a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

A Trip to the Finnriver

One of our local cideries was having their yearly holiday open house this month. I’d never been there before and had heard a lot of nice things about it and thought “why not?” Fred was working so I grabbed a girlfriend and off we went!

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They had live music – two unusually paired gentlemen. One was a tuba player and the other a guitarist. Surprisingly, they sounded very good together and I was impressed with their musical abilities.

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While we listened to the music we had fresh from the oven (yes, they even have a super-sized oven in their outdoor gazebo that, I found out, is used for “pizza Sundays” in the summer – I must come back!) pretzels with spicy mustard and cranberry cider! Delish!

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While waiting to join the next group in the tasting room we wandered around to look at the farm. In the summer they offer pick-your-own berries and various produce, meats, and eggs throughout the year.

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A few bottles of wine and some cheese later (no, no, to take home), we were on our way after a lovely afternoon!

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Christmas in New England

You would think the thing I miss most about New England would be the fabulous fall colors. They are spectacular, mind you, but it’s actually the Christmas season that holds the most wonderful memories for me. Taking a moonlit sleigh ride with the Christmas lights twinkling and snow gently falling as you’re snuggled up and holding hands under the warm blanket (I know, I know. It sounds more like a Hallmark Christmas special than reality, but it does happen!).

One of the things I loved to do over the holidays was shop. Not the big chain stores or malls but the small, hometown Mom & Pops & village stores that are strewn about the area. One of my favorites was The Christmas Dove in Barrington, NH. I would go there twice a year. Once on the hottest day of the summer – walking into the air conditioning, surrounded by rooms and rooms of Christmas always made the worst day of the summer the very best – and again just before Christmas. After hours of wandering in awe like a child, I would carefully choose my one new ornament, usually a small glass vintage-looking one by Christopher Radko, to put on the tree.

IMG_2483.PNG (Photo by Spendtheday)

Then I would head across the street to Calef’s Country Store to pick up some delicious goodies for the holidays (like their to-die-for homemade fudge and cheeses!) and poke around for any other new treasures in the adjacent stores.

IMG_2480-0.JPG (Photo by Peter Frailey)

“First Night” is a big deal there, too. More so than any other place I’ve lived in the US. It seems every little town has it’s own traditions to go along with welcoming in the New Year. Portsmouth, NH was the best, I think. Good Food, hot drinks, live music, various shows, and even warming stations were available!

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(Photo by Dan Gargano)

I still dream of the white Christmases there and hope to go back again one day. Maybe next year…

Happy holidays to you and yours no matter how you celebrate!

Here are the links if you want to take a closer look at these fabulous places!

The Christmas Dove
http://www.christmasdove.com

Calef’s
http://www.calefs.com/shop/m/viewCategories.asp

First Night :
http://www.proportsmouth.org/EntertainmentandActivities.cfm

IMG_2351-0.JPG (Photo by LB Driver)

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