We awoke to a beautiful sunny day and departed for parts unknown with high spirits. "We're heading north," somebody said as I passed out itineraries. Indeed, we were headed for the Portsmouth seashore, and what better place for a beautiful summer day. We crossed the Bridge into Kittery and made our first stop at the Kittery Outlets. We didn't offer a full day of shopping, but just a taste. I poked around one of the kitchen shops and eyed a beer-making kit as a possible door prize for a future Brewery Tasting Trip but didn't buy it. Then I found a great saucier pan with lid in the Caphalon outlet store. It was about 80% off retail price. Always check the seconds area in the back at this outlet. There are really great buys lurking.
We boarded our coaches and moved to Warren's Lobster House for lunch. Warren's is on the Kittery waterfront and has one of the best salad bars on the New England coast. There were 94 of us and we practically filled the restaurant. The food was great and the service was even better. None of our travelers went hungry that day!
Our meal was exeptional and the salad bar was a real hit with everybody! I love the chilled salad plates, the pumpkin bread, and the soup bar. As soon as we finished lunch, we crossed the bridge and went to Strawbery Banke, the oldest part of Portsmouth, and now a living history museum. All of the houses except for one are in their original locations and on original foundations. The streets are still gravel, and the place looks like it did back in the eighteenth century. Each of us was given a map and our tours were self-guided. Costumed interpreters were on hand in each of the houses and shops to help us better understand our surroundings. While there, our beautiful sunny day turned overcast and the skies looked ominous.
The horizon was getting darker, but we still had one more stop. We headed to the mouth of the harbor to the site of old Fort Constitution, now a Coast Guard station. As long as you walk on the blue line that leads to the original fort, they let you in. Those that stray toward the beach, get yelled at by the military who run the place. The fort was great and you could explore the old buildings and parade ground as well as take fine photos of the lighthouse on the property. Everybody seemed to like this stop and all got back on the coach before it started to rain. As we headed home, all of us were grateful for such a wonderful day.