Sat 29 Jun - Concord, NH

Driving in the Lake District of New Hampshire... Sort of...

We awoke to a grey and muggy day and decided that a drive around Lake Winnipesaukee to the north of Concord may be the best option to sightsee as the weather was unpredictable.

We left Concord just after 9am heading north east and going for an anticlockwise loop around the lake. Di was driving today and she was very deer conscious on the smaller country roads.

First stop was Wolfeboro, a cute town with water on 2 sides, Lake Winnipesaukee and Back Bay on the other side (there were more lakes further east).

They were offering scenic lake tours in Wolfeboro, but we gave that a miss as we were uncertain as to what you would see from the lake that you wouldn't see from a car. OK, we were tight fisted...

Another shot of the tour boat...

This waterway was the only one that connected the two sides of water in Wolfeboro from what we could see. Yes, we did see a small boat going through there and the 2 people on board sat on the floor or ducked.

Coffee and cookies were offered by Yum Yum Bakery and Cafe and we took them up on the offer. We noticed this plaque next to their door as we left... It rings true with us...

Self portrait at a bench provided by a Russian town (name forgotten) that was perhaps a sister city with Wolfeboro. The bench was next to the lake and we enjoyed our morning cuppas here.

Wolfeboro is yet another town or city which had transformed old railway tracks into joint pedestrian and cycle paths (which we are strongly in favor of). They had even made a point of showing off their railway past with a restored train station, now a visitors centre and this end stop (or whatever these things are called).

Di enjoying a small part of the walkway. Work apparently is still in progress and the path will link several towns and run for 12.5 miles (20 km) when it is completed.

More railway memorabilia along the path, this on a bridge with a dam underneath.

We then continued driving north along the eastern shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee up to Moultonborough where we turned to drive south along the western shoreline and to Meredith (which looked really touristy so we didn't stop) to our next stop which was Weirs Beach.

Weirs Beach looked like a place that would be favored by bikers and families. A bit touristy, but also with cheap and old looking motels, several penny arcades, pizza and fried food joints and water crafts for hire or touring. Of course, a pier with arcade games and cheap eats is almost mandatory in a place like that (see behind Hans)

You could take a tour on the "Mount Washington". What a mountain has to do with boating, we don't know.

Weirs Beach has a sand beach which would explain some of its attraction. There are not that many sand beaches in New England as rocks dominate.

And there is a scenic train in Weirs Beach too... It arrived just a little bit later after this photo was taken.
OK, Hans used to be a pinball tragic when he was young. In one of the arcades, they were offering a 3-ball pinball game on "Pirates of the Caribbean" for 50 cents. Deal.
The display was in Spanish and the pinball machine even yelled to us in Spanish. Very cool. We got excited and were yelling too.

Hans managed to get a free play on the very first ball, which meant we played one game each. Di's turn...she also loved it. More yelling at the Kraken (where we got 3 balls at once - panic...)

There was more fun to be had inside the Arcade that made Hans think of his childhood long long time ago. USA vs Russia in ice hockey...

Didn't these signs look great? Something from Happy Days or similar... The old style cottages looked quite inviting too. We are not sure about the King Size Pool though.

On the way back towards Concord and outside Laconia, we were overtaken by these bikers. We thought that their vests looked very shiny, almost too clean... No, helmets do not appear to be mandatory anywhere in the US from what we have seen.

We were coming up to lunch time and despite yesterday's less than satisfactory experience with lunch at a diner, we decided to try another one.

Tilt'n Diner just looked too cool from the outside, and with a full parking lot and a queue of punters waiting for seating to become available, it ticked all the right boxes. The silver section you see at the front is the original diner, built in 1953, and where we eventually were seated in a booth. Cool.

Tilt'n Diner had some rules signage that we have not seen before. "No crybabies" (there must be a story behind that...), "No beepers" (is anyone really using them anymore?).

And how can you not like a place that has a lit up guitar in the ceiling, the first thing that you see when you get in?

We got our booth and just enjoyed the ambience as our orders were prepared and cooked for us.

Hans ordered roast beef with mash and veggies which was a Saturday lunch special. Di had a serving of fried chicken with a side salad.

The menu and its holder also looked very "Happy Days" to us. We were not sure about the airport link, but there was a sign next to the front door that read that this diner started off in New Jersey some decades ago but has since moved twice. Moved as in physically moved that is... Moving buildings seems to be a widespread business in the US.

The bill arrived clipped onto an old 45' single vinyl. And the bill was very reasonable. $25 covered it all for two of us with tip.

The time was approaching 3pm when we got back to Concord, via a gas stop at Hess around the corner. At $3.33 per gallon, that was the cheapest gasoline price that we have seen for quite a while.

Unfortunately, as we arrive to our room at Holiday Inn, the cleaner is just about to go in... At 3.15pm or so. Oh well, we return to the lobby and loiter there for the next half hour or so before we go up again. Cleaner's mission was accomplished, but clearly without an extraordinary amount of attention to detail.

Time for a break in our motel room before our stand up comedy night called "How Men Think..." with a bunch of New England comedians. We found out by accident that there were performing downstairs tonight in our hotel.

Dinner was a bowl of soup in our room - still not hungry after a good filling lunch.

This was the easiest gig we ever attended. We caught the lift down to the ballroom, we bought tickets at the door about 20 minutes before the start, bought a drink and chose a table.

We sat with a lovely couple from Panama, who were here to drop off their son for a 6 week summer camp at Wolfboro. The lady's grandfather had helped build the Panama Canal and they both had dual Panamanian and American citizenships. We chatted for a while and then the show kicked off at 8.40pm

Our host and the first comedian was Dave - quite funny and likeable. A 54 year old man relating stories about his life and interacting with the audience quite well. We missed some of the jokes because we don't know the inside story on "people from Lawrence, NH" and other local traits - but still funny.

Dave ran a few sections where he got women from the audience on stage and asked multiple choice or True/False questions that they had to answer as a man would. One, Ruth, gave as good as she got.

The second comedian, a young single dude, was not our style and fell a bit flat with the older crowd.

Then we got a charming Indian man, engineer and recently to USA. He was quite good and his performance had a focus on cultural differences, poking fun at both Indians in the US as well as Americans dealing with Indian people.

The best comedian was at the end of the show. His name was Tim MacIntire and he has been on Comedy Central TV and other shows. He shared some very funny stories about his life and family, even about his sister "coming out as a lesbian" and his mum coming out as an alcoholic when she found out about it. Some of his jokes were clearly "adult only". He was on for the longest of all the comedians and we laughed pretty hard.

The show finished around 10.30pm and we were back in our room 5 minutes later. The Panamanian couple stayed in the room just opposite ours.

Some winding down before sleep. Good night.

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