After our night in Burlington, we set off on a much shorter driving day to Boston, with a planned lunchtime stop in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was fortunate the drive was short, because I was so traumatised by the day before I declared I didn't want to drive at all, and made Mr Bite cover both sections (!).
Happily, not only were the drives short, but they were also scenic and largely very easy (up until the Boston bit, which was as busy as you might expect Boston to be if you arrive at 6pm on a weeknight). All through our driving we had sections of fall colour starting to turn, giving rise to bright orange, yellow or red trees set amongst the green.
Our Hanover stopover was chosen with good reason: my Mum lived there as a young child. Her history is so confusing that I wonder if anyone keeps track of my occasional references to her family origins. To summarise for the purposes of this post, she was born to an English father and American mother in Syracuse, New York; moved to then Rhodesia as a young child; returned to America around age 4 for a brief stint in Hanover, New Hampshire; went back to Africa to Nigeria; was sent to stay with an aunt and uncle in England (East Sussex) as a 9-year-old (Nigeria being lacking in schooling); moved to Jamaica with her family at age 10; and then settled in England (Durham) with her family for the latter part of high school and then university. There were various England visits scattered through the early years, but it was certainly a nomadic childhood.
|My Mum's childhood street; Hanover, New Hampshire|
For today, though, we are in Hanover, which is a university town built up around Dartmouth College. My grandfather taught geography there and it is a beautiful campus in a beautiful setting.
|Hanover high street|
For lunch, we settled on Lou's Restaurant and Bakery, nestled in the high street. A recommendation for you: if you are ever in Hanover, eat at Lou's. It was wonderful. It fulfilled every good stereotype I've ever held about American diners, and gave me a few new ones to take away.
|Lou's Restaurant diner.|
The menu was surprisingly diverse, and included expected as well as unexpected items. The expected: burgers, sandwiches and pies. The unexpected: veggie burgers, big salads and vegan muffins. Mr Bite ordered the veggie burger, while I ordered a salad off the specials menu that included dried fruit and nuts and would usually have included feta cheese (I asked for that part to be omitted).
Mr Bite's burger was impressive in scale and came with plenty of salad and a hefty side of fries. He also had a Coke that was kept topped up by our friendly waitress, in the system that America has of unlimited free refills.
We were too full for pie or vegan muffins, but if you had a son or daughter studying at Dartmouth, Lou's restaurant offers care packages that I am sure would lift any student's day.
We might have had a scant 2 hours in Hanover, but I am so glad we stopped. It was one of my highlights of the trip, both for the family connections and for the picturesque town.
As a random side note, Hanover is also the American home of author Bill Bryson, whose books I love. I tried hard to spot him wandering absentmindedly (in the manner I imagine he might wander), but sadly didn't see him this time.
Have you visited much, or any, of New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut)?