"Think of a place that's really perfect. Your own happy place. Go there and all your anger will disappear."
Ever since I can remember my happy place always has been Abakee Cottages on Lake Winnipesaukee.
This is an annual family vacation that we've been doing for well over 20 years. My grandparents first discovered Abakee Cottages in 1978. My parents have been taking our family there since I was two and for the past four years Mike and I have rented our own cottage. Its nice little family reunion for us and my sister even comes up from Chicago for the week.
It is an absolutely beautiful property with 12 lakefront cottages nestled together at the end of a dead end road. All the cottages have a water view and it is so relaxing to just sit on the porch stare out to the lake and see the White Mountains in the distance. The air is so fresh and clean. I swear a little fresh air and some sunshine makes me feel so much healthier.
In addition to the beautiful property and scenery, there is a great atmosphere at Abakee. It has become an annual tradition for many families to rent the same cottage for the same week every year. We've gotten to know some great people over the years that have become lifelong friends.
One of my favorite activities is lounging on the sun deck with a good book. When it gets too hot, nothings more refreshing than a dip in the lake.
Another thing I love about Abakee is its close proximity to Weirs Beach. With it being located at the end of a quiet private road you wouldn't know that you're so close to all the Weirs Beach action. It's about a 10 minute walk from Abakee to the Boardwalk and Pier. One morning we went down pretty early and I got a few shots before everything opened up. There are two arcades, bumper cars, souvenir shops and restaurants. Normally the streets and boardwalk are packed with people.
If you are at Weirs beach its worth stopping by the Winnipesaukee pier to get your cheap T-Shirt and Sunglasses fix. This is where I stock up on cheapy sunglasses to keep in my beach bag and car. Its nice to have a few inexpensive pairs that you don't mind losing. This place has an entire wall of sunglasses and I've found some awesome shades there over the years. A serious hidden gem! Also, be sure to try the GIANT fried dough at the shop next door, its delicious and not to be missed!
The weather was absolutely gorgeous every day. We hardly ever get a week like that so we made sure to make the most of it and spent most of our time in the water and soaking up the sunshine.
For the last two days of our vacation we rented a Pontoon boat. The whole family enjoyed this so much. It was such a fun way to cruise around the lake, and yes, we did listen to the Pontoon song
a few many times. The first day we dropped anchor at Governor's Island and did some drinking, appetizing, swimming and floating. You need this Floating Lounge Chair in your life.
Of course, no day on the boat is complete without a stop at the Naswa Beach Bar. Their frozen drinks are delicious and its a really fun atmosphere with live music and events going on all the time. Don't forget to ask for a souvenir sunglasses pin, this is your badge of honor, wear it proudly!
On our last day of vacation we got up early and took a boat ride to Meredith for breakfast. We ate at the Waterfall Cafe which is inside the Inn at Mill Falls. I always love seeing the lush flower arrangements there. I especially love the adorable window boxes.
After breakfast we went back to Abakee, changed into our swimsuits and packed the essentials for an afternoon at the Braun Bay sandbar. With the shallow water and sandy bottom, Braun Bay one of the most popular spots to drop anchor on the lake. This place gets hoppin' on the weekends and can be very crowded but its such a fun and carefree atmosphere its really the more the merrier. Its also extremely dog friendly, was wishing we had the pups with us! You'll see a dog on almost every boat. We swam, broke out Floating Corn Hole and drank in the last day of vacation.
I look forward to this vacation every year. It is a much needed recharge that helps me clear my head and get back to the simple things in life for a while. Visiting the lake, or even just thinking about it, helps me relax and gives me the ability to re-focus.
Some of my favorite childhood memories took place at Abakee and I've only grown to love it more as an adult. Its where I discovered some very important things like wine tumblers, spent countless hours around a campfire and took the time to experience some of the most beautiful sunsets.
What does your happy place look like?