Saturday, July 03, 2010

New England Trip-Final Post

This picture was taken on the last day of our trip. We packed our bags and said goodbye to our friends at the B&B.

We drove along the coast of Maine toward Boston, stopping at a few coastal towns along the way. We saw this lighthouse up close at Bass Harbor.

We stopped for lunch in the quaint little town of Camden, Maine. I LOVED this cute little town. It had the most fun little shops with cute names like "Josephine's" and "The Smiling Cow". It was very cute. We ate sandwiches and fish-and-chips at a little restaurant there "The Mariner's Restaurant".

We walked around the town for a little while before jumping back into the car and heading back to Boston.

The next day, we left our hotel and went to the airport. We were one step closer to seeing our kiddoes again. :)

Okay, I am posting this next picture entirely for the benefit of my mom. You know how they say that every person has a twin somewhere in the world? Well, during our travels, I happened to spot several people's look-alikes. We saw a man working on the runway at the Boston airport who looked just like a twin of our friend, Terry Brantley. Then, while we were at the Red Sox game, I noticed that the woman sitting in front of us eerily resembled Josh's mom. On our return trip, I spotted this man waiting to board our plane. It was freaky to me how much he looked like my mother's dad. Naturally, I pulled out my camera and sleuthfully tried to get a pic of him. This was the best I could do. :)

Home sweet home! Here are our kids. They spent a week with my parents while we were gone. I love these sweet little buddies and hated leaving them for such a long time. Here they are, holding some of the unique (and inexpensive) souvenirs we picked up for them on our trip. Included are lobster lollipops, a shower cap and bar of soap from our B&B, shells from the beach in Maine, a Red Sox Pez dispenser, and a barf bag from our airplane. There is no need for souvenirs to be expensive. :) The kids loved their little "treasures" just as much as we loved the price. :)

So that about wraps it up for our Boston trip. We had so much fun! When I finally stepped off of the plane and back into the stifling Texas heat it felt so good to be home again. New England is wonderful! I'd love to go back for a visit again some day, but this Texas girl loves her home state. :)

Friday, July 02, 2010

New England Day 5

On day five of our trip we took a bus tour of Acadia National Park. Our little travel book recommended that we take a short bus tour to get an overview of the park and then head out to explore the park ourselves.

We started out the morning with some yummy treats, specially prepared by the host of our bed and breakfast. One of the things that I love about staying at a B&B is all of the interesting people you encounter during your stay. There were several couples who were about our age eating breakfast outside in the garden area and several older couples sitting in the dining room area. Josh remarked (and I agreed) that it would be much more fun to visit with the older couples. We met a retired college professor and his upper-crust, prim-and-proper New England wife, along with another retired couple from Cali. I enjoyed visiting with these people almost as much as I enjoyed going to Acadia National Park! They had so many interesting stories and wisdom to share. It is fun to be around new types of people. You can learn something from everyone you meet. I love seeing older couples are traveling around and being active together. I want to be an interesting old lady one day. :)

We rode our bus tour through Acadia National Park, stopping to walk around at the main sites along the way. I wish these pictures could do it justice. This place was absolutely gorgeous! I am only including a few pics of the actual park. We simply could not properly capture the amazingness of God's creation.

The weather outside was pretty foggy while we were there. We were unable to see a few of the lighthouses, etc. in the park. It would have been fun to rent a bike and go exploring along the carriage trails through the park. I felt a little sad that I couldn't really participate in some of the more active things to do in Acadia. I know Josh would have really enjoyed biking along the carriage roads. Carriage roads go all throughout the park and were built by Rockefeller with the explicit instruction that no horseless carriage would ever be allowed on the roads. Works for me! Bikers, hikers, and horse-drawn carriage rides took place throughout the day. Fun stuff!

Of course we had to stop and eat after our tour was finished. We opted to get the "Lobster Delite", a local special that consisted of a lobster roll, a bowl of clam chowder, and a slice of fresh blueberry pie. I LOVE lobster and blueberries, so this was a double treat. :)

I know this is silly to include, but while we were eating our lunch, this man walked by with the biggest dog I have ever seen. I asked Josh to follow him and get a picture of his dog. He was GI-NORMOUS. We watched the dog walked over to this fountain to get a drink. He seemed to drink up half of the fountain's contents with a few laps of his tongue. The man who was walking the dog had WAY more attention that someone with a cute baby. Nearly every person he passed had exclaimations and questions about his dog. That dog was COLOSSAL! It was about the size of a miniature horse!

That afternoon, Josh and I went hiking. We went to this area where there was a sand bar. You can walk across the bar to another area and go hiking when the tide is low. You have a couple of hours to finish hiking and get back across before the tide rises again. They told us that one unfortunate couple parked their car on the bar and went kayaking. When they came back, several hours later, their car was floating in the ocean. :)

The beach was a purple color. It was covered with broken up purplish black shells. There were several families with kids out there collecting "treasures" from the bar.

We didn't know this family. I just thought they were especially cute. One of the kids had a crab in his bucket and was super excited. Seeing this family was one of the many times that we missed our kids.

We walked across the bar and hiked for a while...took a few pictures...

There was this crazy pregnant girl who kept trying to climb up these steep rocky areas...

That about sums it up for day five of the trip. By this time, I think we were really missing our kiddoes. I would really like to take the kids out here when they are a little bit older and when I am not in such a fragile state and can kayak and bike and such. I think if we ever bring our kids out here we decided that we will rent a camper and make our own food for breakfast and lunch. Boston and New England have super high prices on their food. Of course, we did eat lobster nearly every day...but truly, what was considered an "inexpensive" meal there would be an expensive meal here.

I'm trying to knock out documenting this trip so that I won't forget anything. I probably have only about one more post until I am finished. YAY! More to come later...

Boston/New England Day 4

I am slowly, but surely getting around to documenting our trip in it's entirety. It takes me a little while, so I have to do it in increments.

On day four, Josh and I rented a car and headed out to explore the states surrounding Massachusetts. First, we drove through New Hampshire. This state's motto "Live Free or Die" was indicative of the mindset of the people here. They heavily tax tourists on lodging, food, and toll roads to keep the residents' taxes low. People who reside in New Hampshire can shop at their very own state owned liquor store, which we passed on our way through. I thought it very interesting to see the way different states operate.

We drove for several hours, stopping briefly to look at towns along the way. One of the things I loved about New England were the beautiful signs everywhere. Instead of saying "City: Population- 25,000" the entrance signs read "Portsmouth- Settled in 1623". They just had a way of phrasing things to make them literarily pleasing and cared enough to make the entrance signs to their towns alive with character. I even loved the names of the streets and stores in every town. There seemed to be so much town pride in the quaint little towns we visited.

We stopped for lunch in Freeport, Maine. This was one of my favorite little towns along the way. We ate lunch at this FANTASTIC little restaurant there, Jameson Tavern. We picked this restaurant because it was listed as "less expensive" in our travel book. Little did we know that we were eating at a place where the papers were signed that made Maine a state.

We had this quirky little waitress, who recommended that we try some of the lobster dishes the tavern had to offer. Josh and I ate a bowl of the most delicious soup I'd ever eaten in my life! It was a "lobster stew" and was full of big chunks of lobster. It tasted much like a bisque, except creamier. We found out, after ordering, that Jameson Tavern had been featured on a Food Network show (Bobby Flay), specifically for this stew. It was A-MAZING!

I also ordered a "lobster burger". The term "lobster burger" doesn't sound too appetizing to me. It was much like a crabcake on a bun and had some kind of a sauce. This dish was served with sweet potato fries and OH MY GOODNESS it was FABULOUS!

Right next door to the Jameson Tavern was the original L.L. Bean store and outlet. I absolutely LOVE this company and have poured over the catalogs, but hadn't seen their clothing in person. Sadly, there aren't any stores in the south. Josh and I briefly looked at the sports gear and clothing there. I really wanted to spend more time in their shoe section. They had Merrills and Keane shoes at about half the price you would pay here, with a much larger selection. I noticed that people in the north dress more for comfort when it comes to footwear. I am a southern girl in every way, but I do love the northern mentality when it comes to shoes...comfort first.

So...after we glanced in on the L.L. Bean store, we jumped back into the car and headed toward our final destination, Bar Harbor, Maine.

When we arrived, we found a place to stay...

It was a local bed and breakfast. We loved our time here. Everything was wonderful!

They had this beautiful garden area behind the main house where you could sit and eat or just relax.

We walked around the town and explored for a while. The weather was perfect. Later on that evening we ate at a local restaurant in Bar Harbor. We sat outside on the patio.

We walked around the town and looked into the shops and tried on some lobster attire.

We went into "Ben-And Bill's", a local ice cream shop. We sampled some lobster ice cream there. It tastes like vanilla with chunks of lobster. I would not necessarily buy a pint of this stuff, but everyone should get a chance to try some lobster ice cream in their lifetime!

We walked around that night by the ocean. It was a very picturesque area. Lots of couples and families were sitting or walking around out there beside the ocean. Absolutely beautiful!

So that sums up day four of our New England trip. I will write more as I have time.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Boston Day 3

On day three of our trip, we woke up a little later than the day before, hopped on the subway, and walked to the Back Bay Area of Boston. The Back Bay Area has many exclusive retailers, more than I've ever seen in another city. I've never been to New York, but I imagine parts of New York would look like this. I cannot imagine how costly it must be to live in this area or how so many of these super fancy retailers could be thriving financially. It was crazy! We walked through this area, not stopping to shop. Josh kept begging and begging me to shop, but I politely declined. :)

We were going to be out late that night, so we decided to spend much of the day just hanging out and spending time together. We grabbed some lunch at a fun local burrito place, and then headed out for a picnic at Boston's Public Gardens. The closest thing I've seen to the Public Gardens is the Dallas Arboretum. On a scale of 1-10, the Dallas Arboretum would be a 5. The Public Gardens was a 10 AND it was FREE.

The Public Gardens had these beautiful swan boats and offered rides around the pond throughout the day. It was absolutely gorgeous, like something out of a fairy tale. The park was decorated with beautiful flowers and historical statues. Josh and I sat on a bench and people watched and talked. It was very entertaining. The weather was perfect!

Josh and I caught a movie in downtown Boston. I was so tired from walking around the day before that I actually fell asleep during the movie, which is something I've never done. :)

We caught a subway that evening and were off to the Red Sox game...

Here is a pic on the subway. I must say, the subway is not my fave. I've learned that I am a little bit claustrophobic. This is a pic on the way to the game. On the way back, it was about twice this packed! People were pushing and cramming in together on the way home. I stuck close to Josh.

Fenway Park was A-MAZING. The atmosphere was so fun. It had sortof an old-timey feel. Our seats were old wooden chairs that looked as old as the stadium. There were so many people hanging out outside of the park before the game. It was a carnival-type atmosphere with fun foods,

a man on stilts throwing baseballs to the crowd,

and a fun little band playing tunes.

I thought this was funny. At Fenway Park, along with hot dogs and peanuts, they sell clam chowder to the fans. :)

My favorite part of the game was sitting next to this guy. :)

Day three ended our stay in Boston. I will write about our trip into the other parts of New England as I have time. More to come later...