More Autumn Fun in Charlestown, MA & Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

Continuing to share a bit about our New England adventure (part 1 here). This was a long but incredibly spontaneous day. Which I’m learning I really really love and makes me feel alive, making spontaneous travel choices. Don’t get me wrong, I plan a ton for the trips when we travel. But then once we’re finally there, I like to deviate and have lottttts of flexibility within “the plan”. Which makes for a fun day! So on this particularly chilly autumn day, we started off walking around Charlestown, touring the Battle of Bunker Hill and showing Everett the U.S.S. Constitution (he was obsessed!), but things started getting seriously wet and cold… so we had to make a choice. Go back to the hotel and hunker down. Or, you know, drive to Maine and get some lobster rolls. Which one do you think we chose??

Charlestown, Massachusetts


Outfit Details:

Anthropologie Top, Old Navy Jean Jacket (like 10 years old! Similar here), Nordstrom Jeans, Sebago Boots, Madewell Scarf, Stella & Dot Knot Bracelet


(And this is just a side note but I found the most amazing natural nail salon in Atlanta where they do fancy polish and nail art - Lark and Sparrow!)

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

We drove up to Kittery, Maine (such a great lighthouse!), and then turned around and found our way into Portsmouth, NH. These towns are right next to each other on the water, and we decided to walk around quaint little Portsmouth and find some dinner. Not too many pictures from this spot because it was drizzly, but we all cozied up in a little cafe and the boys had quesadillas and we had lobster rolls. I know, we are all sorts of culinary excellence ;)

Truth be told, we had to pull out the kindles for this meal, and Stevie didn’t love it. We don’t like to be those parents who shove technology in their kid’s faces all the time, but sometimes if you want to have a nice meal, and you’re all traveling together, and things are getting fussy… yep. Kindles to the rescue!


And that was our drizzly cold, 40-degree day in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire. Okay, the Maine part barely counts, but it’s still KIND of fun to count it because it makes us sound like road warriors. Which, in a van with two toddlers demanding “Frozen” songs over and over for hours, we kind of became.

What are your travel go-tos when your children are sort of melting down? I would love to hear!

Tour of New England (Part 1): Portsmouth, NH

We had the loveliest treat. Our dear friends John and Trish Spicknall came to visit, and boy, were we glad. The winter blues had set in nicely and we needed a little piece of home. The Spicknalls are just that: they are warm, they are deep, they are silly. All things we love and value in these dear friends. Since they had previously visited and had done a lot of the "Boston-ish" stuff, we decided to take a day trip out into the lands of New England and explore a bit. This was a long day filled with wondrous adventures, so many adventures, in fact, that I have to break up this post into three parts! The photos are delicious. Please enjoy my recommendations for New England fun.

First we jumped into the (rented) car and visited visited Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Three things to do while in Portsmouth:

1. Get brunch at the Friendly Toast.

The Friendly Toast is a breakfast/lunch spot located in Downtown Portsmouth. It's quirky, shticky and seriously delicious. Introduced to us by The Sorrow Family years ago, we have been itching to return and enjoy the tasty brunch once again. The highlights? French toast made with cornmeal-molasses Anadama bread, house-made homefries, and the Greek Scamble top our list (and they have amazing fruit salad, too!) If you're driving through the area, it's a must. Plus, after brunch you might get the chance to chat with a police officer (with a wicked accent) right before they write you a parking ticket, and that rush of adrenaline can really put you in an expeditious mood.

2. See the view across the Piscataqua River.

The Piscataqua inlet is so lovely and worth taking a stroll to see. It's a quintessential New England harbor view of Maine. And if you time it just right, you can catch the sunset on the river while sipping a cold Harpoon from one of the many bars along Bow Street. Worth it.

3. Visit the New Castle Lighthouse.

My goal is to see them all (lighthouses, that is), and this one is a beauty. Situated on New Castle Island about 2 miles from downtown Portsmouth, the New Castle Lighthouse was erected in 1771 and has visibility for 12 nautical miles. This  monument is officially older than our country! Staring at this breathtaking beacon stirred within me such a gratitude to be living in New England. These are the moments that really connect me to the roots of this country. I'm proud to be an American, yes I am.

// A peak at the Piscataqua River // Bow Street //

// Oh, the dearest of friends. What would I do without her? //

// I hope I glow this gleefully when I'm with child! These two are the cutest, at The New Castle Lighthouse. //

Portsmouth is a lovely little place. But our day forged onward into Maine... More to come on this day's picturesque adventures :-)