Tag: NH

Weir’s Beach

“What Are We Going to do For FUN today?”

That is the question I hear most mornings during summer vacation. Some days it is pretty cut and dried. 99 Degrees? 100% humidity? We’re heading to Aunt Jane’s and swimming in the pool.

Top A Winnepesauki Railroad car, Row FunSpot Sign and Token Cards, Third row, me playing PacMan,Fish playing Pin ball and Mim riding a motorcycle video gameLast Friday was less clear. It was a beautiful summer day, a few puffy clouds, minimal humidity, highs in the low 80’s and a light breeze. I had a deadline in the morning, but the afternoon was ours. I lobbied for a bike ride on a local bike trail, but I got out voted. After consulting our list of things we wanted to do this summer, my son proposed Weir’s Beach.

I grew up with the Jersey Shore, within reasonable driving distance. So, the beach and the boardwalk are not foreign too me. Weir’s Beach is kind of like a mini Jersey Shore. There is a beach, the MS Mount Washington sails from the pier and there is a boardwalk and arcades.

Before our trip, I scouted things out and identified a specific location for treats and also found a coupon for FunSpot, a year round bowling/mini-golf/arcade located just up the road from the boardwalk.

Fish kiboshed the beach right off the bat apparently we’d been swimming too much this week. I didn’t realize that was possible. We got a late start so her brother & I agreed to this condition and we set off (A-Man had to work). We explored the boardwalk and were able to just glance at the arcades because I promised a full service arcade at FunSpot. While at the board walk, the Winnepesauki Railroad pulled in and we agreed that would be a fun trip for another day.

We picked the perfect time for Fun Spot. Everyone else was enjoying a perfect beach day (not such a great thing for a family with albinism). Between the  WOKQ Buyers Club and an online promo code, I was able to get $50 worth of tokens for $22. We played video games, skee ball and air hockey. I got my annual Pac Man fix and we still have tokens left! The kids cashed out their tickets for the requisite junk and we headed on to the Kellerhaus for treats.

My daughter hit the sundae bar and Mim & I hit the candy shop. The Sundae bar looked amazing, but my logic was that a Pecan Turtle was fewer calories than an ice cream sundae with all the fixin’s. My caloric math, might be flawed, but the Turtle was yummy. 🙂

I like being a tourist in my own backyard. I can imagine we’ll head back to FunSpot when the weather turns cold. They offer two kinds of bowling (candlepin AND ten pin) and we still have about $25 worth of tokens burning a hole in our collective pocket.

High Tech Hide and Seek

Fall Family Fun - My husband two kids and our dog make their way down a fire road.
Fall Family Fun

The story goes like this; my husband and I got lost walking in our own backyard, so my in-laws bought my husband a hand held GPS for his birthday.  While standing in line to pay for said GPS, my mother-in-law spied a book on Geocaching, the book was an impulse buy that launched us on an addictive family activity.

Fish holds a medium sized container cache filled with trinkets and a log book.
A container cache

Never heard of geocaching? Oh, are YOU missing out.  Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunting game.  “Cachers” hide small containers in various locations and post the GPS coordinates (and a hint or two) on a web site geocaching.com.  You can search geocaching.com by address, zip code or by state.  There are over 5,000 caches in New Hampshire alone. There are 5 within a 1-mile radius of our home and over 400 within a 10-mile radius.

A cache hidden between some rocks in an old rock wall.
Hidden in plain sight (sort of)

Caches are rated by how difficult they are to find, and the difficulty of the terrain where the cache is located.There is usually a hint included as well (encrypted for those who want the an additional challenge). There are caches everywhere and some of the descriptions and hints can be kind of funny.  Like the one in Boston that said “when you reach underneath the bridge for the box, make sure you don’t grab the rat trap”. Icons included in the description, will also note whether the site is handicapped accessible, stroller and or pet friendly.

When you choose a cache you want to find, you download the coordinates to your GPS unit. It is worth noting that may of the newer units meant for cars, can also be used for geocaching.  That said, a hand held unit is more rugged and easier to carry.

GPS, in hand, you make your way to the specified location and try to locate the cache.  Keep in mind that consumer GPS units are typically only accurate within a few feet of a given location, so there is definitely some searching skills involved. In my opinion, that’s half the fun. Caches can be of various sizes, our first find was a military ammunition box.  Others have been camouflaged Tupperware and even peanut containers. Some caches are location caches where the originator wants you to see a great view or even a monument you may have walked by a thousand times.

Inside container caches there is a log book that you sign to confirm your find.  More importantly for my kids, there are small “trinkets” to be traded.  If you take something, you are supposed to leave something. Parents this is a phenomenal way to get rid of all those fast food toys.

Mim reaches for an empty plastic water bottle while I hold a trash bag.
Cache-In-Trash-Out (I carry trash bags and hand wipes)

The majority of caches are on public land, if one is on private property, it can only be placed with the owner’s consent and that fact will be noted in the description.  As a rule cachers try to be respectful, though there have been some caches that have been viewed as suspicious and investigated by police. Cachers also try to leave things better than they found them, the saying goes “Cache in, Trash Out” and we’ve collected a few trash bags of littler on our adventures.

After you find the cache, you return to the web site, log your find online and leave a comment or a photo about the find.

I love geocaching because it gets us out and moving as a family and it stokes my kids’ sense of adventure and curiosity.  At the same time, it gives them opportunities to practice problem-solving skills and be good environmental citizens. Most importantly, we have found locations that we otherwise might not have found.  The first day we were out, we found a series of walking trails 2 miles from our house that I had no idea even existed.

In New Hampshire, there are several active caching communities that frequently place new caches and maintain existing caches.  The Concord group even meet informally on a regular basis. Information on the events, called event caches, can be found on the geocaching web site.

Membership to geocaching.com is free, but a premium membership ($30 per year) supports the site and gets you added benefits like a listing of geocaches that can be found along a specified route.  Also a few rare caches are available only to premium members.

Me in a neon orange LL bean ball cap.
Our last trip was during deer season. Like my snazzy hat?

For what it is worth, we didn’t really get LOST lost, in our backyard. We just couldn’t turn around and follow the path from which we came.  We ended up making our way to the nearest road and came out about a mile from our house leaving us to walk back the long way. That said, I’m glad it happened as that one journey has launched many more

Thank you Nancy Achilles

Stupid people tricks.  yeah, that’s me this morning.

Mailbox on Inclinephoto © 2008 J.D. Page | more info (via: Wylio)I was going to my son’s Christmas play this morning, sneaking in a quick errand then back home to my keyboard to write. Great plan, that is until my quick errand went awry.

See, I had two envelopes, one with an address and a stamp and one with To: Michele From: Lee written on the front.  It contained paperwork from the recently completed Girl Scout Fall Product Sale. Paperwork that was due today and the absence of said paperwork would make a ton of extra work for another volunteer.  Guess which one I mailed?  Yup, the Girl Scout paperwork.

First there is that stunned shock of OH NO I DIDN’T.  Then as I heard the loud steel bang of the mail box chute closing there was the panic of OH YES, I DID!!

I called Michele and she suggested calling the Post Office.  I finally reached a nice woman from the local distribution center who said the carrier that services that box hadn’t left yet.  She took my number and told me she’d call me when he picked it up.

The mailbox was 7 minutes from my house.  I wasn’t home but 10 minutes when my phone rang and the nice woman was telling me she had my wayward envelope and asked how far was I from the box.

WHEW!!!

I drove to meet her and thanked her profusely for making a special trip.  Then I asked her name and which office she worked out of (I was thinking I’d send a note to her supervisor).  Her name was Nancy oh, she IS THE POSTMASTER of CONCORD!

She wished me Happy Holidays and we went our separate ways. She didn’t have to do that.  As Postmaster, I’m sure she has a few other things to attend to, especially this time of year, but I am really grateful that she took the time to help me out.

That my friends is the spirit of the season!

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated in any way for this blog post. This is just my personal experience with a New Hampshire Business.

Peanuts in the Shell, The Five Guys Store, My Burger

My mother-in-law came back from a trip down South raving about Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Oh good I thought, another fast food joint. Just what this world needs. Uh, I was wrong. This world NEEDS Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

I thought it was solely a Southern chain until a Facebeook Friend checked in from the Manchester Location using 4square. After looking at FiveGuys.com, I knew I had to give this place a try. I took my two reviewers in training we set out on a mission to see if Five Guys was really as good as the hype.

It was a warm spring day towards the end of the lunch hour and the place was busy, but not mobbed. As we walked in, we were greeted by bags and bags of Five Guys Private label potatoes. On top, there was a box of peanuts still in the shell. I can’t remember how long its been since I’ve shelled peanuts. Things were off to a good start.

We didn’t wait too long before they took our order. Fish has a hot dog and Mim a grilled cheese. I order a cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, ketchup and mustard. The cashier is friendly and helpful (even guiding me towards a small order of fries). On the plus side, they are a Coke operation (No Pepsi!), but my kids don’t drink soda or juice, so it was water for them. Also they offer Iced tea, but it isn’t the best brew. I was glad I’d stopped at Starbucks before coming.

Like I said, it was busy, but not crazy. I took the kids around the side of the counter to watch the bee hive of activity behind the scenes and we easily found a table. We waited a reasonable time for our order although I suspect my reviewers in training might disagree with me on that front.

So, how was the food? Oh, Oh MY! Just delicious. The burger was fresh and juicy. The bread was fresh and the toppings were plentiful without being overwhelming. The fries are good, but if you aren’t used to fresh potato fries, they might seem mushy. Think of the fries you get at the fair, that’s the kind of fries that Five Guys serves.

All in all, it was a great  experience. My reviewers in training like it too.

So, if you are looking for a good burger, fast, try Five Guys Burgers and Fries. They have two locations in New Hampshire, the Manchester location is Manchester

1111 South Willow Street, in the same shopping center as Michael’s and Starbucks. There is also a location at 341 Amherst Street in Nashua.

DISCLAIMER: I was not compensated in any way for this blog post. This is just my personal experience with a New Hampshire Business.