All Good Things

The cool wind shifts in Moultonborough

The wind in New Hampshire has taken a noticeable turn. While the breeze is still refreshing and clear, the 10 to 20-mph gusts are creating white caps on our little piece of Lake Winnipesaukee. The sky is crystal clear and the greenery vibrant and whooshing in these winds. The sun is warming things up a bit, but there is a slight chill letting us know that it is time for a change.

While the boys and men hike Mount Major about an hour from our vacation house, we are enjoying a bit of quiet while starting to pack our things for the long ride home tomorrow. It is always bittersweet ending a vacation. The memories are countless: discovering the simple

Simple pleasures 1

pleasures of swimming and floating on a calm lake with two families tossing balls; heading to Smitty’s Golf to hit a few buckets of balls and discovering – we’re not bad at this;

Simple pleasures 2

enjoying a local classic car show and gobbling pizza and salad at Pizza Barn in Ossipee; canoeing and rowboating out to an isolated, tiny island in the lake and building a small fire to toast marshmallows and make s’mores. Earlier in the week, we again enjoyed Rocky Gorge, nature’s swimming sight that Disney could never replicate, along the Kancamagus Highway around Conway, NH.

Simple fun at Rocky Gorge

The simple pleasures also include one of the boys thanking me for the great ideas that filled our second-to-last full day on vacation. We had to improvise given that our boat decided to konk out Wednesday afternoon. The fix could either be simple or more complex, but my husband reminded me we have boated more in these past two weeks than we ever have on vacation here in New Hampshire. We discovered new parts of the lake where we had never been before and I got to drive our boat several times enjoying how it glides across the waters and seems to have been made for this area.

The loon have been so incredibly active during these two weeks. In the past, there have been vacations when we did not see or hear a loon once. Nearly every night and morning, the call of the loon reminded us how

precious nature is. The lack of car and airplane noise and the vivid scenery that is present always in this

Simple pleasures 3

Sunset from "S'more" Island

place let me know that I will return often to find peace and joy.

I have said often that I find myself here in New Hampshire. That has been reinforced once again after a two-week respite. I have managed to get a little work done and enjoy restful, stress-free days and nights. We realize reality will face us with work and school in the days ahead. But during those stressful moments that will inevitably strike, if only for a second, I can close my eyes to find my happy place – a scene in New Hampshire frozen in time in my mind’s eye.

From 3 Bucks at a Rocky Gorge (and other boulders) to a Pizza Barn

Madison Boulder in NH

Madison Boulder in NH


Vacation can be full of sensory overload. Tuesday was that day. The Kancamagus Highway (Route 112) is called one of the nation’s most scenic highways. The road stretches through the White Mountains for 34 miles from Route 16 to Route 93. Except for a few National Forest-approved inns and businesses along the first few miles on either side, there are no services; no gas, no snack bars, no souvenir shops, no flush toilets (seriously). While we have traversed the road in a motor-home some years back, our visits have mostly been to a place called Rocky Gorge. We go to what is called the lower falls. Rocky Gorge is about 7-8 miles from the east side of the Kancamagus. Walt Disney or Six Flags have nothing on this water park made by Mother Nature. The Swift River winds along the mountain range and New Hampshire, being the Granite State and all is blessed with boulders the size of Winnebagos. The rocks have been part of the mountains, streams and rivers for eons. In this patch of the Swift River, families from the local area as well as visitors who just happen upon the site, are amazed at the rushing current on one stretch and the babbling brook feel of the cool water. Here is a place where you can climb the rocks find some rapids you can handle and plunge into the river with the current taking you maybe 20-feet into a deeper pool; you quickly swim to one side or the other, or face a waterfall that isn’t so high as it is rough when you hit the rocks below. The veterans at the sport of Rocky Gorge are observed by the novices. The vets tread on the smooth and slippery rocks knowing just where their feet will get a grip. Small children stick to the babbling brook areas with moms, dads and grandparents close by. From age 8 and up, it’s a playground like no other. On a Tuesday morning, there were no crowds, just those of us with some time off, wanting to enjoy what Mother Nature offers for the price of  National Park day pass..$3. Seriously.
Adam, Andrew and Doug negotiate Rocky Gorge

Adam, Andrew and Doug negotiate Rocky Gorge

Earlier, we visited Madison Boulder. A zillion years ago when glaciers were moving the earth, this boulder ended up in the forest. It’s the size of a four bedroom house in the suburbs. Unless you take a left off Route 153 when you see the brown attraction sign that says “Madison Boulder,” you’d never know it existed. Our host at a bed and breakfast we loved to visit told us about Madison Boulder. Now Adam and his friend, Andrew have enjoyed this spectacle of nature. Admission price: Free.

Along Route 16 in Ossipee is a place owned by the Meader family; it’s been around for decades. My husband went there when he was a camper at Camp Robin Hood. Pizza Barn burned down at least once, but it’s been in its current form for many years. It’s..a barn and they serve OK, there’s pasta, salads and the like. Pizza Barn became the site this vacation for our family dinner.

Part of the Breskin-Friedman family at Pizza Barn, Ossippee, NH

We gathered, all 17 of us, for pitchers of cold Tuckerman’s beer and soda; several pizzas, plates of pasta and some caeser salads. Most of all, it was a chance to hang out for a couple of hours. Our family picture will be posted when cousin Sean catches up when he gets back from vacation. Family time is priceless.