one (actually two) better – go-karts and mini golf! I have seriously never seen so many mini-golf courses in one place. There must be some statistic about New Hampshire and mini-golf, like there is about the vanity license plates…but I digress. Miranda, Abe, Abe’s friend Jake and I had a tip-topmost day out, even though I lost at mini-golf and was the slowest go-karter. I definitely recommend the “Funspot” (yes, it’s actually called that) if you find yourself up a creek in Hew Hampshire without a kayak.
Sunday evening was barbeque time, and Abe’s family all came round for a slap-up meal. It was fabulous to meet everyone whom I’ve heard so much about. The Master Forge gave a world-class performance and we wrapped the whole thing up with some ‘smores on the fire pit. I was so happy I didn’t even mind when the bugs came out. It’s just all part of being back East!
So, there you go, a totally brilliant New England weekend. I probably haven’t helped much if you actually do plan to visit New Hampshire, other than making a strong recommendation for my sister’s house with its lovely lake views! Good thing I love it so much, as Abe and Miranda might hear a knock on the door when I get back from the Voyage, broke, homeless and unemployed.
I was musing on all of this as I drove back down to Connecticut yesterday, through leafy Massachusetts with a cup of beloved Dunkin’ in hand, when Katy Perry – esteemed songstress that she is – came on the radio with a new tune. As if reading my mind and speaking only to me, she sang, “You could travel the world, but nothing comes close to the Golden Coast.” OK Katy, I hear ya. Duly noted.
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