Over the long Labor Day weekend, Q and I escaped a few hours north to Portsmouth, NH for the weekend to relax a bit and enjoy some time away from the routine of life. We took the Friday of the long weekend off and headed up to Portsmouth on Thursday night after work. We decided to stay in the city proper so that we could walk to restaurants and not have to worry about parking.
After sleeping in Friday, we headed up the road a bit to Kittery, Maine to do some outlet shopping, mostly for Q. There were some good deals to be had since it was the long weekend and both of us scored a few good ones, though most of the buying was done by Q who was in desperate need of clothes ( why do men wait until shirts are threadbare to go shopping?). It was so nice to be out and about since the weather was perfect- it was the first time in weeks that it wasn’t hot and humid, so we were quite happy to walk around. We found a fantastic BBQ spot- Ore Nell’s BBQ– on our way back to Portsmouth on local roads instead of the highway, which was already congested with long weekend travelers.
The view from our picnic table at Ore Nell’s BBQ
After a little afternoon nap, we strolled the streets and shops of downtown Portsmouth, had some coffee, and then an early dinner at a delicious seafood place, Surf. I had the Fisherman’s Stew which was so much food. Q had a huge seared tuna steak (the only seafood he eats) and we enjoyed a gorgeous view on the water.
Saturday we started with a seriously out of this world breakfast at Friendly Toast, and then ventured off to explore The Great Bay Wildlife Refuge, which was about half hour from Portsmouth. I’m glad we went early as there weren’t a ton of bugs yet and other than some photography folks, there was no one there. A lot of people do a harbor boat cruise or visit the Isle of Shoals, but I get seasick pretty easily, so didn’t want to ruin the weekend being queasy for a day.
Even though we were “on vacation,” our Saturday still included a stop at Target! Q has had a shoulder injury for a few weeks now (thankfully, he’s on the other side of it) and his shoulder had been bothering him the night before, so we stopped at Target for some one-time use ice packs to get him through the weekend.
One of the highlights of the trip was our tour and tasting at Smutty Nose Brewing. There are a lot of options for breweries in the coastal New Hampshire/Maine region. We chose Smutty Nose not just for its close location, but neither of us were that familiar with the beer and weren’t sure if we’d ever had it before, so we were excited to try some flavors. The tour was good and the beer was even better! Highly recommend their pumpkin ale that’s coming out right now which may be the first time I’ve ever liked a pumpkin-flavored beer.
After beer, we napped, walked some more, and then had coffees while people watching in Market Square. We had dinner at Poco’s Cantina where I are their out of this world smothered vegetarian nachos. While this was delicious, it was also A LOT of cheese and nachos and I spent the rest of the evening definitely questioning my life decision.
Sunday morning after a quick bite at the hotel, we headed home fairly early. Early on in our relationship, we both realized that one of the keys to successful travel together was making sure we had a cushion between coming home and going back to work. We like having the time to do laundry, grocery shop, and get back to the swing of things before work starts, so we try to do long weekends where we get the actual holiday day off to be home. It’s my favorite adulting/vacation life hack to pass long!
Also, these three photos are the only ones I took the entire weekend- we were having such a good time, I barely touched my phone!