Follow Hwy 101 for 30 miles, until the racing cars abruptly stop in a small coastal neighborhood. Speed limit 25 for 1/2 mile. Turn left to continue, or go straight into the Atlantic. This is Hampton Bay. My favorite evening/weekend getaway
A brief glimpse of how I like to decorate my living quarters
^^ Nick found this sign in the woods. The couch delivery guys were nervous and asked if they should be wearing special gear.
One would think we did it just for Halloween, but no, it’s been like this all year.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 100 days since that fateful night that I drove out of Tulsa for the last time.
It’s been 100 days in my new life in New Hampshire, and every day continues to be an adventure.
It’s been about a month since my last post. Here is another photo dump for your liking.
Yummy food after a day on the Maine coast.
I’ve definitely had to get used to snow in my life. And this funky formation that appears on my car every time it’s warming up.
A nice mile long walk around a lake 10 minutes from me.
We drove down to see Harvard University. Ended up visiting the Harvard Art Museum. The expression on the people’s faces in this piece cracked me up.
Nick and I had our first escargot 🐌
Maple syrup season was kicked off with a drive into the hills to get some farm fresh syrup and maple spice cake.
The creatures are starting to appear!
With spring comes the best…. beach season!!
As a kid I always thought it would be cool to be one of “those people” who spend their weekends having a blast in New York City. But it’s a life I never imagined for myself!
Living in Manchester, I have all the amenities of city life, with country living, mountains and the ocean all just minutes away. Boston is 40 minutes away if I’m ever up for a night out in the big city. Even better though, I’m perfectly distanced 4 hours from NYC to where I can enjoy it when I want to, but not having to deal with the crowd when I don’t want to.
This weekend was my first trip to NYC since moving to NH. It’s my 3rd time ever being to the city.
My brother, dog, and I drove out Friday night after work. Saturday morning we went and picked up my friend Andrea in Pennsylvania, then headed out to explore the city.
The ferry to the island was closed so this was the best I could get of the Statue of Liberty.
One thing I’ve learned in my 3 visits is that driving in NYC is very expensive. My friend Micah has lived in the city for a year now and was horrified to hear we were driving around. She said she was too scared to try and maneuver the crazy roads. People everywhere, one way streets, sudden sharp ties, and many $10-20 toll bridges, streets, and tunnels.
We walked around the city, got some pizza, and watched the sunset.
We had found literally the only parking spot open in the entire city. While out walking, all three of us thought we had found a parking garage,so minutes before we were supposed to meet with Micah for dinner, we moved the car to the “parking garage” only to discover we had entered a one way tunnel that led to the other side of the city, and would take an hour to get back to where we were.
There was certainly a little bit of laughing going on in the car then.
On the way to taking Andrea back home, I couldn’t help but hope nobody thought I was carrying a dead body in the back seat.
The next day Nick, Lily, and I had a little fun in Connecticut before getting home.
The following story is not for those with a weak stomach.
For 16 months, in Tulsa, I rented a bedroom from a lady who rented out 2 other bedrooms in her house. It was nice while it lasted but I wanted more space and privacy, and I discovered I was paying as much in rent for a bedroom, as I would for a whole house. So in May 2016 I rented a house.
From the outside it was a cute old house in a quiet neighborhood.
I was full of excitement. My plan was to get settled in and then use the 2 extra bedrooms to become a foster parent.
I shut off all the lights, climbed into bed, and turned on Netflix. As I started a movie, I saw what I thought was a tick, crawl across the screen. I’m highly phobic of ticks and thus when I thought I’d spotted one, I leaped out of bed screaming.
As I turned the lights back on I found my bed was cover in them. I sent pictures to a friend who informed I had a bed bug infestation. I had never seen a bed bug before but now they were all over my bed and walls.
The weeks that followed I was covered in bug bites, but remained hopeful that once the process was done the house would be great.
But soon I went to enjoy my backyard and found mosquitoes swarmed all around. I didn’t dare spend more than 5 minutes outside. I tried countless treatments, candles, sprays, trying to lessen the mosquito population but they thrived on. And the yard was also infested with fleas. My dog got covered in them even though she was on a flea preventative medicine. Lily also made a rather bizarre find outside…
August rolled around and I found myselfsweeping up more and more bugs in the house. Bugs of every kind; cockroaches, Beatles, ants, potato bugs, and more. One day I came home to giant, loud, June bugs swarming in the house.
I became super careful with making sure the house was spotless clean, I put new weather stripping on the doors, bug bombed the house, used professional grade bug repellent in every corner of the house, but the bugs kept coming and increasing in quantity.
I was sweeping and mopping every other day with piles of bugs.
When it rained I discovered there were cracks all over the house and the water poured in. Soon fall came and I was dealing with even slugs and snakes getting in the house. The walls were literally covered in slug slime.
I would step out of bed in the morning and crunch my feet on bugs where I had just swept the night before.
I would go to make breakfast in the morning and find a clumsy cockroach flipped over on its back, clanking in the sink as it wiggled around trying to get back up.
I finally quit keeping food in the house all together. I was scared to eat anything fearing I might end up biting down on a bug.
The landlord said she had done all she could do and I must just be keeping a dirty home. She said nothing of all the cracks they were getting through.
I filled in every crack I could find with sealant but they still kept getting in.
By November I was beginning to get painful, itchy bites all over me again.
A friend who knows a lot about bugs said it appeared I now also had a fiddleback spider infestation.
This was my breaking point.
In July 2016 I had vacationed to New Hampshire and my 5 year plan to move was shortened to a 2 year plan. By late November/ early December my 2 year plan was shortened to “I’ve got to get out of here now!” As fate would have it, that’s right when a job lead came in NH.
I was working a job that was killing me with stress. And I was coming home to a house that was eating me alive.
A week after the bites returned, I put in my 2 weeks notice and prepared to leave the state…never to return.
I now live in a clean, crunch free, beautiful apartment.
Awe, much better.
It’s been nearly a month since my last post. I’ve had 3 flat tires, 2 blizzards, and gained 1 roommate since then.
Oh and got chased by a bear!
I’ve done a bunch of hiking, sat around being a beach bum, and witnessed my brother walk on water!
Without further ado here’s my photo dump for the month…
It’s been over two weeks since I packed up and left Tulsa. I officially have been one week at my new job. It seems I’m settling in just fine!
It was six degrees outside so all the pictures I took were taken from INSIDE my car. 😉
I wanted to share my new favorite thing with my dear readers.
My favorite tree was always the Douglas Fir. When I moved to Oklahoma my first bout of homesickness started with missing any kind of evergreen, or tall, trees. I hated how it was nothing for miles but farms and flatlands. I ached for the sensation of awe that comes with being surrounded by towering trees that are taller than buildings.
My first time visiting NH I found the state was a lot like Oregon(just a lot less rain!) in the fact it has the giant evergreens all around.
Every time I’ve come to NH, I’ve had to stop and look all around, taking a deep breath of content and saying to myself “aw I’ve missed this.”
They are tall and skinny, with bark that’s whit as snow. I find myself staring at them with amusement almost every day.
Here are a few of my favorite shots.
I told myself I would build a new life in New Hampshire and that’s what I plan to do.
I left Oregon in a hurry, and vowed I’d never move back. The problem was I didn’t leave with the intention of going somewhere, I left with the intention of getting away from somewhere. I was haunted by demons of my past. But in running away all I did was take them with me. I didn’t think and rationalize what would be a good place for me to go, I simply took the first opportunity I could to get out.
I was outcasted, labeled, and judged many times in my life in Oregon. I couldn’t seem to shake my reputation no matter what I did. I believed I was garbage, worthy of being walked on. I thought the only solution was to start over somewhere new.
But I got to Tulsa and nothing had changed. I still felt the rejection and judgment. I had a horrible time making friends. It took nearly a year to trust a few people enough to consider them friends.
In that friendless year, I turned to my only comfort…food. Food and hiking had always been my two coping mechanisms. With no car and no good hiking trails for miles, I was left alone with food. With that came about 100lbs.
I had a horrible self confidence, in any crowd I told myself I didn’t belong. The picture above I now look at and see as a great pic of me. But I remember when the group photo was being taken in July 2013 in Africa, I was thinking how I was the one ugly person ruining the photo.
About a month after my return from Africa is when things really began to change. I discovered change comes from within. I truly began to see how the condition of the heart matters more than appearance. I was doing great things, and people admired me, but I couldn’t see it, because the inside of me hated myself and therefore believed everyone else hated me as well.
In August 2013 I began working with violent teens. This job forced me to grow a backbone. I had to raise my self confidence in order to stay alive. These kids were so good at spotting peoples weaknesses and pouncing on it. I had to learn to stand up for myself and demand respect. The job changed me so much. I became outspoken, I became disciplined, I became confident. I became myself.
Between one to two years ago I began applying my professional skills to my personal life. I required an equal respect in all my relationships, and cut ties with those who wouldn’t honor that. I began to think about what I wanted for myself, and not just what would impress others. I knew then….I wanted OUT of Oklahoma! Bugs, humidity, trashy rednecks, tornadoes, and earthquakes were not my cup of tea.
My next step was to decide where I wanted to go if not Oklahoma. By that time I had discovered and fallen in love with New Hampshire. I made that my end goal. Here I am.
I am very happy with my life now. I live in a beautiful state. I make a very good income. I have good friends and family, although they are all far away, and I have a new set of good life skills to make new friends here.
There’s just one thing I’m still unhappy with. That 100lbs I’ve gained. I’m unhappy not being able to find clothes that fit. I’m unhappy getting tired going up one flight of stairs. I’m unhappy always having back pain. I’m unhappy not fitting in most chairs.
But that’s all about to change. This year I’ve decided to change my diet and change my exercise habits. I’m learning to tell myself no to food. I’m learning to cook. I’m learning to get exercise in everyday. I’ve quit caffeine and am learning to not be dependent on it for energy.
In Oregon there was one thing in my life I was happy with, and that was my weight. Oklahoma helped me shed my many issues, but the consequence of facing the skeletons in my closet, was gaining a lot of weight.
In New Hampshire I hope to shed that one last issue. I will learn to not turn to food for comfort! Hiking trails here I come!
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that the first time I ever came to New Hampshire, I just kind of stumbled upon the mountain range that captivated me and made me obsessed with NH.
Yesterday while driving home from the beach I heard an ad on the radio for the Ice Castle in Lincoln NH. Lincoln is located in the Great White Mountains. I decided I’d spend the day in the mountains and go check it out.
The Ice Castle about an hour drive from Manchester, and is located at a dinner train station which is shut down during the winter. During the year the train runs a sight seeing track along the mountain side.
They had an ice tunnel you can ride a sled down!
Afterwards I went hiking at the nearby Franconia State Forest.
Every day I find myself unintentionally grinning from cheek to cheek in admiration of the beauty that surrounds me. You really learn to appreciate it after living in a bad place like Tulsa. I keep finding myself saying, “I can’t believe I get to live here.”
About 5 miles from my apartment is Highway 101. Follow it east for 30 minutes and you’ll dead end into the Atlantic Ocean.
I have driven up highway 1A once before, my first time ever coming to New Hampshire. The first time I came to NH it was a nearly non existent state in my mind. I knew nothing of the area and I had no interest. I was on the east coast to visit people in New Jersey and I only went to NH because the New England states were the only states I had not been to, so I figured I might as well cross them off my list while I was in the area. Once I hit Highway 1A I was fascinated.
That first trip, I drove up the highway into Maine then turned west to go through the New Hampshire mountains. By the end of the drive I knew I had to visit again someday. The next time I visited, I knew I had to live here some day.
This morning I was thinking back on that first trip, and I went driving to find that highway and travel it again.