Brad's dad and stepmom came to visit us for a few days. They had never been to New Hampshire before so we tried to squeeze in a lot into a couple of days.
For our first outing we took them to Portsmouth, NH. Portsmouth is a really cool town. There is so much to do and unfortunately we only had time to do a fraction of it!
Portsmouth is the third oldest city in the nation (settled in 1623) and the first settlement in New Hampshire. It has a population of about 21,000 people, which is smaller than the small town in Alabama that I grew up in, but in New Hampshire it is considered a metropolitan hub.
That cracks me up!
While in Portsmouth, we visited the Strawbery Banke Museum. From the website:
Strawbery Banke Museum began as a "save our history" effort by the citizens of Portsmouth. In the late 1950s, Puddle Dock, an area of dilapidated homes near the Piscataqua River was targeted for urban renewal. All the "substandard" homes in Puddle Dock -- some of which dated back to the 1600s -- were to to torn down and replaced with modern buildings. That was until city librarian Dorothy Vaughn addressed the Portsmouth Rotary Club one day in 1957.
That day Vaughn "laid it on the line" for the Rotary Club, telling them that every time one of the old houses was torn or an antique piece of Portsmouth furniture shipped out of town, the city was losing its past. The Rotary Club was galvanized into action, and while Puddle Dock did undergo urban renewal, much of it has been saved as a historic museum.
Named after the earliest Portsmouth settlement, Strawbery Banke Museum, today on the 9.5 acre museum grounds are buildings from four centuries displayed as living history. Each building shows a slice of life from a bygone era, and serious archaeological and crafts work continues to be done by staff and artisans on the museum grounds.
There is your history lesson for the day. Stay tuned, science is next!
While we were there, Brad was given charge of the camera since I was wearing Jami in the Moby and therefore occupied.
These are the pictures he took.
All four of them.
He was promptly fired as team photographer.
After Strawbery Banke, we walked around downtown and did some shopping and had a late lunch. Then we went to another antique house that had been preserved and turned into a museum, the Governor John Langdon House.
We have no pictures of that either.
By this time the kids were exhausted and dinnertime was approaching. We decided to get out of Portsmouth and stop somewhere along the way home to eat. We stopped about halfway home at this little place called Johnson's that we had heard is famous for it's ice cream.
So we did what any good parents would do:
we let the kids have ice cream for dinner.
I ordered each of the kids a kiddie cone and when the kiddie cones arrived I was sure the teenage kid behind the ice cream counter was playing a joke on me. There were about 5 inches of ice cream piled up on top of the cone. I verified that this was in fact the kiddie size and he said, "yup, that's one scoop."
It was like four scoops!
No body could eat all of it.
Except for John.
He finished his own cone, then polished off the rest of Emma Jane's and then went around begging "bites" from everyone else.
It's a miracle he wasn't sick during the night!
The next day we took the grandparent to the Flume Gorge. The kids were super excited about more hiking!
By the way, Brad refused to relinquish the camera, even though he was fired. He was determined to redeem himself as photographer and we came home from this field trip with over 150 pictures!
I won't make you look at all of them.
The Flume Gorge is one of those amazing natural phenomenons that really can't be captured in pictures anyways.
The beauty of the place was breath-taking
even Brad's best pictures don't do it justice.
Jami was fascinated with the lichen on the walls.
The other kids quickly got over their disappointment of another hiking outing when the saw how cool this place was!
It seemed that this field trip would go down in their memories as a success.
But we should have remembered Aunt Catie's favorite saying about New Hampshire: "Wait 15 minutes and the weather will change."
The day that had started out just being a little cloudy suddenly turned to rain as we neared the top of the gorge.
The drizzles didn't get us down at first, but after a few minutes the light rain turned to an all out down pour. And we were still a mile from the visitor's center!
The rain was so heavy that we were all soaked through in minutes and I had to walk with my head down to keep the water out of my eyes. The children switched back to the "I hate hiking" team and spent the remaining 15 minutes of our walk complaining about the world in general.
By the time we got home and into dry clothes, all was right with the world again and after a little snuggle time with Paw Paw, the day was saved in their memories.
What a fickle bunch!