New England Escapade 1: Coastal Cruise to Maine

Last post I wrote about heading off to Argentina  with my friend, Jenny, this December. I explained how hard it is for me to decline invitations to travel with my friends. This past week was another example of this, as I spent time exploring parts of Northeast America I either haven’t seen or don’t remember with X. Background for you newer readers, I met X two years ago when I moved to California  and we have taken numerous adventures together. Some of the best have been cruising the Cali coast and skiing Whistler. This time, he invited me to join him at his family’s home in Manchester, New Hampshire where he typically spends a few weeks each summer with his mother. He’d already been traveling on the East Coast, so I caught a red-eye last Thursday night to Newark, NJ and then hopped to Manchester from there on Friday morning.

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In typical KO/XL fashion, we hit the ground running. I dropped my bags at the house and we went into town to a coffee shop. X was working throughout this trip and while he logged some hours, I researched places to hike in the White Mountains. We wanted an overnight hike with interesting views and backcountry camping… but more on that later. Later that afternoon we jumped in our Ford Fiesta rental car and headed to the coast (Sidenote: Do not buy a Ford Fiesta. Ever.) of New Hampshire with the intent to drive north toward Maine for LOBSTER. I’ve been craving crustaceans for weeks now and was excited to taste New England seafood.

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We hit the shore first in Hampton, NH and cruised through a pretty typical East Coast Beach town full of small restaurants and shops lining a beach with tourists and locals mixing in the streets and on the paths. From there we turned north and stopped in Rye Harbor State Park for some rock scrambling and jumping pictures. It wasn’t warm as it was late afternoon, but we dipped our toes in the Atlantic Ocean all the same. I loved the rocky coastline, sailboats, and brave sea-goers swimming about. Heading north again, we meandered through Portsmouth, NH but stayed in the car because we planned to return later for ice cream. After crossing the border into Maine, we found ourselves winding along adorable roads with gorgeous houses. We made a quick pit-stop in York, Maine at Goldenrod Kisses to watch taffy being pulled. Of course we had to grab a box for ourselves, but we stuck with maple, pomegranate, Maine blueberry, strawberry, peanut butter, and molasses for our flavors… YUM!

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From York, we continued to cruise the coast north to our final destination of Ogunquit, Maine. I loved this quaint little town. We ditched the car and hit the trail, known as The Marginal Way, which followed the coast out of the cove and around a point into a bay. It was almost sunset by this time and even though the sun was behind us, the views were stunning and the atmosphere was relaxed and calm. After sitting on a bench for a while and people-watching, we made our way back to dinner at Oarweed Restaurant. We were seated outside, right along the walkway, which allowed us to continue taking it all in while we ate. The restaurant was crowded so service was a little scattered, but the food was great! I ordered lobster (duh!) and accepted the bib tied around my neck. The salad and rolls left something to be desired, but the lobster was outstanding. I had to be reminded how to crack the claws, but it was like riding a bike and I was getting into it in no time.

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After dinner, we walked through the downtown shops along the cove and then jumped back in our car to start the journey south. We took the coast back down to Portsmouth for our post-dinner ice cream treat at Annabelle’s Natural Ice Cream and Yogurt. I sampled the seasonal flavor of cinnamon spice, but stuck with my go-to chocolate chip cookie dough. I was brave and went for a cone since we planned to walk the town and window shop while we ate. There were people and entertainers out on the streets everywhere, which made this town seem alive and fun! Feeling quite full and content, we took the highway back to Manchester and called it a fairly early night since we had big plans for Saturday and I’d only gotten in that morning. Stay tuned for more posts from my New England travels!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: NE Escapade 2: Zealand Loop in the White Mountains | Rays of Funshine
  2. Trackback: NE Escapade 3: Kancamagus to White Lake | Rays of Funshine
  3. Trackback: NE Escapade 4: Newfound Lake and MORE Lobster | Rays of Funshine

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