Touring the Historic Seacoast of New Hampshire

It was all planned.  Max had a 9-hr. boating class to attend in the seacoast area of New Hampshire.  What to do for NINE hours while he was there?  Then Colette asked if the two of us could go exploring.  The plan was hatched.  We would drop Max off for his class, and the two of us would have a day of mother-daughter exploring.  The class was on a Saturday.  But on Tuesday, both she and Technohubby were down sick.  Sick, sick, sick. Max kept his distance all week.  And I nursed the two of them...and washed my hands a lot.  By Friday, she was better, but decided to skip her usual Friday of snowboarding in order to conserve her strength for our adventure day.

The day dawned, and a bitterly cold one it was!  We were up at 5:30 a.m., and out the door by 6:30.  It was about 2 degrees outside.  Not an ideal day for adventuring, that's for sure.  But off we went.  We dropped Max off for his class, and the two of us sought refuge somewhere warm...our favorite restaurant, Popovers, for breakfast.  It's just on the other side of this beautiful, old church.  (George Washington worshiped there once!)

Piping hot quiche, mini popover, fresh fruit, and large and steaming cups of hot cocoa...all very comforting and warming on this frigid morning.

Despite the fortifying food, her cold was getting the best of her.  Eight hours stretched before us.  Bitter cold was outside.  And she sat with her head in her hands sighing, "I should never have come."  Oh dear.  

We decided to drive to see the historic Wentworth by the Sea hotel.  Here's a bit of its history:

A member of the Historic Hotels of America, Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa, is the crown jewel of Portsmouth, NH...Constructed by the Campbell family in 1874, the Victorian “wedding cake” building guests see today was created by local ale tycoon Frank Jones, starting in 1888. After painting the building a mossy green, Jones and his professional management team modernized the hotel with bathrooms, steam-powered elevators and large elegant rooms that attracted guests from around the world. The central portion of our Portsmouth hotel, beneath the three mansard-roofed towers, is what remains of the original Wentworth, including the main entrance and lobby fireplace.
Wentworth by the Sea was once one of 400 grand hotels situated along the coast and mountains of New Hampshire, and the hotel maintained its international reputation as a premier resort for much of the 20th century. During this time the hotel hosted dignitaries and celebrities such as Annie Oakley, Gloria Swanson, Harry Truman and Prince Charles. 
We sat in the warmth of the car admiring the facade, but reluctant to leave our cozy seats.  We finally decided we'd jump out, snap a picture, and make a dash for the warm lobby.  Don't be fooled.  It wasn't as warm as it looked.  It was 5 degrees now, with a wind blowing about 20 mph off the ocean.  Brrrr.

I love rows of comfortable wicker chairs on grand hotel terraces!

After warming ourselves by the fire in the lobby for a bit, we returned to the car.  Since it was too cold to wander afoot, we opted to drive around all the little, charming streets of Portsmouth and Newcastle, snapping pictures from the warmth of the car.  Come along for the ride, and enjoy the bay views and the fine, New England architecture!

Isn't that the most fun treehouse platform!??!  Oh, my!  What fun must happen there...spyglasses and sightings of pirate ships in the harbor, shouts of "ahoy", and grand defenses mounted against marauders!

A slightly revived girl hopped out for a quick photo.  So nice to see that smile!

Many of the homes in this area are centuries old, and all still sit on their original streets.  The streets are mostly one-way, as they are only wide enough for horse and cart, and not two cars passing.  I do believe a loyalist just might still live on this street.

And this one seemed very old indeed.  I would guess dating to the 1600's.  It truly sits right on the street.  The corner of the house that you can see there must be in constant danger of being hit by the passing snow plow.

And although Portsmouth's streets are simply rich with charming shops, it was just too cold to do much strolling, nor did Colette feel like it.  But I had long wanted to explore two of them, related to each other, and right next door to each other, so in we went to explore Lady Pickwick's and Pickwick Mercantile.

Lady Pickwick's is the girliest shop you can ever imagine!  It's center table is filled with fine hats, scarves, handbags, and such.  And around the room were fine leather gloves, silk clothing, lingerie, and drawers and drawers and drawers filled with all sorts of delights!  The clerk, costumed in a long bustled skirt, white ruffled top, tartan shawl, and hat with small ship on it(!) invited us to open all the drawers and peek inside.

Having purchased a few items, we then went next door to Pickwick Mercantile.  It contains all manner of Victorian-esque delights: soaps, sealing wax, fine writing paper, jewelry, books, and oodles of sweets!

We finished the day by seeing a movie (lots of time for Colette to sit and rest) and having a warm lunch at the British Beer Company.

Max enjoyed his class.  A few more days' rest and Colette was feeling much better.  And now...I'm on day #9 of the cold. Raising the surrender flag and going to the doctor's tomorrow.


  1. Great pictures but boy, it did look cold! I hope you and your family will be better soon!

  2. Thank you, Missi. Antibiotics in hand now, so I'm feeling hopeful!


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