Sunday, August 2, 2009

NH Sunday - Hampton Beach

Hampton Beach - I'll always remember it as fondly as a remember a New Hampshire summer. Sigh...
Did you know? New Hampshire has the smallest coastline in the USA - only 9 miles. Trust me, Rhode Island has much more. But Hampton Beach has a part of that coastline. It's a place many in the state flock to during the summer time and back in the mid to late 1970's, my family did too.
I'll always have fond memories of Hampton Beach. They also give me good memories of my family. Just like Bear Brook, my family would pack up the car, stuff the ice chest, pack the chairs and beach umbrellia and we were off. It took about an hour to get to Hampton Beach using the state highway. I think it was the 101 but I could be wrong. During the peak season in the summer time, I remember that traffic would get backed up leaving and arriving. My dad always wanted to leave early to get there and then stay late to avoid the "rush."
Of course my granny and grandpa would be there. Most of the times Auntie Sue was there with Uncle Gary, Emily & Matt. Uncle Mark or Uncle Rusty would come sometimes.
Ah, the 1970's. The world seemed carefree to a little butterfly like me, but even back then it was complicated. Fleetwood Mac rocked. Vietnam was just ending, and everyone believed that Jimmy Carter would be a great president. Poor Ford. Inflation was crazy, and drugs, well drugs were avaliable back then just like they are now.
We'd get to the beach, park, and usually we used the public parking. I remember the public parking was relatively inexpensive, but I could be wrong. Sometimes we used the parking lots for $5.00. We'd lug our stuff down to the beach and set up the chairs, blankets and beach umbrella. Sometimes we'd rent one.
After a cooler packed lunch it was time to play in the water. It was usually cold, but not umcomfortly so. We'd play frizbee. Auntie Sue and I would make sand castles or make holes in the sand and bury me in them. Sometimes we'd walk the rocks and look for starfish and lobsters. My dad liked to catch the lobsters.
Sometimes we'd walk the boardwalk and window shop, and get an ice cream. At the end of the day we'd wash off the sand and lug our stuff back to the car. It was fun watching the tide come and in out. And it always came in so quickly!
I loved riding the waves. I was a little fish back then.
In the early to mid 1990's, I had a couple of opportunities to go back to Hampton Beach. I took my husband one time. He thought the water was cold. It was hard for me to impart the love I had for the beach to him, and I don't think he every really understood the appeal of the beach. The memories, I suppose. How can I share happy memories when he wasn't really there? He does have a love for the beach, growing up an hour away from the Pacific and we both love the water, but even with that, he found little appealing about Hampton's shore or it's boardwalk. Maybe it was just too East Coast for him?
Anyway, I look forward to the day when I can take my boys, Andrew & Joe. And maybe share some memories with them. I'll have to dig into the photo album to see what I can find. Maybe Auntie Sue has some more photos...


  1. Once again, I think it's great that your extended family went with you. We really didn't go to the beach much, until I started going with friends as a teenager. John always went to York, Maine as a child instead.

  2. I went to York a couple of times, but when I was older with my mom and Ken and I didn't really appreciate it.

    Just this past weekend Brent's family had an extended weekend - they had a picnic. I couldn't believe how many people where there! Much more than my gatherings as a girl.