life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for August, 2009

Ah, vacation

Picture 037 Could you sit and look at this view all day? I could – and did last week at Hampton Beach.

Well, sometimes my view was blocked,  but that’s okay: Picture 043

We live near a lake, but the kids had never seen the ocean so we packed up and drove two hours to Hampton. It was a fun three days – and a real vacation for me. No computer, no email, no phone. No cooking (well, I did make sandwiches one day), no laundry, no cleaning. And minimal entertaining – the waves did most of it for me! It was hard to leave, and I think we’ll plan another trip next year.

Save your change for the jukebox

Picture 002 My husband and I took a trip to Claremont for dinner and a movie. Although there is an abundance of new restaurants in town (four at last count), we decided to see if a restaurant of my childhood was still around. I grew up in Claremont and for 15 of my 18 years lived on Leslie Avenue, a street that runs parallel to the Claremont Country Club and intersects with Maple Avenue. I spent many afternoons walking down to King’s Department Store and The Hitchin Post, sometimes meeting friends. A small fry, a booth in the back, and several quarters for the jukebox would serve as entertainment for hours. King’s is long gone, but the restaurant was still there. We ordered the scallop dinner to share and read some of the new Claremont newspapers (five at last count) while we waited. The Hitchin Post hasn’t changed much – the wallpaper was the same, the orange food trays were the same, the jukeboxes were still there – and the food was surprisingly good. And you can still play your favorite song, full blast, for two dimes!

Fresh seafood

Picture 003OMG. I just had the best seafood of the summer – maybe even in my life – at the Sidewalk Cafe in Bristol. The fish was “fresh off the truck” in the morning, and lightly fried. Tartar sauce and coleslaw were homemade. The owner came out to see how we were enjoying our meal. I was at a loss for words, so I just shook his hand and said, “Great lunch.” Forget about dropping in when you’re in the area – make it a point to drive over for the fish lunch special. Or, if you’re a morning person, for breakfast. I’ve heard the omelets are out of this world.

Crafter’s Market

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If you didn’t find what you were looking for at the Craftsmen’s Fair last week, there’s a great shop in Sunapee Harbor with unique, hand crafted creations by local artisans. It’s called the Crafter’s Market and it’s new this year. I was pleased to see Deb Flander’s artwork, June Erla’s fantastic weaving, Steve and Sue Russell’s pottery, and lots of folks I hadn’t seen before. But it’s only open until mid-September, so make it a point to stop by. (Lucky for us it’s open seven days a week!)

Claremont news

I was born in Claremont. I grew up in Claremont – we moved from Claremont to Grantham after I graduated high school. So I was sad to hear that the Eagle Times had closed; it was the paper of my childhood. I even have a clipping of my first published article – I was in eighth grade and I won a writing award in the Eagle Times Creative Writing Competition.

I don’t think the city will be without a newspaper for long. I’ve been receiving emails that a newspaper, based in Springfield, VT, is starting up very soon (just preparing some office space) and there’s already a weekly color newspaper, which I think is called the Claremont Post. But I wanted to let folks know that there are also some good online options for local news from the city:

Both are free, and the second one will send a PDF to your e-mail inbox every week, if you’d like. I know it’s a change for die-hard newspaper readers, but give the online options a chance. You’ll be able to see photos of your child playing in a little league game and a place to send news about your business!

Looking for something to do on a Sunday?


Head to the Muster Field Farm Museum in Sutton. You can bring the whole family for a free tour of the Matthew Harvey Homestead, an 18th century farmhouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is open Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m., from July to September. And you’ll be able to get a super cool cow photo, like mine above, with one of your family members.  Learn more at

Oh, the creative mind

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Need some inspiration? Take a trip to Newbury for the annual Craftsmen’s Fair. I stopped in at every demo tent to watch the creative mind at work. The photo is of Garry Kalajian of Ararat Forge, based in Bradford, working in front of an audience of all ages. Then I toured all the tents – you know, the ones where you can buy things – and drooled over all the crafts, art, clothing, pottery and jewelry. Since today is the first day of the event, I made my list of wants and I have the rest of the week to decide if those wants are needs. I did make one purchase: the limited edition ornament by Joseph DeRobertis of New London. It’s really stunning. So get down to Newbury while the sun’s out. I was really pleased to see the variety of price points this year – from $5 to $20 and up. You’ll be able to get a once-in-a-lifetime handmade gift without breaking the bank. Picture 038