Sunday, October 25, 2015

Laconia, NH: For Fairy Dust-worthy Memories Then and Now

Laconia.... Weirs Beach... in my family, the name of those places drums up more nostalgia than any other place on earth. When I was young, we had a condominium in Laconia walking distance from major attractions, including our motor boat on Lake Winnipesaukee and Weirs Beach. (In this post, I share Laconia. Weirs Beach will makes its appearance in a post at a later time.) My husband couldn't be 'in' on how mentioning this place or our time there would almost light up the room with fairy dust. So, I took him there over the summer (with instructions from my father of things I must photograph so he could see, too :)

Our condo unit was still there, as apparently was the same window air conditioner my dad installed in the late 1970s. Glad the current owners may enjoy it. A short stroll from the back of the unit down a gentle slope led us to the pond on the property. It was too overgrown now for pond-skating in winter, but this new kind of beauty had inhabitants that made me smile.

[click on any photo for larger view]

The view from the highest point in the community was as stunning as I remembered.
View of Lake Winnipesaukee

A building, which backed up to the condo properties, still stood, every bit as mysterious-looking as my childhood brain remembered. I used to sneak on the grounds just in front of the building and pick through all sorts of parts strewn on the ground. I can only guess now that they may have been auto parts. But what a thrill when I was young to be where I wasn't supposed to and every second hope that I wouldn't get caught. I never did (hopefully my parents won't be reading this entry...).

For lunch, we visited Hart's Turkey Farm, a restaurant we had eaten at regularly, in Meredith, NH.

The hearty food, home-style feel of the (now much larger, complete with full gift shop) restaurant were just as inviting.
In a hushed voice, I asked our waitress if we could have some place mats and napkins to bring home. She laughed and said that ever since they'd been on The Travel Channel, people ask all the time.

With full turkey bellies, we headed to The Kellerhaus, a place that, for me, was like stepping into Santa's land and a fairy land all in one. Candies, ice cream, holiday gifts, unusual other gifts and more are available for purchase. When I was little, I recall going into a downstairs section of The Kellerhaus where they had crystals hanging from the ceiling. According to a young employee with whom I spoke this past summer (and admittedly, who wasn't alive 'back then'), the only downstairs was where they made their chocolate. I'm going to remain faithful to my memories.

I hoped to catch a drive-in movie, a rare find these days, I think. As a kid, my dad would set up blankets and a pillow in the back of the car, intending that I sleep as the films played. I never did. The theater, still in operation today, had closed for the season at the end of Labor Day weekend. We missed it by a day. I like knowing it's still there. If you go, it plays on four screens now instead of a double feature on one.

Our last stop before heading to Weirs Beach for some play-time was the place where we used to dock our Sea Ray, Sum Fun. I was looking forward to shopping for souvenirs in the convenience/boating/lake supplies store, Handy Landing. Unfortunately, Handy Landing had been demolished and replaced with small rental units. Our boat, was of course not there, but the dock and memories were. It would have been more than some fun to take the boat out, down the channel and past Weirs Beach. Maybe we'll rent a boat if we visit again. In the meantime, I can dock at Weirs Beach or in Wolfeboro, or anchor for a swim, paddle in our raft, or blueberry pick in one of the lake's coves, with just a thought any time I want.

What childhood places have you shared with your partner? What places from your childhood rings in nostalgia with your family?


  1. Debra, I so enjoyed this memory photo journey! How nostalgic. NH is so majestic and I have vivid memories from my childhood there as well. My owned and operated a campground in Holderness for a few years and as an only child it was wonderful to have kids to play with all the time. Thanks for sharing! Here's a more detailed post of my recent trip to the past in NH.

    1. Donna - Loved looking at your photos on your blog. The color of the leaves was fantastic. And that lovely little cabin... Made me want to get back up there soon (well, maybe in the spring :)

  2. I meant to say "my PARENTS" owned and operated a campground! :)