The Lost Day

Rainy days and Mondays  – ah, you know the rest of the Carpenter’s ditty. Monday evening was outstanding with family getting together for a delicious meal at Canoe. I was remiss in mentioning my outstanding sister-in-law – Erica and her talented beau Don. Erica is always great with the kids and keeps the adults conversing as well. She enjoyed ordering tasty treats for the folks sitting around her last night – not to mention a great bottle of wine – (Thanks!!). Later in the evening, Don gave us a wonderful demonstration on his accordion. Now it’s not a mainstream instrument that you see every day – especially on vacation.We learned that Don has been playing since his was a child. He played a few lovely tunes that made me want to sit back and have a cigarette – except I don’;t smoke. He spent a good while showing Andrew the basics of the accordion which he really enjoyed.

A good night’s sleep led to a rainy start to Tuesday. Unfortunately, my wound from the other night showed some complications. We headed to Lakes Region General Hospital where we feared we would be tied up for hours. IN ONE HOUR – I was registered, triaged, treated and released. Now, I’m on some mega antibiotics. I’m resting this afternoon and hope to be much better tomorrow.

As we move toward another dinner hour, the skies are at last, clearing. Friend, Donna arrived yesterday and we’ll enjoy our first meal with Doug, the boys and me and whoever else pops in for the evening! Donna was gracious to drive Adam & Andrew to Fun Spot near Weirs Beach. Doug went to hang out with Greg, Theresa and the kids. Now, it’s time for the healing to begin – again.

Let’s take a ride on the boat – the sky is clearing and the sun is setting on another day in paradise.

Another Week at the Lake

We said sad farewells to mom, dad, Steve & Sue at 9 this morning. Their first visit to New Hampshire was filled with exploration, good food, laughter and family time. Now, the tide turns to the second week for visits by more friends and family.

After a ride into Meredith this morning for some errands, I returned for lunch with Doug, Andrew and Adam. Cousins Sean and Shelley were a short ride away spending today through Tuesday morning with us. Adam and Andrew went out with Doug for a boat driving lesson. Sean and Shelley arrived. It was so nice to welcome THEM for a change. We are always welcomed by them to their condo in Brigantine – now it’s our turn. After they unpacked, Doug too all but Shelley out on the boat to treat Andrew to some tubing. Sean loved snapping shots of Andrew skipping with speed across the lake in the tube. His face was frozen in a perfect smile loving the thrill of the ride. I drove the boat while Doug water-skied a little.

Happy hour brought the snacks and drinks out. Doug and Sean took a ride to find Cousin Barry & Joan’s house and welcome them to NH. Dinner comes soon. Lobster dinner was outstanding. the $5.79 per pound lobster was cooked up by Doug. The lobster was accompanied by sweet NH corn on the cob and salad. Adam and Shelley enjoyed fresh salmon on the grill.

Dessert at Greg & Theresa’s house was a great time to visit with the young Breskins. Everyone was a bit tired so we called it a night early after playing some games with the kids and enjoying some sweets and wine.

Monday brings rain, rain – and wait for it – more rain. We have NEVER been in New England when an entire day was a wash out. Today was that day – and here at 8:30 p.m. – the rain continues. It’s likely we’ll have more rain into Tuesday – but we have high hopes for clearing skies.

As with any vacation, you make lemonade. I headed to the gym to stretch my knee a little. Donna arrived later morning and then headed off to explore the Center Harbor/Moultonborough area on her own. Because of the rain, we cancelled plans for the family dinner at the Town Docks and arranged plan B making a reservation for 18 at Canoe – a terrific restaurant in Center Harbor. Doug and I ate at Canoe last week.

Before dinner, we loaded up everyone in the cars and went to Moultonborough Store. I picked up a few games for the kids to enjoy at the restaurant. By 4:30 we were back in the cars and headed to Canoe.

Family dinners can be disasters or they can be glorious. We enjoyed the latter at a table for 18 at Canoe. Our wait staff Shen (short for Shenandoah) and Steven were wonderful. From lobster mac and cheese to scallops and burgers, we enjoyed wonderful food while dabbling in conversation with family we just don’t see so often. Watching everyone enjoy each others’ company and talk, laugh and eat good food is just something to be so completely happy about.

Enjoying the children, event the grownups and just being together is what this vacation is all about. Tomorrow, Sean and Shelley travel on to Ogunquit, Maine; Donna will come to our house to stay for two nights and hopefully – the rain will stop.

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.

Monday, Monday

Monday “rush” hour in Moultonborough, New Hampshire means six cars on Moultonborough Neck Road toward Route 25 – instead of two cars. It’s just about seven miles from the vacation house to the main road and the views are such that you have to remember you are driving and need to watch the hills and the double yellow line. I always love the lupin growing wild on the side of the road. They look like long, purple paint brushes growing in clumps – wild and free. The sides of roads often look like a Monet painting with bursts of yellow, purple and pink wildflowers.

Once I got out to the main road this morning, I went into gym-rat mode. Because I have really accepted that I need to be a gym rat and work out three times a week for about 90-minutes, I knew I could NOT go without visiting a gym – even during vacation. When we came up to NH a few weeks ago to visit Adam at camp, I paid a fee to visit the gym that is closest to our vacation house – about 15 minutes by car. I swiped myself in and immediately went into my routine. about 90 minutes later, refreshed and ready to go for the day, I went “in to town” – such as Centre Harbor is. One traffic light – one grocery store – the liquor store, a couple of cafes, a good restaurant (Coe House) an a beautiful waterfront. I included a photo yesterday of the three boys on the dock – that’s Centre Harbor. I went into Winnepesaukee Bayguls (cute) and snapped up a delicious Green Mountain coffee and a half-dozen bagels made fresh at the shop. Next door, a cafe and bakery was the source of a corn muffin for Doug.

Doug had already been out on the boat when I got back from my morning jaunt. He scouted out the vacation houses where his brother and his cousin will be staying next week and filled the boat with $130 worth of gas. OUCH! We decided to take a trip to Wolfeboro – by boat. That’s a MUCH better way to get to Wolfeboro than by car. It would have taken at least 50 minutes. Speeding through the nearly flat water, we got to the dock in less than 30 minutes.

Doug had packed a delicious lunch that we ate after we tied up at the dock. The weather was quite warm, but the skies started threatening. We stopped in a couple of shops. I bought a birthday card for a friend and walked across the street to the Wolfeboro post office. I think I saw Norman Rockwell there. This place was probably nearly as it was 75 years ago. The postal worker even hand-stamped the birthday card envelope with a Wolfeboro stamp. Quite cute.

We decided to head back and then the skies decide to open up. We were leaving the dock and ducked down below the windshield just peeking enough over the dash to see where we were going. Then, we beat the showers. We were past the rain clouds and back in the sunshine. Amazing how the clouds break up over the lake and dissipate. We cruised around an area of the lake we had never seen before. The homes were actually more like compounds. Huge houses with three-boat garages on the lake. Impeccable landscaping and gorgeous, sandy beaches were part of the homes by the lake. The prices had to be $5 million and up. Dream on.

Doug and I swam in the lake after returning from our little trip. Before we knew it, it was time to start helping with dinner. My parents, Steve & Sue spent the day on a trip to Mount Washington. They got back around 4:30. Dinner by my brother was terrific – pulled pork, delicious local corn-on-the-cob,

After water skiing near the house

salad, baked beans and macaroni salad.

The best was yet to come. Doug had a need for speed – on water skis. That meant we headed out in the boat again. We were able to ski about 500 yards off the house as the sun was starting to set. I was the boat driver – which is very stressful. I don’t want to screw up. Thankfully, I didn’t. Doug enjoyed skiing; I did a good job driving the boat. And nobody got hurt!

Return to the Lake

The thing about vacation is the journey getting there. Why does it seem that it takes forever to get to your destination? Looking back on the past 48 hours, I’m so happy to be back at Lake Winnepesaukee, but now I’d like the clock to just slow down.

The Moultonborough house here in New Hampshire is just the same as I remember. It’s nothing fancy, but offers spectacular views of our little piece of the lake and plenty of places for six adults to have whatever personal moments they’d like. Doug successfully launched the boat at Long Island for the short ride to the dock at the house. We were so incredibly happy to be getting her Saturday, that we forgot to eat lunch. Steve & Sue (brother & sister-in-law), my parents and us towing the boat were in our separate vehicles. We met at the BJ’s in Tilton, shopped there and at the Shaw’s supermarket next door, then made our way to the rental office in Centre Harbor. Doug, mom & dad headed to launch the boat while Steve, Sue and I went to the state store in Centre Harbor and picked up a few extra things at the Heath’s grocery to kill time before we could get the house key.

The next hours were about unpacking, checking out the house, getting dinner ready and most important, saying “hello” to the lake once more. After a spaghetti dinner with grilled sausage and salad. We toasted day one in the house, then Doug took us for a boat ride around Long Island. We admired the waterfront homes, watched the sky change as the sun started dipping to the west and even saw our first pair of loon of the week. Dusk led to a night of rain showers, but the peaceful night with the drumming of rain on the rocks and landscape led to a wonderful Sunday morning pancake breakfast (thanks, Doug!) and fruit. Why does everything taste better on vacation???

We’re having a lazy Sunday and may go visit Adam at Camp Robin Hood. May the clock tick ever-so-slowly.

The Loon are Calling

View from the Moultonborough vacation house

 

It has been a long while since I’ve posted a blog. And that’s really a good thing. My business is going well; my family life has been full and busy and I’ve been around friends more often in work and play. I suppose the major delay in writing again has been hip surgery. That has been a big change in my life over the past nearly seven months or so.

Our wonderful weekend trip to San Francisco in January put me over the top when it came to the pain I was experiencing in my right hip. Doctors advise that when your pain becomes so intense that you can’t get through your everyday activities, then it’s time to do something about that pain. In February, I went literally crying to Doug telling him I was going to do something about my hip pain. He barely knew I had any problem. No one knew. I really lived with the pain day-to-day for several years until it got so bad, I could not sleep at night or walk stairs without intense pain.

Fast forward to May 9th for hip surgery at Rothman Institute. While I experienced major surgery and had a difficult time wrapping my head around that, the pain I had for so long was gone immediately. Since I had continued going to the gym leading to surgery – no matter how painful – this helped my physical therapy in many ways. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not be on board with exercise and strengthening and then have a body part replaced. I was never on a walker as most hip replacement patients are for as long as a week; I was on crutches for two days and a cane for a week. I was done with physical therapy after about eight visits and continued all of the prescribed exercises for weeks on my own. I continue to go to the gym three times a week and am about 95% of where I want to be. The remaining 5% is the healing of the nerves in my upper right leg which remain numb. It’s still a little sore around the incision which I discovered last weekend when I batted a fly off my by slapping my leg. OUCH!  So, I’m still careful not to bump into things. The incision itself  is healing nicely.

With that major change behind me (literally), I was back to work for the summer months while Adam began his position as a first year aid teaching archery at Camp Robin Hood. As usual, the summer has been a growing experience for him. It’s great to see him happy and enjoying the transition from camper to staff member and doing well. As usual, the summer has flown by. Doug and I had our summer of dates that included trips to Toronto to see the Phillies; a weekend and a day trip in the Chesapeake, and day trips to Brigantine, Barnegat Bay and of course, the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

But what we all work for is vacation. We are fortunate to be able to adjust our business calendars to have a long vacation this year back in the land that we love so much: New Hampshire. We’ll be spending time with my family, then Doug’s, as well as Adam’s friend, Andrew joining us along with my friend, Donna.

What is it about vacation that makes the few days leading to vacation so incredibly stressful. Not that I have as much stress as I used to in broadcasting, but the “to do” list is crazy. All week there have been so many tasks and chores to do; clients all of a sudden need your help and advice on something or other (no worries..that’s a good problem to have) and I just KNOW I have forgotten to do something critical!

Now, I breathe deeply knowing the fresh, New Hampshire air and the beautiful lakefront house is just a couple of days away. The solitary call of the loon will no longer be a memory – I’ll hear that sound at mornings and at dusk; we’ll visit “S’More” Island once again; we’ll enjoy family and friends. I’ll be writing lakeside to chronicle yet another bucolic respite in the Granite State.