After my afternoon of visiting Newbury, West Newbury, Merrimac, Amesbury, and Salisbury, I drove up the New Hampshire coastline to see the sights that I’d always wondered about. It’s only about 18 miles from the Massachusetts to the Maine border, but I took my time, stopped on the ocean and got stuck in traffic at Hampton Beach with all the ice cream, fried dough and all the other stores that had mobs of flooding the place with bikinis and testosterone. I finally made it to Portsmouth and checked out the harbor and the downtown, but I was on a mission today. I soon got back into my car and got on I-95 to head back to Newburyport for dinner.
I’ve been to Newburyport many times in my life. In the summer, they have a big festival called Yankee Homecoming and there’s a big road race that I used to compete in all the time. They’re a lot of really great homes this used to be a big trading and whaling city, and the homes lining Route 113 were massive like when families had 8 kids each and you had to have space for the servants to live. The downtown are is mostly brick and was one of the first cities to actually restore their architecture instead of knocking it all down. It’s right where the Merrimack River flows into the Atlantic Ocean, so the river is quite wide at this point.
There were plenty of people around, and everyone was shopping, eating, and having a good time. I got a great meal at The Purple Onion and then went down to the waterfront to just enjoy the calm of it all. It was a beautiful evening and the sun was starting to set in the west, so I just enjoyed the people watching.
As it was warm, I also moved to a shadier spot on a lawn by the riverfront and noticed all the people having a picnic, playing frisbee, or just lying in the grass. As those who know me well can attest, I’m not one to normally just sit and contemplate. I’m an active guy. But between the activities of the day and my being slightly under the weather, I really enjoyed just hanging out. This was a new learning for me. I’ve got to do this more often.
So, when have you gone someplace and learned something important about yourself?