It wasn't a long trip, either time-wise (three days, two nights) or in terms of distance (somewhere north of three hundred miles round trip), but it sure was fun… and relaxing. I definitely want to start doing more of this kind of thing.
Jeannine and I decided that it would be nice, for our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary, to return to the New Hampshire seacoast area. That's where we got married, in the little back yard of our rented house in Dover, NH in the summer of 1983. We didn't invite a lot of people, but our friends and family members did quite a good job of making that small space seem filled to the brim with life and joy. A few days ago, while sharing memories of our wedding day, Jeannine reminded me of the lopsided carrot cake she'd made as our wedding cake -- I honestly can't remember it being lopsided, but knowing her baking skills I have no doubt it was extremely tasty. I mostly remember being fairly giddy with excitement and happiness, and filled with an unshakable certainty that of all the good decisions I'd ever managed to make in my life up to that point, this was at the top of the list.
And it still is.
Our wedding was a civil ceremony, with a Justice of the Peace from the Dover City Hall officiating. Afterwards, we had Jeannine's carrot cake for dessert following a variety of other foods, some prepared by us, others -- like the roast turkey brought up by Jeannine's dear friend Marguerite -- supplied by helpful friends and family.
A few of our friends stayed for a while after the wedding, and joined Jeannine and me in a drive out to one of our favorite beaches on the New Hampshire coast, Wallis Sands. We walked on the sand and hugged and breathed in the fresh smells of the salt air as the afternoon light waned. It was a great way to cap a wonderful day.
Twenty-seven years later, it seemed appropriate to revisit that beach and remember that day back in 1983. It was cloudy this time, and a bit cool, but still beautiful. We walked about a mile down the beach, and I persuaded Jeannine to pose on some photogenic rocks poking up from the sand.
(I hoped to put together about five shots taken at this spot into a panorama, and it kind of worked, but I forgot about the "moving wave" problem, so it did not stitch together perfectly. But that's okay -- I really like the image of my lovely wife on those rocks, with the backdrop of sand and water and sky... and the memories.)
It was a relaxed couple of days (almost, I was to remark to Jeannine when we got back home, like the honeymoon we never officially had), spent mostly walking around Portsmouth, finding interesting places to eat, cozying up in our hotel when it rained, or doing a little browsing in Portsmouth's many cool shops.
(Speaking of our hotel, here's a view from our little balcony looking out over part of the working harbor of Portsmouth. That green bridge just to the right of the center of the image is one of two vertical drawbridges, this one the innermost, which connect Portsmouth to Kittery, ME. I remember that on our first trip together to the Portsmouth area, back in 1982 when I had come with Jeannine to help her look for a place to live while she was going to graduate school, we had to stop at the outermost of these two bridges, and wait while the large middle section of the bridge was raised to let a ship pass underneath, then wait while it was lowered to allow wheeled traffic to resume across the span... and Jeannine was a little spooked by that. I think I was too, a bit, having never before encountered or driven over a bridge which was not just one reassuringly solid, unmoving surface, but -- as in this case -- something that could split in two, leading the overactive imagination to dire visions of cars accidentally plunging into the salty depths. The large green arching bridge seen off slightly to the left in the distance is another New Hampshire/Maine connector, this one the major highway between the two states, Route 95.)
While waiting for Jeannine outside one of those Portsmouth shops, I spotted this odd twig sculpture being erected on the sidewalk… I have no idea what it is or is supposed to represent, but it's kind of nifty.
One place that Jeannine wanted to go for supper our first night -- and breakfast on our third day -- was a small restaurant near the central square in Portsmouth called Popovers (named, I believe, for the delicious popover pastries in which they specialize, which I can attest are quite yummy). Here's a shot of me enjoying my breakfast fruit salad at Popovers.
Although we discussed it, we never did get over to Dover to walk around and reminisce, but maybe we'll save that for our next trip to the seacoast. -- PL