My mom asked to go to Portsmouth, NH for her birthday. She thinks she drove through it once long ago and wants to go back.
We start with a tour of the Smuttynose Brewery. There are thirty people there despite it being the middle of a snow storm. We throw back as many samples of beer as we can before the tour starts. The guy is going on and on about the chemical reactions that create beer. My mom is enthralled. I’m thinking about how much snow the ski areas are getting. I tune in when the guy says,
“And we’re selling giant stuffed yeast in the gift shop on your way out.”
I’m in! I didn’t know I wanted a giant stuffed yeast, but what sounds more adorable than that?
The tour guide talks about the shelf life of beer and mentions a bar that had a keg for four years. My mom whispers,
“Do you have any beer that old at your bar?”
“No.” We do have 14-year-old bottles of wine that were decoration since the place opened and we recently started cooking with them.
We try several more beer samples and turn in our safety goggles, it’s time to go check out Portsmouth.
We stop at a couple shops. I’m reaching my max browsing capacity when one store keeper remarks,
“We’re having a wine tasting upstairs.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about. There’s wine, delicious cheese and then in a circle on every counter are different free samples of olive oil, cheeses and dips. I circle around once trying everything. I pause. No reason not to circle around again. I’m on my third circle, my mom is standing waiting for me. I tell her,
“This is my kind of shopping.”
As we drive through the town, my mom declares,
“I don’t think this is the place I was thinking of. I think I was thinking of Portland Maine.”