NH + RI + MA (again)

On September 25, 2016, we left Boston, MA and arrived in Londonderry, NH. We checked into our hotel and got settled. After staying in an Airbnb, sharing just one bathroom in a house with 2 residents and 4 other Airbnb guests, having our own space felt like a luxury!

Once we were ready for some dinner we headed to the Strange Brew Tavern in the downtown area of Manchester. The bar was rather empty, but it was early on a Sunday night. We ordered the Mediterranean Salad with grilled chicken and it was very tasty. Niner savored the flavor of New Hampshire with 603 Brewing Company’s Winni Amber Ale  which was bold yet easy to drink.

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After dinner, we drove around downtown Manchester and it was very quiet and nothing was going on. Which was fine with us because we were pooped from our action-packed visit to Boston, so we were happy to just go back to our hotel room and catch some ZZZzzzs.

The next day we slept in and took our sweet time packing up and we checked out of our hotel at the last minute.

We decided that we were due for some shopping. It was starting to get colder and Niner needed another jacket. We drove over to the Merrimack Outlets. The first order of business was lunch and we ended up at Qdoba. Then we did some shopping and Niner found herself great deal on a jacket from Converse.

Next, we took in some history at the Minute Man National Historical Park , home of the first battle of the Revolutionary War.

After our visit at the park, it was time to leave New Hampshire, the “granite state” and we headed for Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union.

We had been to RI before, and during that trip we became obsessed with the Coffee Awful-Awful from Newport Creamery . This milkshake-esque concoction is “Awful big and Awful good.” Naturally, our first destination in Rhode Island was Newport Creamery in Providence, the state capital. We entered the address into our NeNe and hit the road to Rhode.

Our trip to Newport Creamery was a success! We shared a turkey burger with fries and got ourselves a coffee Awful Awful and it was glorious!

Next, we went to the Federal Hill neighborhood and walked around and checked out an amazing Italian market called Venda Ravioli.

For dinner we stopped at Providence Oyster Bar for their happy hour. We ordered a dozen fresh oysters and the lobster wontons. Surprisingly, they did not have any RI beers on tap, so Niner had to settle for a canned beer. Just as surprisingly, that can of beer was super impressive. Easily the best canned beer we have ever had. If you have the chance, check out Foolproof Brewing’s Backyahd IPA. No, that is not a misspelling – think regional pronunciation!

When we were finished in the Federal Hill neighborhood, we headed to Target to stock up on some essentials, then we checked in to our hotel and called it a night since we were waking up really early to head to the Massachusetts island, Martha’s Vineyard.

The drive to the ferry terminal in Woods Hole, MA was gloomy and rainy – not the ideal weather for a trip to an island. We parked Becky in the overnight parking lot and took the shuttle to the Steamship Authority terminal. The ferry ride was very smooth and fairly quick. We disembarked on the area of the island called Vineyard Haven. From the harbor, we walked to Waterside Market for a latte.

Then we walked over to the Black Dog Tavern for an early lunch . When we sat down, a waitress walked by with a beautiful salad topped with an epic pile of lobster. Well, obviously, we ordered that and we got a cup of the clam chowder as well. Right after we ordered our Airbnb hostess called us and offered to pick us up after we finished eating – excellent!

The salad came and we couldn’t help but notice that our pile of lobster was not nearly as epic as the one at the next table. We came to the conclusion that the other table must have received the local’s hook up. As for the clam chowder, it was good, but what gave it the wow factor were those croutons. Never, have we ever, had croutons like those! They were perfectly crunchy, the bread had a great flavor, and the seasonings were so flavorful. The Black Dog Tavern has changed our perspective on croutons forever!

Once we were finished with our meal, our hostess picked us up and showed us around her cozy home. She told us about the bus system and gave us directions to the nearest bus stop and made some restaurant recommendations.

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We settled in and rested for a bit then headed out in the gloominess to catch the bus. While walking to the bus stop, we saw a small flock of wild turkeys. We took the bus to Edgartown. We walked around, checked out some shops, the shoreline, and Joseph Sylvia State Beach .

Next, we took the bus to the gorgeous Oak Bluffs neighborhood to check out the famous “gingerbread cottages” at the Oak Bluffs campground .

Then we walked over to Washington Park to check out the views of the amazing houses and Oak Bluffs Harbor.

For dinner, we took our hostess recommendation and hit up the very popular Off Shore Ale Company. Given how busy it was, our wait was reasonable. The place has a cool rustic feel, but was super noisy. Our server was very nice and helped us navigate the menu. We decided to share the Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew. Niner got the Das Pils, a nice malty pilsner which went perfectly with the stew.

Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew: “Littleneck clams, calamata olives,
chorizo sausage, mussels and fresh Atlantic Cod simmered in a
light tomato-fennel broth and served over turnip puree with
grilled baguette spears”

When we finished our meal, we took an Uber back to our room. We washed up and went to sleep.

The next day, our hostess made us a pot of coffee and set out fresh bread with butter, jams, and some fruit. We had a nice conversation with her about the island and then we checked out.

We took the bus to the West Tisbury area and checked out Grange Hall, The First Congressional Church, Alley’s General Store.

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Then we got back on the bus and visited the Aquinnah Cliffs and the Gay Head Lighthouse.

Next, we took the bus to Chilmark harbor, where we had our lunch at Larsen’s Fish Market. This place is a little shack type joint that does not have indoor seating. There was a small seating area on the side that faces the water. It was cold, a bit rainy, and windy that day and we were shivering, but it was okay because we were eating some amazing New England seafood delicacies!

Finally, we took the bus to Vineyard Haven and had to jog to board one of the last ferries on time!

When we arrived at Woods Hole, it was raining. We boarded the shuttle, which was standing room only at that point, and we ran to Becky as soon as we got dropped off at the parking lot.

We then loaded up and headed out to our 33rd state, Connecticut.

Our next blog post will be about our adventures in the Nutmeg or Constitution State!

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