The sound of the town plow rumbling down the street woke me up this particular Thursday in April. April! Another day to wear turtlenecks and sweaters; it was almost more than I could bear.
Then I remembered I was taking the train to Exeter, New Hampshire for a meeting later in the day and my spirits lifted. Here was my chance to get outside of my dull, snow-covered surroundings and revive my Lady Alone Traveler personae, which is my equivalent of a digital day tripper or stay-cationer. I’m a believer in finding interesting and beautiful things everywhere I go. Whenever I leave home, I try to remember to look up and around to see what new things I can see.
Instead of driving the whole distance to New Hampshire, I hopped on the Amtrak Downeaster in Portland and arrived in Exeter in just over an hour. My big splurge was a “business class” ticket, which provided me with a roomier seat in a quiet car and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. The gently rocking train and some sparkling Poland Spring worked like a martini and I hopped onto the Exeter platform with a spring in my step.
Exeter is an enjoyable place to go when one is traveling alone. It’s an old, old town with a variety of interesting architectural styles. There are sturdy sidewalks, historic churches, restaurants, an independent book store, and lots of history. George Washington did not sleep in Exeter, but he had breakfast there in 1789. The ghosts of these other ages mingle with today’s vibrant and energetic Phillips Exeter Academy students and an observant traveler can’t help but enjoy the variety. The Exeter River runs through the town, just beyond the bandstand and even on a damp and misty day, it’s delightful.
My meeting was productive and I stopped for a hamburger at a restaurant by the river before walking back to catch the train home.
When traveling alone, no matter where you go, please remember to stay hydrated.
Do you have any surprising or unusual New England travel destinations? Let me know so I can add them to The Lady Alone Traveler’s summer itinerary.