Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New England Update

I got a little lazy and didn't blog last night, so now I have to make up for it and cover the last two days.

On Monday we awoke in Boston and headed over to see the well known Boston Common. It's 44 acres and sits right smack in the middle of down town Boston. It is an absolutely gorgeous park that is beautifully manicured and extremely peaceful. Spend just 5 minutes inside the park and you forget that you're surrounded by a major metropolitan area.
After Boston Common we went down to Cambridge where we viewed my father-in-laws former mission home and one of the main areas on his mission. We saw Long Fellow Park and drove around Harvard University. From there we headed back downtown to grab lunch at the Union Oyster House, America's oldest restaurant.Comfortably stuffed and ready to relax, we left Boston and drove down the coast to Cape Cod where we hit up the beach, collected sea shells, got some ice cream, and went on an unsuccessful search for some lighthouses. You'd think it wouldn't be that hard to find lighthouses in Cape Cod, but by that time it was dusk and we were in a bit of a race against time. We did however find a "lighthouse hotel"...yeah, not exactly what we were looking for. But it was still a fun way to drive around and see the town. That night we stayed at the really cozy and charming Bayside Resort Hotel. It was a brief, but pleasant trip to the cod.
The next morning we went inland to Plymouth, MA and visited the Plimouth Plantation, where they have staged Indian and Pilgrim villages with role players from the 17th century. It was really interesting to see and learn the real story about the pilgrims and the relationships that were formed with the Indians when they landed at Plymouth rock. From there we went up the road to see the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. The rock is much smaller now than it's original size due to past visitors chipping pieces off to take home as a souvenir. What's left of the rock, is now surrounded by bars and can be viewed from a small platform above it.
It's been really cool being able to view and experiences some of theses significant places in our country's history. After Plymouth we headed up north to New Hampshire where we had lunch reservations at a place called Pickity Place, which is a small cottage style restaurant/herb garden that serves a 5 course gourmet lunch using herbs and vegetables grown in their own gardens. The food was really good, the atmosphere was unique and pleasant and the view was unbelievable. It sat comfortably nestled deep in the woods of New Hampshire off the beaten path and it definitely beat eating at another restaurant chain.
After lunch we drove into Vermont where we headed out to find the birthplace of Brigham Young, which was in the very small town of Whitingham. The monument was small and hard to find, in fact, it was so hard to find that we never actually found it. We did find the sign that talked about is birthplace, but couldn't actually locate the small stone monument in his name.
Along the way to Whitingham, we stopped at some scenic overlooks, viewed a couple of covered bridges and took a few photos of the amazing landscapes and architecture around us.

That night we stayed at a really nice place called the Inn of the Six Mountains, in the ski town of Killington, VT.

That sums up days 3 and 4, I'm getting a bit of a cold and feeling crazy tired from all the traveling, so I'm gonna succumb to my laziness once again and leave you all hanging for my next blog post. Cause I'm sure all of you are just waiting on pins and needles for my next update ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"One if by land, two if by sea"...

Day two of our New England adventure began in the hustle and bustle of downtown Boston, and ended in the little fishing town of Rockport. First thing this morning we embarked on our 2 hour drive from CT to the Charlestown area where we toured areas of the Freedom Trail starting with the old North Church, where two lanterns where hung as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were coming by sea. We took the behind the scenes tour where we got to view the bell ringing chamber and the crypt where they had buried priests, military soldiers and indentured servants.

We also ate at this little Italian eatery called Dino's where we enjoyed sandwiches and pasta before our tour. It was a small corner restaurant situated between an Italian bakery and an Italian gift shop...I sense a theme going on here. Reminded me of being back in Italy, it was very authentic.
After North Church we visited Copp's Hill, a cemetery that dates back to the 1600's and looked like something straight out of a Tim Burton film. The head stones were all cracked and either falling over or sinking into the ground. It had a lot of character and was pretty cool to see. We then went to see the U.S.S. Constitution, also known as the "Old Ironsides" down at Thompson Square. From there we went to Bunker Hill to see the monument where the first major battle of the American Revolution was.
After brushing up on our war history, we decided to slow things down a bit and drive about 45 mins North to Rockport where we indulged in some amazingly fresh lobster at Roy Moore's lobster company. A highly recommended (via Trip Advisor) lobster shack that sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. I make no exaggerations when I say "shack". This place was the epitome of the word, with no dining room, only 5 or 6 crates and boxes used for tables and chairs that sat on their back deck. This place barely had a bathroom, let alone a kitchen and everything was prepared, served and eaten in a 600 square foot area. But don't let the description deter you, this places lived up to it's name.

After dinner we grabbed some ice cream and browsed the local shops that line the narrow streets of this quaint and colorful town.

It's been a good trip so far but it has only just begun. Tomorrow we will be exploring more of Boston and then heading down into Cape Cod.

P.S. I will be posting some more of my interesting and "artistic" photos once we get back and I have access to my computer and photo programs. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bucket List

So I can't really say I have an official, "Bucket List" but if I did, it wouldn't so much be the THINGS I want to do before I die, but more the PLACES I want to visit in my lifetime. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a passion for traveling and in my lifetime I've made a decent amount of trips to a lot of really awesome places. One of the places on my "Bucket List" is seeing New England in the fall. Today, I made the first step in crossing that off my list. :)

Rob's dad served a mission in the New England area over 50 years ago and has since always wanted to go back and bring his wife. Rob's mom has also dreamed of seeing the fall foliage back east and for a long time they have talked about making a trip out there and bringing us along with them to do just that. Several weeks ago, we made that dream more of a reality when we booked our airfare, and today we embarked on our journey. :)

We're planning on spending a week here, indulging in amazingly fresh seafood, exploring antique shops and lighthouses, photographing the vividly colorful landscape, driving the vast scenic routes, frequenting country stores and chocolate shops, and taking in all the history that this eccentric part of the country has to offer. I plan on blogging the latest on our trip every night to bring any interested parties along for the ride.

Today, Rob, my in-laws and I flew out to Connecticut as the first stop on our 'Tour De New England'. There really isn't much to blog about, as we spent most of the day traveling, but I do have to make note of the AMAZING chicken wings we had at Buffalo Wild Wings (Mine and Rob's favorite wing joint) tonight once we finally landed and got settled.

Tomorrow we will be heading into Boston to enjoy fresh lobster, tour the old iron sides museum and North Church, visit Boston Commons, walk the arboretum at Harvard and view some of the places from my Father-in-law's mission.

For now, I'm gonna try and recover from my jet lag and attempt to go to bed "early", (even though it's already 11:00 pm here) and I'll write more tomorrow once we've done something a bit more interesting.