Live Free or Die

      “Live free or Die”                                                                                                                                      – The State of New Hampshire’s Moto

New Hampshire is a lot of things to me. It’s the place I remember most of my childhood adventures. The place that a large majority of my family still resides. My secret little sanctuary that I always find a way of escaping too. And the place where my heart fell in love with white Christmas’. New Hampshire is such a wide variety of people that it’s really hard to explain what the culture is like. It has the most breathtaking fall foliage I’ve ever laid my eyes upon, it has amazing food, and some really awesome little hidden gems. This past weekend, my dad and I decided to fly up and surprise my grandma. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever witnessed a serious momma’s boy and his momma. But I’ve never ever seen a bond between a mother and son like the one that they share. It amazes me to say the least.

Day 1: Saturday, June 3rd…

We arrived at the airport around 8:30 (because I was driving we were waaaay too early, it’s an issue). We made it through security in no time, and as we rode the escalator up to the gates, my grandma called my dad… at this point she only knew I was coming. They talked for a good 10 minutes, and as he went to hang up the phone a lady came over the intercom talking about how gate C22 was now boarding.. My heart went to my stomach thinking that there is ABSOLUTELY no way my grandma didn’t hear that. All I kept thinking was, SHIT! we’re busted. But then I realized that she’s become pretty damn hard of hearing, (sorry nan, love you lots <3) and refuses to invest in some hearing aides. Crisis averted, thank you Jesus! We landed in Boston on time, and I walked about 50 feet ahead of my dad. As I stepped out into the baggage claim area, I started walking towards any of the terminals. Then, my dad stepped out and my grandmother about had a heart attack.  She’s the cutest thing, EVER!

Stop #1: Kelly’s                                                                                                                                   For? A small roast beef sandwich with mayo and extra bbq sauce, fries & ORings

(go big or go home, right?)

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Stop #2: The Galley Hatch                                                                                                              For? EVERYTHING. Just kidding… Kind of

But really, I’ve never (in all of my 20-something years) had a single bad thing from this place. Not only is The Galley Hatch the first place I choose to eat dinner when I come into town, this place is THE place that we held any family gatherings, or dinners for majority of my life. The have THE best New England Clam Chowder, Caesar salads, and a new favorite is the baked feta dip.. like who the fuck thinks to make a baked feta dip? This place did, and I am forever grateful because of it. They also have some bomb-ass desserts, but after this dinner I had only one thing in mind, and that was to walk home because I was so damn full, lol.

It was an awesome dinner where my cousin Emma joined us, who I haven’t seen since I was probably sixteen. The amazing thing about cousins? You always pick up right where you left off. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that it gives me a sense of appreciation for family.

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The walk home.. 10 miles later. Just kidding, the Hatch is.. oh, I don’t know.. maybe a whopping two blocks away from the house. After dinner was done, my dad, Emma, and I walked back to the house to enjoy some herbal goodies (if ya know what I mean). We all sat in the living room, belly laughing with tears running down our faces. Then, of course we all realized that it’s summer time at Hampton Beach, and Blinks Fried Dough was open. I think we pulled out of the driveway on two tires. Ok, obviously I’m exaggerating. But, Blinks is one-hundred percent worth it.

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Blinks.. good ole’ blinks. My dad got the cinnamon sugar fried dough, I got the powdered sugar fried dough, and Emma got a strawberry shake. We walked down the strip, checking out any new stores, listening to the 50’s cover band playing, the crisp summer air and the wind coming up from the ocean. And as we were walking down the road, passing a ton of people.. I looked down only to realize that I had gotten most of the powdered sugar everywhere except my mouth.. so there’s that. But otherwise, everything was awesome.

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Day 2: Sunday, June 4th

We all woke up around 10, skipped breakfast and headed to The Green Bean. The location we went to happened to be on the harbor with a pretty view. You probably wouldn’t have guessed it from the pictures, but Sunday was a cold as shit. Fifty degrees…. yay…… On a lighter note, the food was delicious, the company was awesome, and the views were enough to make me not care about my leg hairs growing back at a very rapid pace.

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After lunch, we went into Portsmouth, NH. Now, the whole point of me going to New Hampshire as an escape is because Portsmouth is there. This town is so different than any town I’ve ever been too. It’s almost city-like, but the good kind of city. The perfect kind of city. It’s eclectic, booming, and casual. You have the rich, the poor, and the in-between. It’s old brick buildings make my heart happy and you can always find something you’d like here. About an hour after arriving, we all wanted a warm coffee. So we went over to Popovers. I got an americano with a maple butter popover for the table to share.                                                                                                                                                  D E L I C I O U S

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Emma called me and said that the plans she originally had fell through, so she came over and the two of us escaped for margaritas, guacamole, and queso. We caught up on our lives over the past couple of years. We talked of her trips to Chile, her graduating Magna Cum Laude from Keene. We talked about how we want to plan to meet up somewhere new once a year, just the two of us and go on some new adventures. It was SUCH a good visit. After dinner, we swung by the house, picked up my dad and headed to the movies to see Wonder Woman, which was THE BOMB.

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Day 3: Monday, June 5th.

Today, we woke up and headed to The Airfield Cafe for breakfast. It was amazing, as always. It’s located on a small landing strip, and it is always filled with the cutest little old people. We enjoyed our breakfast, but on the way out I noticed an elderly man sitting alone at a booth.. it just kind made my heart hurt. So, I ran out to the car.. grabbed my wallet, and sent my dad  back inside to secretly pay for his breakfast, just in hopes that it brightened his day a little bit.

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After breakfast we went back to the house where dad and I decided it would be a good idea to walk on the beach… in 50 degree weather…. while it was raining… and with winds strong enough to make our skin hurt. I’m not bitter or anything, haha. In the end, I’m glad we decided to go walk down the beach and sit up on the wall. There’s something about the ocean that I can’t really explain. It’s moody, it’s messy, it’s beautiful, and it’s extremely relaxing.

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After the beach, we decided to go see our old neighbors. On the way however, we had to stop at our favorite little country store thats been around since before I was born.  We picked up some Squamscot sodas and whoopie pies, and continued on our way to Epping, NH. Where we drove through our old neighborhood, acknowledging that it looked the EXACT same as when we left it. We last minute deiced to swing by our old neighbors, and ended up staying there for 4 hours. Again, I was amazed at how easy it was to just pick up where we left off.

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After leaving the Marasca’s we were on our way back to Portsmouth to meet up with one of my favorite people. Her name is Rachel, and I think she’s technically my 3rd cousin by marriage? I’m not really sure how all of that works, but she’s my cousin.. I’ll leave it at that, lol. She’s a couple of years older than I am, she’s super laid back, adventurous, funny, one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, AND she makes some bomb-ass jewelry. (Check it out- http://www.etsy.com/shop/WildBeing). Anyways, these plans weren’t set up prior to Sunday afternoon. We basically shot her a text, said “yo’ we’re in town, wanna meet up?” and that’s how we ended up at the restaurant named Street.. To say I’m absolutely obsessed would be an understatement. The vibe alone when you walk in is awesome. For all of those Atlantians out there, I would describe this place as a walk through Little Five.. but only all of the good parts, haha. It’s eclectic, vibrant, and the food surpassed any expectations I had from reading their menu. We met Rachel, her boyfriend Cope, and their friends Emily and Jordan. Who all happen to be some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. To the point, where you immediately feel like you’ve known them for your whole life. We ordered curry fries… which are fries, tossed in a curry seasoning, drizzled with curry mayo, and served with curry ketchup. This isn’t the spicy kind of curry, it’s the turn your fingers yellow and blow your mind kind of curry. We then ordered Gobi 65… what is this you ask? I wont even be able to do this shit justice. It’s an “Indian spiced fried cauliflower with a tamarind glaze and yogurt sauce”… all I can say with this dish is looks are deceiving and this stuff is AMAZING. You’d think after all of that we’d be done right? No, no, no! Not today, not here, not ever. I tried ordering my last dish 3 times, and then I gave up and pointed to it on the menu.. BIBIMBAP… bee-beem-bop is the pronunciation (which I later realized was written on the menu… awkward). This is that beautiful looking skillet dish with the fried egg that I posted below. It’s crispy. chewy sticky rice, sesame sautéed carrot, mushroom, zucchini, spinach, bean sprouts, topped with Korean bbq beef, a fried egg, and served with gochujang sauce (which translates to spicy as fuck). This place is what my dreams are made of. I also had one of the most amazing cocktails my mouth had ever experienced.. but I can’t remember what the hell it was called.. which really just means it did what it was supposed too… right?  I’m sure there’s a twelve step program for this place somewhere. After dinner and drinks we went back to Rachel and Copeland’s place and hung out for a while. I can’t explain how nice it was to just be surrounded by such great people. But to all of you, I’m thankful ❤

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The final day… Tuesday, June 6th.

Well, my friends our final day in New Hampshire started in Kittery, Maine. Which I am forever obsessed with. We had plans to meet my dad’s lifelong friend Michael at a little place called Lil’s. And by lifelong, I mean they have literally been friends since they were in the fifth grade. I know Michael as Uncle Mikey, my sister Kayla’s godfather and the cool guy who drove a baby blue Harley when I was a kid. It had been almost eighteen years since I had seen him last, the second he walked in I recognized him. My dad got a liiiiittle too excited, jumped up from his chair knocking over a full cup of coffee onto his Salmon & Capers Biali. Nothing out of the ordinary for our family, lol.  But it was really cool to be able to catch up on life with someone I hadn’t seen since I was six. Rachel met us up there, which was awesome because I got to spend a little extra time with her.  The four of us enjoyed crullers, biali’s, and reaaaallly good coffee. The whole aesthetic of this place made my heart happy. The rainy, cold weather outside made it that much better. When the date was over we walked around to the few stores that were open and then we went on our way.

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All in all, this trip was amazing. Time spent with family, friends, and enjoying good food is never a bad thing. Until next time friends!

So much love to all of you!

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