Old New Hampshire
Want to know something crazy? We swapped our house with people we had never seen or met. Apparently, when I mentioned it earlier- it wasn't that crazy to many of you. You guys asked me to explain more, so I thought I'd give you a bit more detail here.
Earlier this year, I posted on my Facebook page to see if anyone would be interested in swapping places during the summer. Since we would already be in the Northeast with my family, we thought we would just try to see if we could extend the trip another week somewhere fun that was close by.
We ended up swapping out our two bedroom flat in Notting Hill with a blog reader (Hi Blair!) who has a sweet riverside home in Jackson, New Hampshire. (The one from my previous post with the amazing creek.) I wish I could tell you some amazing resource, but I did it through my blog. (Though it made me wonder if I should open a page up here for people to list their homes to other people who may want to swap? I wouldn't handle it beyond hosting... thoughts?)
I knew nothing about Jackson, but figured it couldn't be terrible. And it wasn't! In fact, it was awesome. The perfect place to spend the week with my inlaws! After the previous week with my family, it was honestly a bit more of the same. Easy days filled with small jaunts to surrounding towns, donuts/blueberry pancakes, and refereeing toddler play./
While we were there, local photographer Megan Bailey took some pictures of all the family. Our kids were jet lagged and the after-dinner shoot was a bit of rough timing for them... We were hot and flustered by the end of it. By the time we got in the car to leave, my hair was a fuzzy fro. Some members of our family under the age of five might have been screaming and crying. Poor Megan! She still managed to get some pretty shots though. Sheer magic!
A few of the things we loved the most during our time in New Hampshire were:
White Mountain Cider Co. | I feel a bit silly posting this place on here because it's small and you can almost miss it, but then again- aren't those exactly the type of places that you love hearing about when you travel? This small cider mill has a great restaurant, but we loved it for their casual deli where they crank out fresh sandwiches (really good ones!) and, more importantly, delicious cider donuts!
Mount Washington Hotel | Tyler took me here for my birthday dinner. When we rounded the mountain and saw the enormous hotel in the valley, we both gasped and couldn't believe it. It felt like we had stepped back in time a hundred years. Or ended up in the Titanic or something. I have a feeling the dictionary has a picture of it by the word "Grand." But the hotel also offers itself to some nice casual moments, too. It's even worth the drive there to get drinks on the enormous wrap around porch or sitting on the lawn while the kids run buck wild. (We loved it so much we came back with everyone to do just that.)
Storyland | This came highly recommended and I am so glad we went. Storyland is the cutest little amusement park that, instead of highlight branded characters like every other place, makes heroes out of characters from classic fairy tales. It feels, again, like you've stepped back in time. Also, they have Dole Whips... so, must go.
Sunrise Shack | I think my favorite part of traveling is breakfast. For my birthday, we went here for blueberry pancakes, sausage patties (which you can't get in England!) and big mugs of coffee. Definitely casual. Definitely a local hang out. Definitely a place I recommend for a good morning out. (And the prices are super reasonable. I think our bill was around $18?)
Peach's | Again on the breakfast thread, Peach's is set in North Conway. This tiny restaurant delivers on the breakfast scene. It feels like you went to your great aunt's house for crepes or croissant french toast. The staff seems to have been working there for years and the service is quick and without error. Casual, fattening in the best way and happy to have kids, too. If the weather is nice, grab a table on the patio.
But the best part of traveling in such a random place was everyone sharing so many of their favorite places with us. It made our vacation SO much better. THANK YOU.
SO for anyone else headed that way, you'll have to check out my Instagram pictures from the Northeast. Each post was littered with great recommendations from local readers/followers. Tyler and I kept telling each other what an awesome bonus your input was to our trip! (I only wish we could have tried them all!)
*images by Megan Bailey