Saturday, June 16, 2012

New England Saturday - A day at Hampton Beach

I remember when I was a young girl in the 1970's I'd get very excited when my parents told me the family was going to Hampton Beach. Mind you, the New Hampshire coastline is not long, (it's the shortest state coastline in the U.S.) but I think it was the simple ambience of going to the beach that I loved.

My family would leave in the morning after packing picnic/lunches, towels, umbrellas, and sun tan lotion – along with my pails and shovels. What made the day really special though is meeting up with my granny, grandpa, Auntie Sue and the rest of my family. I loved riding the waves (even though the water was always cold!) scouring the rocks for muscles, crabs, and lobsters, building sandcastles, and playing on the playgrounds. Hampton Beach is full of fond memories, so any chance I have to visit, I always try.

Once I left NH and joined the Army, I definitely missed visiting the ocean. There's something about the water that is beautiful and in that beauty, calming and peaceful.

I've been back a handful of times and while the beach hasn't changed much in it's look and appearance, it certainly has gotten busier.

The Hampton Beach Village District formed in 1907 with the goal of providing electricity to the summer tourists.

In 1988, the chamber of commerce organized the Hampton Beach seafood festival. It's held the weekend after Labor Day to extend the summer season. The event helps local non-profits and has earned "One of the top 100 events in North America."

The chamber of commerce also sponsors a sand sculpting competition. Established in 2011, the contest starts 15 June and lasts until 23 June this year.

There's a lot more stuff to do and if you're in the area, you can visit for more info.

The last time I went to Hampton Beach was August 2010. It was bittersweet. My sister and son, Andrew, were with me. Andrew's a California boy, so I think he was a little homesick. He dipped his feet in the Atlantic Ocean, but that was it – he didn't dare to go further. He thought the waves would suck him in. Maybe next time I'll get him on the rocks to go crab hunting.

Question for you: I'd love to hear about your favorite beach. Drop me a line and share your memories. I'll pick one lucky winner to receive a PDF copy of my free read, Moonlight Sonata.


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