We left New Hampshire late morning on our way to Connecticut to spend our last night before flying home. The traffic between Portsmouth and Hartford was absolutely crazy. We had a couple of close calls. Once I looked over to notice we were almost out of gas which was stressful. I was hoping to stop at a gas station with a bathroom, but no luck. We had to stop at a wayside.
Paul drove 45 minutes out of the way to eat at the chain restaurant Arabella works for at home. It was a nice gesture on his part, but I was feeling quite hangry as we didn’t eat lunch until 3 PM.
We arrived at our Airbnb at check in time. This time we stayed at a shared house. The top floor was ours and the host lived downstairs. I didn’t realize this at first as I made my way downstairs and opened the fridge. I was rather embarrassed once I found out and ran back upstairs. The host came home after work and introduced himself to us. He was a kind and quirky man and I instantly felt calm and at peace in his house.
We decided to go out for appetizers on our last night since we had such a late lunch. Arabella left to go for a walk by herself at night. When I tried to coax her to come with us for our last meal, she replied angrily that she is 18 and can do what she wants. Apparently going out to eat with us is not what she wanted. I had a cup of soup. The next morning the host made us a huge breakfast. He said that he had nightmares about it. He dreamt the coffee pot had a hole in it. He also had this dream that I had a whole bunch of little kids he had to cook for. I laughed and said now that was truly a nightmare. I couldn’t get Arabella up to join us. I left behind the food we bought the day before because I didn’t know breakfast was included.
Our vacation was over. It didn’t quite go as expected but we tried to make the most of it. Paul and I agreed that next time we would take a trip alone together.
It was time to head back south. We needed to check out of our Airbnb at 9 AM. Before leaving I needed to start a load of sheets. The notes also said to take the garbage to the curb. The dumpster was overflowing when we got there flies swarming in circles around the lid. It was expensive. The bed uncomfortably sagging so I would roll into Paul during the night. The coffee pot didn’t even work. I was wondering why it was full of stagnant water the first time I tried to fill it. But the host was nicer than most.
We had plans to spend one night in downtown Portsmouth at another Airbnb. This I assured everyone would be the nicest place because it had the highest price. From Bar Harbor, we decided to stop in Bath for lunch at a pizza place where I was able to order lobster on my pizza. Honestly I wasn’t crazy about the lobster on my pizza. It didn’t seem to belong on pizza next to my pepperoni any more than fish would.
After we sat down and ordered our pizzas, Arabella said she was ashamed of us for not feeding her. She was practically starving. WTF???!!?! She yelled at us that we never had food in the house and was embarrassed to tell her friends we wouldn’t feed her. She said all of these things while we were ordering our food. Her accusations of neglect and abuse were very upsetting to us. Then after lunch, we stopped at the grocery store (because where else would you take your kid if you are not feeding them???). She verbally attacked me in the grocery store in front of everyone.
Thankfully our trip was almost over. I was sad because I thought it would be a good time to bond with Arabella. Maybe if we take her on a trip she would appreciate everything we do for her. Maybe if she goes to a residential mental health facility that we pay for out of pocket she wouldn’t struggle as much with mental illness. The time for bargaining and denial passed. Our daughter was getting worse, not better. It was time to face that.
When we got to Portsmouth, Arabella was exhausted. She said she was going to take a nap and she probably wouldn’t be up in time for supper. At times she has been known to crash, sleeping 12 hours. Maybe she would wake up a new person. In the meantime, Paul and I decided to take a walk around town. There weren’t a lot of shops open so we didn’t stop. Instead we took a walk down by the river and crossed the bridge. Our mood one of mutual sadness. Something was really wrong with our daughter.
We came back to the Airbnb to pick up my mom and Arabella for supper. Arabella was still sleeping and didn’t want to go with. We went to another seafood restaurant. It was really busy and the service was slow. The bartender was also our server and waited on all of the tables around us. The food was unremarkable. The ambiance was nice though.
We got back to the Airbnb later than I thought I would. I brought back some extra food for Arabella in case she woke up and was hungry. When we got back, Arabella was up. She was dressed up wearing makeup and a mini skirt. She turned up her nose at the food I was offering and said she was going to go out to get something by herself.
Although the shops were closed, there was live music playing that we could hear outside of our bedroom window late into the evening. It wasn’t in the least annoying. I thought Portsmouth was a charming and clean town. I was really struck we were not approached by panhandlers at all on our trip. I think the biggest problem we faced was parking (especially in Bar Harbor). I can’t imagine trying to find a parking spot in peak season.
Most of the Airbnb’s we stayed at were old. Some of them were older than the state we live in. The staircase in the Airbnb in Portsmouth was so small there was no way you could carry a dresser up those steps. Comparable to where we live, the cost exceeded the quality. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving a review saying it was too expensive because maybe that is the norm for the East Coast. The houses did have a lot of character though and it was an experience.