The grand kids have gone home. Brian and I are rambling around the east coast on our own schedule, which means no schedule and no itinerary. This is how we love to travel whether on land or the water. Spend as much time as we want in an area and then pick our next destination. We love to drive around small towns and neighborhoods to see how people live in different parts of the country.
First stop -- Long Island, NY. We recognized the names of many of the towns and weren't disappointed in their quaint charm.
|Colorful farmer's markets in most|
of the towns -- it was a Thursday.
One thing that does alter our route is the list of Seafood Shacks in Coastal Living magazine. Each year they publish a list of the best shacks in the coastal states. We try to eat in as many of them as possible.
|Newport, Rhode Island -- cute downtown and the fabulous mansions.|
|Laurelawn - A widow's cabin|
|Even the fences are over the top|
|Did I mention--signs we've never seen before?|
Entering Cape Cod, Massachusetts: one cute little town after another, sweeping beaches, winding tree lined roads and every bay had hundreds of boats moored.
Arriving in Plymouth, we found Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II (an exact replica of the original).
|This large monument built around 'the rock' keeps|
graffiti artists away and makes sure the tourists
|The original Mayflower was chartered|
by the Pilgrims for the trip. It took 66
days to cross, but they lived on board
for most of 9 months. The ship left
England in September 1620 and
arrived in America November 9, 1620.
|The 25 - 30 crew members lived above |
deck. Some with private accommodations.
The 102 Pilgrims were not allowed on the
main deck. They lived in one large room
with little light or fresh air and a few animals.
|This is the kitchen! A live fire to cook|
food for about 127 people. Who's hungry
for hot dogs and samores? Wow, this
is roughing it!
|In April 1621 the Mayflower left for|
England. None of the colonists
|We arrived at South Station in the heart of Boston.|
|This beautiful boulevard of green space led us|
to Quincy Market.
A last minute decision led us to Boston. We had vacationed here about 18 years ago and loved the fact that it was a walking city. Most of the historical sights are within a small radius and it is well organized for tourists to do a self guided tour following the Freedom Trail. Of course, we had a bit more stamina 18 years ago!
|Quincy Market, a great place for a casual meal. |
Vendors line the interior with all varieties of
food. We had breakfast. It is referred to as "The
Cradle of Liberty"
|The brick stripes in the sidewalk clearly mark the|
|The Old State House built in 1713|
was the seat of Colonial government.
The Declaration of Independence was
first read here.
|The Old South Meeting House was built|
in 1729 as a Puritan meeting house.
Benjamin Franklin was baptized here and,
it is where Samuel Adams signaled the
start of the Boston Tea Party.
|This statue of Benjamin Franklin|
was the first portrait statue erected
in America. It is on the site of the
first public school -- 1635.
|Boston Commons is the oldest public park in the|
country. It was set aside in 1634 as a military
training field and grazing pasture.
|The home of Paul Revere from 1770 - 1800. Built in|
1680 it is the oldest home in Boston.
|The Italian District....a street of delicious|
restaurants and the pungent smell of garlic.
|The Old North Church is the oldest|
standing church in Boston. Built in 1723.
On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere hung two
lanterns in the steeple signaling the
Redcoats would attack by sea.
|A statue of Paul Revere riding towards|
a church bell he created.
|Downtown Portland --|
Only a man would name a restaurant
|Kiara, Larry and Cooper introduced us to their fun|
city. Kiara will officially be Larry's daughter soon.
Wow, I am really getting a history and geography lesson on this trip! I hate to admit how much I have forgotten since high school. Again, I was reminded how small some of these states are. New Hampshire is a very narrow piece of land at the coast. It took less than an hour to drive from one neighboring state to the other. That's Massachusetts to Maine in case anyone else is as confused as I am.
We met Larry, a college friend of Jennifer's in beautiful Portland, New Hampshire. When we arrived on Sunday morning around 10:30, most of the parking lots were already filled. The town is loaded with cute stores and restaurants. Definitely one of those destinations for a Sunday drive.....apparently I'm not the first one to think of that!
Leaving Portland we crossed a bridge and saw the sign welcoming us to Maine. It didn't actually say 'Jackie and Brian Smillie, Welcome to Maine'. It was a more general message. We still felt the love!
Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!