Monday, October 3, 2011


Friday was the day of our mystery date,and it was gorgeous! The sun was shining,and temps were in the 70's. We had  rain the day before,so I figured this was a good omen.

Rick informed me that I may want to wear something somewhat nice for lunch.Hmm. Well,considering none of my dress pants fit anymore (cough) I wore a nice blouse,my best jeans,and some brown loafers. What about dinner? He was pretty dismissive. Aren't we going to eat somewhere? "We might get room service,"he replied. "Make sure you have comfortable shoes." I packed my sneakers.

I am not used to being kept in the dark about ANYTHING. It's not in my nature to have no clue about what's going on around me.However,it seemed like I was the only person in the whole world who didn't know what was going on.( of course, that's just a slight exaggeration :)  ) My friends knew. Zach and Brother B knew. Everyone did a great job keeping things quiet,I must say.

I had a feeling I knew what it was. I thought he was going to bring me to Portsmouth,to the Holiday Inn,to the room where I was staying when we had our first date. I thought he would bring me to tour Strawberry Banke (one of the oldest sections of Portsmouth),and have lunch at the River House.

I was waaay off.

At first,I thought I was right,because we were heading south on the Spaulding Turnpike. "We are going to Portsmouth!" I announced. Rick looked at me with a small,sly smile and said,"Are you sure?" "Yes,"I said. "Where else would it be?" Well, when he turned like we were going to his Dad's,I started getting confused. Maybe he's taking an alternate route to throw me off,I thought. His Dad lives in North Hampton,south of Portsmouth. We drove past his Dad's. Now I am really messed up. Where is bringing me? I wondered. We go through Hampton,and wind up at Hampton Beach,where Rick had proposed to me. Hmmm.

We pull up in front of Ashworth By The Sea,which is the nicest hotel in Hampton,and probably the oldest.  "We are staying here," Rick informed me."Maybe they will let us check in early." Happily,the room was ready and  we could,indeed,check in early,which was nice. We went up to the room,and we had a balcony view.
The statue is a tribute to all the New Hampshire sailors who died at sea in service of our country. The side facing this way has all their names engraved on it.It was a lovely view.

It was a nice,clean room. I loved the fact that we could hear the ocean. After we got settled in,Rick handed me a card. He had given me a funny one for our Anniversary,saying that he had a more serious one that he was going to give me on our trip.It felt thick. I opened it up,and read it. It was a lovely card,saying how happy and proud he was that I am his wife. However,there was something taped underneath the paper with the verse on it. I opened it,and lo and behold,there were two tickets for The B-52's at Club Casino! It had been so long since we had seen a concert. I was excited. How can one not  have a good time at a B-52's concert? "We can have supper there,"he told me."That's why I didn't say too much about supper."

We went downstairs for lunch in the lovely dining room. Rick had shrimp cocktail and broiled seafood.I had chicken quesadillas (sp?) and iceberg wedge salad.I even had a glass of wine. After lunch,we changed our clothes,and went for a walk.Many of the shops were closed,but the best part was walking on the beach.It was high tide,and there was one person in the water. A few folks were just soaking up the rays,but it wasn't busy by any means.

Club Casino has been in operation since the early 1900's. The name is misleading,because there is no casino.It uses the old term of casino,roughly translated as entertainment. When it opened,it was used for Vaudeville acts. In the forties,Big Band acts such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman performed there. Later,it became a haven for rock and roll-The Doors,The Grateful Dead,Led Zeppelin,Jethro Tull,U2,etc played there. Comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin also graced it's stage. It's a smallish venue,with a max of about 1,000 people. I like it,because though it's long,it's not that wide. The back of the room is maybe 30 yards from the stage,so you can get a great view no matter where you are.The last time we were there (2003) they had reserved seating on the floor in front of the stage,then the back area was general admission. I don't know whether this had been changed for all bands,but the floor was clear,and the only tables and chairs were in the back. The doors opened at 6:00 (show started at 8:00).We walked from the hotel and got there at 6:30. There were no tables left,so we sat along the back wall where they had a bar running the length of the seating area.

One of the fun things about concerts is the people watching. I was pleased to see the majority of the audience was middle aged,like us.Some ladies were dressed,shall we say,a bit young for their age. Rick and I kept saying about these ladies"Your too old,let go,it's over." (to borrow a phrase from Eminem).We even saw Elvis (yes someone was dressed like white jumpsuit era Elvis)

The opening act was a  band  called Sidewalk Driver. The singer had on a white cape ,bald head,and a tiny top hot,which shot glitter and streamers out of it later in the evening. They were from Boston,and they were quite good. Rick bought their CD later that evening. They reminded us of a cross between The Knack and April Wine.

Then,The B-52's took the stage,and they rocked!!!
This is a clip that Zach found on You Tube.The sound quality is poor,and I'm not sure if it will work.It was taken from the floor of the Casino.

They put on a great show. Anyone who hears Fred Schneider singing and doesn't get a smile on their face doesn't know how to have fun! It was great to see a mob of middle age people crouching down during "Rock Lobster" and jump back up ( 'Rock Lobster...down....down....). I didn't see any fish out of water flopping on the floor like in high school,though.Then again,there wasn't enough room to do that,even if one wanted to. I haven't danced that much in years!!!! They played for about an hour,and we were back at the hotel around 10:30.

The next morning,after breakfast,we were getting ready to check out,and tour buses showed up. The band must've stayed there overnight. I had to take a photo as we were getting into the truck to leave:

It was a rainy,gray day,but the day before had been perfect.Zach loved his B-52's T shirt we bought him( cost a wee bit more than when I bought concert shirts in high school!) and he wants to go to a concert. Maybe next summer.

It was a great time,and a fabulous surprise. Rick did a great job pulling it off!!!!


  1. it sounds like you guys had an awesome time - what a wonderful mystery date! i am so glad that you enjoyed yourself so much - you deserved it Donna!

    even though it has already passed - happy anniversary my friend!


  2. What a lovely surprise, looks like you both had a great time! He;s definately a keeper your fella :D

  3. He did good! What a nice surprise. Very sweet.