My husband’s family lives in Seattle. We are lucky that they visit often, and much more often now that we have children. We know they want to visit our daughters more than us, but it’s okay, that’s how it should be. Whenever they visit, we always like to take a day trip to a little New England town. Some of our favorites include Rockport and Newburyport, MA and Newport, RI. My mother and father-in-law visited last week to meet their new one-month-old granddaughter. While I was feeling well-enough for a fun day, I didn’t want to drive too far or do too much….I’m still adjusting to life with a 2-year-old and one-month-old, am still a little sore from my c-section, and let’s face it…a little sleep deprived.
So after receiving some great suggestions from my Facebook and Twitter friends (which included Lenox, Deerfield, Provincetown, the Vineyard, Chatham and Mystic, CT), we opted for Portsmouth, NH. We chose Portsmouth because it was relatively close by and was a great choice for a quick day trip.
We did a little research before we left and hit the road about 8:30am. We arrived just after 9:30, hitting no traffic at all. Most of the streets offer 2 hour metered parking, but we opted for a parking garage that charged $.75/hour, which is a steal compared to Boston rates.
We started the day with breakfast at The Friendly Toast. It was awesome! It was a large, eclectic space and the food did not disappoint. We arrived a little after 9:30am and only had to wait 15 minutes for a party of 6 (well, sort of. 4 adults, a toddler and a newborn). They sat us at a large booth with lots of room. There was so much to look at on the walls, my little one was constantly entertained, as were the adults. And the classic rock music was awesome. I learned that the song Lola is sung by the Kinks. Our waiter was fantastic as well. The space inside was a little tight, so we opted to leave our stroller in the car and carry our baby in the bucket carseat…they had a booster for our older daughter. Since the garage we parked in was right around the corner, this was easy!
We ordered the following:
- Coconut cake (me) – one large pancake filled with coconut, chocolate chips and cashews, topped with a coconut sauce. Awesome. Very sweet though so if you don’t love sweet, it may not be for you. I would get again, but would ask for sauce on the side. And yes, just one…one was huge..about the size of a small pizza. I took a bit before I snapped this picture. I may try to recreate this at home so keep a look out for the recipe.
- Hansel & Gretel waffle (my husband) – gingerbread waffle with pomegranate molasses. This was our least favorite dish of all. The pomegranate was VERY overpowering.
- Mexican Mashed Meal (father-in-law) – spicy mashed potatoes sopped with chorizo and friend eggs. My FIL gave it good reviews but beware, it did have a kick to it. He couldn’t get over the fact he was eating mashed potatoes for breakfast
- Breakfast Burrito (mother-in-law) – she ate half, my husband ate half and both enjoyed it. The potatoes on the side were delish.
- Kids Chocolate Chip Pancake (my 2 year-old daughter) – shaped like Mickey Mouse…enough said And yes, one ear is missing in this pic…I couldn’t snap the picture fast enough.
The service was great and we’d definitely go back again. And…I just found out there is a Friendly Toast closer by in Cambridge! Awesome.
After breakfast, we set off to stroll the town. We found numerous shops – some vintage/consignment shops, shoes stores, and toy stores. There were many coffee shops and restaurants…too many to sample from in one day.
For lunch, we ate at the River House. Service was quite slow, but the food was fine…nothing spectacular, but good. Pretty basic seafood and basic fare. I got the seafood chowder/lobster roll combo which was available in two sizes, small ship or tall ship…I of course got the tall ship. My husband got a broiled haddock sandwich. The chowder was very good and full of seafood, I highly recommend it. There was a changing table in the bathroom which was very helpful as well.
Now on to the important stuff…shopping! I bought my first ever antique purchase at Carter Antiques on Market Street. It is an antique school desk and chair. I think I got a pretty good deal on it, but then again, I have no clue when it comes to antiques so who knows I paid $60. I didn’t buy it for the value…I bought it because I like it. And actually, if it has no value, that’s fine b/c then I may paint it one day! We’ll see. My in-laws know a lot about antiques and they thought it was a good purchase. I also wanted to buy an old prescription shelf unit thingamajig, but at $800, it wasn’t in my budget
And speaking of antiques…I also bought a “vintage” leather Coach bag at Second Time Around. I’ve never bought anything from a second-hand store before but I spotted this cute little bag and snatched it up. It’s a deep green color but appears grey at times. I’m also not really a Coach fan but this is so simple, you can’t go wrong. And, Coach sells new version of this for $298, so considering I paid $30 for it….I feel like it’s a good deal!
We also made some other purchases, including, shirts, flip-flops and onesies….and of course ice cream, as you see from the photo. My daughter couldn’t stop eating her “vanilla with sprinkles” long enough to smile for the picture.
It was a gorgeous day to visit Portsmouth and we look forward to going back again soon!