West and Welaxation

As the summer winds down with tremendous rapidity, one thing I’ve been looking forward to is a break. Deb suggested it months ago and we had to carefully plot out a window of opportunity for a long weekend and this past weekend proved to be the ideal one given everything else on the calendar. She wanted to head north, deep in to New Hampshire where we could go ziplining, repeating the fun we had while on our cruise vacation two years ago.

While up this way, she figured, she could make a pilgrimage to the home of Keepsake Quilting, a place she’s always wanted to visit. It helped that Patternworks, acquired by the company a while back, was relocated next door from their Poughkeepsie digs so it was like a magnet. She then left the rest up to me to figure out.

When the dust settled, we had a rough itinerary that hit every place she suggested but meant hotel hopping more than she would have preferred so we dropped the Maine leg of the tour and kept it simpler. It all began with heading to Cambridge, where Deb’s corporate offices are. She went in to work there on Thursday while I stayed in the hotel to work. I did, though, take the T into Boston so I could have lunch with Michael and Nomi Burstein, good friends I have not seen in at least three years. The hour went by way too quickly but alas, both had to return to work but at least we got to spend some time catching up.

I finally got to meet Deb’s sales partner and her boss as the four of us had drinks as the business day began the slow transition into vacation. Once they left, we went wandering around Cambridge until we found a place for dinner.

On Friday, we were up and out, driving over to Salem, a place we had never been. We stopped in at the visitors’ center, got some guidance, and then hit the streets, mostly following the red line painted to show where to go. We admired the historic homes, the view from the port, and skipped all the pricey and kitschy tours. To my surprise, we passed a comics shop and I went in, marveling at its size and smart organization. They even had several of my books for sale but management didn’t seem interested in me signing them.

The Lobster Shanty was featured on the Food Network and came recommended so we went there for a nice lunch before finishing the tour. From there, we drove through thick weekend traffic to North Woodstock, New Hampshire. We stayed at the Woodstock Inn and Brewery, a sprawling set of buildings that seemed full with even fuller restaurants. After checking in, we grabbed a bite of dinner and settled in.

Saturday had us head off for the fiber mecca and I caught up on magazines while she indulged. We then browsed some additional shops before heading off in search of lunch. Roadfood.com recommended Hart’s Turkey Farm so we tried it and was quite pleased with the quality and freshness of the food. Deb then drove us back to town where she dipped her toes in Lake Winnipesaukee. We then took the scenic route back towards Woodstock, enjoying the sights.

Next door Lincoln hosted a crafts fair so we finished the afternoon browsing the many tents, tasting the many foodstuffs for sale (found some terrific whoopee pies) and picked up a few things for the house. We then retreated to the room to read and knit, respectively. The nice thing about the Inn is that it is on Main Street so we could just wander down the block in search of dinner. We stopped at a tavern, giving in to our burger cravings.

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