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A 604 in the 603

A 604 in the 603

By Chi Lo
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There is something about New Hampshire that reminds me of home. Maybe it's the crisp air or the way it gets darker later, maybe it was the rain this weekend, or the vibrant greens after the rain. Like present day British Columbians, New Hampshirites once alluded to the physical attractiveness on their license plates, "Beautiful British Columbia," and "Scenic New Hampshire" respectively; though the Granite State, now proudly displays the libertarian slogan, "Live Free or Die," on plates.

Gravy's hometown of Manchester is quintessentially New England. As we drive around running errands, I can't help but comment on the architectural styles of houses, largely characterized by colonial heritage with wrap-around "Farmers'" porches, sweeping yards, widow's walks. The highways are like a trough in valleys of green, trees that turn wondrous shades of red and orange in the fall.

I have visited New Hampshire many times, though never as a tourist in the truest sense of the word. When you visit someone else's home, it's a completely different experience than as a tourist. We generally spend a lot of time with family, throwing around a wiffleball, watching baseball on TV, reading on the porch, gathered around the kitchen table, and playing bags around the holidays. We don't go downtown much, but the vibe there makes me think of what would happen if Gastown and Kerrisdale had children. I have been to the mills once, the mall twice, but have been to Hannaford's, the local grocery store more times than I can count.

If you are planning a visit, I can't offer you Mama Gravy's homemade cookies, bread, and granola, but I can tell you that we get steak and cheese subs from Pappy's, Italian sausages from Angela's, and go to the batting cages at Legends. I can also tell you that Manchester is home to both Adam Sandler, and the oldest diner in America, the Red Arrow.

Perhaps it is the potable and palatable tap water; perhaps it is knowing where the cutlery goes, and having no agenda in particular that reminds me so much of home. To me, this is what New Hampshire is about, and for a Vancouver girl it's quite alright.

For serious visitors who like the outdoors, the White Mountains offer 40 peaks under 4,000 feet for hiking enthusiasts. Visit New Hampshire's tourism website -- they weren't kidding when they said, "you're going to love it here."


ps - Happy Mother's Day!

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