Posts Tagged ‘new hampshire trips’

Trip to Maine Oct. 1, 2012 170

New Hampshire is known as The Granite State.  Its motto – found on car license plates – is “Live Free or Die.”

My wife and I chose to “live free” while we were there, and we didn’t regret a single moment.

Here are five more reasons why I love New Hampshire:

Number 5: I love the beauty of the state.  The most famous part of New Hampshire is the White Mountains, and we had the privilege of driving through them one autumn day.  The White Mountains do not disappoint!

Trip to White Mountains Oct. 8, 2012 010

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We wanted to drive up Mount Washington, but it was closed.  Then we wanted to take a train ride up the mountain, but it cost $62 a person, so we passed … but we did manage to snap a photo of a lost tourist …

Trip to White Mountains 2 Oct. 8, 2012 166

Number 4: I loved driving the back roads, even though I consistently got lost.  One day, Interstate 93 backed up on my way to church, and I decided to take the nearest exit and head south, figuring I’d hit the church eventually.  While I made virtually no progress and needed assistance to find my way, I loved the remoteness of so many of the houses and the feel of the woods.

Trip to Pelham Church Oct. 27-28, 2012 218

Jim's Conflict Workship 2 Pelham Nov. 10, 2012 074

Number 3: I loved learning about New Hampshire culture.  For example:

*The Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, and Boston Celtics are not my favorite teams … especially the Celtics … but it was fascinating hearing how the teams were covered and listening to New Englanders rhapsodize about their favorite players.

Fenway Park 2 Sept. 13, 2012 048

Celtics-76ers Game Nov. 9, 2012 043

*The state does not have any sales tax or income tax.  This meant that when we went to Walmart, everything we purchased was tax-free!  Gotta love that … especially if you’re from California, where the sales tax rate is now 7.75% and climbing.

*All kinds of wild animals roam free, including turkeys which loved to hang around the church.

Number 2: I loved the weather … so much.  While hot weather drains me, colder weather exhilirates me.  During our last few weeks in New Hampshire, the temperature was in the 40s and 30s, occasionally dipping down into the 20s … and I couldn’t get enough of it … especially when I saw that the temperature was in the 90s and 100s back home.

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Some friends told me that the snow gets old real fast, and I believe them.  This is what the road looked like driving back to Manchester from Stowe, Vermont, one November day:

Trip to Stowe Nov. 24, 2012 348

Trip to Stowe Nov. 24, 2012 354

But I still loved the weather in New Hampshire!

Number 1: I loved the people of Crossroads Church in Pelham.  They were so genuine … and generous … and classy … and kind to my wife and me.

Crossroads Church Sept. 12, 2012 001

Pelham Church Nov. 4, 2012 005

I was invited to become a traditional interim pastor for the church while they sought a candidate to become senior pastor.  The first night that I preached, the church had a reception for us after the service, including a large gift basket filled with goodies.  People talked to us long into the night until I was advised to return to Manchester because a storm was coming.

Trip to New England Sept. 2012 480

Jim's Conflict Workship 2 Pelham Nov. 10, 2012 010

My time there was short-lived because the church selected a candidate during my third week there, but Kim and I were the recipients of so much love that it was easy to love the people in return.

*We were given tickets to a Red Sox-Yankees game and a Celtics-76ers game.

Fenway Park 2 Sept. 13, 2012 090

Celtics-76ers Game Nov. 9, 2012 114

*We were invited to attend a Chris Tomlin concert in Lowell, Massachusetts with people from the church.

Chris Tomlin Concert Oct. 26, 2012 020

*We were invited to lunches … and dinners … and after-church get-togethers … and even a meal on Thanksgiving.

*And Kim went on several excursions with women from the church, including this trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts:

Trip to Gloucester Oct. 24, 2012 320

Kim and I both agree: we spent three of the best months of our lives in New Hampshire.

So thank you, people of Crossroads Church, for making it all possible.

We will never, ever forget you and your fascinating state!

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My wife and I recently returned from a temporary job assignment in New Hampshire.

I didn’t know much about the state when I accepted the assignment.  I’d only been to New Hampshire once in my life, and that was to stop in Manchester for lunch many years ago on a trip with my son.

It’s hard to gauge a state when you’ve only spent a few hours there.  But if you’ve lived there a few months, you at least know it better than the average tourist would.

After living in New Hampshire, I must say … I love New Hampshire!

In fact, let me share with you ten things I loved about New Hampshire … and New England as well:

Number 10: I loved the relaxed feel.  New Hampshire has three main cities: Concord, Manchester, and Nashua.  I visited all of them, but never found the traffic to be oppressive … like it is here in Southern California … except for a shopping trip to Costco one Saturday in Nashua.

Here’s a photo of downtown Portsmouth … right on the border before entering Maine …

Trip to Portsmouth, NH Oct. 7, 2012 026

Number 9: I loved Dunkin’ Donuts.  One night, my wife and I were lost in Connecticut, and I looked at the map and saw I would have to drive toward New Haven on a single lane highway.  After many miles of traveling in the dark, my wife and I wanted something warm to drink, so I was hoping we’d come to a Dunkin’ Donuts.  When we saw light ahead, I told my wife, “I’ll bet there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts there” … and I was right.

In New England, where there’s light, there’s Dunkin’ Donuts.

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Number 8: I loved being surrounded by trees.  There were two Target stores in our area, and whenever we’d drive to either one, I’d get out of the car, turn around … and see trees everywhere!  For someone who tends toward depression due to the brownness of the desert, the perpetual green of New Hampshire continually lifted my spirits.

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Number 7: I loved visiting graveyards.  Before you conclude that I’m morbid and twisted, please understand that one of my small hobbies is visiting the graves of famous people.  In California, you can visit the graves of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan … but you have to pay to enter their presidential libraries.  But in New England, you can visit the graves of former presidents for free … and there’s nobody around when you do.

Grave of Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the US, in Concord, NH

Grave of Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the US, in Concord, NH

Here’s the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts:

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And here’s Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts … the first landscaped cemetery in the United States … which dates all the way back to 1831:

Trip to Cambridge, MA 2 Nov. 23, 2012 002

Number 6: I loved the fall foliage.  We arrived in Manchester in early September, so we were privileged to watch the trees turn colors over the next few weeks.  Driving to and from church – 27 miles each way – was fun because of all the colors we’d see along the roads.

Here are some trees in upstate New Hampshire:

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Trip to White Mountains 2 Oct. 8, 2012 053

I’ll finish this Top Ten List next time.  Watch for it!

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