Our Summer Vacation: New Hampshire

Friends, happy Friday!! :). I am loving this rainy end to the week, a sweet way to cuddle up and catch up on all the things!  I am going to catch up some of my amazing summer engagement sessions on the blog NEXT week, but first I wanted to share a personal treat with you!  Since Derek and I are home together again after him being away last weekend, I wanted to do a little blog recap of our summer vacation to New Hampshire and Maine!  I thought I’d do it in 2 parts so I can focus on both places!

This year, before COVID-19, we had planned to take a bucket list trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada.  Derek and I LOVE alpine elevation and emerald blue mountain lakes.  So we knew that would be the perfect spot for both of us – and it’s not super easy to get to, being in the middle of the country and north – so we thought this summer would be a great time.

As we all experienced, realizing 2020 wouldn’t be the year of our dreams hit us.  And I think the idea of our vacation not happening hit me harder than Derek – mostly because the future seems so uncertain to us and we don’t know what next summer will hold.  So I didn’t have a hope to hold onto that said, we can just go next year.  Because I just don’t know.  That’s when I realized I really needed a getaway this year…even if it was closer to home, going somewhere we don’t usually go.

We have always talked about New Hampshire and Maine, mostly in the context of our anniversary weekends we take in October/November every year.  But every year, both of those locations are just too far to drive for a 3 day weekend.  SO, we knew it would be perfect for us for a 5 day trip!!  Because we haven’t really ventured much to either spot together, we looked at this trip a little like a scouting trip – so we could find places we wanted to come back to.  And did we ever!!

The first spot we went to was close to a place I had been with my family growing up, Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, just south of the White Mountains.  But when doing research, we realized just how BIG the lake is and I honestly had no memory of where I stayed with my family, just photos I had taken.  We found a smaller lake west of Winni, called Squam Lake, and realized it was a little smaller (though it was still big!!). We found a cute bed and breakfast to stay in with farm to table food, and it was just what we wanted.

We really liked Squam Lake, paddling on it was super fun!  It was definitely bigger than we thought it would be!  And there was the cutest little marketplace where we got delicious sandwiches and gluten free cookies every day.  We literally paddled up and got our lunch!  That evening, we wanted to explore Lake Winnipesaukee a little bit and grab dinner – but WOW that was difficult with reservations, and there wasn’t a ton of options – so exhausted, we ate at this little spot overlooking the lake with tacos, fries and salads – by that point we didn’t even care!  And we drove to this sweet spot to see the sunset – you know I LOVE that!  And loved the pictures we took.

The second day of our stay, we went to the White Mountains.  Because we had never BEEN to the White Mountains and there are a million hikes, it was hard to narrow down what we would fit all into one day!  And we kind of outdid ourselves.  We did a 5.5 mile loop trail that went from one mountain peak to another – and wow that hike was amazing!!  Then, we literally decided to drive to the Mount Washington Auto Road and go up Mt. Washington, the highest peak in NH!  It was LITERALLY in the clouds that day and we were driving with flashers on with sheer dropoffs- I’m SO glad Derek drove that and not me.  But it was so much fun!  We ate at this cute new hotel at the base of Mt Washington, and then drove to Franconia Notch State Park and did a quick trail to an overlook that I had found on Instagram – we went for sunset and caught the most beautiful pink clouds up there!  Such a great way to end our day!

We drove to Maine the following day, and I’ll share more of that in my next post!

But our idea about New Hampshire is: we loved the lakes, and were surprised how big they were.  I would totally go back to that bed & breakfast and paddle the lake.  The White Mountains were beautiful too – but that’s really a trip all on their own.  We may want to go back and hike some of the ridges one day – but there are a lot of SERIOUS 10 mile hikes, which would take more time, and definitely training!  New Hampshire as a whole reminded us more of New York than Maine did – so it didn’t feel as much of a getaway, but we definitely enjoyed what we did and saw.

Hope you enjoy our photos!!


Such a beautiful lake (and so much bigger than we realized!)

squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0003squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0004Nothing like enjoying your lunch while in the lake!

squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0005squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0006Love this photo!  Derek said these Adirondack guide boats are classic!

squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0007squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0008squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0009Love it, our canoe takes us so many places!

squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0010He’s so happy doing this!!

squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0011squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0013squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0015WOW!  I never EVER photographed a bald eagle this close to me in my life!  Surreal!

squam-lake-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_0016lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_01Loved catching the beginning of sunset by these docks!

lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_02lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_03lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_04Love this portrait of me!  Thanks honey!

lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_05lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_06lake-winnipesaukee-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_07AHH so beautiful!!  I love the waves, the dock, everything.


Our cute little bed & breakfast lit up at night!

Our 5.5 mi loop hike, pretty intense!!  An adventure for sure!

white-mountains-new-hampshire-destination-elopement-mountain-photographer_01We always take photos like this with our boots/shoes!


white-mountains-new-hampshire-destination-elopement-mountain-photographer_04white-mountains-new-hampshire-destination-elopement-mountain-photographer_02He was just being funny, we didn’t have to climb up that wall!

white-mountains-new-hampshire-destination-elopement-mountain-photographer_06white-mountains-new-hampshire-destination-elopement-mountain-photographer_07This ridge that you see in the foreground – we literally hiked/walked ALL over that!  It was crazy how from both sides of our hike we could see the other mountain we connected to!

Love this of Derek!


mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_01Okay, now we drove up the Mount Washington Auto Road!   Thank goodness for this little app that guided our journey and 8 miles to the top!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_02You can see it’s getting windier/cloudier!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_03mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_04Literally driving INTO the clouds!  I love how this photo looks!!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_05You could hardly see a THING up there!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_06And there was miss in the air so we were all WET!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_07We found this summit sign!  Though we had to ask for directions since we couldn’t really see!  CRAZY.

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_08Headed back down!  My camera lens had ALL kinds of mist/fog on it.

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_09mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_10Going to explore this little part off the road!!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_11mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_13So pretty!!

mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_14mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_15mount-washington-auto-road-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_16Love this of Derek!  Pointing to, “that’s where we just came from!!”


Yup, THAT.

franconia-notch-state-park-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_01Then we drove to a lake at Franconia Notch State Park for sunset!

franconia-notch-state-park-new-hampshire-destination-photographer_02And then did this sweet little hike to this view!  We got lost at first but we found it!  JUST in time for the magic!


Hope you enjoyed our New Hampshire trip recap!!  Maine is coming for you!!

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A life filled with gratitude begins with finding thankfulness in the small moments