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Even the Lions at the Historic Rockingham Hotel are dressed for the Holidays!

Portsmouth NH is a very special place. Most people probably think of the seacoast as a summer place, but having lived there for 6 or 7 years in high school and beyond, and visited on holidays throughout my childhood, I know it is unique year round. My brother Jon lives in Seattle WA now and I live a couple of hours north of Portsmouth these days, but when Jon comes home for holidays, we often visit Portsmouth together.

img_9669Some of the Old Homes Exude Elegance and White-on-White Decor

One of our favorite things to do, is to take our cameras and head out for the day. It’s fun to come home and compare our photos. We are often drawn to the same subjects but tend to see and capture them differently. My inner artist is interested in perspectives and curves. Jon’s inner artist is an engineer and likes things lined up perfectly and is very technical about his photography. His end results show the precision he demands from his efforts. My end results are much freer, and admittedly, more careless looking.img_9682





It’s all good. we both enjoy the experience. This year, we visited Portsmouth together, cameras at the ready. It was cold with new snow and threatening more. Perfect for during the Christmas season. Being on the ocean, snow doesn’t linger long in Portsmouth so it’s a bit of a gift to be there while it’s present.

Jon has been working to capture Doors of Portsmouth for a few seasons now and continued that quest this year. See his blog post and detailed results at his blog: Go Into the Light https://gointothelight.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/more-crooked-doors-of-portsmouth/   You will notice many of the same subjects there, as here, but Jon’s will be precise and mine will appear more casual.

img_9684The Warner House on the Corner of Daniel and Chapel Streets

We walked up and down many of the small side streets that lead in from the harbor near Mechanic Street. The houses are old here and sit close to one another, companionable like elders on a park bench. Most of the streets are technically 2-way but the reality of that distinction can be challenging at times!

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The Snow Provides Some Interesting Contrast to the Colonial Colors

And speaking of holiday spirit! One resident of a tidy little Colonial snuggled-up cozy to its neighbors, noticed Jon and I wandering seemingly aimlessly back and forth across the cobbled street. He introduced himself and we did the same, explaining our mission, such as it was. And either you get it or you don’t… Well, he did and even invited us in to have a look at the interior of his beautiful home! Wow! His kitchen fireplace had a unique looking cast iron stove built into it, which this gentleman explained to us had been removed from a clipper ship and installed there in the distant past! Awesome!

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One of my favorite places to visit during the winter holiday season, is Strawbery Banke. Part of the old Puddle Dock area is flooded in winter and serves as a public skating rink. It is gratifying to see how many people will still abandon their various screens for a while and come out to enjoy nature and the cold crisp harbor side air in winter.


Some of the houses in Portsmouth, seem right out of an old Dickens or Longfellow tale. While many are polished and maintained in traditional Colonial colors, some are weathered and dignified as silver-haired ladies and gents.

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Even the Shop Fronts in Portsmouth have a Festive Air this Time of Year!

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Wreaths, Greenery and Berries Highlight the Traditional Yuletide Beauty

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It’s wonderful to see all the holiday spirit in this little city. Nothing over-the-top, just working with nature to festoon the historic architecture here.

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Even Past Residents Dress for the Occasion!

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And Yes Jon, the Doors are Gorgeous!

The holiday decorations draw your eye to the detail on and around the doors. Even on homes that appear to be cut from the same vintage patterns, we noticed that the doors and frames always were unique. So far, no two the same…

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Gardens Aren’t Going to be Left Out Either

Portsmouth is wonderful, any time of the year. Don’t wait until summer to visit. Look at what you’d miss!

Thank you for walking through Portsmouth NH with us, during the winter holiday season, and for sharing and comparing perspectives!