Our North American Trip - May and June 2007.
(Click on any photo to see a larger version)
Trip – Week 3:
21 May – 28 May 2007
Cape Cod, Boston, and Rockland (Maine)
(This will be updated as and when internet access allows, and we’ll add photos when time permits. It could (will) be a bit disorganised at times!!)
Monday, 21 May – Long Island, New York to Orleans, Cape Cod
Had breakfast at the hotel and soon after 9am we drove down Long Island to Orient Point to catch the ferry over to New London, Connecticut, with no extra time to spare! Initially the temperature today was reasonable but the breeze on the ferry was rather chilly.
Once we drove off the ferry at New London we drove around a coastal route through Narragansett and under the historic Narragansett Towers. Drove on further to Newport on Newport Island – shops in two different streets were very well kept and lettering on the shop fronts was either in gold or black. Stopped briefly at the International Tennis Hall of Fame - this building was rebuilt to the plan that was originally at Narragansett (original building in Narragansett was burnt down in the early 1900’s and a replica of the original building has since been built at Newport where the Int Tennis Hall of Fame is).
There were lots of lovely old trees around houses and lining the streets in the Newport area, especially down toward the lower part of the city, as this area is well known for older million dollar mansions – originally owned by the rich and famous however, some of these mansions have since been donated to the community of Newport and now there are regular tours through them. In Newport there were lots of lovely old trees around houses and many lining the streets, so that was delightful. This city is where the rich and famous own houses.
As we approached Cape Cod we had to drive over a bridge that went over a large hand made canal – this is so boats do not have to go completely around Cape Cod. We arrived at the Academy Place B&B at Orleans, Cape Cod soon after 5.30pm to some delightful hosts.
We had a light meal out at the local ‘Hearth’n Kettle Restaurant – some delightful clam chowder for Graham.
Tues, 22 May – Cape Cod
A fine sunny day but the wind was cool most of the day.
After a pleasant continental breakfast we headed north up the Cape Cod peninsula, initially stopping at the Visitors Centre. Drove into the Nauset Lighthouse at Nauset Beach – there were signs along the top of the cliffs by the beaches warning people about the ‘slipping cliffs’. As we left the parking area we spotted a wild turkey. Close by were three more lighthouses known as the ‘Three Sisters’ – these have been shifted back to this site as they were getting too close to the sea due to the current erosion along the sea shore.
Further up we stopped off at ‘Marconi Station site’ – this was where Marconi sent the first wireless signal across the Atlantic Ocean – of great interest to Graham with his ham electronics / radio background.
Stopped off at ‘Wellfleet’ – an interesting little town with narrow streets and many quite old houses close to the roadsides. Down at the wharf we noticed many locals ordering food from Mac’s Seafood, so we each had some ‘Clam Chowder’ and shared a lobster salad in a toasted roll for lunch.
Further up we stopped at the ‘Highland Lighthouse’ beside a Golf Links – we were able to climb up inside the lighthouse and were given some very interesting local information about the lighthouse and local area by a guide who appeared to be continually sitting up at the top of the lighthouse.
Early afternoon we arrived up at ‘Provincetown’ – commonly known as a ‘gay’ area! It sure is a cute seaside tourist town with narrow streets, lots of overhead wires & cables and lots of cars parked illegally on yellow lines etc. While walking along the main street area we noticed a local tourist bus outside the Town Hall, so joined the 3pm tour of the town and close by areas – was a good tour. After our tour we noticed a ‘Paws & Whiskers’ dog bakery – heaps of shapes and sizes of cooked biscuits with Carob flavouring (as dogs do not cope well with chocolate) – got a photo but I wasn’t meant to!
Later on we went to the ‘Lobster Pot’ and had an early dinner of clam chowder (again) followed by some local lobster & avocado (A) and a crab salad (G). Slowly drove back down the Cape to the B&B.
Wed, 23 May
– Orleans, Cape Cod
A fine sunny day, however at times the sea breeze is a little chilling.
The owner of the B&B we were staying at arranged for Graham to visit the ‘French Cable Museum’ at Orleans (it is not open yet for the summer), while Annette explored part of the Orleans township.
In the afternoon we drove south to Chatham, visited the Chatham lighthouse and had lunch at Chatham Squire’s Inn before driving further along the southern coast to South Dennis, up through the centre of the Cape to East Dennis then back to the B&B. Dinner that evening was at the ‘Old Jailhouse Tavern’ – very ordinary.
Thurs, 24 May
– Cape Cod / Boston
Fabulous fine hot sunny day in Cape Cod / an even hotter fine sunny day in Boston – temp did not drop much in the evening either, like it did on Cape Cod.
Soon after breakfast we departed for Boston , calling into ‘Sandwich’ on the way. Arrived at Boston around 12.45pm, checked in (checked 3 rooms before we found one that did not stink of smoke!) then off down the road to the ‘T’ train station to catch the train into central Boston. A kind train attendant helped us purchase a 7 day train ‘Link’ pass (cheaper than two 1 day ‘Link’ passes – she told us to try and sell these to someone else when we had finished using them as they will still have 5 days use on them!). The system was very easy to follow – got off at the ‘Prudential’ station as we wanted to get tickets to go up to the 50th floor for the views of Boston and purchase tickets for the ‘Boston Duck Tours’ (old amphibian vehicles) – accidentally got into the wrong lift up to the 52nd floor so had a drink in the lounge of the restaurant up there and had a great view of the city. Then we found the correct lift to access the 50th floor for the ‘Skywalk’ views – was great to be able to pick out some of the landmarks – great views and a great day it.
While waiting for the duck tour we had a wander around the Christian Science Centre – a bit of money wrapped up in their land and buildings – impressive though.
Time for the ‘Boston Duck Tour’ – after a short wait it was onto the vehicle (yellow for us) – our ‘Conductor’ was a very personable person and was a great tour leader – it certainly was a great 90min tour of Boston.
Caught the train down to the North End area of Boston to find an Italian Restaurant for dinner, we decided on ‘Terramia Ristorante’ – both had two appetisers each - one of the best meals we have had on the trip so far.
Fri, 25 May – Boston
Fabulous fine very hot sunny day – 90+ deg F (30+ deg C)
After a very pleasant continental breakfast at the hotel, we walked down the road to the train station to catch the train into Boston arriving close to the Trinity Church – built in the 19th century. Walked down Newbury St (used to be an upmarket housing area, but now the street consists of upmarket boutique shops) to the ‘Public Garden’ – a lovely park with mature trees and a large pond where they have ‘Swan boats’ that people have rides on (6 bus loads of school children were in the park when we arrived so there were heaps of children waiting for a ride on these boats). Then we also walked through the ‘Boston Common’ another large park with mature trees and heaps of walkways through it – delightful areas in the middle of Boston.
At that stage we commenced walking on ‘The Freedom Trail’ – walking past many different landmarks throughout the city. Arrived at the ‘Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market’ around lunchtime so we walked through the flood hall until we decided what we each wanted then sat down with the rest of the people – a very popular area and attracts heaps of visitors.
Soon after some more walking around the city and finding yet another ‘Starbucks’ for some cold drinks - a light ‘Mocha Frapachino’ (G) & a multi fruit drink mix (A) – very refreshing. Boy oh boy it was really hot by this stage!
Mid afternoon we caught the train back to the hotel to catch up on washing and diary stuff. As we walked across the bridge close to our hotel, we noticed the traffic on the motorway was almost stopped – this weekend is a long holiday weekend in the USA as Monday is a public holiday.
Walked down the road close by and had a meal at 224 Boston St Restaurant – buzzy restaurant, always busy and the meal was very pleasant.
The weather channel on TV has just stated Boston had 92 deg today which is a record for May!!
Sat, 26 May – Boston / Rockland, Maine
Another fine hot sunny day – 85 deg F
After breakfast at the hotel we departed Boston for the Maine area. Driving through Boston was much easier then Graham had anticipated – great that we were located so close to the highway we needed to travel north on. On the way north we stopped at Portsmouth, had a quick look around the small town and a cold drink, then stopped again at the huge shopping mall at Portland – a huge linen shop had the largest display of coloured towels I have ever seen, so took a photo of them, we also had a quick bite to eat for lunch, then continued on our way reaching Rockland around 3pm.
Mid afternoon we checked into the Berry Manor Inn B&B – wow, what great facilities and room – pure luxury! This Historic Inn has 12-13 rooms and so far the hosts have been ever so helpful (some other B&B’s could learn a lot from this B&B – the little things that make a difference!). On arrival we asked about booking for dinner (as it’s a Sat night of a long holiday weekend) – our host Cheryl, handed us her book of menus and recommended three - we quickly looked through them and within 5 minutes she had us booked at 3 different restaurants for the next 3 nights - we greatly appreciated her help with this. We both really enjoy nice light food, and that’s what these restaurants appear to be like. At the B&B there are a number of lounges with TV, video, fridge & Freezer, etc as well as many books, games etc. A selection of drinks, water, juices, tea and coffee are available anytime you want it, as well as home made pie and ice cream. The rooms are large and very well equipped.
We have just returned from our first restaurant, the ‘Amalfi restaurant’– Graham had raw Rockland oysters and Halibut fish on top of spinach, Annette had a Rocket, tomato, asparagus & feta salad followed by Lamb, potato mash & asparagus with a mustard sauce – such great food. We walked back to our B&B and had a piece of the fresh berry pie and ice cream for desert (available for all guests). When we returned to our bedroom, all the cushions had been replaced with pillows and our bed had been prepared for us to sleep in with chocolates on the rolled down sheet – and guess who had those!
Sunday, 27 May
Up and walked over to breakfast – water, fruit juice, tea, stewed apple, cake (banana, string coconut & almond) - it was delicious, and it’s not often Annette talks like that about cake!, followed by tomato, egg & herb pie, with some background music from an electronic headless chicken! Michael walked around with a chicken hat during breakfast time. Cheryl cooked the cake and breakfast while the ‘Moms’ and Michael did the serving and waiting on all the tables.
As we went to leave the B&B Callie (from Slow Travel) called out to us – she had come over at 9.30am to catch us after we had finished our breakfast, but we were too early for her. She had recommended this accommodation to us so it was great to catch up with her in person instead of talking via the internet, as we had. Callie and her husband were caught up in the New Orleans floods during Aug 05 and have since permanently shifted to Portland, but have a holiday home in Portland – where we are currently staying.
Late morning we visited a Vintage Car Festival and Antique Aeroplane Show – what an interesting experience seeing such old aeroplanes and cars – some of the aeroplanes actually took off from the adjacent airport and did a fly around while we were there – some of them dated back to 1910 and they still flew, which we found quite amazing! We also had a ride in a Model T Ford vintage car while there as well.
Early afternoon we tried to find which wharf we were to depart for a sail boat cruise, with a little difficulty. Our cruise was on the ‘Morning in Maine’, a 55 ft wooden ketch (built in 1970) with Bob, his wife, Labrador dog and 4 other people who were also staying at the same B&B. We sailed around Rockland Harbour, passing by two lighthouses on our return. Once back, we visited the local Lighthouse Museum, which was very interesting in that it had many exhibits that were working lights from old lighthouses.
Soon after visiting the Museum the temperature dropped considerably and there was a very light shower of rain – it appears that the heavy rain we were due to get is now not going to eventuate to us up here, which is fine by us.
Out for our evening meat at Cafe Miranda – we were warned that the mains (entrées in the USA) were large at this restaurant, so had 5 appetisers between us. Unfortunately the duck legs were quite salty, so that spoilt it a little, however due to our comments, we were not charged for one of our duck meals, which we thought was really considerate of them as we did not make a fuss about it.
Once home we had some blackberry pie with ice cream before we retired to do our diary and download our photos.
Videos - largish files really only suitable for broadband users ( If they won't run on clicking, then right click, save to disk, and then run).
Model T Ford !917 Jenny in flight 1910 Henri Farman and 1916 FE8 1910 Henri Farman III Biplane taxiing
Monday, 28 May 07 – Rockland (Memorial Day holiday)
It had rained during the night but it’s fine again this morning, but expected to be slightly cooler today.
Once again, we started our day with a wonderful breakfast at our B&B – fresh fruit followed by waffles with a blueberry mix over the top – so light and delicious. During breakfast time this morning Michael was wearing a hot dog hat. Cheryl got out a local map and noted several places of interest that we could call on while driving north today.
Initially we called into the local Farnsworth Museum Art Gallery – they have some exceptional pencil & tempura (coloured egg yolk mix) paintings.
As we started to drive up the coast we initially called into the Rockport Marina, then we passed by the farm where they raise ‘Belted Galloway’ beef cattle (Scottish Beef cattle – suited to the weather they experience in this area), we then arrived in Camden, a very touristy little town with a delightful harbour – 3 large sailing boats available for hire were berthed at one end of the marina. After having a walk around the town, we were slightly delayed as they were just having their Memorial Day commemorative service. We then drove up to the top of Mount Battie to get a view of Camden and the surrounding harbours – while there 3 military helicopters flew by.
Mid afternoon we arrived at the ‘Lobster Pound’ Restaurant for Graham’s Lobster Roll and Clam Chowder – the Lobster was most enjoyable – had a very appropriate mild sauce mixed through it. The place was still packed at that time of the day and evidently it had been packed out since late morning, so it sure must be a popular place – we went there as our B&B had highly recommended it to us. We than drove back to our B&B at Rockland via the Megunticook Lake area.
Tonight we went to the ‘Primo’ restaurant for dinner – again highly recommended to us. Our appetisers and main meals were most enjoyable – it certainly lived up to the recommendation we had received for it.
Once home Graham had some raspberry pie with ice cream.