Tree Lighting Evening in Portsmouth NH

One of the best things about my new home in New Hampshire is our proximity to Portsmouth!! Portsmouth is on the water, but not really the ocean. Its on the Piscataqua River which is an estuary to the Atlantic. There are “the decks”, which is what we call the restaurants that overlook the river, and then Market Square, and Strawberry Banke. Market Square is sort of the hub of walking in Portsmouth, and the Strawberry Banke is this area that preserved all the historic homes there. There is a museum and tours and such there. Then there is Prescott Park which sadly doesn’t allow dogs, but is a nice place to look out at the water.

The tree lighting takes place every year right in Market Square, followed by the annual illuminated holiday parade. The many holiday activities throughout the month are called “Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth” The Strawberry Banke is decorated with carolers and horse drawn carriages and ice skating. In the evening, they put on all their Christmas lights and their tours are called “candlelight strolls“.

img_7743-2
Beautiful Christmas Tree, and yes bottom left corner is an LLBean hat haha
img_7875
It was definitely a night for the down jacket!
img_7873
All of the light posts in the city have illuminated wreaths with bows, love it.

I loved everything about this night. The tree was great, not as big as the Boston tree, but great. This was the first holiday parade I had ever been to, and I haven’t seen that many lights since the Disney parade. The marching bands even had lights on their instruments.

img_7874
There were a bunch of illuminated and decorated antique VW’s. I loved this pickup truck, so cool! Think it would fit under the tree?
img_7768
The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who!
img_7772
Yep, a Christmas train with a hot tub car. Definitely a fan favorite!
img_7773
Santa! I know him! This was the end of the parade, the kids went wild!

We walked around the perimeter of the Strawberry Banke to check it out, and decided that we are going to do the candlelight stroll next year!!

img_7795
The ice skating rink, Christmas tree, and crowd around the fire pit at the Strawberry Banke- so festive

It was cooooold out standing to watch the parade. We got hot cocoa at Starbucks after to warm up walking around. Breaking New Grounds is my favorite spot to get a hot drink in Market Sq but sadly the line was out the door! This is a tradition that I hope to go to every year! I need a better camera to take pictures at night huh? That WOULD certainly fit under the tree ❀

Signature 2

The Move to New Hampshire!

Hello all! My humblest apologies for being missing so long on here. My husband and I bought a house in an adorable town in southeastern New Hampshire and have been crazy people unpacking and setting up and doing work on the house and yard. Every time I thought about sitting down to blog, I almost felt guilty because I knew there were like, ten other things I should have been doing. Anyone else out there ever feel like that?

Anyway, our house is a small split level, two bedrooms upstairs but a third one will end up in the finished lower level when we need it. Its on a great piece of land, almost 2 acres, that we are in the process of fencing ourselves for our little pup Mizpah. It also has a huge three car garage which is amazing for us because between hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and fishing, we have a lot of gear to store!

Top left is one of our rock walls! I love the rock walls left behind from colonial farm boundaries in New England. We have one to the front of our house, in the back , and to the right as boundaries between us and neighbor lots. Bottom left is our very own graveyard!! The graveyard is for a family that dates back to 1788 and then into the mid 1800s. On the right is a pic from some trails at the end of our road. Yes…we have off leash trails to run on with Mizpah just down the street! High five!

IMG_6257

We are off a main road in a very country setting, but many stores and restaurants are just 5 minutes away. Above are some pics from my lovely rural neighborhood πŸ™‚ Β There is a horse farm just across the street that I have to check out for riding and we are close to some nice rowing clubs which I might check out for next summer.

There is a lot to do- we are ripping up carpets to do hardwoods, finishing the lower level and adding a bathroom down there, painting walls- the list is never-ending. The town we are in is great and we are just a half hour from Portsmouth NH, Kittery ME, and the beaches in Hampton/Rye NH. We are also much closer to some of the mountains that we love so much, so hopefully we will get out there to hike as some of the bigger projects finish up.

My sister came up to visit for a couple days last week and we went out into Portsmouth and Kittery. It felt like a jailbreak after being in doing house stuff for so long. Both places are along the Piscataqua River which opens up to the Atlantic. So beautiful. We hit up Portsmouth Brewery for a little snack and a drink and then made our way down to Lazy Jacks to check out the beautiful waterscape on the decks, and then grabbed something sweet at Izzy’s on our way out. I got a cappuccino shake with chocolate syrup- so good.

The lobster roll on the right with those amazing curly fries is from Rudder’s in Kittery Foreside. Kittery ME has amazing outlets- all the ones you normally think of, but definitely try When Pigs Fly. There are restaurants right there amidst the outlets, but we wanted to get out of the crowded areas and go somewhere new. That is the small lobster roll and it was mostly claw meat which is my favorite, and the dressing was light and flavorful. So good. It was a smaller place, and the staff was awesome. Watching Gevvie Stone kill her semifinal in Rio was nice too that afternoon! Who has been bingewatching the Olympics!? Rowing, equestrian, swimming, gymnastics….so many exciting finishes and competition!!

Signature 2

Stroll around historic Portsmouth NH

This past weekend we were up in NH for a cookout Saturday. It was in honor of two of the cutest kids in the world, a little boy who turns six this coming Saturday, and his little sister who turned three in May. My husband’s friends in NH are friends that he has had since high school. They are a really tight knit crew and its always fun getting everyone together for something. It poured on Saturday but Sunday was all sun! We decided to walk around Portsmouth a little bit on Sunday to just enjoy the sunshine and give Mizpah some exercise. We walked down by the Strawberry Banke which is one of my favorite areas of Portsmouth and walked around Market Square. Portsmouth is on the Piscataqua River that separates New Hampshire and Maine and empties out into the Atlantic. Portsmouth isn’t actually on the ocean, Rye and New Castle NH to it’s east have that coastal privilege. I snapped some pics of some of my favorite historic houses and a little bit of the lovely Piscataqua!

IMG_5449
The Governor John Langdon House, a Georgian mansion built in 1784…the portico, the balustrades, the dormers, I don’t even know what I love the most.
IMG_5429
Strawberry Banke.
IMG_5434
The Oracle House, built around 1702 it is one of the oldest houses in New England. It was the home of the first daily newspaper in New Hampshire, The Oracle of the Day, in the 18th century
IMG_5438
The Goodwin House, built in 1811 and owned by Ichabod Goodwin, the governor of NH during the Civil War. This house is right near the Strawberry Banke museum.
IMG_5441
Adorable tea setting in the gardens of the Goodwin House.
IMG_5460
The Treadwell Jenness House, 1818. I love the eagle above the front door.
IMG_5435
The Liberty Pole, standing tall right near Prescott Park in Portsmouth. Again, the gold eagle that sits atop the pole is perfect.
IMG_5450
Market Square πŸ™‚
IMG_5452
Nice little spot to see the Piscataqua near Old Ferry Landing. Mizpah got a lot of love from kids and adults hangin out here!
IMG_5457
My anchor tshirt is an oldie from J Crew Factory, jean shorts are from American Eagle, Sperry Topsiders, and my very first KJP bracelet!
IMG_5447
The Jacob Wendell House, 1789, he was a merchant ship owner and insurance agent. The carving above the door is a whale oil lamp. I love the gabled dormers.
IMG_5433
So this house may not have a plaque announcing its historical significance, but I just love it! It has a cute little backyard/garden and the size is a little understated but the Georgian door! I don’t know, its a favorite for me πŸ™‚

Portsmouth is a really dog friendly city. There is an awesome dog park, Pierce Island has an off leash area, and dogs are allowed in many of the outdoor seating areas for restaurants/cafes. Dogs are not allowed in Prescott Park which is a really pretty park on the Piscataqua, and I don’t think they are allowed in the Strawberry Banke historic area. There are so many beautiful old houses in Portsmouth, it was a perfect day to walk with my husband and pup. Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Signature 2