Boat hopping from dock to dock, looking for loons, stopping in towns for fresh ice cream, and taking quick hikes on some of the 250-plus islands are just some of the reasons why Lake Winnipesaukee is considered alive, peaceful and full in spirit as it’s name would suggest.
Pat and his family had been raving about this lake for the last 4 years. His family fell in love with Lake Winnipesaukee 27 years ago and have been coming back every year ever since. Pat grew up spending his summers swimming in the lake, look for loons, fishing on the calm waters at dusk and playing at the vintage arcades. Like my lake in Italy, Pat’s childhood was formed here. Aside from it’s unknown and difficult to pronounce name, the name of the lake itself speaks to its beauty. Lake Winnipesaukee has been translated to read: “smile of the Great Spirit,” “beautiful water in a high place,” “good smooth water at outlet,” “lakes region,” and “land around the lake.” Pat and his family had hyped it up so much that I had to see what all the fuss was about. I packed my Louis Vuitton duffle bag and headed to the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee to relax and find my inner peace.
Following a 5-hour drive north from New York, we arrived at a gorgeous lake house on Black Cat Island with a private boating dock and diving platform. The clouds were just starting to clear up and the sun was beginning to break through just enough for me to see the numerous islands and shorelines sprawled across the lake (there are over 250 islands and counting on this gorgeous lake!)
Coming from New York, it took me a little time to unwind and get on “lake time” as the locals would call it, so we started the day by lounging in the water on our floats. I had just purchased a flamingo float and was super excited to try it out. I named the flamingo Seamore, name is courtesy of Patrick. Seamore ended up being a huge hit on the lake and a must-have summer accessory. More pictures to come of Seamore and I on my next post! Unlike the Long Island Sound, Lake Winni was the perfect temperature for swimming, waterskiing, and boating (even in the early morning). The water felt clean and fresh and when you got out you didn’t get that sticky, burning feeling salt water gives you. An amazing change up from what I’m used to around New York. Around 5PM we decided to take the boat out and get up close and personal with nature.
We arrived home just in time to watch the sunset and head out on the water for a last minute swim before dinner. I took Seamore out as well for one last dip in the water..!
The next morning Pat and I woke up early and decided to go out kayaking. It was Monday so the water was calmer as all the weekenders escaped back to the city. Not a boat in sight, we set off and explored Black Cat Island and it’s smaller islands such as Blueberry Island. My favorite is Becky’s Garden, a small island the size of a table with a mini-house (the size of a Barbie house) on it! Legend has it a girl named Becky was told to choose an island by her father. She chose the modest and small island and named it Becky’s Garden.
In the afternoon we headed out on the water and waterskied like there was no tomorrow. I surprisingly was able to stay up for a long time and even waterskied with just one hand at one point (even if it was for a brief 3 seconds)! I also managed to waterski in the opposite direction of the wake – which is really difficult to do – and was completely unintentional. Yet, I succeeded at that as well! I got off the boat feeling super cool (and buzzed) to say the least.
To top off an amazing day, as the sun began to sink beyond the mountains, Pat and I took the boat and headed for Center Harbor to have some of Red Hill Dari’s renowned fried clams. We docked the boat and headed to the drive-in restaurant to grab a quick appetizer. The lake is full of drive-ins, diners and dives that bring you back 50 years to a much simpler and authentic time. This is an aspect of the lake that I absolutely love! The place doesn’t look like much, in fact it’s just a small red house, but if you take anything away from this blog it’s that the best food comes from the most modest of places. If there is one thing you need to try when at this shack, it’s the fried clams. Surprisingly light on the stomach, they are crunch yet tender and perfect for a pre-dinner snack alongside a nice beer.
As we looked up at the sky, we noticed grey clouds starting to close in on the lake. It was time to hop on the boat and get back to the lake house before the thunderstorm hit. After a nice dinner at Canoe, we ran back home and pressed our faces up against the lake house windows. We watched the thunder as it clanged and flashed out onto Lake Winnipesaukee. The morning after would be one of the quietest mornings on the lake. In the literal sense it would be the calm after the storm. Stay tuned for my next post on my week at Lake Winnipesaukee.
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