Hello, folks it is a wintry one out there today. Dan and I were in Portsmouth, NH for the night and we came back to a little snow!
Dan and I met Robert and Paula and Paul and Lucie up in Portsmouth, NH last night. Paul, Dan and Robert are childhood friends from High School from Stowe, Vermont. They have stayed good friends all these years but unfortunately they don’t see each other as much as they would like to. We met these couples in the isle of LaMotte in September and I suggested we get together for a Christmas gathering in Portsmouth. Happily, everyone could make it.
We all got to the hotel at the same time Saturday. We were supposed to be staying at the Sise Inn but Dan got a call saying they are no longer and Inn so we had to find somewhere else to stay. Dan found us rooms at the Sheraton Harbor side Hotel. We could still walk to everything and the hotel was nice.
We dumped out stuff in our rooms and took a walk around town. There a lot of quaint little shops in downtown Portsmouth so we poked in a few trying to get a little Christmas shopping done. I picked up a few things for my Dad and Danny.
At 4:00 we headed to Strawberry Banke for their annual Christmas Stroll. It is a museum made up of about a dozen 1700 year old houses decorated for Christmas like the old days and they have actors re-enacting the times. Some people were cooking, some were making decorations and some were making turbans. They all encouraged the visitors to ask questions and they were great about staying in character and playing like it was the old days.
The museum is much bigger than it looks. It loops around and you stroll from house to house and do a self guided tour.
Santa Clause walks around wishing you a Merry Christmas and you can take a horse carriage ride around the houses if you’d like. There is a giant bonfire with benches around it in case you need to warm up and there is a shed with hot apple cider and live music. It was chilly but between the fire, the hot cider and dressing appropriately we were all pretty toasty,
The strolls are 3 weekends in December on Saturdays from 5 – 9 and Sundays from 4-8. Last year we went on a Saturday and the wait to get in some of the houses was up to 20 minutes. It was cold just standing waiting to get in the houses. We decided to go on a Sunday night this year hoping the crowds wouldn’t be as bad and it did seem like that was a wiser choice.
We spent about 2.5 hours at Strawberry Banke and then we had reservations at Jumpin’ Jays Fish Café. We have eaten there twice and food is great. It is mostly fish, hence the name, and the fish is so fresh and simple. You can choose a variety of fish and a sauce to go on it if you would like.
I had sea scallops over a mixed green salad. I wanted something light and this was perfect. I chose a tomato basil butter to go on the scallops but the butter was hard and didn’t really melt well over the scallops. All 3 of us ladies got that as a “sauce” and we all agreed we wouldn’t get it again. The scallops didn’t really need anything over it anyway as they were delicious just pan seared.
Apple and cranberry Crisp
We decided to walk off our dinner back to the Sheraton but as we were walking a trolley bus was stopped in the street and the driver yelled out the trolley window to come take a ride on the trolley; it’s free! Paul made a mad dash across the street and we all followed and hopped on the trolley. It was just us and Michelle gave us a 15 minute tour of Portsmouth. The bus was warm and she was super nice so I was glad Paul decided to take her up on her offer.
It was about 10:00 when we got back tour rooms and we all agreed to meet in the bar for a nightcap. We had a few drinks and headed back to the room at about 11:30. It was a long day and we were all tired. We decided to meet at 10:00 Monday morning for breakfast.
We got up to a rainy, sleety day.
Dan found a restaurant named Colby’s that had a full breakfast. We walked the short distance to Colby’s but it was rainy and Paula and I didn’t have hats. We were all pretty soaked by the time we got there. The restaurant was small but cozy and the food was excellent and the prices were great. I had 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, bacon, and home fries for $7.99. You can’t beat that.
After breakfast Paula, Robert, Lucie and Paul decided to head back to Vermont. They had a long drive and weren’t sure what the weather was going to be like. I was hoping to do more shopping downtown but it was just a steady rain and I didn’t have the clothes for it. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t shop more but, what can you do? Dan and I stopped at an antique store that I love in Stratham, NH and I picked up a pretty Christmas candle for myself.
We were home by 1:30 and someone was really happy to see us. We had snuck out of the house on Sunday and she didn’t know we were gone. Molly doesn’t eat or go out when we aren’t home. She stays in our bed and whines.
It was really nice spending time with old friends that we don’t see often. We all agreed we need to meet every holiday season somewhere and spend time together. Lucie is from Quebec so she wants to meet there next year. Dan and I love Quebec so we are in!
Question of the Day: Do you do anything fun like a stroll around the holidays?