Andrew’s Adventure: Gyrotonic Seacoast

Where I went: Gyrotonic Seacoast (225 Atlantic Ave in North Hampton, 603-828-8155, gyrotonicseacoast.com)

What is is: Gyrotonic Seacoast is the only Gyrotonic facility in New Hampshire, and it offers a unique three-dimensional routine that is similar to that of tai chi, yoga and plyometric practices and is run by Kathryn Londoff. The Gyrotonic method (with machines) and Gyrokinesis method (without machines) were founded by Hungarian-born Juliu Horvath following a severe injury as a result of his years as a professional ballet dancer, according to the Gyrotonic Seacoast website. It was an attempt to develop a total-body conditioning and balance system that promotes healthy spine, joint and bone development. The practice balances precise body movements with a particular fluidity to achieve its goals.

What I did: I met Kathryn on the second floor of her facility in a room packed full of unusual-looking machines and devices with no real prior knowledge as to what exactly I was getting myself into. There, I also met Kate McDermott, a seasoned veteran and trainer in the Gyrotonic method who would be demonstrating the various exercises so I had something to base my movements on.
I had seen the photos and watched some videos of Gyrotonic workouts in preparation for this adventure and figured that it would not be such an intense session without the use of heavy weights or quick repetitions, but boy was I wrong. Through this adventure I was asked to use muscles that I had never used before, and to move my body in such a precise, determined yet fluid and rhythmic way that following each set I found myself walking as if I had just stepped off a trampoline.
I spoke with Kathryn about my prior history of athletics, injuries and workout routines as we briefly established a goal for the session. I wanted to set as much of a foundation to the workout style as possible within my two hours of alloted time and sample as many different exercises as we could.
I found that I, similar to most of my generation, have what Kathryn referred to as cellphone posture, which means that I naturally curl my shoulders forward with my head and neck constantly angled slightly forward as if I were looking down at my phone. We spent the first 20 to 30 minutes trying to break that habit and form the solid base position and posture that the Gyrotonic system is based on: a tight core and straight back as if there were a line from the tailbone up and out of the top of the crest of the head.
All of this was then paired with a method that asked me to focus on tensing muscles all the way up from my toes in counter-balanced ways, pushing in and out with my legs at the same time, pushing my chest forward while leaving my head back, and various other things of that nature. None of this came naturally to me, but after plenty of practice and loads of encouragement from Kathryn and Kate, my foundation was set.
From there, we began exercises that focused almost exclusively on the fluid and precise movements of our bodies with the help of the pulley tower that acted as a guide for the wide circular movements of my hands and arms. Every movement required my full attention at all times.
The assumption while watching is that the Gyrotonic method is an easy workout because it is done without the use of weights or heavy resistance, but the secret that I came to learn is that the exercises are based on the resistances within your own body. The difficulty and physical exertion derive from your mind constantly focusing on the act of moving so precisely and working to actively counter-tense your muscles to allow them to stretch and strain within the body by and against themselves. At the end of my two hours with Kathryn, I had not lifted a single weight, and yet I was truly well worked and my muscles were thoroughly fatigued.

Who else would enjoy this: Gyrotonic and Gyrokinetic lessons are a unique method of exercise, and it takes a lot of commitment to be rewarded with the work that has been done. It is not for everyone, and if you are not willing to commit and put the work in then it is not worth your time. But through time and commitment, everything that is done in the workout can be applied to real-life circumstances. From enhancing posture to simply increasing efficiency in day-to-day activities, the results are beneficial to all sorts of lifestyles. Professional athletes use these methods as forms of cross-training, and severely injured people use the exercises as a form of rehab. Older, younger, healthy or injured — there are no limits to who can partake in this form of exercise.

-Andrew Clay

Beachside Celebrations: Ring in the New Year along the coast

The end of December is a busy time around the Seacoast, and with so many different ways to ring in the new year it may be hard to decide which of the many local celebrations best suits your personal preferences. We have compiled information about all of the different New Year’s Eve celebrations, parties and events around the Seacoast this year to ensure that your 2018 goes out with a bang.

Hampton
The Hampton Beach Village District will hold its annual New Year’s Eve firework celebration off the beach Monday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. at the top of B and C Streets, with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop. Bring the family and plenty of warm clothes. Prior to the fireworks, the State of New Hampshire, Division of Parks and Recreation, holds a yearly Open House on New Year’s Eve from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Seashell Oceanfront Pavilion Banquet Room located behind the Seashell Stage. Refreshments are provided and the event is free to the public.
Hampton’s Ashworth by the Sea (295 Ocean Blvd, Hampton) will ring in the new year with a special celebration for booked guests in their newly renovated grand ballroom. The night will begin with hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner for two prior to the viewing of the Hampton Beach Village District’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks off the beach beginning at 8 p.m. The Ashworth New Year’s Eve celebration also includes a gala dinner dance and live entertainment from “The Wicked Smart Horn Band” between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. A champagne breakfast buffet for two will be held the following morning on New Year’s Day. Visit ashworthhotel.com for more information or to book your reservation, as the festivities are for hotel guests only.

Salisbury
The Blue Ocean Music Hall (4 Ocean Front N.) in Salisbury will hold New Years Bash With The Fools. The celebration begins with an optional buffet dinner served in Gradview Hall at 7 p.m. before the concert kicks off at 9 p.m. The party continues through midnight on a large dance floor that will incorporate a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast. Two different types of tickets are being sold, one for dinner plus the show and one acting as show-exclusive at prices ranging $26 to $90. The Fools are a Massachusetts rock band originally from Ipswich and the self-proclaimed “best party band in New England”. For more information or to buy tickets visit blueoceanhall.com.
Seaglass Restaurant (4 Ocean Front N.) will hold a special New Year’s Eve dinner function to welcome in the new year. For $79.95 per person, the night includes a four course dinner, dessert, dancing, and live musical entertainment from Boston’s “Airtight Trio.” Call 978-462-5800 or visit seaglassoceanside.com for information or to book your reservation.
— Andrew Clay

4 Shore Things: December 20, 2018 – January 9, 2019

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Fun with Scrooge

There are still two chances to see A Christmas Carol. The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) presents the show through Dec. 23. Showtimes are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $14 for students and seniors and $12 for children age 12 and under. Visit playersring.org. Or see it at the Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St., Rochester) through Dec. 23, with showtimes on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $12 to $24. Visit rochesteroperahouse.com. Photo courtesy of Rochester Opera House.

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Science camp

The Seacoast Science Center is offering environmental day camp for children ages 4 to grade 5 during the holiday break, Dec. 26-28. Treks 4 Tots (ages 4-5) and Seaside Safari (grades K-5) is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a half day option (9 to noon) available for Treks only. After-care is available for grades K-5. Treks and Safari Camp is a fun-filled learning adventure that takes advantage of the natural classroom just outside our doors in historic, 135-acre Odiorne Point State Park. Visit seacoastsciencecenter.org.

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Walk by candlelight

There’s one last chance for the Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St., Portsmouth), on Saturday, Dec. 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. Walk from house to historic house and meet with a variety of costumed role players and performers who recreate past traditions. Other features include family skating at Puddle Dock Pond, craft demonstrations, a treasure hunt for kids and more. Tickets are $25 for adults, $12.50 for kids and teens ages 5 and up, $60 per family (which covers two adults and two children ages 5 and up) and free for kids under 5 as well as active duty military service members, veterans and their families. Visit strawberybanke.org.

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Forget Elf on the Shelf

Gnome on the Ground, a new children’s book by Portsmouth author Jennifer Lake, offers families a different approach to the holidays. Born out of Lake’s disdain for the Elf on the Shelf culture, the book encourages parents to let go of the societal pressures to create a picture-perfect holiday for their children and instead teach their children to focus on what’s important. “Gnome promotes love, compassion and the power of choice all throughout the year,” Lake said in a press release. “[It’s] the perfect solution to help you celebrate your holiday however you choose.” The book is available on Amazon.

4 Shore Things: December 6-19

A cappella holidays

Sounds of the Seacoast women’s four part a cappella chorus will celebrate music of the season at their annual Holly Jolly Cabaret on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Jarvis Center, 40 Andrew Jarvis Drive, Portsmouth. The 45-member chorus will sing a number of holiday favorites and other songs from their repertoire. Beverages, and snacks will be served, and there will be raffles, a sing-along and even a visit from Santa! All who attend the cabaret are asked to bring a non-perishable food or other appropriate item for baskets that will be presented to HAVEN. Tickets are $15 general seating and $5 for children 10 and under. For tickets call 603-759-5152, email tickets@soundsoftheseacoast.org or visit soundsoftheseacoast.org.

 

Book talk

“This is a nonfiction book that reads like a spy novel,” said Barbara Tosiano, referring to The Woman Who Smashed Codes, the book to be discussed at the upcoming Hampton Historical Society History Book Group meeting. “You have to stop and remember that everything in the book really happened.” The group, which Tosiano leads, meets at the Tuck Museum of Hampton History at 40 Park Avenue in Hampton. The next meeting is Sunday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend the book group meeting and it is not necessary to read the book to join the discussion. Tosiano will offer traditional Christmas cookies.

 

Jingle Bell Express

The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire (6 Washington St., Dover) will present its annual Jingle Bell Express events on Saturday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 15, with sessions from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. During each session, guests take C&J’s double-decker bus to the Cochecho Country Club to hear a reading of The Polar Express. The cost is $25 per person; kids under 2 years old receive free admission. Visit childrens-museum.org or call 742-2002.

 

Decorating contest

The Seabrook Recreation Department will hold this year’s Annual Holiday House Decorating Contest at the town’s Community Center (311 Lafayette Rd, Seabrook) from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, where judging will commence. This year’s winners will be announced Friday, Dec. 14. Bakers of all ages are welcome to submit their entries at no charge. To register for this year’s competition, visit the Seabrook Recreation Department website.

Andrew’s Adventure: Woodsman Museum

 

Where I went: The Woodman Museum at 182 Central Avenue in Dover, woodmanmuseum.org, 603-742-1038

What it is: The Woodman Museum is an early-20th-century-style natural science, history and art museum located along the main road of Dover. The museum was founded in 1916 and consists of four buildings: the main Woodman House, the Hale House, the William Damm Garrison and the Keefe House, all filled with a wide variety of exhibits, artifacts and galleries for all ages. Some examples of what can be found at the Woodman Museum include colonial artifacts, a mineral, shell and fossil gallery, mounted animal specimens, fine art and furniture, military history, local history objects and more. The museum is open from mid-March to mid-December, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the museum costs $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $9 for college and high school students and active military and $7 for children.

What I did: I parked along Central Avenue before venturing into the Woodman’s main building just after the museum opened. There, I was greeted by the staff and was led into the first room of the museum with my guide.

I was introduced to the Woodman’s array of the classic inspirations behind today’s most popular phone applications. This rotational exhibit was established in an attempt to emphasize the importance of remembering the inspirations behind these modern-day conveniences. Devices such as classic telephones, old film cameras, vintage typewriters, flashlights, maps of Dover, and various projection technology all stood lining the walls of the Foster Room and worked to show just how far appliances have come over the years.

The next stop on the tour was a room that featured significant historical influences that led to the founding of Dover, as well as an homage to President Lincoln and his ties with the Granite State.

Following the introduction of the room and a brief overview of what else can be expected through the exploration of the Woodman House, I was left to my own devices and allowed to explore at my own leisure. I was awestruck at the vastness of the rest of the Woodman House, not having realized that the museum would be made up of three floors of diverse and interesting artifacts and exhibits.

From the works of a local taxidermist and his displays of a massive polar bear, moose, bison, wolf, fish, birds and more, to perfectly preserved Native American memorabilia, I saw just how much fascinating and significant historical regalia was held within the Woodman.

I traveled throughout the three floors, making sure to check every room so as not to miss anything before making my way back downstairs. There, I was told that the Woodman House is actually only one of four buildings on the Woodman Museum campus.

Before I ventured with my guide to the other houses around the museum grounds, we made a stop in the mineral room, which is home to over 1,300 samples from around the Seacoast and the rest of the world as well as a fluorescent mineral display.

The two of us then ventured to the Damm Garrison home, which is one of only a few remaining authentic colonial-era garrisons, which has since been relocated from the back river district of Dover. There, we got a taste of what life was like back in the 1600s, including wood-burning fireplaces, rifle peepholes and other necessities of early colonial living, laid out as they were hundreds of years ago.

From there, we traveled to the Hale House, the third of four buildings. It was filled with rows of displays, categorized by various themes. Traveling up the stairs, we were witness to the high-society standards of colonial-era living with various rooms set up to replicate how an upper-class home might have been designed in the colonial era.

With the fourth building acting as an active art gallery, and with limited time, we concluded our tour. With so much to do and such variety between all of the exhibits, it was difficult to see everything during my adventure to the Woodman Museum, but I will be returning to ensure that I did not miss out on any of the full Woodman experience.

Who else would enjoy this: I learned the hard way that the Woodman Museum is not your average museum. With so much to see and so many places to explore, and under the guidance of a knowledgeable staff, those looking to visit the museum should set aside a solid three to four hours if they wish to truly take in everything that the Woodman has to offer. Each of the four buildings will take about an hour to thoroughly explore, according to my guide. Aside from the time required to take in all of the museum’s bounties, there is something for everyone within its walls: beautifully preserved animals from alligators to butterflies, an extensive rock and mineral collection and rooms for all of the American wars, as well as a relocated colonial garrison home and replications of high-society living. The entrances to the buildings have ramps to accommodate those who have a difficult time with stairs, although the upper levels of each of the buildings will be difficult to manage, but the museum staff notes that they do their best to accommodate individual needs.

Andrew Clay

Featured photo: Woodsman Museum by Andrew Clay.

 

Horsing Around: Local Author Pens Children’s Book

Like many girls growing up, Diane Robbins Jones of Rye was struck with a strong passion to be a horse owner, so much so that she would scour the want ad section of local papers to find the cheapest horses available before giving a weekly pitch to her parents.

A variety of reasons, however, ensured that Jones’ dream was not meant to pan out as she hoped. But as she grew up, left the Seacoast to go to college and eventually moved to Boston for work, her equine love never wavered. Jones would often find herself at various ranches whenever the opportunity presented itself, although she never took any formal riding lessons. This was the case until a new job allowed her to return to Portsmouth, where she found herself living a mile down the road from a local stable.

“If I can’t take a riding lesson now,” she said, ”then there’s something wrong with me.”

This is when she met Rudy.

“I was taking lessons, noticed him and thought, ‘Oh, wow, what a cool horse,’” said Jones.

Rudy, at the time, was under his third ownership and was well-known around the stable as being a charismatic and immensely lovable horse but still in the very early stages of training and with a bit of a trust issue. But he was for sale, and Jones was enamored. After leasing Rudy for three months, she finalized the purchase and began what she would later refer to as the greatest challenge and greatest joy of her life.

“It took into my third year for Rudy and I to really bond and begin to trust. I started thinking about Rudy’s life. I’m his fourth owner in 10 years and he had been bounced around. People weren’t committed to him. No wonder he doesn’t want to trust a human,” Jones said. “I began drawing this parallel and the more I worked with Rudy, the more I started having this thought of how there are a lot of kids out there who are going through similar things. The book began writing itself.”

After two years of writing, Rudy – A Big Horse with a Big Heart was published Nov. 21.

“His story needs to be out there and I think this is going to be something that is relatable to kids,” said Jones.
The book’s narration is told through the otherwise silent perspective of the horse.

“In terms of being abandoned by a parent or feeling frustrated but not having a voice, I wanted to write something that a kid could relate to by having Rudy show his feelings about the stuff that was happening in his life,” she said.
Rudy – A Big Horse with a Big Heart
was also written with the intent of teaching children the importance of commitment and what it really takes to train a horse.

“There have been times where I thought about the idea of maybe this horse isn’t the right one for me, maybe I don’t have the skills to bring him where he needs to be. There are times when I get nervous; he’s a big, huge horse,” she said. “Any of your weaknesses as a human get picked up and magnified by the horse. It really shows you things about yourself. The process was not at all what I was expecting. It’s a lot easier to be friends with a human than a horse, but it really is rewarding.”

Jones has some advice for aspiring horse owners.

“If you’re going to do this, you have to be all in,” said Jones. “You need to realize that horses are a living, breathing being that have basic emotion. It’s not all about what you want to do — it’s a partnership. You need to have that partnership with your horse for you to really be able to bond.”

On top of highlighting the true adventures and hijinks that Rudy has wound up in over the years, Rudy – A Big Horse with a Big Heart also includes an educational glossary of horse terms related to riding, care and anatomy, as well as horse facts. Full-page watercolor illustrations were painted by local artist Karen Busch Holman.

“Karen is amazing. My book is her 15th children’s book and she has five more coming out in 2019. The illustrations and her attention to detail are just so great,” she said.

For more information on Jones’ book Rudy – A Big Horse with a Big Heart, the latest information on local book signings, readings, and access to the book, visit Facebook at Rudy the Rudster or Instagram at rudy.therudster.

— Andrew Clay

Featured photo: Diane Robbins Jones with Rudy. Courtesy photo.

Window Into Art: Seascape Creations owner gives lessons in Salisbury

Waves crashing into snow-covered beaches and the brisk chill sweeping in from the Atlantic Ocean provide the perfect backdrop for the artistic expression of the New England Seacoast. This is what drew Julie Gordon, owner and founder of Seascape Creations, to start giving window art lessons around the coast.

“It’s just a great way to celebrate living by the shore and that’s what makes it unique,” she said. “A lot of people have their own collections of sea glass sitting in jars in their homes I wanted a way to better display them. Windows are perfect. The ocean becomes your canvas and it allows you to capture and recreate the beauty and movement of the sea. It’s a way to celebrate living and playing by the sea.”
Gordon will be at The Seaglass Restaurant in Salisbury Monday, Nov. 26, from 7 to 9 p.m. conducting a workshop that will help guests create sea- and holiday-themed 8”x10” seascape windows. Guests are invited to bring their own memorabilia or use the pieces provided to create their own decorative window.

Give your art to a loved one this holiday season or keep it for yourself as a new festive decoration, said Gordon.

“Some people come with the intent of making a gift for someone special. What happens then is that they end up wanting to keep it for themselves, but they do make really nice and unique gifts,” she said. “Some people end up keeping them for themselves and use them as holiday décor, and some tell me that they keep their pieces up year-round just because they just love looking at them.”
Templates will be provided to help spark ideas, but Gordon urges that the real inspiration typically comes from the waves rolling up to the side of the Seashell Restaurant, or the sunset over the Atlantic.

“Seaglass was one of the very first venues we started offering on the list and it’s one of my very favorite places to teach because of the ocean setting — it’s really inspiring,” she said. “It’s just a perfect place for people to relax, take a break and create something beautiful that’s made from nature. It’s such an inspiring atmosphere because you’re surrounded by the ocean.”
The lessons are available for all ages, and Gordon notes that the best work often comes from the youngest children and those who go about their work uninhibitedly.

“You don’t have to be artistic, that’s the nice thing because everything you’re working with is already beautiful,” said Gordon. “There’s no step-by-step complicated directions that you need to follow. We provide guidance and support, but in the end, you’ll be guiding yourself.”
Gordon believes that art is personal in nature, so she is there only to provide assistance when called upon. Gordon wants guests to be as hands-on and independent as possible when creating their pieces.

“It allows people to create what they want to create. They get to create the way that they want to create. In my opinion, that’s how art should be,” she said. “Guests will essentially create their piece from start to finish.”

Gordon says that in the four years of teaching she has never seen a piece that hasn’t come out beautifully.

“We don’t let people leave unless they’re absolutely thrilled with their art,” she said. “People end up being really surprised and thrilled and proud of their creations.”
Following the lesson, guests will be sent home with their window and a simple curing kit to complete and solidify their piece.

“The reason we don’t do it there is because it takes 24 hours to cure where it should be left undisturbed so it’s best if they do it at home,” said Gordon. “That part is super easy to do. We give them the kit, we explain it to them before they leave, there are instructions in the kit and they can call us if they have any questions but we’ve never had anybody have any problems.”

The workshop costs $50 per person and includes $5 off a Seaglass meal ordered while attending the lesson. For more information on Seascape Creation workshops, or to sign up for one of your own, visit seascapecreations.com.

— Andrew Clay

Andrew’s Adventere: Wagon Hill Farm

 

Where I went: Durham’s Wagon Hill Farm at 156 Piscataqua Road.

What it is: Wagon Hill Farm is 139 acres of open, rolling hilled land owned by the Town of Durham that is free and open to the public for year-round recreation from dawn to dusk. With the recognizable and signature wooden wagon perched atop the peak of the park’s tallest hill overlooking Route 4, the farm has become a landmark in the Seacoast for its historical and recreational significance. The farm is now used recreationally and is home to many hiking trails, kayaking, dog-walking, sledding, snowshoeing and more.

What I did: When I was a child, my family would take trips to Maine to spend the day in York and I remember looking out the window along Route 4 as my parents pointed out the wagon atop the hill. Years ago my sister gave my father a painting that she made of what we always called “the wagon in Durham.” For as much as the sight of the wagon on the hill has been imprinted in my mind over the years, I have never had the opportunity to spend the day adventuring around the land on which it is representing. It has always been on my bucket list and I figured that now was as good a time as any to explore the protected land.

I pulled up the gravel hill and parked my car in the small parking lot off to the side of the wagon before making my way over to the landmark itself. The wagon is nothing more than just that, a wagon, although it is more about what the wagon represents that makes it so significant, in my mind. The historic wagon seems to encapsulate the overall mission of the farm; it radiates and projects the ideals of preservation, conservation, history and fun.

Continuing along the trail past the wagon, I was genuinely struck at the beauty of the land. The perch provides the perfect view of the back of the farm that you can’t see from Route 4 because it’s hidden by the hill. The rolling hills of freshly mowed farmland were wide and open and interrupted only by the treeline connecting the shoreline of the Great Bay to the farm.

The trail ran off to the side of the park and down toward the water before turning to circle just before the treeline that stood guarding the water. I ventured down the small side trail leading to the beach before finding myself shin-deep in mud along the shoreline from the recent rains and morning frost. Undeterred, I continued onto the beach to admire the view of the inlet. Heading back to the main trail, and making sure to avoid the wet ground, I continued my trek along the main trail of the farm.

I followed the main trail along the tree and shoreline over a bridge across a small stream feeding into the bay before making my way to the farm’s beach. There, families were running up and down the grassy picnic area behind the water, and a father and son were skipping rocks and searching for crabs along the beach. With the sun coming out and warming the previously freezing air, I headed back to my car, finishing the main loop back to the top of the hill toward the parking lot. Along the path to complete my journey, I passed a community garden as well as the old farmhouse and other families enjoying the beautiful weather and breathtaking scenery.

With so much to do at Wagon Hill Farm, I knew going into the adventure that there was no way that I was going to be able to do it all in one day, so I settled for circling the main loop around the farm. Looking back, there is so much that I have yet to do. From wandering the smaller trails between and around the property to walking my dog, as well as coming back in the winter for snowshoeing and sledding, there is much left to be done at Wagon Hill Farm.

Who else would enjoy this: Over the years, Wagon Hill Farm has become the go-to spot for winter sledding. With hills as far as the eye can see and wide open spaces, the park is the perfect location to visit in the winter. But it is far more than a good place to spend a winter’s day. The incredible views and preserved lands that act as home to many rare and endangered wildlife throughout the state is the perfect place to hike with family, friends or dogs or by yourself. It is also a nice place to swim, boat and walk amongst apple orchards during the fall, and the trails provide plenty of variety. Some trails cut through the woods, while others are pressed grass, and some are graveled to allow for easy access to those who might have a hard time navigating up and down potentially wet or slippery hills. There are bird-, butterfly- and general nature-watching options for those looking to sit and admire the local wildlife, and the landscapes offer plenty for aspiring artists to brush onto canvas. At the end of the day, my photos do not do Wagon Hill Farm justice in trying to display the beauty of this preserved land, and I would highly suggest taking the time to see for yourself why it is that Wagon Hill Farm has become a landmark along the Seacoast.

 

–Andrew Clay

4 Shore Things: November 22 – December 5

Sip N Shop

The Hampton Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Sip N Shop event on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 2:45 to 6 p.m. Board a passenger van at CR’s Restaurant and visit Smoky Quartz, Tall Ship, Wiggly Bridge and CR’s. The cost is $50 per person and includes the tour, tastings and an appetizer or dessert at CR’s. Ticket sales end Nov. 25; email colleen@hamptonchamber.com to reserve your tickets.

Historical account

The New Hampshire Theatre Project presents Jaclyn Backhaus’ Men on Boats now through Dec. 2, with showtimes on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., at the West End Studio Theater (959 Islington St., Portsmouth). Men on Boats tells the tale of John Wesley Powell’s famous 1869 expedition down the Colorado River into the Grand Canyon. It is historically accurate, even using direct quotes from Powell’s lyrical journal descriptions, but the twist is that all of the men in Powell’s crew are portrayed by female actors. Tickets cost $30 for adults and $26 for students and seniors. Visit nhtheatreproject.org or call 431-6644. Courtesy photo.

Mixed media and paper cuttings

“Rock/Paper/Scissors,” an exhibition featuring the work of Juliet Karelsen and Dylan Metrano, will be on display at 3S Artspace (319 Vaughan St., Portsmouth) Nov. 23 through Dec. 30, with an opening reception on Friday, Nov. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. Karelsen’s work includes a miniature 3D environment called “Universal Forest” which incorporates painting, embroidery, fantasy and science. She was exclusively a painter until a couple years ago, when she made the shift to mixed media. Metrano’s work includes layered paper cuttings depicting animals, the Maine landscape and portraits. He is especially drawn to birds. Visit 3sarts.org or call 766-3330. Courtesy image.

Culinary expeditions

Longtime television chef and author Mary Ann Esposito has made more than 50 trips to Italy, traveling across all 20 regions of the country. Now, Esposito is back in the Granite State to tell the story of her culinary expeditions through a new combination memoir and cookbook.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy, Esposito’s 13th book, took her more two years to write. The University of New Hampshire graduate will be holding a Q&A session Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon to 2 p.m. at Water Street Bookstore, 125 Water St., Exeter. Visit waterstreetbooks.com or call 778-9731.

4 Shore Things: November 8-22

Books and baked goods

The Friends of the Lane Memorial Library will be kicking off November with their annual Winter Wonderland Community Craft Fair and Bake Sale on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All baked goods for the bake sale are homemade, local treats provided by donation from generous community members. It’s also time to stock up on books for cozy winter reading. The book sale is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15, through Saturday, Nov. 17 at the library, located on Academy Avenue in Hampton. This three-day event, which is open to the public, will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday; from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday; and 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday. For more information about the Friends or the upcoming book sale, visit lanelibraryfriends.org.

 

Kids can cook

Do you have a budding chef at home? Mini Iron Chef, held Saturday, Nov. 17, 10:15-11:30 a.m. at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover, allows kids to step up to the plate and make their own delicious dish with the help of their adult sous chef! This year’s theme is Food Art – Sculpture Edition – create a beautiful 3D work of art using food! This event is for kids ages 5+, and an accompanying adult. The price per adult/child pair is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Fee does not include museum admission and no extra adults (due to space constraints). Visit childrens-museum.org to sign up or learn more.

 

Prison talk

The Hampton Falls Free Library hosts local author Katy Kramer on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m. Katy Kramer is the author of Portsmouth Naval Prison. The Portsmouth Naval Prison, now vacant, sits at the far end of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey Island on the Maine and New Hampshire border. Sometimes referred to as “The Castle” or “The Roc,” the former Portsmouth Naval Prison has long fascinated residents and visitors. Kramer will show many rarely seen photographs, recount the actual history, dispel myths and answer questions. The program is free and open to the public. Visit hamptonfallslibrary.org or call 926-3682.

 

Remember Hampton

This spring, the Tuck Museum opened a Hampton souvenir china exhibit as part of its celebration of Hampton’s 380th anniversary. On Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m., get an overview of the exhibit and discuss the history of Hampton souvenir china. All are invited to attend the free event at the Tuck Museum, 40 Park Avenue, Hampton.

“Currently, more than 130 pieces are on display, showing tourist attractions and town buildings on objects that were used, from holding hatpins and hair to hot chocolate,” museum director Betty Moore said. “We even have a child’s tea set with a Hampton Beach motif.”