Monday, April 13, 2015

Living The New Hampshire Life

Just four more states to go in my 50 States 50 Half Marathons quest!  I'm getting a mix of butterflies of excitement and premonitions of anticlimax at the prospect of finishing this journey.  Yes, it has consumed much of my time and a huge chunk of my money, but Man!  What a journey it's been!

This journey had me up at 4:00 AM and on the road to Bush Intercontinental Airport at 5:30 AM so that I could catch my 8:00 AM flight via Newark NJ to Manchester NH.  I flew out of Houston on Thursday morning and arrived in Manchester late that afternoon, into a cold dreary rain.  But that's New England weather for you.  Nowhere else in the country does the expression, "If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes" apply more accurately than in New England.

Because my jacket was safely tucked away in my suitcase and because I wasn't thinking straight, I had a cold wet walk from the terminal to the parking garage to get my rental car.  But once in the car, GPS turned on, heater turned on to full blast, I hit the road toward Epping and the Super Walmart to stock up on some food supplies before continuing to my very nice room at the Holiday Inn Express in Durham.  That evening I had my choice of two sub shops for dinner.

Friday morning I made the easy hour's drive to Concord where I met my high school best friend Linda.  I arrived a little early, so I continued up the hill to the center of the small city where the gold-domed state house sits proudly overlooking the hills of Concord.  I drove around the block getting all views and admiring the other government buildings squatting solidly in its shadows, their native granite exteriors declaring their official status on the hill. I left my car at a park-and-ride and then hopped in her car and we headed to Newport NH for lunch and to see a most unusual and fun display at the library art center in town.

The weather continued dreary, and as we reached higher elevations and greater snow cover, it began to get very foggy.  Though I knew this road fairly well and knew the scenery was gorgeous, we were denied this pleasure because of the poor visibility.

Soon we were in the center of Newport NH, parking in the little parking lot of the library arts center, here to see, of all things, the Peeps Diorama displays.   Totally bizarre, totally fun, and amazingly creative and original! Here are just a few of the many.

Fun Peeps diorama

This is The Breakfast cute!

My favorite of all of them

My favorite of all of much detail, right down to the little signs and outfits

We spent some time peering into these tiny little dioramas, me taking dozens of close up photos and getting high on the fragrance of marshmallow decadence.

When we were done, we drove the short distance to have lunch at a very good Irish pub in town.  It was a fun and relaxing way to spend the day with a long-time friend from way back!

Before returning to Concord, we took a slight out of the way route to go through New London NH.  I could tell it's a very scenic and historic town but unfortunately the fog obliterated any views.  "And over here on the left is the beautiful college campus.  Over here on right is Mt. Sunapee."  Well, if only we could see them!

A great day!  Thank you, Linda!

Tomorrow: Drive into Newmarket to explore the town where the race will be, have lunch with a new running friend, and get our race packets...

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