As we head into winter, it’s getting harder to find campgrounds that are open year-round. That’s how we ended up an hour away from where Mike was working in Swanzey – at Field & Stream RV Park in Brookline. Even though we would have preferred to be closer, Field & Stream was a nice place to bunk for a week. About half the rigs there seem to be permanent residents, parked on the outer edges or back section of the park. The sites are paved and level, able to accommodate large rigs. It’s a gated campground, so they give you a key to get in and out. My mum and her husband David, who live about 45 minutes away, in Raymond, loaned me one of their cars to use during our stay, and the campground kindly gave us a second access key.
Another challenge we’re having at this time of year – since we’ve been working in the northeastern part of the country – is the availability of water. Because the water to the sites comes through pipes in the ground that aren’t heated, they’ll freeze when temperatures drop. This, of course, can be a problem in a stick house, but it’s much less likely. Field & Stream advised us that they’d be shutting off the water toward the end of our stay, and they did. We had been filling up our tank every night, just to be on the safe side, so it didn’t create too much of a hardship. I did, however, stop doing laundry in the rig and instead went to a laundromat with Mum. It turned into a rather nice afternoon of chatting and crafting while the clothes washed and dried.
As with most parks, our site included a picnic table. Dogs had to be leashed and picked up after, but there was no designated area that they were confined to. The bark babies enjoyed crunching through the leaves and sniffing at the muddy little lakes that formed on the dirt road around the park. Field & Stream had the other amenities that we’ve learned are pretty standard:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Paved, level sites
- 30- and 50-amp electric
- Cable TV
- Laundry facility
- Shower house
In the good weather, campers can enjoy the play area, the fishing pond and a canoe dock. The campground is also very close to pretty Lake Potanipo. There’s no path around the lake, but it’s got parking and boat access. The best part of the lake, though, is the small lighthouse that I got to walk by on my commute to work at The Cozy Tea Cart Cafe, just a mile and a half away.
It was wonderful for me to work at the Cozy Tea Cart Cafe while we were in Brookline for the week: the commute, the tea, the macaroons, the views. It got even better when I realized that our last few days in the area corresponded with NH Open Doors, which happened to be taking place at The Cozy Tea Cart!
NH Open Doors is a statewide shopping and touring event that, this year, took place on November 2nd and 3rd. It’s all about enjoying the natural beauty of New Hampshire while shopping for items made in the state and sampling food from local restaurants and vendors. The Cozy Tea Cart Cafe was one of this year’s participants.
Along with a sample Thanksgiving dinner, the event at The Cozy Tea Cart included a meet-n-greet with New Hampshire artist Melanie Chouinard from The Silver Branch. Melanie is a polymer clay fantasy sculptor, and her works are both breathtaking and adorable. The tiny, sleeping babies adorned with faery wings are magical. Her mushroom villages, with stone paths leading over the moss to petite front doors, are nestled in a variety of delicate teacups. I bought a large one for just $32. (I’m hoping a little museum putty will hold it tight as we motor down the road.)
In addition to Melanie’s pieces, the store at The Cozy Tea Cart offered plenty of gift options for tea lovers: Victorian and Japanese-style tea sets, tea towels and cozies, magazines, notecards, dessert plates, loose-leaf tea, lemon curd and oat biscuits to create the perfect tea party, and more. There was no excuse for leaving empty-handed!
All that shopping and art appreciation builds an appetite. The free Thanksgiving sampling dinner and tea pairing took care of it.
- Our Sister’s Nuts provided the appetizer.
- Chestnut soup was paired with Almond Snowflake Tea. (I used it as gravy over my turkey. Delish!)
- Herb-roasted turkey was paired with Ceylon Breakfast Tea.
- Chilled pineapple cranberry relish was paired with Ginger Pear Spice Tea. (That was the tea I drank when I was working. Yummy!)
- Brown butter and sage sweet potato ravioli was paired with Fireside Green Apple Tea. (Love the idea of serving ravioli at Thanksgiving!)
- Roasted garlic mashed potatoes were paired with Iron Buddha Oolong.
- Glazed maple vanilla carrots were paired with Hot Apple Cider Tea.
- Dessert was gluten-free gingerbread with maple buttercream frosting paired with Vanilla Indulgence Herbal Rooibos.
Candy Roux of Our Sister’s Nuts setting up her treats for NH Open Doors
Another perk of our RV lifestyle?
Sweet “office” views that always change!