Matt and I recently celebrated our third anniversary. Our big day was July 14th, and our good friends, Kate and Matt, celebrated their fifth anniversary on July 16th (which also happens to be my birthday!). Years ago, after Matt and I set our wedding date, we all decided that every year the four of us would celebrate together… and thus was born Anniversaryfest! It’s a great excuse to get together, have a weekend away, and make the most of our joint celebrations.
For our inaugural Anniversaryfest, we traveled up to Burlington, Vermont for a weekend. We had beautiful weather, and we spent some time on the “Friend Ship” schooner exploring Lake Champlain (and searching for Champ, the legendary lake beast), having drinks on Church Street, and having more drinks at an outdoor Jimmy Buffet-themed bar that was completely incongruous with northern Vermont. One night, over even more drinks, we devised a list of all the places we’d like to go on future Anniversaryfest trips. It was a no-holds-barred list, including such vacations as: a Mediterranean cruise, an African safari, Hawaii, Reykjavik, and the International Space Station.
Last year we went international with Anniversaryfest. We figured it might be the last year we could do a longer trip to farther away, and we were right – Kate and Matt are expecting their first baby in October!!! So we took advantage of our freedom and invaded Canada. We spent a few days in Niagara Falls, where we particularly enjoyed driving out to the lovely town of Niagara-on-the-Lake for dinner. We also spent a day touring local vineyards and wineries – there are so many up there and they are really beautiful and produce great wine. After Niagara we headed to Toronto, where we toured the city, visited the CN Tower, went to a Red Sox/Blue Jays game, and had some great meals.
Great meals is definitely a common theme with our Anniversaryfest trips. We like to eat, and we like to eat well. Last weekend we celebrated in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and we definitely did a lot of good eating! Here’s a journey through my gluttonous weekend of New Hampshire’s finest foods.
I should note that our food fest began Thursday night with dinner at the Franklin Cafe, and continued Friday morning with breakfast at Flour before we got on the road. Both delicious. I must blog about Flour sometime soon!
On Friday we went to lunch at the adorably rustic White Mountain Cider Company. We were staying at Bretton Woods, so we spent some time driving west to the Littleton area, and some time driving east to North Conway. This place was a great find (closer to North Conway) with a general store/gift shop, delicious sandwiches, and some seriously amazing hot, fresh, apple cider donuts.
On Friday night we headed to Littleton for dinner at Bailiwick’s Restaurant. It had a really nice atmosphere – I’d describe it as comfortably modern Granite State casual. The food there was really tasty. Matt and I split a flatbread to start – shaved steak and caramelized onion. Then I had the Tuscan Grill: grilled tomatoes, portabello mushroom, eggplant, onion, and a mystery vegetable (I made a wild guess about it at dinner, but now I forget what I guessed… it was probably wrong anyway) with grilled shrimp over wild mushroom risotto. Delicious!
On Saturday morning we were somehow hungry again, and we drove over to North Conway for breakfast. Our goal was to eat at the crepe restaurant, Crepes Ooh La La. To give you some background, we, as a foursome, are kind of obsessed with crepes. The obsession began on July 12, 2008 at the Skinny Pancake restaurant in Burlington. We had all eaten crepes before, but we collectively realized our true love of the French delicacy on that one fateful day. Such is our love of crepes that our Anniversaryfest Manifesto dictates that any location we choose to visit must have a local creperie. In Toronto we enjoyed crepes at several different restaurants, and we were overjoyed to find that North Conway had its own creperie. Unfortunately, when we arrived at Crepes Ooh La La, we discovered it wasn’t going to open for another hour. We were despairing and confused – should we wait it out? Or would our hunger win and send us into the local diner? That’s when Matt came up with one of the greatest ideas of Anniversaryfest history: have breakfast somewhere else and return to the creperie for dessert. Huzzah! Problem solved. And it was actually quite fortuitous, because my breakfast was delicious!
Normally I’m not a big breakfast person (at a restaurant anyway) since I don’t like eggs or cheese. That eliminates large portions of the menu for me. But the Stairway Cafe humored my “eggs on the side, please?” and served me what may have been my favorite breakfast ever: Huevos Rancheros Verdes (minus the huevos) - corn tortillas with pinto beans, avocado, salsa verde, and liberal amounts of cilantro. Perfection.
On to dessert crepes! I had a nutella and raspberry compote crepe. I believe I may have mentioned my obsession with nutella once or twice before…
Please note that after this giant breakfast and dessert, it was hard to tell which one of us girls was 6 months pregnant.
After a luxurious day at the Mount Washington Resort spa (for the girls – the boys played disc golf all afternoon), we gorged ourselves yet again, this time at the Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery. For an appetizer we had the chips and salsa, which were warm and salty and so good. Then we split a bbq chicken pizza, and two giant plates of sliders (pulled pork and cheeseburger) with sweet potato fries. Everything was really good – great barbecue sauce on the sliders! The Matts both enjoyed the beer tasting flights.
The next morning we stopped at Maia Papaya in Bethlehem on our way home. No pics from there, but I had a really tasty plate of French toast.
Clearly, I ate my way through the White Mountains this weekend. It was, as usual, a fun (and delicious) Anniversaryfest. Can’t wait until next year!