Do you respect other people and then expect a least a little respect back? I don’t think that’s too much to expect today, but apparently, I’m wrong. I was listening to NJ 101.5’s Dennis and Judi show on the ride back from a client in Ocean County as I usually do. (Driving through the Pinelands gets a little monotonous and counting the number of dead animals along the side of the road just doesn’t do it for me.)
The question and discussion of the hour was “Have you ever gone off on a police officer?” I know it happens, but I could not believe the number of people who admitted to freaking out on a police officer. I always find it amusing when you see one of the police reality shows when the obviously belligerent or drunk person suddenly realizes he or she is in a heap of trouble and gets polite by calling the officer ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am.’ Um, it’s too late, pal.

A couple of summers ago, we were vacationing in New Hampshire. We’d gone out after dark for ice cream at our favorite dairy, Sandwich Creamery; which is way off the beaten path. (Isn’t everything in New Hampshire?). My husband was driving my brother’s minivan and I think six or seven of us were stuffed in the van. Well, Doug drove through the main part of Moultonborough a little too fast and a police officer tucked on the side of the road hit his lights and pulled behind us in seconds. Well, my sweet mom, who I guess lost her senses for a split second, was a bit annoyed we were getting pulled over. She opens the minivan’s sliding door to get out. We all yelled “Stay in the car!” Or words to that effect. We scared the wits out of her. She couldn’t understand why she had to stay in the van. Meantime, Doug got off with a warning – I can only attribute it to goodwill tourism AND that Doug was genuinely polite; fully admitted he’d gone too fast through Moultonborough and would never – ever do it again.

Police have a tough job. They serve us well. Respect is a given.

I Scream for Ice Cream

Jolly Island on Lake Winnepesaukee

There’s a hint of autumn creeping into the New Hampshire air. The nights are cool since showers passed through in the past few days. Sunshine and those amazing clouds filled the sky throughout the day. A brisk wind made it a good sailing day; it was about as choppy as it gets on Lake Winnipesaukee. We boated from the house in Moultonborough to just below Weir’s Beach where Doug found gas for 40-cents a gallon cheaper than the marina about a mile by boat from the house.

Let’s not forget the big event of the day. Adam is back with us after his summer as an archery counselor at Camp Robin Hood. About 9:20 this morning Adam texted Doug asking, “When are you going to pick me up?” Funny thing is, he never let us know when he’d be finished working on the last day of  camp. We picked him up around 11. He made his sad good byes to his friends at camp and was quiet in the car for about 10 miles. Then, he opened up about some of his camp activities including when the police questioned two car loads of counselors because they were hanging out in a parking lot figuring out where to eat dinner one night when they had off. All went well, though – no one got in any trouble. Adam’s looking forward to getting his pay check since he spent all of his spending money.

After a terrific family dinner with all of us at the table (steak, corn & salad), Doug, Steve, Sue, Adam and I went to play mini-golf, then had ice cream at Kellerhaus at Weir’s Beach. The place has been around forever. It’s a combination gift shop and ice cream buffet. We ordered our sundaes and “dressed” them at the sundae bar. Yum!

The moon is nearly full; the stars are bright – I’m still looking for that shooting star during this wonderful vacation.

Back to Sandwich Creamery & a Midsummer Night’s Pee

Discoveries today: 20-mile Bay, caterpillars sink, there are BIG rocks in the lake and Sandwich Creamery DOES have sundaes.

In the movie  “You’ve Got Mail,” the store was called “The Shop Around the Corner.” Today we visited “The Bay Around the Corner.” Lake Winnepesaukee is huge. Now that we have the boat, we’re enjoying finding places we have never visited before. Today, we wanted to take a quick ride, go for a swim and come back for lunch. Doug now has a Lake Winnepesaukee app that gives him great guidance on where we’re going. Turns out 20-Mile Bay in Melvin Village on Route 109 is about a 5-minute boat ride. It would probably take 20-minutes by car. We anchored in the middle of the bay; Doug inflated the big, blue tube and I floated around for about half an hour. Doug had the music on and we just – relaxed.

The afternoon was a lazy one. Of course, I got the energy to sweep the deck and rearrange the deck furniture; I read a book; worked and answered email and decided to have bottomless Skinny margaritas. THAT was a good decision. Why not? Late in the afternoon, Doug came in with a new friend attached to his hand – a big, green caterpillar. After he showed it to the family, he decided to feed it to the fish in the lake. He discovered caterpillars do not float. the thing sank straight to the bottom. He sure was pretty – the caterpillar, that is.

Doug decided to take my brother, sister-in-law and mom on a boat ride. When they returned, my mom said that Doug hit a rock in the lake. I had visions of the boat sinking and a huge loss. Fortunately, he was going slow and just brushed a rock; the damage amounted to some lost paint. (I hope.)

Dinner took us to Lobsterquest in Ossipee – a 40 minute drive. We will have great memories of mom and dad sharing a twin lobster dinner with Doug giving them directions on how to eat a lobster; Sue trying her first steamer (she loved it) and Doug giving terrific instructions on eating lobster and showing us his formerly pregnant lobster.

On to dessert – It was back to Sandwich Creamery. It’s a place you’ll never find anywhere. This is a dairy farm tucked way off the beaten path – and when that path ends, it’s on a long, winding dirt road. When you think you’ve made the last turn – you still have a quarter-mile to go. But the shack with the screen door, ice cream freezer case; refrigerator case with fresh eggs and cheese has not changed. The place is open until 10 p.m. but no one is on duty. You pay for your ice cream, cheese and eggs on the honor system. And this ice cream is worth the winding, dirt road to get there. The do indeed have brownie sundaes in addition to select flavors such as Almond Joy, black raspberry chocolate chip and coconut. The best part is showing this place to people who have never been there before. My sister-in-law asked how we find all these places. Many we just wander upon – others we hear about or read about. We’ve been coming up here for 15 years – Doug for much longer – so we’ve found many nooks and crannies.

Riding home from the creamery, Sue really had to go to the bathroom. We were riding through Center Sandwich where a play was underway upstairs at the Town Hall. The front door was open so Doug pulled over and Sue jumped out to quickly find a ladies’ room. Steve went with her for moral support. A couple of minutes later, the play upstairs, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was reaching some sort of crescendo. Sue was walking out the door when one of the actors upstairs shouted in fear – Sue hit the roof in innocent fright.  Thus – a Midsummer Night’s ..pee. Literally. Another great day.

“Ayuh!” (so THAT’s how you spell it)

The way people talk in different parts of the country never fails to fascinate visitors. I spent many years on the radio perfecting a dialect that indicated I was from absolutely no where! No hint of a Philadelphia accent (except when I was really tired). My ear is very sensitive to voices after all these years as a journalist and radio newscaster. The New England way of saying “yes” never fails to make me smile; you comment about the great weather to the gentleman at the general store buying a newspaper and he answers, “Ayuh!” Stopping today in Wooodstock, NH after a damp and foggy visit to the amazing Lost River attraction, there was a sign outside a coffee shop and cafe that simply said, “Ayuh!” At first, I had no idea what the letters meant. My brain sounded out the word and there it was; a word I’d heard and repeated myself during New England vacations but never saw in print.

NHFrirain_20090821_08We traveled the 34 miles of Kancamagus Highway and stopped at Upper Falls of Rocky Gorge where the boys enjoyed hopping the rocks. No swimming allowed there. The gray day kept down the traffic and crowds. The weather thwarted our attempt to visit The Flume at Franconia Notch more than an hour away from our vacation house. We did have a nice picnic lunch at the park before deciding the boys would best enjoy wandering the caves, rocks and climbing of Lost River about 15 minutes from Franconia Notch. Doug and I had been there before as had Adam. He wanted to show Andrew the attraction, so we opted to let them go ahead on their own while Doug and I explored the free garden path and Kinsman Trail. The site has lovely grounds maintained by volunteers as well as paid staff. Even on a dreary day, the place was beautiful.NHFrirain_20090821_12

After the Woodstock visit and some ice cream for the boys and Doug, the rains really started to hit as we crossed the White Mountain region along Route 93. We decided to let the boys have another round at Funstop in Weir’s beach. The place is a bit of Lakes Region history. It’s more than 50 years old and run by the Lawton family. It’s billed as the largest arcade according to the Guiness Records people. 55,000 square feet of arcade games that date back to the 70’s and to the present; there’s pinball, skee ball, air hockey, little rides andgames for the tikes and 20 bowling lanes. At 5 pm, I’m told by other parents wondering, he bar opens for adult beverages. Lest I forget there’s an indoor mini-golf course and one outside as well as a Bingo Hall. Best of all, you don’t go broke. You buy 100 tokens for $20 and most (not all) of the games are one token each. Doug and I decided to spend $5 on games which was enough for me. I got in some Pac Man and pinball; that’s as far as my interest in video games goes.


Our ride back was mostly in the rain. We’ve had thunder and lightning throughout the dinner hour. A wonderful vacation meal of steak on the barby, caeser salad and baked potato leaves me content. We have one more full day in this paradise of NH. Sweet dreams from Danforth Bay.

Back at my happy place

You know when you are going through a painful dentist appointment or facing an unpleasant situation you try to put your mind at ease by thinking about something happy? New Hampshire is my happy place. I have many happy places, but this week, I get to revisit many of my happy places with my family and on my own. This afternoon, we picked up Adam’s buddy, Andrew at Manchester airport. Even that experience was a “happy place moment.” Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) is one of the finest small airports I’ve been in.

You can arrive from Philly, get your luggage, rent your car and be on the road in under 30-minutes. Andrew arrived from his first solo commercial flight with a big smile on his face and thrilled he was in New England for this vacation. A quick stop for lunch on the way to our vacation rental house, then groceries and we were unpacking on Danforth Bay off Lake Ossipee about 3 pm. Adam and Andrew took the first dives in the lake; Doug inflated the water toys; I unpacked and was not far behind them. I floated in a raft for about 45 minutes. The usual first vacation dinner of pasta, sausage, salad and garlic bread was enjoyed on the screened porch of our waterfront cottage. NHDanforthBay_20090816_01NHDanforthBay_20090816_04

OK, cell phones work here..sometimes

OK, cell phones work here..sometimes

 Now the sun is starting to slip below Mary’s Mountain.

Frappes for the boys

Frappes for the boys

 There are still some speed boats with a wakeboarder cutting through the smooth bay water. The air is still and it’s warm. But it’s nothing like the humidity and discomfort you feel at home. NHMonboating_20090816_01Once the sun sets, a cool breeze will envelope the White Mountains and we’ll settle in to watch the Phillies game on ESPN tonight. First, it’s ice cream at Cozy Corner in the tiny town of Freedom. OK, maybe another adult beverage as well. Sweet dreams from Danforth Bay.