Red Arrow Dinah and Dorr’s Pond Park, Manchester, NH

This week the diner we chose was the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH.  It is rich in history as many presidential candidates have eaten here while campaigning, so we were grateful to come outside of the political season.  The Diner, or “Dinah” is clearly very popular, as there was a line (albeit short) the whole time we were there.  Lydia ordered the “Queen Dinah” breakfast, which was served on two plates.  The food was absolutely delicious, perfect and fresh and generous.  The girls preferred the atmosphere of Miss Flo’s last week, but honestly the food here was better, and perhaps if we had visited at 3pm instead of 11am it might have been quieter!

As usual, we looked for a short hike or activity, and found the nearby Dorr’s Pond Park.  A short 1 mile hike felt much longer as the first 1/3 mile was a complete sheet of ice.  Pretty nevertheless, and I’m sure it is even prettier in any month other than January!


Great Esker Park

Great Esker Park is one of those parks that is very nearby, and frequently pops up when we are googling “hikes near us” but we hesitated going to it because it never seemed that interesting.  Being short on time today was the day we chose to check out this hike.  Well, I was not wrong.  It was not very interesting.  In fact, it was a little depressing.  Early winter is never a very colorful time to go out, but I think the trash everywhere certainly did not help (as shown in one photo, which was fairly typical of the view).  The parking near the Lowe’s parking lot gave us easy access, but also became part of our view.  The loop includes some nice hills, so it would be a great place for a run (I’m not sure of how safe it might be if you are alone). But for a scenic view, it was disappointing.

Hiking in Blue Hills

In Milton, MA, there are miles and miles of trails at Blue Hills Reservation (not to mention a ski area). Many years ago I used to do long runs through there while marathon training, but haven’t been on the trails. This week we hiked from the State Police Barracks in Milton straight up a very rocky, rooted pathway up about a mile, to see the Boston skyline. We are slightly past peak autumn colors, so a little more brown orange than red orange, but beautiful nevertheless. Clearly we all need hiking boots for Christmas!!

Plymouth Jetty

So often I have time to explore with Lydia, but today it was just me and Lieren!!  She wanted to go to Plymouth, and was even willing to walk the full Jetty, which is something I have not been able to convince either of the girls to do in the past.  It was high noon, so sun was bright.  The day was about portraits and seagulls!

Whitehall State Park

We were trying to resurrect a daytrip that wasn’t going well, and our Plan B brought us to Whitehall State Park in Hopkinton, MA.  What a beautiful day and place for a short hike.  I love paths where the pine needles are soft under your feet and the sun shines through the branches!!  We did a quick shake to avoid bringing home any ticks prior to getting back in the car!

Mount Greylock

This weekend, we were driving home from our annual summer reunion in Albany, NY and decided for a quick “drive-by” at Mount Greylock.  The timing was good as Lydia was finishing up her summer reading, A Walk in the Woods, which crosses through the Mt. Greylock area on the Appalachian Trail.  What an amazing view.  So glad we drove up instead of hiking, and definitely impressed with the one-legged cyclist who biked up to the summit!

Bare Cove Park

A quick local jaunt turned into a favorite.  This week we walked around Bare Cove Park, in Hingham, Massachusetts.  The girls talked about how they loved this “hike”, although to call it a hike would be rather misleading.  It’s a flat and straight paved bike path.  We took the out and back route to the harbor, and it was lovely and not remotely strenuous, or hike-like.

Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

We went this afternoon to walk through the Garden in the Woods, in Framingham Massachusetts.  There are many varied flowers throughout the walkway.  The walk was beautiful, although the girls were not interested in staying too long because they were overwhelmed with mosquitos.  So, take warning, bug spray would make the walk more enjoyable!!

Halibut State Park, Rockport, MA

What a gorgeous weekend for a trip to Halibut State Park. We visited here back in 2010 but neither of the girls remember the visit, so it was well worth a return trip.  Beautiful quarries, water views, stone sculptures, it had everything.


It’s always nice to visit some local haunts off-season, before the crowds!  We traveled to Beavertail State Park and then Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, Rhode Island.  I imagine this is a very busy place during the “in-season”.  The water was beautiful, the green almost looking like the Caribbean!