Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bridgewater, New Hampshire

Yesterday we took our first trip to a Bridgewater outside of Massachusetts. After checking distances for the Bridgewaters in Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, we determined that New Hampshire was the closest and took a drive north.

Bridgewater, New Hampshire is on Newfound lake and the drive along 3A was gorgeous. The road goes right along the lake with mountains on the other side. There was an abundance of cute cottages, as well as bigger homes along the road. The town itself is rather small and appeared to be more of a summer place, although clearly skiing and snowmobiling were important to its wintertime economy.
We found three places to have lunch, The Pasquaney Restaurant, The Bridgewater Inn, and The Newfound Grocery. It was this last place where we eventually decided to eat. The restaurant at the Bridgewater Inn was only open on weekends. The Pasquaney Restaurant appeared to be open, but the Grocery looked more our speed.

The restaurant inside the grocery was homey and had a Harley-Davidson theme. There were about a half dozen tables with mismatched chairs, plus a counter with stools. The menu was typical sandwich fare. Pam had a tuna melt, James enjoyed an open-faced turkey and our vegetarian daughter ordered the grilled cheese. I believe there was one other vegetarian option (a veggie wrap) on the menu. The meals were filling and came with delicious salt and pepper chips that were made on the premises.

(James adds: In this establishment only a few miles from Laconia, the Harley theme is manifest in a collection of mounted Harley jigsaw puzzles.)

While we waited for our food, Pam, the librarian, checked out (no pun intended) the free book exchange shelf and selected a book for each of us. After our meal we did a little shopping. The "Grocery" included local crafters works and a local wines, so we purchased a handmade corner shelf for our daughter's bedroom, and a bottle of Diamond wine from Candia Vineyards, plus we bought a homemade biscuit for our dog, Clover, who waited for us in the car.

Newfound Grocery boasts free Wi-Fi. We didn't try it ourselves, so we will take it on faith. We also filled our gas tank there. All in all a fun day trip. During the drive home, however, we encountered absolutely the worst Boston traffic we have ever experienced! It took us 2 hours to go 10 miles. All Pam could think while snaking through the tunnel was that this is what we have come up with after spending $14 billion on traffic improvement in the city.

(James adds: We have decided that we will do what we could to support local business in the "Bridgewaters" we visit. For example, I looked online ahead of time for places to eat and find coffee in the area, but we determined to set those search results aside until we explored the local businesses on-site. I love Yelp!, but "windshield surveys" are still often better. I was glad that we were able to make our local purchases in cash, given the destructive impact of credit-card fees on small businesses, particularly independent gas stations.)

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