After such an eventful and beautiful first full day in New Hampshire on Friday, my parents and Lina and I though we’d stay with my brother until Sunday, and then head south on our roadtrip down to North Carolina. One more day to explore would be sufficient… maybe. But, it was just so great to be together and there was so much to see + experience, that I couldn’t find the strength or the willpower to leave.
So, we hung around until Monday, filling Saturday + Sunday with more opportunities to explore New Hampshire, enjoy meals together, ride in the truck with the windows down, walk around the coastal town of Portsmouth, see where my brother works, and generally soak up the beauty of the great, little state up in the corner of the Northeastern US.
My brother works in research with fish and agriculture (aquaponics) at the University of New Hampshire, so we asked him to take us on a tour of his workplace. It’s always so much better to see where family members live their daily lives… then it doesn’t feel like they are so far away and it’s easier to picture what they are doing. It makes a big difference to my little expat heart. Plus, his work is cool.
Then, we headed into Portsmouth (about 15 min from Nick’s little bungalow in the woods). The city was founded in 1623… an incredibly old city, from an American perspective. Settled around the time that the pilgrims made their way just south of here in 1620. Of course, Native Americans had been settled here, coexisting with the land and sea for thousands and thousands of years.
Portsmouth is totally charming, with plenty to see and do. So, lovelies, here’s what we saw and what did!
On the way back to Nick’s place, we decided to stop to buy groceries for a bbq. I mean, it’s summertime, right?! However, on the drive home, the bottom fell out and an insane thunderstorm made us pull over on the side of the road. When we got going again, as it was still storming, we saw trees down and fought against the wind and rain the whole way.
When we arrived, the power was out. And it stayed that way until the middle of the night – about 6-7 hours. So we sat in the dark, with candles and in simple silence. I went through boughts of being bored and moments of complete, simple bliss. But, have no fear, we still had our cookout!!
And then, on Sunday, after another lazy and quiet morning together – sometimes huddled around the tv watching inspiring shows on PBS (an educational channel), Nick, Lina and I headed out for a day of exploring again.
It was a quick, but unforgettable trip to visit my brother. And it broke my heart to leave… like for real. This expat gig is really, really tough.
But, I’ve got some amazing memories that I will carry with me forever. Aaaaand, I plan on being with my brother again as soon as possible – in New Hampshire, in North Carolina, or in Sweden. I don’t care wher, just as long as it’s sooner rather than later!
Stay tuned, my friends, as we head south toward North Carolina!!