On and On with Sherry

Jun 01, 2013 No Comments by

The amazing thing about being part of Visit Londonderry is that I never know exactly where a week will lead. Even though I have lived here since the 60’s, grew up at Kendalwood Condos, taught at the High School, and raised my family here, each day I learn something special about our community. One thing is for sure, Londonderry is the best place to Live, Work and Play! Each week I will share with you some of the amazing businesses and things I have learned about Londonderry.

It’s now after 1 pm and for the third time I’m going to change the title and story this week. I hope you like it. I decided to write about places I could go on and on about. But I’ll try not to. Promise, and here’s why.

A couple weeks back a dear new friend gave me a confidence talk about my writing of On the Road. I was a little taken back, because the truth is so often like that feeling of when someone finally tells you, “Your sweater is on inside out,” (remember that happened to me a few weeks back) or that awkward feeling you get when you find out a tag has been hanging out on the back of your shirt for hours and then finally that one person takes a risk and tells you or better yet just tucks it in for you. We want to know, wonder why someone didn’t tell us sooner, but still it can be a little awkward too.

She also gently mentioned that I need to “cut to the chase” faster. She’s right about that too, because Goodness knows I can go on and on. She said that she worries that I lose some of you when my On the Road story gets too long and I know she right! I admire those people who are honest, gentle, and caring enough to let us know. Most of us just talk about things behind each other backs because just like little kids whispering and telling secrets is kind of fun and then we don’t have to take that risk. I’m grateful she took the risk.

Well this new younger friend has been more of an inspiration to me in my writing and life than she could ever know. I can tell I’m about to get on a rambling roll so I will stop here and tell you about all the places I didn’t have time to tell you about last week.

I could go “on and on” forever about this first place, but I’ll try not to. Out of the blue I received an e-mail from Emily at Lindt Chocolates. She had heard about my On The Road stories and also knew that I was a very happy customer, more days than I would like to admit. Emily was “e-mailing” to invite Visit Londonderry to a private chocolate tasting. Now for me reading this e-mail was better than getting an invitation to Disney! Chocolate is my go to friend for just about everything. I start each day with a cup of coffee and chocolate. No, really this is the truth. Sometimes I switch the coffee to tea, but never do I change the chocolate part. It’s been like this for over 30 years now. Here goes, another life secret out of the bag, but I keep a huge “bag” of Chocolate in my freezer, huge! Each morning, 6 am or whenever I get up, I make my coffee and then reach into the freezer and take a handful of chocolate, I bring it to my computer, sit, sip, nibble and type. Here’s a picture, I’m not kidding, that is what I do. I think when we were younger John thought it was a passing fancy, but he will tell you it wasn’t.

Anyway, Visit Londonderry arrived for a 9:30 am tasting and we all learned so much. First, the manager who I have been calling Sue for years, was introduced to me as Diane! God Bless her, I’ve called her name as she is trying to leave the store “Sue, do you have this or that?” and even though I had the wrong name she would always turn around with a smile, (now that I think about it, with that smile of “Oh it’s you”) , and answered my questions. Now that’s pretty great.

Anyway, Diane, Emily and Ryanne gave us a tour around the store. Here is just a little taste of what I learned. Our Londonderry store is unique in many ways. In our store you we have both retail and outlet products. The retail section is to the right as you walk in and the outlet area is to the left. Outlet just means they may have made too many of one product and we get to enjoy a lower price. I have to go back in today for a 50th anniversary gift, I think I will start looking on the right side first, but you never know.

Now this part of our tour I had no idea about and I wonder how I missed it completely, but I think so often we all go into our favorite places and we get stuck just asking for or trying only what we know. Our tasting was set-up to introduce us to their seasonal line. Wait for it I thought I knew chocolate but I’d never heard of this.

Did you know that Lindt changes their line of chocolate based on the seasons? Right now they have a delicious line of chocolate they suggest you serve chilled. Oh my, you have not tasted Chocolate until you try these. Just a few of the names Tiramisu, Coconut, Chocolate Milkshake and Raspberry Vanilla Yogurt. Of course Lindt still has their wonderful truffles, too. I love that we have our own Lindt factory right here in Stratham, NH. There are actually 8 manufacturing sites throughout the US and Europe and Lindt is now available in 80 countries. Emily explained to us that depending on the country that the chocolate is made in, you will notice lovely differences in the flavors because of the types of creams and other ingredients used. Again we are just lucky that we have a factory 1 hour from here. How Great Is That?

Next I want to tell you about a place that I bet most of you are not aware of! I was driving around without a set plan and decided to turn down Mcallister Road, right next to Hepworth Memorials. I remember biking down that way often when I was little. I looked to the right and there on the corner of Mercury Drive was was this very different business, Aquatic Escapes Dive Center. For a second I felt like I was on a tropical island with Jimmy Buffet music playing! (wishful thinking!)

I walked in and met Susan Nalen. She explained to me that the business had been there for 14 years but that she and her husband Mike bought it 4 years ago. Mike was not there this day because he was taking a scuba group to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Ship Wreak in the Carolinas. They are not just a scuba equipment store, but also a complete store, with two fully trained and certified scuba divers, a classroom for instruction, and a diving pool in the back!

Not only do they offer classes and have all of the equipment you need to continue or get started, even rental equipment, but they also take groups of scuba divers all over the world to explore the underwater treasures that are waiting for us. Susan arranges these very affordable adventures that scuba divers can become part of. Susan explained to me that she tries to plan scuba trips that are not over run with tourist. She also loves to find places where the wildlife has not been disturbed. I could go on and on about Aquatic Escapes Dive Center, too but just stop in. This might be the new adventure that you or someone you love has been waiting for. Don’t let the front of the store deceive you, it appears to be a small one room store. But it’s not at all! Let me know what you think!

Another place I could go on and on about is our own Pet Store right in the Crossroads plaza. Have you been in there recently? I know I’m repeating myself, but you’ll be shocked! It is huge now! I called a couple weeks ago and spoke to the owner Matt. What a nice guy! Sometimes it’s hard for people over the phone to understand how great Visit Londonderry is for the community and that it is the best way to spread the word about your business on top of it, for a very low membership amount. Amy from Salon Bogar and I were just talking about that this morning as a matter of fact!

Back to Pet’s Plus though and Matt. Matt has been the owner of pet stores for many years. He started his first one while he was still in college! Matt owns two Pet’s Plus stores and he is there because of a deep rooted love of animals. He explained to me that it all started with his Grandma’s love of dogs and then it grew from there. The difference that you will get at Pet’s Plus is that Matt’s staff is trained to know what is best for your animals. I’ve been thinking of changing Shea’s dog food for a while now. I told Matt the brand we are using and he said they use to be a great product, but then a few years back they changed the main ingredients. Lots of fillers, rice and grains now. We have to watch our pet’s food just like our own!

Even when Pet’s Plus was a much smaller store, it was one of my girls favorite places to visit when they were young. If you need an adventure to take your little ones on, that’s free and fun, stop by Pet’s Plus. Beautiful birds, lizards, hamsters, mice, fish and guinea pigs all right in our own town, too! Matt encourages you to take your time, enjoy the sounds and sights and ask questions, too! I could definitely go on and on, but I will end this week’s On The Road here. I might even start typing right now for next week. I can’t wait to tell you about Ark Traveling Veterinarian Services and our own St. Peter’s Episcopal Church that I went into for the first time just a couple hours ago. Breathtaking!

With A Grateful Heart Sherry

On the Road with Sherry

About the author

Sherry has lived in Londonderry since the 1960's. Her mother was one of the first employees at Mr. Steer Meats. Sherry taught at the Londonderry High School for a number of years and spearheaded the first Career Education Class at the school. She has two daughters of her own with her husband John.
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