On the Road: New Hampshire

When Chester and I are on vacation, we usually spend some of the time thinking about where we’ll go next. When we were in Pittsburgh over Labor Day, we came up with the idea of a trip to New England to see the fall foliage. We mentioned the idea to my BFF and her husband, since they live in Boston. Turns out, Bridget and Bill had the same idea for a fall vacation. We decided that we would all head up to New Hampshire and rent a cabin for a long weekend.

We flew up to Boston and then drove about two hours or so up to Lincoln, New Hampshire, in the White Mountains. Bridget and I had scouted cabins online, and I think we made a pretty good pick with Green Village Cabins. The cabins were pretty tiny, but clean, comfortable, and centrally located to all the major attractions in the area.

Then, we spent the weekend doing festive fall things.

We picked apples.

Took in nature at the Lost River Gorge and Caves.

Drove along the Kancamagus Highway.

Saw rainbows (three to be exact!)

Encountered wildlife.

Drove half-way up Mount Washington (it was too windy to go all the way up), the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. And nearly froze.

Of course, we ate. A lot.

Cider Donuts!

Before we left Boston, we stocked up on fancy meats and cheeses at Formaggio Kitchen. Combined with the apples we had picked, wine (for me and Bridget) and beer (for Bill and Chester), we had some pretty awesome nighttime snacks while playing Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase.

We were all kind of craving comfort food throughout the weekend. It must have been the chill in the air. Luckily, the vast majority of the restaurants in the area seemed to specialize in this type of cuisine. For lunch, we just grabbed whatever we happened to be near, but we had really good dinners each night.

On the first night, we ate at the Adair Country Inn and Restaurant, in the nearby town of Bethlehem. The restaurant is casual, but elegant, and its menu showcases local ingredients and specialties. We all ended up doing the three course menu option (you can choose as few as two courses or as many as five) which included an appetizer, salad, and entrée.  My whole meal was excellent, but I particularly enjoyed my spinach salad, mostly because it had dried cranberries, and the entrée, the Haddock New Bedford, which was lightly breaded with cornmeal, and served with a tomato, clam, and chorizo topping. For dessert, we all shared the apple-popover bread pudding. The texture was very light, and it wasn’t as sweet as some other bread puddings that I’ve had. The tartness and natural sweetness of the apples really came through, but it didn’t seem like there was a lot of extra sugar added.

Toasting the Weekend!

The second night, we went to the Common Man, which is actually a restaurant chain in New England. The rustic furnishings and homey feel of the place reminded me of the Cracker Barrel—which I hate—so I was a bit skeptical. But the food was far superior. The menu is pretty extensive, and features everything from soups and salads, to lobster mac-and-cheese, to ribs and steak. I had the meatloaf which was served with a rich tomato based pan gravy and topped with caramelized onions. I can’t imagine anything that would have tasted better after a day of being outdoorsy.

The Woodstock Inn Brewery was our final dinner of the trip. I think Bridget was probably the only one who was not totally happy with her dish—sesame maple scallops, served over linguine. It was…interesting, and not in an entirely good way (it kept making me think of that scene from Elf, where he douses his spaghetti in maple syrup). I enjoyed my chile glazed salmon, since it was a change of pace from the heavier dishes I had been eating. The Brewery also featured a selection of Wellingtons, which the boys both enjoyed.

On the last day of our trip, before getting on the road back to Boston, we sought out a pancake house. A lot of places had closed for the season, but, luckily, we found Flapjack’s Pancake House. Best. Pancakes. Ever.

Cranberry Apple Flapjacks

The whole weekend was very relaxing, but Monday rolled around so quickly, and it was time to go home. It was so nice to spend some time with our friends and I’m looking forward to being able to do it again soon!