Eclipse Day in Derry and Raymond, New Hampshire April 8, 2024

A total solar eclipse was visible in parts of the United States and Canada on April 8, 2024. In Derry and Raymond it was at 98% coverage. Not total but significantly more than the eclipse we were able to observe in 2017 which was at 62%. The most amazing thing was how light it still was with only 2% of the sun visible. One percent of the sun is brighter than 10,000 x the brightness of the full moon!!

Alex and I watched the eclipse from our house in Raymond

Rita was able to watch from work in Derry

They were able to take a picture using a special camera

Taste Test – MRE Menu 19 Beef Patty, Jalapeno Pepper Jack

Meals Ready to Eat (aka MREs) are the United States military rations. In my canoe trip days I used to purchase these in bulk. They are much too heavy to form the majority of your food on an extended trip but they were a pleasant supplement. What I used to do was disassemble the package and gather together the side dishes, deserts, main entrees, etc. I could then add a few items to the bulk of my food supply. I purchased a MRE to see what has changed in the past twenty years and to show Alex what they were like.

Heating unit, instructions and nutritional information are all relatively recent additions

The Au Gratin potatoes were actually verry good 8 out of 10

Processed beef patty…

… with BBQ sauce

A couple of tortillas included

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal cookie for desert

excellent 9 out of 10

A mixture of condiments

the cheese spread and peanut butter (not included in this meal) were always favorites served with pilot crackers on our trips

The meal was quite good 7 out of 10

Great for car camping but for canoeing buy a case, break apart and add individual items to your meal plan as they are quite heavy

Restaurant Review – Mary Ann’s Diner (Salem, New Hampshire)

Mary Ann’s Diner in Salem is the sister restaurant to the one in Derry, New Hampshire that was previously reviewed here. The diner is 1950s themed and offers breakfast all day as well as lunch and dinner.

50s themed décor is quite striking

Huge piece of fish

7 out of 10

Cheesy bacon tots excellent

9 out of 10

Alex enjoyed his sandwich

8 out of 10

Overall experience 8 out of 10

Taste Test – Lester’s Fixins Peter Butter & Jelly Soda

Lester’s Fixins food flavored sodas are manufactured by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop. The carbonated beverages are made with cane sugar. The flavor idea came from Rob Powells and Ryan Morgan, the Rocket Fizz co-founders. The name Lester’s Fixins is named after Ryan’s real life grandpa Lester.

These sodas from Lester’s Fixins are not very good. The flavor is not strong but is just enough to give the soda an off-putting after taste. Go ahead and purchase as a party favor and conversation piece but certainly not as a flavorful beverage. 4 out of 10.