Friday, April 11, 2014

A Seacoast Getaway (aka Picture-Heavy-Post!)

Back on March 24-25, Jim and I had the opportunity to do something we'd been dreaming about for a long time . . . we got away together for the first time in over 10 years.  Yes . . . TEN YEARS . . . before kids!!!  In the 4 years we were married before Sam came along, we used to get away for our anniversary, or sometimes just another random time, at least once a year.  But the last time was back in 2003, when I was newly pregnant with Sam.  In fact, I bought my first piece of maternity clothing, and a baby name book, on that trip!  Talk about memories . . . :)  (And because we had just found out I was pregnant about a week before this March getaway, talk about deja vu!!)

Anyway, last fall we had bought tickets to see The Piano Guys in concert in Portsmouth NH, on March 24.  At first we figured we'd just make it a date--it would be a very late night, since it's a couple hours away from us, but doable.  Then we started thinking, what if we could make it a getaway?  We ran the idea by my parents, who said they'd be willing to watch the kids for a night . . . then we started looking into places to stay in the area.  Jim decided if we were going to make it a getaway, we should find someplace more romantic than a Motel 6. ;)  Long story short, we decided way ahead of time that this would be our somewhat-early 15th anniversary celebration.  We were able to book a room with an ocean view at the York Harbor Inn in York, Maine, and we even got a pretty good discount with their March specials!  So, mid-afternoon on the 24th, we set off on our big adventure.

This was our pretty little room at the inn.  We were in the main building (they have quite a few different ones) and we even had a deck with an ocean view.  Of course, it was a little chilly to spend much time out there, but it was still neat, and we did go out for a little while the next morning.
 Sitting area
 And . . . oh joy! . . . we had an electric fireplace.  It kept the room nice and toasty, not to mention the romantic ambiance. :)
 Looking out the door to our deck, and beyond
 After getting our stuff settled in our room, we relaxed for a few minutes and then headed back down to Portsmouth.  We had plans to meet up with friends for dinner at Texas Roadhouse, at 5 pm.  We ended up missing our exit and getting a bit lost/detoured on the way, but thankfully we still made it with about 10 minutes to spare.  We so enjoyed our visit with them and our yummy dinner--it was nice to catch up a bit after about 2 1/2 years since the last time we got together!  (I apologize for the quality of these next photos--all were taken with my iPod because we didn't feel like hauling the big camera along with us.)
 Our next destination was the Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth.  Having never actually been into the city before, we depended on our trusty directions printed from Google maps. :)  Thankfully we had no trouble finding the area where we needed to be . . . finding parking was another matter!  After driving around in a circle about 3 times, looking for a space on the street, Jim gave in and parked in the nearby parking garage. :)  By then it was about 15 minutes till showtime, so we power-walked a few streets over to the Music Hall.  Once we found our seats, we could finally catch our breath and enjoyed taking in the historic building, and watching all the other people filling up the hall.
 We have enjoyed watching The Piano Guys' Youtube videos for a long time, and were really excited to be able to see them in person.  
 The Music Hall ceiling
 Two happy people . . .  enjoying being just "Jim & Carrie" for a while instead of "Mommy & Daddy" :)
 Another view of the back.  Our seats were at the far right of the stage, in the balcony.  The cheapest seats. :)  They weren't bad at all.  We both could see Jon Schmidt, the pianist, the entire time.  It was harder to see Steven Sharp Nelson, the cellist, because of some lights that were attached to the railing right in our line of sight.  However, by angling around a bit to avoid the heads in front of us, we both could see fairly well most of the time.  For the second half, we moved over a couple of seats because there were 2 empty ones in our row.  Jim was able to see better for that half, and I was able to see better for the first half, so it all worked out!
 We stood up to stretch our legs at intermission and took a few pics of the stage.  Unfortunately the venue asked that people not take photos during the performance, so I don't actually have any pictures with the performers in them. :(  My only disappointment of the evening!  The kids were really hoping we'd come home with a video or at least a few pictures because they love the Piano Guys too. :)
The concert was a ton of fun and we were so glad we went!  We never do stuff like this, and we had to talk ourselves into splurging on tickets . . . but in the end it was well worth it!  I hope they come to NH again sometime, because we would love to take the kids next time, if we can.  (If you're not familiar with the Piano Guys, they have some great videos on Youtube--and their newest one (below) is just beautiful.  Most of their arrangements are more pop/classical combinations, but this one is a hymn.)

Then it was back to our cozy room at the inn for the night, and the next morning we headed down to the continental breakfast in the dining room.  They had tons of yummy food, and can I just say how spoiled we felt, not having to cook any of it? :)  There were homemade muffins and pastries and granola, yogurt cups and fresh fruit . . . lots of good stuff.  And juice!  We rarely ever buy juice at home, so that was a big treat too.
Look at the size of those muffins!  We enjoyed our ocean view from the dining room, as well.
We took lots of "selfies" on this trip.  What can I say? :)  We don't get out much!
On our deck, enjoying the sunshine!
The inn next door
After breakfast, we packed up and checked out of the inn.  Then we walked across the street to the cliff walk (had to burn off some of that breakfast!).  It was chilly and a bit windy, but at least the day was bright and sunny.  I liked this monument with lines from an old hymn.
The beautiful Atlantic
We enjoyed checking out the big fancy homes beside the cliff walk.  Although we wouldn't want their taxes, we do envy their view!
Stone steps
Apparently these people are ready for an invasion! :)

A few more iPod pics . . .

Looking back toward the sandy beach

So much beauty . . . 
I think this place is some kind of club--maybe.  
We walked back to the beach and did a bit of shell and rock collecting.
And picture taking, of course!  Here is a shadow selfie :)
Then we hit the road again.  We planned to shop a little on the way home.  First we enjoyed poking around at the Kittery Trading Post--always a fun place to visit!

We also stopped at a Goodwill because it's fun to check out thrift stores wherever we are . . . plus we don't have any Goodwills locally. :)  We found some good stuff, too!  Our final stop was a seafood restaurant for a late lunch, before we headed back home.
And that was our getaway!  I know many of you have already seen the pics on Facebook, but I wanted to post the story and pics for all my bloggy friends and family who haven't seen them yet. :)  We were SO thankful to have this time away.  We were especially grateful for how the timing worked out.  When we planned this, we had no idea I'd be pregnant again.  We could have waited and planned a getaway for August, when our anniversary is, but by then I'll be bigger and more uncomfortable.  The timing worked out so perfectly.  We also treasured every moment perhaps a bit more than we would have, knowing that with a new little one, we likely won't be getting away, just the two of us, for several more years at least.  (Hopefully sometime before 10 more years go by, though. :))  Now, we love our little ones and we love being with them most of the time. :)  But, someday it is just going to be the two of us again, and I want to make time now for those "alone" times, whether they be regular dates or the occasional getaway, so we don't forget what it is like to just spend time being us.  We felt so refreshed and renewed after having that time alone together, even though it was just a little more than 24 hours!  We were both super glad we went, and so very thankful for my parents' willingness to take care of the kiddos while we were gone.

And if anyone has made it to the end of this VERY long post . . . you deserve a medal. :)  Thanks for listening!!


anne said...

I made it to the end, and loved every word, and every picture. New England is one of our favorite parts of the country! So happy for you both :)

Nikki said...

I absolutely LOVED reading about your getaway. :) It looked like you had a nice time away. Perfect timing too. How neat that you could do some special things together. It looked like a beautiful place and you two make a PERFECT couple. Loved all your pictures.

Carrie said...

Thank you, Anne! We are blessed to live in such a beautiful place. :)

Carrie said...

Thanks, Nikki! I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it. We had so much fun and it was very refreshing. Hopefully we can do it again in a few years!

1HappyWife said...

Of course I made it to the end! Thanks for sharing it with your bloggy friends too :). What sweet memories you were able to make and what a beautiful place.

Carrie said...

Thanks, Joey! Sorry I JUST now remembered to publish your comment!! Blogging hasn't been at the top of my list lately. :)

It was definitely a beautiful place and I hope we can go back again sometime!