Crazy for the New England Coast

by Cindy on September 26, 2012

Hello friends!

Surprise!  No, not an artBLISS post although I AM in a post-artBLISS blissful state!  I’ll share pictures of the weekend’s big event in a few days.  But for now, I thought I’d share pictures from a few weeks ago. We went on a New England Road Trip, Round 2….no agenda, just drove up the coast and stopped in seaport towns.  The kind of trip I dream of really (except the constant, “are we there yet?” pleas from the back seat!).  You may remember my New England post from last year.  I hope this will continue to be a summer tradition for us.

We enjoyed Connecticut and found two places that were totally new to us. If you have kids, you may like these destinations as well.  First we stopped at the Pez Visitor’s Center/Museum in Orange, CT.   I’m sure you all know and love Pez.  You know those candies that come in all sorts of collectible and seasonal containers?  They’ve been around since 1927 and believe it or not, my guys have been casually collecting them for years.

Our next stop, The Dinosaur Place, was  perfect for my 3-year-old who is obsessed with dinosaurs and fossils.  He’s been telling strangers that he wants to be an archeologist when he grows up!  In fact, the other day he surprised me by asking ME what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I haven’t been asked this question in a long time!  I told him I wanted to be his Mommy.  He was pleased and said, “good, then you can be my archaeology assistant”.

Mystic, Connecticut was our next stop.  We’ve been here many times and its beauty draws me in without fail.

Newport, Rhode Island….we lived around the corner from this incredibly charming harbor town many years ago.  My Dad went through Officer Indoctrination School (OIS) here in the 60’s…. so did my brother before beginning his career as a Navy doctor.  Randy and I moved here after our tour in Monterey, CA back when he was still in the Navy.  So this is the special town where we decided to spend one of my son’s 8th birthday.

The birthday boy is the one wearing a button.  I wonder how long my guys are going to let me pin on a birthday button!

Back when I was in graduate school in Richmond studying social work, my husband proposed to me in Newport….right on the Cliff Walk.  Here’s a picture of a few of the many beautiful mansions that line the walk.

We continued our trek to Maine, our final destination.  We decided to veer off the beaten path and visit a town we spotted on the highway.  All it took was seeing the word historic in  “Historic Newburyport”.

There were countless opportunities to take pictures; as you can imagine I just went crazy.  The waterfront, buoys, ships and lighthouses….I had my camera out at all times!

We discovered Perfecto’s, a great bagel and muffin place in Kennebunkport, ME.  Years ago we fell in love with New York-style bagels when we had a big fresh bagel in Darien, CT.    We look for them now whever we’re in New England.  Of course, one cannot pass up a muffin like this:

If seeing such picturesque coastal towns wasn’t enough, Maine also has really great opportunities to go antiquing.  And of course you can bet I was quick to seek them out….  Rt.1 is a trail that you’ll want to travel if you get the chance to visit Maine and love antiques.  Just look at this line-up!  We found great destinations from southern Maine on up north of Portland.

We spent an afternoon in the harbor town of Camden, Maine.  The kids enjoyed looking for sea glass at Laite Memorial Beach Park.


We visited one of the most famous lighthouses in all of New England, and the oldest in Maine:   the Portland Head Light.  The views were breath-taking.  We took a family shot that just might have to be our Christmas card picture this year. 🙂

The rocky ledge runs far out into the sea
And on its outer point, some miles away,
The lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.
                                                      – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Lighthouse”

In our quest to see a few lighthouses, we came across Fort Popham,  a semi-circular fort made from granite for use in the Civil War.  Talk about a boy’s dream – they could run around, hide, and play in a real fort!

The grand finale on the trip home was a stop in NYC to catch a Broadway show.  We saw the Tony award-winning show, Peter and the Star Catchers.  This tale of Peter Pan was incredibly funny and entertaining – each one of my boys seemed to watch from the edge of their seats!

I think I would be quite content to live in New England part of the year… summers there and winters here.  Now that seems like the perfect arrangement to me.  Until then, I’ll be dreaming about next summer ….

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerry September 26, 2012 at 6:44 am

Every image is the most perfect picture postcard, Cindy! And what fantastic memories your family is making. Next year, come back down through upstate NY and check out the Adirondack mountains and towns there. You’ll love it! And swing by Rochester!! I’ll show ya some antique shops and we can take the kids to the national museum of play!!

Michelle T September 26, 2012 at 8:15 am

Thanks for sharing, Cindy. I always get an “aawww” or laugh when reading about your boys. Three is such a great age. Savor it!! We visited Maine in August and fell in love with Portland. We also stopped into an antique shop outside of Bar Harbor owned by a funny Englishman and I found… buttons! Also a Fiestaware lid for a good price.

Keep posting your adventures!

Sharon Misuraco September 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

Cindy, thanks for sharing your wonderful and memory-making trip! Your pictures just captured it all, as usual! The boys will always remember these trips and probably do the same thing in later years. This was such a nice departure from Wisconsin, although it’s very beautiful here, too, right now, with the brilliant color. Interesting to know that”Mommy’s” are available for other important positions! You looked super classy in your black and white outfit!

cat kerr September 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

A wonderful trip dear friend,thanks for taking us along…Love your little man wearing the mustache!! xoxo

Veralynne Malone September 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Great pictures! Makes me want to go up there to visit all the more. I am in Florida. Your boys are getting so big…Keep the memories coming, we love it.

Monique U. (A Half-Baked Notion) September 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Wonderful photo story, Cindy! I love how you always find great kid-friendly spots for your boys to explore. I would love to visit new England, especially Maine as it is our close neighbour (I live in New Brunswick, Canada). I had to chuckle while reading your 3-year-old’s question… I am in my fifties but I still sometimes wonder what I will do when I grow up LOL

Alice September 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Another great trip. And I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit jealous. Your photos are gorgeous as usual! I’m adding every stop you made to my ever growing list of places I want to see. We’ve been trying to get to the east coast for three years now, and something earth-shattering always comes along to ruin it. Crossing our fingers for the summer of 2013.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Peggy September 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I want that cupcake!

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement September 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Oh gosh, I’m so jealous!!! You’ve hit some of my favorite things here; cupcakes (and boy does THAT one look delicious!), historical places, travel…I’ve only been to the ocean once, but I’d LOVE combing the beach for sea glass to use in my designs.

That one is actually on my to-do list!

Thank you for sharing and letting me travel along with you and your family with your great post and incredible pictures 🙂

Cynthia@OrnamentalStyle September 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm

What gorgeous places you visited. Sounds like a grand time. I love Nathaniel’s (is that correct?) comment that you can be his assistant. So sweet!

Theresa Fosdick September 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thank you for sharing. Makes me want to pack up and go…

Sally Anderson September 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hi Cindy. What a great trip. Your photos are, as always, fantastic. It feels like we were there along with you. I could almost taste that chocolate, too! Great memories for your boys and a great time for all of you. Thanks for sharing.

Patti Vanderbloemen September 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I bet you had a hard time choosing what fabulous pictures to so graciously share! Each one is fantastic, as always! What a beautiful family you have! I have always wanted to take a “no itinerary required” trip? Such fantastic memories here! Thanks for sharing!

Brandi September 27, 2012 at 2:22 am

*snort* Archaeology assistant! What a crack-up – your son is adorable! As for your trip, wow. So many awesome places! I have to say, I’m falling a little in love with New England, just from your photos. I’d love to spend some time up there, enjoying the bays and fun shops. One day, one day…

Sandra September 27, 2012 at 5:58 am

Very nice trip. Thanks for taking us along.

Tracy September 27, 2012 at 7:39 am

What a great trip Cindy! I love so many of those places you stopped. You must have been on the road for a long time – you are a very patient Momma to take your boys on such a long car trip. They must be very good at it. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures!


Shelley Graham Turner September 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

Wow you take great photos! You captured colors and textures and now I want to visit!

Holly September 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

As a native New Englander (CT), I love seeing the region though another’s eyes! Thanks for taking us on your tour…even though I’ve been to a number of the places you took us to, it’s just amazing to see again. Makes me realize that we need to get back out on the road ourselves! Wasn’t Fort Popham so intriquing?

Maryanne Gross September 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Gorgeous picture, Cindy! We lived in Maine for 3 years and summer is so lovely up there. Thanks for sharing you photos and the story of your wonderful trip.

Antiquity Travelers September 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm

How fun to see you ‘on vacation’ in my neck of the woods! Sometimes you forget just how pretty your own neighborhood is. For a time, my husband and I lived in CA and I so missed the bagels! We called CA bagels … a roll with a hole (they steamed them v boiled them, which is what makes them dense and chewy). I learned how to make my own in CA because I wanted NY-style bagels 🙂

Stacie September 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

That is the only area of our country I haven’t explored, but really want to..your photos, as usual, are amazing…but the photo of you by yourself is beautiful…

Rebecca Anderson September 28, 2012 at 3:37 am

Wow! What gorgeous pictures. I remember your New England trip last year, I always enjoy joining you on it through your blog. What absolutely gorgeous scenery – and the lighthouse! So lovely. I am envious of your trip to Broadway of course. One day I will go and see a show there! Aren’t your boys looking grand too. So grown up, and they are so smiley! I know that sounds funny, but as someone who works in schools, smiley kids are a wonderful thing to behold. I hope they all stay that way in their teenage years!

Laura Twiford September 29, 2012 at 9:42 am

Thank you for taking me along on that fantastic getaway! The photos are breathtaking and brought many memories back of our own travels to New England. I do so miss visiting there! Makes me want to throw a bag together and hit the road for parts unknown!

Mary Harding November 11, 2012 at 5:06 am

Love the photos and your write up of this trip. I will have to check in on Camden next summer when we go to Maine. Would love to beach comb for sea glass. I know what you mean about Route 1 and antique shops and malls. We found a wonderful one with a very cool flea market in Arundel. Maybe you will stop by next summer. It is a bit up the coast from Wells.

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