We have just returned from a weekend home exchange with a couple from Rye, New Hampshire, an historic and charming town that hugs the Atlantic coast 10 miles south of Portsmouth. The weather was ideal – mid 80’s during the days and mid 60’s at night.
Our house was a 10 minute walk from Jenness State Beach, one of the many beaches that dot the New Hampshire coastline. About 2 miles long, its abundant white sand and moderate surf attracts lots of families with young children. We watched in fascination as the kids did all the same things kids have been doing at beaches since the beginning of time – making sand castles, building forts, playing ball and burying each other in the sand.
The area is awash in great seafood restaurants. Friday, we had lobster bisque and lobster rolls at The Beach Plum south of town. The rolls were overstuffed with succulent fresh lobster and we ate them outdoors at a picnic table while the sun was setting and painting the clouds orange and pink. Delicious!
If you are the adventurous sort, you can travel further south on US 1-A to New Hampshire’s most famous beach community – Hampton Beach. We tried it Saturday night but were overwhelmed by the crowds of people and the long lines for a table. So we turned the Miata around and motored north along the coast to Petey’s Seafood Restaurant. And were we glad we did! The food was superlative. We opted for the broiled seafood special and it was out of this world. And for desert, we were treated once again to a spectacular summer sunset.
For Sunday breakfast, we meandered up US 1-A again to historic Portsmouth. This charming seaside town is filled with recycled brick buildings that date back to Revolutionary times. We settled on a local restaurant called Colby’s, which seats about 30 people. We sat outdoors and enjoyed Eggs Benedict with spinach on polenta cakes and a lobster and bacon omelet. Both were scrumptious. Then it was back to Jenness State Beach and a few more hours of sunbathing, reading and dipping our toes in the ocean before heading back to Rhode Island.
This weekend marked our twelfth home exchange and was one of the best yet. Our exchange partners enjoyed the tranquility of our lakeside home in Rhode Island and we enjoyed the proximity to the ocean of their home in New Hampshire . We had never been to Rye before but now it is on our list of places we definitely want to visit again.