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We went to Lake Winnipesaukee!  Overnight! After 17 months of seeing my mom through her final days, jousting with calendars, and weeks looking for a lakefront room, the stars finally aligned to get us out of town to NH!  List of wonderful businesses we frequented:

Restaurants

Kitchen Cravings - breakfast and lunch place
Tavern 27 - tapas and piano bar
Kellerhaus - ice cream buffet, candy and gifts
Walter’s Basin - lakefront American restaurant

Lodging

Belknap Point Motel

Boat tour
U.S. Mail boat Sophie C 

Wednesday
Our trip started a little rocky.  We got on the road at 9:30 am and 5 miles out of town it started to rain.  It got so bad I thought about pulling over!  It was totally not forecast.  It hasn’t rained all summer and we’re in a drought emergency and the one day I can be away, it’s raining?  Hard not to take it personally, but I soldiered on and re-thought our plans and it slowed down to a drizzle by the time we got into NH.   
 
We made it to Kitchen Cravings for a late breakfast at 11:30 am.  We often have to wait but they seated us right away.  It was my best breakfast of the year!  The people are nice and the food is wonderful and it’s got this great decor with historic photos and maps of the region!  I had the "Trainer" breakfast with a side of kielbasa and a unicycle - their french-toasted cinnamon roll delight! 

We finished at 12:30 pm and there was a showing of “Star Trek Beyond” at the cinema across the street at 12:35 pm so we dashed over there and made it in to see it for a second time, only about 3 minutes late.  It was even better the second time, as I didn’t have to puzzle over the story and could hear more dialogue and appreciate the special effects.
 
We went over to the Belknap Point Motel. It was a low key place - perfectly fine for our purposes - with a spectacular view of the lake and mountains!  I’ve attached a photo.  There are a lot more on my Facebook page if you'd like to wander over there. 

I went directly to the balcony, put my feet up and sat staring at the lake for over an hour.  It restores my soul.  While I was out there, the weather cleared up!  There is always something to see… boats, runners, noticing different islands and mountains and trees.  And a chipmunk!  
 
Hubby brought in the luggage!  He was being so good. 
 
We went in to Laconia and back out into the countryside to an old farmhouse to Tavern 27, a tapas place with a piano bar.  Neil’s mom played piano in restaurants in Indianapolis for 40 years, so he had a grand time talking with the pianist and remembering her heyday.  We shared the most amazing array of small plates - sweet potato chips with white bean dip (free starter), Scotch eggs with a creamy dijon sauce, French onion soup, lobster bisque, spicy grilled shrimp, duck confit egg rolls, and beef bourgeon on toast!  
 
There was a Dairy Queen on the way back.  We don’t have them around here so we drove through for a little dessert. 
 
The motel beds were quite delightful so I collapsed and slept hard.  
 
Thursday 
I woke up early and went back out to watch the lake scene.  It is so peaceful!  We hemmed and hawed about whether to stay another night.  Neil decided we should go home after dinner, so we packed up and headed out for another delicious breakfast at Kitchen Cravings.  I tried their hash with an egg and a side of kielbasa.  The hash was more like pulled pork but still tasty.

We drove over to Weirs Beach.  We got tickets to the 2 pm sailing of the U.S. Mail boat Sophie C then wandered around the arcade, found 4 t-shirts for $20 for Neil! It was beastly hot, so we bought water and sat in the car with the a/c on for a bit.  
 
We had a lovely two-hour ride around the lake.  The captain is a great storyteller and historian.  We sat on the lower deck out of the sun.  There was a great breeze when we were moving.  We stopped at five islands - Bear, Birch, Sandy, Cow and Jolly!  There are summer camps at a couple of them, and the kids come down to get an ice cream or buy stamps.  As we leave, they climb up on the pier posts and dive into the water!  
 
We went to Kellerhaus, the big ice cream buffet/candy/gift store up the hill.  They have a/c and lovely bathrooms.  We grabbed a few snacks then headed up the road to Squam Lake.  I had not been there.  It's gorgeous!  We found a beautiful restaurant right on the water overlooking the marina - Walter’s Basin.  We had a window table and watched the boats going and coming while we ate a great American meal.  They bring out warm bread and butter, then I had French Onion soup and a juicy piece of swordfish with jasmine rice, green beans and carrots.  I heeded the siren call of the chocolate truffle mousse cake.  
 
I was surprised that places weren’t more crowded.  With all the hotels booked, I thought we might run into lines and crowds.  Don’t know where the people were but we had no trouble getting in places, there were only 10 people on the boat that seats 40… yay!  
 
From there it was a quick hop onto I-93 south, and home in less than 2 hours with a quick pit stop at the NH border at their fancy new rest stop.  We were only gone 36 hours but it felt like a real vacation!  We had a great mix of visiting old favorites and seeing new places.  I hope to get away again soon!
 

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