Charming Portsmouth

Trip Start Feb 09, 2010
Trip End Mar 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
With some friends

Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

(written by Jessica)

We start out towards Portland when I get a phone call from my boss, Jay. He tells me Justin and I are welcome to visit his parents in New Hampshire. It turns out we are only a couple hours away from their condo, so it would work out nicely. I then talk to Jay's mom, Jane, on the phone and she invites us to stay the night and have lunch with her and her husband, Bill. We're able to take them up on the offer and I tell her we'll be there for lunch. Our timing happens to work out well since Bill has today off and Jane is home, so we get to meet with both of them.

Jay's parents have a condo on the coast, so they have a great view of the Atlantic. When we arrive, we're welcomed graciously by Jane and Bill and we fix sandwiches for lunch. As Bill heads upstairs for a power nap, Jane takes us to "the wall" across the street where the ocean roils beyond. Apparently surfers can be seen on the waves in this area year-round, but we don't see anyone out there this afternoon. Soon after, we all pile into Bill's Saab and head to Portsmouth. The small town is charming with its 18th-and-19th-century buildings, all painted in pretty pastels. There are brass placards neatly displayed on the front of each building, stating the year when each house was built. I had never seen a town like this before!

"We have to take you to the Portsmouth brewery," Bill tells us as we head into the downtown area. Not getting any objections from us (and he wouldn't anyway), we walk around the town a little before making our way to the brewery. This area is very walkable, with friendly-looking shops and people bustling about. If you've ever been to the Marietta Square in Georgia, it reminded me of that area, except it wasn't a square and it felt more welcoming.

The Portsmouth Brewery: I've heard about this place from Jay, and you can tell Bill and Jane are proud to be regulars here. Bill and Jane advise against ordering the Flanders Red, so I order the brown ale (which is very good) and Justin gets an IPA. Justin can't resist trying the Flanders Red and wants to see what's so bad about it; the waiter brings a sample out to him. "Oh, wow," Justin says as he smells and then sips it. "It's like straight vinegar."  I try it, too, and yes, it is like vinegar-- very strange! And not very tasty. Next we have dinner at an Italian restaurant where Justin and I split the most delicious fettucine alfredo we've ever had. When the bill arrives, Justin tries to contribute to the payment, but Bill hastily-- and nicely-- refuses any of Justin's money. We almost feel guilty about acquiescing, but you can tell Bill wouldn't have it any other way; Jane and Bill obviously love having visitors, and they enjoy treating them well! It's hard to complain. After wonderful beer, food, and conversation, we head back to the condo for the night.
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