NE Escapade 4: Newfound Lake and MORE Lobster

Okay everyone, this is it! The last of four posts about my New England escapade will wrap up my wonderful escape from reality in the woods of New Hampshire (with a cameo appearance by Maine). In fact you’ve forgotten, we started our trekking to Maine, then hiked in the White Mountains, then swam in Squam Lake  and just arrived back in Manchester on Monday afternoon. While our clothes and gear were drying, I decided to stretch my legs after so many miles in the car. So I took off on a run with no real plan other than getting out and moving. I’ve been slack on running since my marathon and I will be the first to admit that my diet on this trip hasn’t been ideal. But that’s what escaping life vacations are for, right? I headed uphill and told X I’d figure out a way home… or I’d call from the side of the road in an hour. I knew there was a reservoir and a few ski runs if I went up the mountain, so up I went. The view from the top was gorgeous and I haven’t been happier running recently than I was tearing down the grassy slopes with little care for safety or control. It reminded me of summer days at Wintergreen and it made me very happy.

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After I wound my way back to the house (taking the long way by accident), I cooled off and showered before dinner. We went with X’s mother into town for a seafood dinner. I had a mixed grilled plate of scallops, salmon, and shrimp. YUM! I wasn’t very hungry, so I skimped on the sides of veggies and rice and concentrated my efforts on the good stuff. On the way home we treated ourselves to Blake’s Ice Cream, apparently a staple in town. Even though I was full, my mother taught me that you’re never too full for dessert and my Big Bang Oreo ice cream was totally worth it. Although I did opt for a cup instead of a cone to cut down on the food intake. We stayed up fairly late, working or reading peacefully… oh, and I might’ve taken a two and half hour nap after my run, but it’s vacation so that’s allowed.

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Tuesday morning we woke up without alarms and decided to try to hit one more crisp, mountain lake before we had to go back to sunny San Diego. X’s mom joined us for this excursion and we stopped in Concord for a Greek lunch at a locally owned place. In spite of the French fries coming inside our gyros, the food was quite good! We walked over to the capitol grounds after lunch as well, just to see some of the more historical side of the state. There were gorgeous flowers and a replica of the Liberty bell, as well as the traditional golden dome of the capitol building. We didn’t linger too long, but were happy to see that the sunshine was staying with us for the lake!

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X’s favorite lake in the region is Newfound Lake, and I quickly saw why. From the parking lot, we took a trail marked “Blueberry Lane” and I was thrilled to see that yes, there actually were blueberries all along the path and we could absolutely pick them! After our snack through the woods, the landscape opened up to a gorgeous lake with a small beach and swimming area closest to us. There were a few boats or kayaks out past the buoys but for the most part it was a calm section of the lake. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, reading, soaking up the sun, and just relaxing. I could’ve stayed here for days. The water was about the same as Squam Lake, but the sun was at full strength which made it feel warmer. Again, we had ducks that were looking for handouts and came right up to us on the shore but we shooed them off as quickly as they approached. I think we were the last group on the beach that day and like I said, I could’ve stayed even longer.

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On the way home, we opted to pick up steamed lobster from the grocery store to eat at home since we had been out and driving for much of the trip. In total, our rental car did 600 miles in six days! Our grocery attendant was quite enthusiastic about picking out our dinners, which made it fun. We added sides of bread, fresh veggies, and rice to our meal and again I felt like I’d eaten just enough of the good stuff to be content. My lobster topped out at two pounds, but I had no problem pulling out the huge chunks of meat from the claws and tail this time around. After dinner, I finished my book while X worked and then everyone went to bed, tired from the sun of the day.

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Wednesday morning we got up, ate a delicious breakfast of homemade crepes, packed out things and got to the airport by 10:20am to return our Fiesta. From there, X and I flew to Baltimore on a quick 1.5 hour flight and then worked in the airport on our 2.5 hour layover. We grabbed lunch there before getting on our final flight home to San Diego. Like I’ve mentioned throughout this series of posts, I had an amazing time exploring a region of the United States I’ve spent a little time in, but would love to spend more. Special thanks to X and his mother for being such gracious hosts, but especially to X for showing me so much of where he grew up and how he spent his summers. Trips like this remind me the importance of unplugging and living in the moment with those people that mean the most to you. Thanks for reading along and I hope you enjoyed the ride!

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