New England {my heart belongs to you}

by Cindy on August 22, 2011

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Hello there!

It’s been a bit of a break for me, but we were away on a great big road trip!   Fair warning:  this is a long blog post!

You may already know that I have a serious case of Wanderlust.  I have a hard time sitting still, and I doubt I ever will – not when there are so many places to discover and see.  Growing up, we lived all over the world.  Once we started a family though, travels became more local in scope.  There are still some states that I have never been to, and Maine was one of them.  The New England destination began to develop.

We packed the car, our senior dog was left under the good care of my Dad (who even set his alarm at 2:00 a.m. each night to take him out),  and then we were off on our adventure!  The best part was that we had no agenda.  We made our hotel reservation for that night that very afternoon. We had no idea where we would stop first, we just drove….in the pouring rain.  If you’re on the East coast, you know the kind of rain we had this past week! We made our first stop in New Jersey, where I mentally paid homage to favorite singer, Bruce Springsteen. 🙂

We drove through New York City in the pouring rain.  The rain did not diminish the kid’s excitement to see the Statue of Liberty for the first time, or to drive up 5th Avenue and see the Empire State Building.  They were hoping to find a Lego store, but we didn’t brake for that one.  We did whatever it took though to find parking for PIZZA….what’s a trip to NYC without NY-style pizza??

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Our stay in Newport, RI was memorable.  Maybe it was the torrential downpour, to the point that I couldn’t take any pictures – now that just about broke my heart.  While running in to the post office, my husband was asked by a 93 year-old nun if he would drive her back home to St. Joseph’s parish.  She was a originally from England, and was now caring for a 99 year-old sister.  Our time with this special woman was brief, but she left a lasting impression.

If you’ve ever been to Newport, you know just how beautiful this town really is.  Newport holds special meaning for us; my husband proposed to me right there on the Cliff Walk.   He was a new Naval Academy graduate, and I was a graduate student studying social work in Richmond, VA.  He made the drive down south to visit me weekend after weekend.  My father and brother have ties to Newport as well, both went through Officer Indoctrination School.  Later my husband was stationed in Newport after our tour in Monterey.  I don’t think we realized just how good we had it then, living in tourist destinations!  So on this trip, we decided to take the kids to see our old house on base housing in Portsmouth – and we were shocked to see it was gone!  The housing was still there for the most part, but certain houses were now just grass and trees. This made us feel a bit old – you know that sensation when you return somewhere to relive a childhood memory, only to find that house or school has been torn down.  Here’s a view of our former house – through the rain….

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Massachusetts…. we probably spent the least amount of time here as we were really just traveling through.  On the way home, we made a point to drive by the Boston harbor.  On the way up, we stopped at this nice antique mall (of course you know antiquing would make the “to-do” list!), the Sturbridge Antiques Shop.  I think the nicest ladies ever worked in this shop – all so professional and helpful.  I picked up some old 48-star flags for my collection, along with vintage jewelry pieces and lace/trim.

The famed Brimsfield antiques show is coming up in a few weeks – one day I would sure love to attend!

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I had never been to Maine.  My parents drive up to Maine a couple times a month presently, they love it so.   I couldn’t wait to visit myself.  I wanted to see the beautiful coastal towns, the shingled homes that once belonged to sea captains, the lighthouses.  We were not disappointed, in fact, I think it is safe to say both my husband fell in love with this state.  Now granted we weren’t visiting during a cold winter month, but we quickly saw that there was something interesting to see or do at every turn.

Kennebunkport was our first stop – home of the Bush Compound.  I was able to take a few beautiful shots of the the Bush family retreat, a one hundred year old-plus mansion, which sits along the Atlantic Ocean.  We stopped in a few antiques stores just outside of town and I purchased the focal for my dear Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Riki Schumaker. 🙂

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The kids had fun climbing the rocks at Cape Porpoise.  I had more fun with my camera, so excited that the rain temporarily stopped and I could shoot pictures of the lighthouse and sailboats.  One of the boys tried a lobstah roll here.  Another family first.

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While at the lobster stand, I met a Philadelphia-area woman who told me we should visit Biddeford Pool.  There are many beautiful summer homes here, built along the water with spectacular views of the ocean.  This very woman advised us on where to go and try Maine blueberry pie.  We followed her advice and also tried the blueberry pound cake and 7-layer bars!

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Heading north towards our main destination of Portland, we made a stop at Old Orchard Beach.  I braved a touristy general store,  and bought a few beach towels/bucket/shovel.  We were then off to experience a Maine beach!  No clouds in the sky – the rain had finally stopped.  We searched for driftwood and skipping stones.  This was one of my favorite memories of the trip.

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Freeport was a great stop in our travels, and home to L.L. Bean.  Did you know those famous “Bean Boots” were first created here by Leon Leonwood Bean? The town has many outlet stores, and a very special BEAD store… The Beadin’ Path!  I left the guys in the car for this stop, and enjoyed perusing around this electic bead shop.  It sure has it all from vintage lucite and metals to a great selection of beading books.  There was something missing though – Heather and Ashley, who I met at B&B.  They were gone on vacation.

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Could it be?  LOBSTER ice cream?  We didn’t try this one.  We did however try custard at a place up RT. 1 called Classic Custard. The custard came highly recommended by one of the helpful gentlemen at L.L. Bean (and you know it’s a good idea to take the advice of locals).  It happened to be classic car night, which was fun.

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A visit to New Hampshire was a must on our return trip home.  I made a few visits here back in my sister’s Dartmouth college years.  This our destination was the old town of Porstmouth.  I guess it’s quite redundant to describe these towns as old!  Founded in the early 1600’s, Portsmouth is home to the country’s oldest naval shipyard. Paul Revere rode here to warn that the British were coming in 1774.  The house below is known as the “Oracle House” circa 1702.  It is available, and on the market for $1,495,000.

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We’re fond of the little town of Mystic, CT.  We had been here several times before while living in Newport, and this time we wanted to take the kids on a walking tour.  We acted like true tourists, and ate at the reknowned Mystic Pizza.  This pizza parlor was put on the map with Julia Robert’s movie, Mystic Pizza.  Anyone remember that one?  I only saw pieces of it back in the late 80’s….but now I had my chance.  The movie was playing on a screen continually.

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There it was, my husband spotted it first.  A pumpkin, and a rebellious one at that!  Growing between the white picket fence of a beautiful waterfront home, we saw one of the first signs of fall.  Just as our New England road trip had to come to an end, so too is the summer – all too quickly.  We cherished the days though, and I have a heart full of memories to reminisce over when the dreaded cold weather comes.

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Thank you for sticking with me through this long, long post.  I’ll go back to my shorter posts now. 🙂

-Cindy

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindi Driggers August 22, 2011 at 4:54 am

I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for sharing your trip and this beautfiul part of the country. My husband and I have talked of taking a trip through the New England states with no agenda.

Kerry August 22, 2011 at 5:57 am

What an incredible, memory making adventure!! You made me feel like I was right there with you guys. I wanna go now too!!! We used to do stuff like this all the time when we were kids, and oh how I wish I could do it with mine too!

Post lots more photos of Flickr, please! I want to keep living vicariously through your images!!

Stefanie August 22, 2011 at 6:02 am

Oh, Cindy, thanks for taking me on the journey. Your pics are wonderful – as always:-)

Christine Damm August 22, 2011 at 6:40 am

Great post, Cindy and as usual, I just adored the shots of the boys! Too bad you didn’t make it to VT but we’ll be able to get together in a little over a month for ArtBliss! We’ll have to make the VT trip longer– so many antique stores, so little time! I think you will have to stay for at least a month and we’ll go to Brimfield together.

Therese August 22, 2011 at 8:35 am

Oh wow I very much enjoyed reading and viewing the pictures of you New England adventure, thank you for sharing. I’m so glad that Y’all had a wonderful and safe trip.
Therese

Alice August 22, 2011 at 8:51 am

Cindy, what a wonderful vacation! Your boys will remember this for a long time. As a kid our family traveled to most of the states, including a couple of the New England states, but we didn’t even scratch the surface. I’d love to see them all with my own family. Thanks for sharing your vacation with us, and I don’t mind the long post at all!

Happy Monday!

Laura Twiford August 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

Thank you Cindy for sharing your beautiful family and adventures. It brought back a lot of memories to me when as a kid our family always traveled ( and still does, just not me so much) to New England. I have a whale’s tooth from our first visit to Mystic Seaport. I actually spent the first 3 years of my life in Portsmouth NH as my Dad was stationed at Pease AFB. We used to take summer vacations up there and then in 2000 Ray and I went through and up into Nova Scotia and PEI, you would love that too. We found ourselves saying we could live on PEI. I took a historic redware workshop at Plymouth Plantation that same year. Love all the fishing villages and history, *swoon*.

cat kerr August 22, 2011 at 9:29 am

Wonderful Post Cindy!!Thank you so much for taking us along and letting us visit right along side you.You have such a gift for story telling and taking the most amazing photos.The on eof the kids walking with the birds and flag above them..so beautiful.Hugs,Cat

Jenny August 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

What a great road trip! New England say ‘family’ to me. Sisters that went to college in Lewiston Maine,and Boston. A brother and his family that lives in Brooks Maine. Maine in June when the flowers all explode – unbelievable! Glad you had such fun.

Rochelle August 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

Wonderful pictures!
I live very close to Mystic, in CT. I hope you got to see the bridge in action. It’s a really cool and rare design.
Glad you had a great time!

Erin Prais-Hintz August 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Oh boy! I love to see your posts. They are so rich with history and picture of your charming boys (your husband isn’t so bad either! 😉 It has been YEARS since my family took a vacation. This sounds just about perfect. I love the way you stopped to appreciate all the little nuances that each place had to offer. Thank you for taking us along. I love it!
(Especially that picture of your boy with the cupcake!)
Enjoy the day, Miss Cindy!
Erin

Shirley Moore August 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I love God’s perfect timing. As we started back to school today, I told the kids we were studying American history this year, and then I see your post! Only way it could be better is if we had gone on the trip too! But I’m going to write down all the cool places you mentioned, so maybe a trip will be in our future! Thanks for the great pics!

Melissa M August 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful trip with us, Cindy! It looks like you and your sweet family had a wonderful time! I would love to do exactly that, as I have never been to any of those places, save NYC! Loved seeing your beautiful face in a couple of those shots, since you are usually behind the camera!

Sharon August 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trip and family with us!!!!!

Jo Tinley August 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

It looks as though you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the photos.
I know what you mean about the shock of seeing an old home gone. Our old family home was knocked down to create access to a new housing estate built in the fields behind. We’d moved out 9 years before, but it was still horrible to see.

Genea August 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm

What a wonderful trip! It looks like you all had such a wonderful time! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

Madeline August 22, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Great pictures and I loved your commentary! Frank and I took a trip to New England about 15 years ago and visited several of the places you mentioned and your stories brought back good memories. You would love Nova Scotia and PEI as an earlier poster mentioned! The boys are growing so fast! Frank and I are going to Baltimore Sept 2-8 and will probably be in Bethany at Helen and Dick’s house on the 4th, 5th, and 6th, I think. Are you going to the beach for Labor Day? would love to see you if you are! Keep writing those posts (even the long ones) and posting pictures of your beautiful family, including the parents! I’ve been checking your site for days looking for a posting! So thank you!

Cindy Wimmer Muse August 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm

What a great post Cindy, and wonderful pictures. Of course I do always like to stop by to see what you all are up too. I think that this was probally the most perfect time to go on a trip on the NE border. It will be too cold for me in a month. Under the temp of 75 degrees I don’t feel like I am completely whole.
I must point out you did forget to mention one of the most important things for Newport RI is that is my birth place. 🙂 Of course no mental rememberance of it but I guess we only lived there a couple of months after my birth.
Continue to post and send pics I really do enjoy.
Oh a new hobby for me I have started doing some jewelry myself. Staying with the beading and stitching not getting into the metal work. I have done a few pieces and I enjoy it. I havent done much with real expensive stones or crystals yet due to the fact I wasnt sure I would really like doing it. However, I have enjoyed learning. Tell all hi and I love them. Enjoy the rest of the summer! Cindy

Tara August 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Loved your post, Cindy! I recently got home from a vacation in Maine/New Hampshire/Rhode Island, etc, also! In fact, I also visited The Beadin’ Path in Freeport! Loved seeing the pictures!

Sally Russick August 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm

What a wonderful road trip! Thank you so much for sharing your travels. The photo are great and tell such a wonderful story!

Lori Anderson August 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Sounds nice. I always said I should live in Maine since I hate the heat. Sorry I didn’t get to see you on the return trip down.

Jenny August 24, 2011 at 7:58 am

Ah Cindy – how time reroutes us! The same 2 New England sisters live in Austin and Albuquerque now! ha Ha!

Patty August 24, 2011 at 8:16 am

You were up in my neck of the woods. I am laughing about Maine as my husbands company is building a compound up there for a client and he will be doing some traveling up that way. ( it’s about 4 1/2 hours from where we are). He isn’t looking foward to it as it starts snowing in October and doesn’t stop until April!!! After last years winter he is already moaning! A lovely trip and living in Ct I really miss NY pizza – there is no comparison here! It looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

Mandy August 25, 2011 at 6:35 am

Wow Cindy!!!! This trip looks incredible! I love the way you arranged the photos, which are incredible by the way. I was thinking as I read that this would be an awesome coffee table book. You should see about doing one of those books you can self-publish, it really would make an awesome book!

diane cook August 26, 2011 at 12:18 am

So sweet and full of memories for you and your guys =) Wish some of that rain would come down South…
Your photos were so beautiful as usual. I loved taking your trip along side of you and your beautiful family!

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