Category Archives: new hampshire

Prescott Park Gardens (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available on Old Bay St and Marcy St.  There is also a lot on Old Bay St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: fountains, flowers, plants, trees, family friendly

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Portsmouth is known for its beautiful places.  So, it’s no big surprise when you come across a scenic view or a pitcuresque downtown area.  What is more unusual is a beautiful garden in a public setting.  Well, Prescott Park Gardens certainly seems to fit the bill.

Considered part of Prescott Park, Prescott Park Gardens is located next to the main garden at Prescott Park.

Even though it is only  a small area, the garden at Prescott Park is overflowing with colors and beauty.  Despite all of the trees, flowers and fountains and the high volume of visitors, it didn’t seemed cramped there. Even with the dizzying array of flowers, the park still seems quaint and understated.  I can only imagine how peaceful it must feel there when it’s not a busy time of day.

 

Despite the huge crowds it attracts, the park is kept in pristine condition.

 

The fountains at the garden give the area a serene feel.  Just watching the water and listening to the calming, rhythmic sounds of the water splashing is soothing.

 

Some people found some creative ways to cool down at the garden.

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Below is a video of the garden at Prescott Park.

Today’s featured link is Don Gargano’s photography website.  Don primarily shoots in the Portsmouth and New Castle, New Hampshire areas as well as Maine.  I have followed him for some time on Facebook and you can check out his page here.  Coincidentally, he has a photo of the garden at Prescott Park on his profile page!


Prescott Park (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a parking lot located on Old Bay St as well as street parking throughout the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Website: Prescott Park

Highlights: flowers and plants, scenic, family friendly

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Bursting with color and fragrances, Prescott Park is sure to impress even those with the faintest of green thumbs.

A gift from Sarah and Josie Prescott in 1940, Prescott Park has come a long way from its industrial beginnings.   The highlight of the park, at least during the summer, has to be the garden that sits at the entrance by Old Bay St and Marcy St.  But, Prescott Park has more than just flowers there.

Prescott Park is much more than the garden that I focused on during my visit.  In fact, it is such a big area that they hold concerts with such popular artists as Aaron Neville and Valerie June and other events at the park.  During my visit they were holding a children’s party where a play was being performed.

 

 

There are two memorials at Prescott Park.  The first memorial is a fountain which is dedicated to  a fountain dedicated to Charles Emerson Hovey, an Ensign in the United States Navy and Portsmouth, NH native, who was killed in action on September 24, 1911.

 

 

The next memorial is less obvious.  A sign and anchor stand in front of the prominent flower bed at the front of the garden.

 

 

The sign in front of the flower bed states “A Salute To An Ordinary Hero.”  This “ordinary hero” was Billy Juse, a New Hampshire native, who died in an underground tunnel while he was working on the Deer Island Project during the 1990’s.  He was 34.  Since he and another coworker, Tim Nordeen, died on the same day John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s body was recovered, his story was overlooked in the news.  One solemn reminder remains in the park.

There are also view of the Piscataqua River, a popular spot for boating and kayaking.

 

 

There are benches, art and pretty trees and flowers on the way to the garden at Prescott Park.

 

 

Prescott Park has a variety of beautiful and colorful plants and flowers.  Since we’ve had so much rain and

 

 

The flowers ranged from the common to the unique.

 

 

To the left in the photo is Pelargonium Geranium Timeless Orange (yeah they look red to me as well),  To the right is the Pelargonium Geranium Timeless Pink.  Yeah, I know all of the types of flowers in the world.  Kidding.  They all had their names neatly written on them on cards by the flower beds.

Now for the truly scary part of the tour. The dinosaurs have invaded Prescott Park.  This is a great way to get kids interested and involved in viewing the flowers and plants at Prescott.  I

 

 

Sadly, dogs are not allowed at the flower garden area of Prescott Park.  But, I did see lots of dogs like Teddy, a 10 year old Pomeranian,  passing by on Old Bay Street which is next to the flower garden.

 

 

Today’s featured link is a link to an article that appeared in the Boston Globe magazine about the tragedy on the Deer Island Project in which Billy Juse and some of his co workers perished: Deer Island Tragedy

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Tuck Museum (Hampton, NH)

Date Of Visit: June 16, 2017

Location:40 Park Avenue, Hampton, NH (about 1 hour north of Boston, MA and 45 minutes east of Manchester, NH)

Hours: Spring / Summer / Fall Museum Hours
Sunday, Wednesday, Friday
1 to 4pm

Winter Museum Hours
January, February, and March
Wednesday, Friday
1 to 4pm
Sunday by appointment

Cost: Free but donations are appreciated

Parking: There is parking available at the side entrance of the building.  There is also additional parking behind the building.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes (thanks to Ryan Lamers)

Highlights: historical artifacts, memorials

Website: Tuck Museum Complex

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Who knew Hampton had so much history?  That is what many visitors think when they leave the Tuck Museum in Hampton, NH.

But, it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that so much history.  After all, it is one of the oldest settled areas of New Hampshire having been settled in 1638.

It’s also surprising that a small museum can have so much historical items and stories.  Upon entering the museum, you will most likely notice some of the historical articles from many years ago.  One of the main features is are the items from the defunct railway that ran to Hampton.

There are also two mannequins dressed in old military clothing from an earlier era.  This is a preview of an exhibit I will discuss later in this post.

The Tuck Museum is considered a “museum complex” because it has several structures and memorials on its land.  Guided tours are given to all of these buildings by the very knowledgeable staff.

The first place our guide took us to was the fire fighter building which had older firefighting equipment and vehicles.  It’s hard to believe , but true, that some of these vehicles were moved by humans, not horses, in the early days of the fire department in Hampton.  It is fitting since the fire department still remains the same – physically go and save lives, despite all of the technological advancements they have made.  It still boils down to the one constant – the brave men and women who work in that profession everyday.

You may notice the name Winnacunnet on the fire engine pictured above.  That used to be the name of Hampton (more specifically it was called Plantation of Winnacunnet) because of the pine trees in the area (Winnacunnet translates to “beautiful place of pines”).  A high school and street in the Hampton area still bear this name.

The next building we went to on the property of the Tuck Museum complex was the barn which contained many of the machines, tools and equipment the people used to farm the land and conduct the everyday chores of the settlers of Hampton.  Everything from fishing equipment, agricultural devices to a shoe cobbler’s counter were housed in this barn.  Each of these devices has a story and history behind it.

It would take too long and take up too much space to explain each one.  But, if you do go on the tour at the museum the tour guide will keep you entertained with various anecdotes and fun facts about these machines and tools.  One fun fact you can impress your friends and hot dates with at dinner parties is that when cobblers made shoes there was only one shape to them so you could wear any shoe on any foot.  I was joking – please don’t tell anyone that on a date.

There is also a special military exhibit dedicated to the people connected to Hampton, NH.  Included in this exhibit are letters from people serving that have been donated on a temporary basis from family and friends of those who served abroad during wartime.  One of the storiees that stood out to me from my visit to this memorial was the story of Hampton residentof Lt. Rita Palmer and the Angels of Bataan.

The final room of the museum (I told you it was surprisingly big) was a room with household items and some of the luxuries of the early settlers of the area.

The framed work of art pictured above was made of human hair (does that make it a bona-fide “hair loom”?).

There are also some replicas of beach houses that used to dot the landscape of the Hampton area on the grounds.  Since it was raining outside, I was unable to get to them without getting my camera equipment wet, unfortunately.

Hampton has a rather obscure dark side in the form of a witch, Eunice “Goody” Cole.  Eunice Cole was the only woman convicted of witchcraft in Hampton, NH (although many others have been casually accused of being one I am sure).

After being released from indentured servitude, her husband and she settled in Mount Wollaston (now Quincy, MA) and they eventually made their way to Hampton, NH.  Since they did not have children (they were both beyond child bearing age) and some other characteristics of her that were considered unusual at the time, she must have been a witch.  Of course.  She was actually accused of witchcraft several times.  the first time she was convicted of witchcraft was in 1660.  She served 2 years in prison and was sentenced again for a number of years in 1668.  She was also found not guilty of witchcraft when she was tried in 1673.  And I thought we were litigious these days.

Eventually, Goody Cole was absolved of her accused crime of witchcraft on March 8, 1938.  The citizens passed a resolution restoring Eunice “Goody” Cole to her rightful place as a citizen of Hampton. The city went as far as to burn copies of all her court documents,  The burned documenst were said to be mixed with soil from her last home and reputed resting place and buried.  However, it was actually given to the Tuck Museum.

This brings me to the last few photos of the museum and its grounds.  Inside the museum there are some replicas of Goody Cole.

On the grounds of the museum is a memorial without her name or any other marking.  In fact, if you did not know the story about Eunice Cole you may just pass by it none the wiser. The marker was erected by Harold Fernald, a teacher and part time police officer from Hampton.  The stone is said to be from the location of Eunice Cole’s property.

As an aside, the North Shore paranormal Group and some other paranormal groups have done ghost hunting on the premises with what they considered convincing results that some paranormal activity occurred.  The fact the museum is located right across the street from a graveyard, mixed with the Goody Cole history, has added to the theories of paranormal activity.  Admittedly, I saw some unusual things during my stay in hampton.  But, it was mostly at the beach.

Another memorial on the grounds of Tuck Museum is dedicated to Thorvald, the brother of Viking explorer Leif Erickson and son of Erik the Red.  However, this memorial has more of a controversial past as some believe it was just a rock put there by Judge Charles A. lamprey to increase the value of land that he was developing for beach cottages in 1902.  Whatever the true story behind the rock, it has become a popular tourist attraction.

The grounds of the museum are well kept and worth strolling by even if you don’t venture into the museum.

marylizstyles is a fellow New England blogger who specializes in the fashion blogging genre.  Read a post about her recent dude that’s so nautical fashion adventure in Hampton, NH.


17th Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic (Hampton Beach, NH)

Dates of Event: June 15 – June 17, 2017 (sculptures on display until June 28)

Location: 180 Ocean Blvd, Hampton Beach, NH

Cost: Free

Parking:

Effective May 1st – $2 per hour public parking. Pay at Pay Station and Must display receipt visibly on dashboard.

Handicap Parking – Handicap parking is available in any legal metered parking spot providing you have a Handicap Plate or a Hanging Handicap Tag hanging, or visible, in your front window.

There are also several parking lots (ranging from $5 to $20 a day) throughout the Hampton Beach area.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Sand sculptures by master sand sculptures

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Rain and chilly temperatures did not prevent master sand sculptors from playing in the sand last weekend at Hampton Beach.

The 17th annual sand sculpting competition attracted master sand sculptors from all over  the globe.  In case you missed the sculpting event, you can still view the sculptures until June 28 and they light the area at night so you can view them day or night.

Although all of the sculptures were worthy, only one could be crowned the champion.

First place went to Melineige Beauregard from Montreal Canada.  Beauregard’s sculpture is called “Dance of the Undefined.”  Melineige said her sculpture represents how we are constantly changing and yet some aspects of us stay the same.

Second place went to Abe Waterman from Prince Edward Island for his sculpture, “Get Out Of The Box.”  He also won the “Sculptor’s Choice Award” as well as my vote!  It had rained heavily the night before the sculptures were scheduled to be completed and, even though the sand is capable of withstanding some degree of inclement weather, his sculpture almost collapsed.  You can see a “crack” or line in his sculpture which was caused by the heavy rains.

Karen Fralich, of Toronto, Canada, took third place with “Tiny Warrior.”

David Andrews of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, nabbed fourth place with “Hands Of Fate.”

Fifth place was awarded to Carl D. Jara of  for “I Can’t Get This Out Of My Mind.”

The People’s Choice Award was won by Michel LePire of Quebec for “Seduction.” This was Michel’s last sand sculpting competition as he is retiring.  he certainly went out with a bang!

Although they did not place, the rest of the sculptures were very creative and stunning.  It must have been very hard for the judges to decide on the winners.

Justin Gordon, of Groveland, MA, created his sculpture, “Gazing Life Beyond”, as a tribute to his mother in the afterlife.  Even though some of the other sand sculptures may have been more pleasing visually, I think Justin’s sentiment best.

Marc Lepire, of Quebec, dedicated his sculpture, “Grand Slam”,  to his children and all fans of baseball.  Can you tell by the number and team of the player who the person in the sculpture is?

Joris Kivits of the Netherlands sculpted Horizontalism.

New Hampshire resident Greg Hardy created he sculpture, “What A Lovely Way To Say You Love Me.”

 

There were also the sand sculptures of the sponsors of the event and a special sculpture dedicated to the New England sports fans!

As usual, there were lots of dogs at Hampton Beach to view this dog friendly event.

Vito (on the left) is a 10 year old Akita.  Vivian (on the right) is a 9 month old Akita.  Their fur was so soft!

Apollo, a 3 year old German Shepherd, is a gentle giant.

Zuzu, an 11 year old Beagle who was named after “Zuzu” from “it’s A Wonderful Life”, had her own wagon ride!

Bella, a 1 and a half year old Chihuahua, was all dressed up for her visit to the beach.

Roxy, an 8 year old English Pointer, is a sweetie.

Micky, a 7 month Apso Shih Tzu (also known as a Shih Apso), posed so well for me.

Tinkerbell, a 9 year old Yorkie, cooled off by a puddle.

Until next year, Hampton Beach!  Okay, maybe sooner than that.


Kites Against Cancer (Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH)

Date Of Event: May 21, 2017

Location: Hampton Beach, 115 Ocean Blvd.
Hampton Beach, NH

Cost: Free

Parking:

April 1 through April 30 – Pay and Display parking is in effect. $1.00 per hour between 8AM – Midnight. Midnight – 8AM Parking is free. Effective 2013 – Pay and Display. You must now return to your vehicle and display the receipt from the pay station in your dashboard. If you do not have a receipt displayed you will be fined.

Effective May 1st – $2 per hour public parking. Pay at Pay Station and Must display receipt visibly on dashboard.

Effective Nov. 4th, 2012 – Free parking begins. (Subject to change).

Winter Parking Ban – Nov. 15th, 2013 – April 1st, 2013 No On Street Parking between 12AM – 7AM. Be aware.

Handicap Parking – Handicap parking is available in any legal metered parking spot providing you have a Handicap Plate or a Hanging Handicap Tag hanging, or visible, in your front window.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: kites, fund raiser for cancer awareness, face painting, family friendly and dog friendly

Website: Kites Against Cancer

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If you were in the Hampton, New Hampshire area last weekend, those weren’t space ships or dragons you thought you saw in the sky. No, it was the 9th annual Kites Against Cancer charity event at Hampton Beach, NH.  People from all over New England stopped by the beach to fly their kites and help a good cause.

Kites were provided or you could bring your own kite.  There were also kite decorating stations for you to personalize your own kite.  One of the participants, Miss Hampton Beach 2016 (Brooke Riley of Lowell, MA), decorated her kite with the names of relatives who had cancer at one point of their lives.

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Carrie Shaw, advancement officer at Exeter Hospital and the organizer of the event, said they expected 1,000 visitors for the event. Based on the crowds I saw there I am sure there were more than that throughout the course of the day.

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Carrie was inspired by her sister, Anne-Marie Viviano, who passed away from cancer.  In 2002, Anne-Marie had created a charity called Beyond The Rainbow which was designed to help patients pay their bills and meet other financial obligations.  After her sister passed, Carried dedicated herself to continuing this charitable endeavor.  The Kites Against Cancer event is one of the events that helps raise funds for the Beyond The Rainbow charity.

As I watched the sun seekers flying their kites, it was heart warming to see people of all backgrounds and walks of life enjoying themselves.

But some people seemed more interested in the sand and water.

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The types of kites being flown were just as diverse as the people flying them.

There were also vendors at the event such as DeNutte’s Delights.  DeNutte’s Delights produces $1,000 of goods to sell with all of the proceeds going to the Kites Against Cancer charity.  Whatever goods they do not sell at the event are donated to the charity.  Try the “Monkey Farts.”  Yes, that is an actual scent name of a product they sell.

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Carrie has made Kites Against Cancer an annual event that has grown bigger and bigger each year.  This year’s event included face painting, a balloon shaping artist, a card which people could sign in memory of those who have been lost to or survived cancer as well as music and speeches by special guests.  There were also an estimated 50 to 60 volunteers helping to make sure the event off smoothly, according to Carrie.

Kites Against Cancer is also a dog friendly event.

Scout is a 3 year old Yellow Lab.

Tryton is a 14 month old mini Schnauzer.

Noah is an 11 year old Pomeranian.  He was wearing his special sweater for the event.

Rosie is a 15 week old English Bulldog

If you missed this year’s event, you can attend next year but you want to support this cause or if you want learn more about the Beyond The Rainbow Fund, click on the link below:

Beyond The Rainbow

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Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke (Portsmouth, NH)

 

 

Dates Of Event: December 3-18 (weekends only), photos taken December 10, 2016

Location: Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock Street
Portsmouth, NH)

Hours: Saturdays, 5-9 pm. Sundays, 4-8 pm

Cost: Tickets are $25/adults, $12.50/children (ages 5-17), and $60/family (covers 2 adults + 2 children age 5-17). Children under 5, free. Active duty military and their families, and veterans, free. Group and corporate rates are available

Parking: There are about 100 parking spots in the lot which fill up quickly.  The besgt bet is to park at one of the lots nearby (there are a couple on Court St within walking distance) or ake the Vintage Christmas Trolley

Handicapped Accessible: The main trail is but some of the houses are not handicapped accessible as they do not have ramps

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: living history museum, ice skating rink, horse drawn carriage rides, musical entertainment, family friendly

Web Site: Strawbery Banke Candlelight Stroll

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Christmas in New England was once very different than the Christmas we celebrate these days.  The actors at the living history museum do their best to recreate  the life of Christmas during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

The festivites begin with a candlelight stroll in the Portsmouth neighbor.  We missed the candlelight stroll because we photographed the Nubble Lighthouse.

The houses are decorated with holiday decor and the actors explain what life was liked in colonial and post colonial America.  I love some of the little decorations that gave the museum a Christmassy feel.  It’s funny how a well place wreath or a colorful decoration can brighten up a room or doorway.

One of my favorite buildings is (of course) the old time candy shoope.  Candies, snacks and foods of all kinds are stocked on the shelves and you can even get some recipes for some of theese foods.

Another one of my favorite buildings was the lantern shop.  One of the lantern makers was at work when we visited the shoppe.  And, yes, all of the lanterns photographed were hand made and for sale.

In one of the houses, Mrs. Shapiro prepared a Hanukah celebration her 1919 Russian Jewish kitchen.

There was also a horse drawn carriage.

There is also musical entertainment at Strawbery Banke.  Carolers, a live band an a pianist are at Strawberry Banke.  If you’re lucky, they might even be serving hot apple cider like they were during our visit.

There is also an ice skating rink for skaters of all skill levels to enjoy.  The best part of the rink is when the living actors skate together (see video below).  The less experienced skaters can use “walkers” to help keep them on their feet which you may see in the video below.  A firepit is nearby to help keep the visitors warm.

Although dogs are not allowed at Starwbery Banke (service dogs may be an exception), we did see Meave, a 2 year old mixed breed dog.

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Below is a video ofsome of the skilled skaters at the living musuem.

 


Benson Park (Hudson, NH)

Date Of Visit: December 5, 2016

Location: 21 Kimball Hill Rd, Hudson, NH

Cost: Free

Hours: Open everyday dawn until dusk

Parking I saw about 50 or so spots in the parking lot area

Handicapped accessible: Yes, but not on the hiking trails

Dog Friendly: Yes

Size of park and trails: 160 acres, 3 mile loop

Highlights:  9/11 memorial, ponds, trails, birds, playground, wildlife, big and pretty trees, “Woman With The Shoe”, “The Gorilla House”

Formerly known as Benson’s Wild Animal Farm and later New England Playworld, Benson Park was once a vast zoo that entertained countless visitors with their animals and attractions.  The zoo may no longer be there but Benson Park still entertains visitors with its natural beauty.

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Benson Parkwas bought by the state of New Hampshire and then transferred to the town of Hudson in 1998.  It has since been converted to a play area and nature center.  However, some remnants of the zoo remain which you will see later in this post.

The trails at Benson Park are easywith a few inclines.

The park now boasts a 3 mile loop and several ponds and streams.  The ponds were partially frozen due to the cold weather and snow that was falling.  It created some interesting shapes on the ice.

The park is a wonderful place for birding.  There are a wide variety of birds at the park from egrets to much smaller birds like cardinals and robins.  Cute birdhouses are scattered throughout the park to attract birds.

It snowed earlier in the day and it was still snowing when I arrived at Benson Park.  The snow made the views at the park even prettier than usual.

I hope momma bird took her chicks out before all the snow.

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While I didn’t see any wildlife, I did see lots of evidence of them in the snow.  I would have loved to see just one of them up close.

The first thing you’ll notice as you enter Benson Park is the tasteful and somber September 11th memorial.  Since some of the planes involved in that fateful day left from Boston’s Logan International Airport, some families in New Hampshire were directly affected.  In fact, David Kovalcin, a resident of Hudson, was on Flight 11, the plane that crashed into the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

The memorial consists of several stone markers with the times and locations of each attack.  A clock with the accurate time of each attack is engraved at the top of each monument.  There is also a monument to each branch of the military that works to keep us safe.

There are benches surrounding the memorial to sit and reflect.

A steel beam from an elevator shaft at the World Trade Center is also at the memorial site.  The nine-ton beam is from an elevator shaft on the 21st floor of the North Tower.  Another bam stands next to it, representing the two towers at the site.

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On a happier note, just beyond the September 11 memorial, there is a play area for children.

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Just past the playground area is the “Gorilla House.”  Tony the Gorilla used to live in this cage when the park was a zoo.  The sign on the wall at the Gorilla House states that he used to watch tv and play in the Gorilla House when the area was a zoo.  But, I couldn’t feel anything but a little sad and bothered by it.  I know that is how we treat animals (which is a whole other issue for me) and he most likely was treated well enough.  But, I always find it bothersome to see a majestic animal like that confined in such a way.  The perspective you get from looking out through the bars from his view is poignant.  In any case, children enjoy playing inside the cage and I think Tony would have liked it that way.  A mural of what appears to be Tony is painted on the wall.

Fun fact: Colossus (aka Tony the Gorilla) ran for President against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980.  Rumor has it voters didn’t agree with his pro banana free trade stance.

Another fun attraction for children (or young at heart adults) is the Old Woman In The Shoe, baased on the nursery tale of the same name.  The attraction is actually considered a historical monument.  It’s slightly larger than my apartment.

Benson Park is a great place to take your dog.  I saw a bunch of cute dogs during my visit.

Kuma (Japanese for “bear”), a 10 month old Akita from Maine, had fun playing in the snow.

Issy (short for Isabel), a 1 year old Lab mix, posed perfectly for me!

On my way to my car I saw this cutie.  Daisy is a 4 year old Yellow Labrador.

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