Searching for Ice Cream

Stopping for ice cream is a favorite activity for New Englanders and visitors in the summer. In New Hampshire, a great ice cream cone beckons as you cruise the scenic highways of the state. Slow down going through a town or village so you can spot the ice cream stand or the dairy bar.

Each claims to have the best ice cream of all. It might be their own recipe and even cream from their own dairy or it might be a locally celebrated brand like Shain’s of Maine (started in Sanford, Maine) or Gifford’s famous ice cream.

Summertime in New Hampshire - eating ice cream

The Allains having ice cream at Sebago Lake.

The advertisements are hard to resist. Decadent brownie sundaes. Lusciously thick frappes. You might want to make it a challenge to work on next summer. How many ice cream shops can you visit? Please, come back and tell us which one you think has the best ice cream.

Here are a few in Central NH to get you started: Lone Oak in Rochester, Bly Farm in Wolfeboro, Rockin Ryan’s in Sanbornville, The Pink House in Milton, and Dewey’s Ice Cream Parlor & Cafe in Center Harbor. To make it easier for you, here’s the NH Ice Cream Trail with addresses and maps. The NH Public Radio put out another list which has some different locations for tasty ice cream.

Once you get to the ice cream stand, it can be torture trying to make up your mind. Do you want maple walnut or black cherry or a new flavor just offered that day? Here’s one that tempted me at Lone Oak. Lilac City Pothole…white chocolate, red raspberry and black raspberry ice cream with chocolate cookie dough. I usually go with my old favorite, butter pecan.

I just saw Lone Oak’s fall flavors which are available now.

  • Indian Pudding…molasses, corn meal, cinnamon, ginger and other spices. A New England fall favorite.
  • Pumpkin Caramel Crumble…Salted Caramel and cinnamon oat crumble swirled through pumpkin ice cream!

And they have almond milk non-dairy soft serve flavors…Vanilla / Black Raspberry / Twist.



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Lone Oak Ice Cream stand in Rochester – photos by Virginia Allain


OK, who’s up for the Summer 2018 Ice Cream Challenge? You can even get a head start and try some of the shops this fall.

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Posted in Daytrip, food, Uncategorized

I’m Ready for Indian Summer

The last week of August seemed a little cool. My summer was shortened by duties down in Florida that made us miss the first two months of summer. Wearing jeans and a sweatshirt in August made me feel like autumn had sneaked up on us. I feel like my summer was stolen from me.

I checked the weather for the upcoming week. Looks like some very nice days that we can look forward to. First, we need to get through a rainy day-before-Labor-Day that will be a bit chilly.

Wakefield NH 10 Day Forecast Weather Underground 2017

The Weather Underground forecast for Labor Day and the week.

Let’s make the most of the days ahead. I don’t like to complain about a rainy day as I know the plants and big pines, maples, oaks, and beeches depend on the moisture. Perhaps it could save the rain for late evening and overnight.

wet red maple leaf

Photo by Virginia Allain

For anyone closing their camp for the season, it makes it a little tricky to get everything put away for the winter or covered with tarps and tied down. Make the most of the sunny days or those with intermittent showers.

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Posted in Care of Summer Place, Weather

Another Cottage Available in NH

Some of the most popular posts on my Summer in New Hampshire blog are the ones about cottages for sale. Apparently, a lot of people dream of having a cozy retreat in the woods of NH to spend weekends or the whole summer. I can tell them, from my personal experience, that you will love your time in the New Hampshire woods or on a lake.

lfr park model 2017 summer (3)

Anyway, here’s the most recent park model to come on the market in the Lake Forest RV Resort.

Look at the tall pines, maples, and oaks surrounding this retreat.  You’ll see some of the details below.

lfr park model 2017 summer.jpg

I bet you never dreamed of having a weekend or summer home for less than $50,000. The resort which includes access to a dock and boat ramp on Great East Lake and also has a 9-hole golf course carved out of the woods. It’s perfect for retirees or soon-to-be-retirees.

You can read more about Lake Forest RV Resort on an earlier blog post. As far as I know, there is only one other cottage for sale in the resort at the moment. For those who grew up in the scenic state of New Hampshire, these places are generally called “camps,” but the technical name for them is “park model.” I call them cottages, but no matter what you call your getaway home in NH, you are going to love it.

Here’s a bonus, you can get a boat to go with your cottage. Some Lake Forest residents have caught some lovely lake trout and bass on Great East Lake.

boat for sale

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Posted in Cottage for Sale

Windows at Castle in the Clouds

Cover Picture
Photos by Virginia Allain

I notice windows whenever I visit historic sites. The 1914 mansion called Castle in the Clouds in New Hampshire had wonderful windows. The views from the windows included flower gardens and vistas of the mountain side.

All Photos by Virginia Allain

I really liked the octagonal dining room (shown above). How pleasant it would be to eat there with the light streaming in through the windows. These windows featured stained glass artwork.

The stone house had deep window sills. Notice the interesting handles for opening the windows.

Wouldn’t this be a delightful place to live?

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Posted in Architecture

Found a Painted Rock

While waiting for our bargain lobster rolls on Wednesday at Lone Oak, I spied a colorful, painted rock. I picked it up for a closer look at the intensely blue fish.



The painted rock that I found.



In the back of my mind, I vaguely remembered reading about these rocks. I turned the rock over and on the back was a brief message, “share on FB NH Rocks.”


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The reverse side of the rock.


Later, I took a look on Facebook and searched for NH rock. Sure enough, there was a group of enthusiasts who paint designs on rocks and leave them in public places for others to find.

They hope to brighten someone’s day when they find the whimsical small paintings unexpectedly. It works. My day was brighter.

It was fun to read on Facebook about moms and their kids painting the rocks and taking them different places in New Hampshire. They posted pictures of their artwork and gave hints on where to find them. Others treated it like a scavenger hunt and went looking for the rocks.

I posted the above picture of my lobster roll and the rock on the Facebook group so they would know it had been found. Apparently, I could keep the rock or put it in a new location for someone to find. Instead, I left it there. I’m sure by now, someone else has found it.

Have you found any of the painted rocks in New Hampshire or elsewhere? The activity has apparently spread far and wide.

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Posted in Fun

Exploring NH Cemeteries

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Woods Cemetery – Wakefield, NH

New Hampshire has fascinating small family cemeteries along the country roads. If you pull over to see one, you’ll find gravestones dating in the 1800s and sometimes even the 1700s. Often they are edged by a stone wall.

I’m a member of Find-a-Grave but haven’t been as active adding photos as I wanted to be. It seems like I get too wrapped up in my genealogy searches, my writing, and other activities. Volunteers photograph the gravestones for Find-a-Grave, making it easy for people to go online and find their ancestors.

A few years ago, I spent an hour or so photographing all the gravestones in the Woods Cemetery near Wakefield, New Hampshire. Those pictures have languished in my computer all this time.

Photo by Virginia Allain

Today, while searching my great-grandmother’s grave in a Kansas cemetery on the Find-a-Grave website, I checked the Woods one too. There was a request from someone for a photo of the above name, Susannah Perkins, wife of William Perkins.

Quickly, I rummaged in my photo files and came up with this shot. I submitted it to the site and hope it makes some genealogist very happy. That felt so good, that I went ahead and added William’s gravestone as well. There was also a stone for an infant. I’ll add that one too.

Do you use the Find-a-Grave site as a contributor or to find your family history?

I find the old cemeteries scenic and like to see the carvings on the gravestones. I look for unusual names or family groupings. Sometimes you see that a number of people died in a very short time. You wonder if there was an epidemic or what story went with those names.

Perkins and Hills family graves in Wakefield NH

A family grouping in the Woods Cemetery, Wakefield, NH.

I found some of the Perkins and Hill families lived to quite advanced ages. That surprised me for people living in the 1800s. Charlotte Hill lived to age 92, dying in 1882. Her husband, James, lived to the age of 94 years, 4 months, 14 days. There were also little stones in the cemetery with just the word Infant on it for a baby who died too young to even have a name.

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Posted in Sightseeing

Sanbornville, NH

I invite you to tour Sanbornville, NH. Explore the area with a drive on the curvy country roads. Enjoy the thick forests, old stone walls, New England style houses and glimpses of lakes. In this area, every road is scenic. This is the seven lakes region.

In the town of Sanbornville or nearby Wakefield admire the revolutionary war era buildings. Others aren’t quite that old but are architecturally interesting. Those in Wakefield are even pre-revolution.

Some you can have a look inside, like the Sanbornville Town Hall. The town hall includes on the second floor, the Wakefield Opera House where concerts or the library book sale are held.

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Vintage houses line the streets of Sanborneville, NH

Lunch at some of the local spots. In Sanbornville, the Poor People’s Pub serves up thick sandwiches and beefy burgers in a very casual setting. There’s also Cindy’s Place (near the hardware store) and the Miss Wakefield Diner on Route 16 (there’s a moose in front). On a chilly day, be sure to ask for clam chowder. Fish chowder and corn chowder are popular also. Lobster bisque is great but pricey.

moose at Miss Wakefield Diner

The moose at the Miss Wakefield Diner near Sanbornville (on Route 16)

Stay longer than just a day trip. Bring your tent or camper or rent a cottage. You’ll want to spend some time on the nearest lake swimming, kayaking, sailing or water skiing. Listen late at night for the unmistakable call of the loon.

Take a walk in the woods. Identify wildflowers (pink ladyslippers in the spring), nibble on wild blueberries and blackberries, and photograph mushrooms and scenery. Do not pick the ladyslippers as they are a rare and endangered plant.
Get some friends, old or new ones, together for an evening around the campfire. Gather some fallen wood in the forest or buy some camp wood from a roadside seller. Use a fire ring or fire pit to avoid setting the forest on fire.

Take bike rides on the sandy roads circling the various lakes. These have little traffic and are good for walking too. You’ll see interesting cottages along the way and meet a few others out for a stroll.

kayaking on NH lake

Fun on the water with a kayak on one of the seven lakes near Sanbornville, NH.

Get some lobsters or steamers to eat with corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, and cole slaw at your place. You can do it yourself if you have a big pot. Here are my instructions for having a lobster feast.

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Posted in Daytrip