An east coast adventure includes dolphins and bears, friends and family

A very close friend invited us to spend some quality time with her at her beach home on the New Jersey shore.

The days flew by as we enjoyed sun and fun watching dolphins play in the surf along with the swimmers and paddle boarders. We shared generous and delicious homemade meals with adult beverages and great conversations. There were also walks on the beach, to town and of course to Lighthouse Strollo’s for the yummy Italian ices.After a brief rainstorm we followed the rainbow to a great restaurant with a beautiful sunset view.Adding to the shore enjoyment were more friends, more dolphins and more restaurants.

A joyful backyard bar-b-q filled with adorable children and patriotic grownups was a fun and relaxing time before watching the town fireworks display from the beach. The perfect summer vacation.

Further north, on Cape Cod and in Boston, found us laughing and loving with new family members and visiting favorite haunts. Artist shanties, ice cream and swan boats set the background for our family fun.The small New England states make it easy to get to so may destinations in just a couple of hours. Leaving Boston after morning coffee and a stroll down Newberry Street to the Boston Common, we arrived at the White Mountains of New Hampshire before lunch. The beautiful White Mountains cover more than 25 percent of the state offering year-round sports and terrific views. The Mt Washington Auto Road has offered tourists and adventure seekers an amazing ride to the summit of Mount Washington for more than a century. We joined the club circling around the mountain as the tree line dissolved into rock at the peak.

An elevation of 6,288 feet gives Mt Washington the claim of the highest peak in the Northeast and the second tallest mountain east of the Rockies (the tallest is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,683 feet). Mt Washington or Agiocochook (the Native American name) is notorious for its erratic weather including setting a record of 231 mph winds; this is why a building is chained to the ground at the summit. Fortunately for us, the winds were manageable and the 30 degree temperature drop from the base of the mountain made it a very pleasant experience at the summit. We arrived at the Inn at Thorn Hill in Jackson, NH with lovely views from the wrap around porch. As we sipped cool beverages and discussed future plans, a furry two-year-old changes the subject pretty quickly.Bear sculptures, bear-named streets and bear country took on a whole new dimension. New Hampshire’s state motto, Live Free Or Die, also took on an alternate meaning. We will be driving to dinner, not walking!

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