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Old 06-06-2011, 04:04 AM   #91
franandaj

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingfast View Post
Clearly a student from BU and not Havard.

Oh and the pub, a total tourist trap and nothing more.
Clearly NOT an MIT student as they only speak in computer equations. (coming from the daughter of two grads).
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:22 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Hey! Do you remember where in Newton you stayed? My grandparents lived there and that is where I spent my childhood summers! Did you go into the centre where three streets form a triangle around the parking area? It was near the street car stops. My granparents house was just up Langley Road about 2-3 blocks!

What a cool trip you had there. Too bad about the begging college students. We went to the real Cheers pub too...nothing like the set.

WOW! You've really lived east and west coast, haven't you?

I could ask DH where his colleague lives but I think it was off Chestnut....somewhere.

I do remember the centre. I think that's where we went for pizza.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Shuttergirl View Post
Love the Boston portion of the trip. The history in that town is amazing, love the buildings too.

You've definitely given me a taste to visit.

Sadly, I would prefer the copy of the set Cheers to the real Cheers if it didn't look the same inside

The funny thing is that the Cheers set replica was really touristy but the real Cheers had the stairs leading down, so the outside looked more authentic. We took pictures with all of us on the stairs and that was really cool. You kinda have to do both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingfast View Post
Clearly a student from BU and not Havard.

Oh and the pub, a total tourist trap and nothing more.

I didn't stop to ask the student where he studied....so you could be on to something here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
Clearly NOT an MIT student as they only speak in computer equations. (coming from the daughter of two grads).


Personally, I'm a wannabe. Happy to be a Harvard or MIT student....heck....even a BU student would be acceptable! (Don't know if I could afford the fees).
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:41 AM   #93
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PIO, what a great update on Boston. The purple duck was just awesome! Ok so maybe that makes me sound rather uncultured...the historic buildings were fantastic too of course!

Thanks for including Mystic! I actually really like the movie, and now if I go, I know not to waste time looking for magnets (we collect them...sigh add another point towards the uncultured label)
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:53 PM   #94
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Pix of Boston always make me want to go there! Looks like you hit the highlights pretty well. Love the North End...love the Commons. I may be a New Yorker for the last 18 years, but my heart lies with my beloved Massachusetts.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:25 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shushh View Post
PIO, what a great update on Boston. The purple duck was just awesome! Ok so maybe that makes me sound rather uncultured...the historic buildings were fantastic too of course!

Thanks for including Mystic! I actually really like the movie, and now if I go, I know not to waste time looking for magnets (we collect them...sigh add another point towards the uncultured label)

Maybe money-making Mystic magnets might magically manifest......


......it has been 5 years.


(And if you find them, I'd like 2 please! One for me, one for mum. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Pix of Boston always make me want to go there! Looks like you hit the highlights pretty well. Love the North End...love the Commons. I may be a New Yorker for the last 18 years, but my heart lies with my beloved Massachusetts.
Massachusetts was beautiful. Were you born there?

Thanks. I did wonder if we missed out on any key highlights in Boston. Glad to know that we got most of the touristy things.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:16 AM   #96
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Massachusetts was beautiful. Were you born there?

Thanks. I did wonder if we missed out on any key highlights in Boston. Glad to know that we got most of the touristy things.
Yep, until I left for college. I like living in Buffalo a lot (Prices are a lot more reasonable, less traffic, Toronto being so close.) but there are a lot of things I miss about New England.
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Old 06-12-2011, 01:11 AM   #97
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LOVE your Boston photos! Everything was white and frozen when we visited so it's great to see it in colour, and to see the Frog Pond in a liquid state. Looks like a completely different city!

at the last photo. I'm sure she's not a patch on you!
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:47 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Yep, until I left for college. I like living in Buffalo a lot (Prices are a lot more reasonable, less traffic, Toronto being so close.) but there are a lot of things I miss about New England.

Lucky you!

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LOVE your Boston photos! Everything was white and frozen when we visited so it's great to see it in colour, and to see the Frog Pond in a liquid state. Looks like a completely different city!

at the last photo. I'm sure she's not a patch on you!
Literally! I'm at least twice her size now!!
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:34 AM   #99
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Kennebunkport – Where there is a Will, there is a Whalebone

Kennebunkport – Where there is a Will, there is a Whalebone


Every trip that we go on, DH and I try to leave at least 2 or 3 nights completely unplanned so that we can be itinerant gypsies. For this trip, we had decided that after Boston, we would sort-of head either north or east, depending on the weather and how the wind blew. We had originally thought 3 nights but because we got convinced to stay for the mini-work meet, it got cut back to 2 nights.

Why do we do this? We both love the freedom, joy and pleasure of having no fixed plans or having to stick to any schedule every now and again. We also love the sheer adventure feeling of wondering what the next corner will bring.
Sadly, planning a trip to the World these days sure brings the opposite…..not that there is anything wrong with it.
It isn’t for everyone – some people just get stressed about not knowing where they are going to sleep or eat during the day – and in all these years of travel like this, DH and I (B.C) have actually had to sleep in the car about 2 or 3 times in the past; and we only do this in summer. So, it does come with a caveat emptor.

I think when we mentioned it to the friends we were staying with (particularly at the dinner in Chinatown), they were all horrified. We had all sorts of well-meaning advice on where to go because “it was a universally acknowledged truth that a man (or a woman) without any fixed plans must be in want of a plan!”

Before the dinner was out, our friends were convinced that we were to drive up the coast and stay at Ogunquit or Kennebunkport. And they were universally convinced that we were heading for disaster given that we did not have any accommodation booked. Our friends even said that they would keep our rooms opened should we need to head back to Boston.

If DH and I had been left to our own devises, we would have been heading for the hills in the opposite direction instead. Unfortunately for us, we had two of the most law-abiding travel companions you could never hope to have traveling with us….my mum and DS. They both sat through dinner listening to all the chatter and were most alarmed.

The next morning….you could have cut the anxiety with a knife in the car! The “Are We There Yet” started before we were out of the driveway…..and my mum….well…..lets just say that I didn’t help her fight against the gray much that day.

It turns out that DS had decided that “There” was going to be beside the seaside. I had suspected that DS had inherited my stubborn streak and there was no doubt about this after this morning. He’d heard the chatter and kept asking when we were going to see the sea. Over.and.over.and.over.and.over.again.

So the sea it was.

But our backseat drivers didn’t have it all their way.


Salem – A history lesson

DH and I decided to stop by Salem, on a whim. DH has an interest in New Age things and he had been advised that despite the historic ties to all things witchy, Salem offered a range of shops geared towards the New Age. I don’t know where he heard that from…but boy! Did he get bad advise or what!

We didn’t have a lot of time to spare, we figured 2 hours at best. And Salem seemed to be a very small town.
We drove past a number of wicca shops and Halloween shops and seriously wondered if we should stay.




We found a parking spot and headed towards the wonderful tourist information they have in town. Seems we were following the red line here too.




The tourist information was really great. We told them we wanted to see what Salem had in store for 2 hours and that we had a 7-year old boy with us. The guy behind the counter immediately recommended that we stay clear of the Witch Museum and head towards the waterfront instead.

He pointed us in the direction of the Friendship of Salem.




DS was immediately interested in getting on board….





…and enjoyed the short break from the hot sun.




We learnt a few things that day.




The friendly tourist information man had also recommended we stop by the House of the Seven Gable.




And I had a history lesson myself, of sorts, and learnt a few things.

I did not know a single thing about the House of the Seven Gables, written by Nathaniel Hawthorn; but my mum sure did.
Turns out it was a book she did as part of English Literature way back when….I didn’t know they did English Lit back then!




We had a tour through the house and my mum was just amazing….she knew all the answers to every question the guide asked about the book. No one else on the tour with us had read the book either….much less quote chapter and verse!


DS also had a great morning, as there was a demonstration of toys from the 17th Century happening in the back yard.




He really enjoyed the state of the art Jacob’s Ladder…




….and the Hoop!




I had no idea that he would be so mesmerised by toys without batteries included!



And then it was time to hit the road again……


(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:41 AM   #100
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(Continued from Previous Post)

Kennebunkport at LAST!


DH and I finally decided it was time to work out where we were to stay for the night and we decided to take a look at Ogunquit. We found it to be very open, pretty and completely not what we were looking for, to the disgust of our two traveling companions.


We kept going to Kennebunkport and here…was….finally….the little sleepy town we had hoped to find.










We looked for accommodation and we had checked out the 4 hotels/motels in town. Two were booked out, one was over $500 per night and the last one had a rather drab room with 4 beds in it for $250 per night. We asked if there were any other accommodation options and were told that there was a road heading towards the sea that had another 4 or 5 hotels. We finally came across the Nonantum Resort. It looked incredibly out of our price range but DH and I thought it was worth checking.

Turns out they had a weekend special. Room rates were normally $425 per night; but because we had hit them on the 7th of the 7th 2007, they were offering rooms with a ‘7’ number for $277. Catch was…it was a two-night minimum.

The girl behind the counter suggested that we take a look at one of the rooms before making a decision, which is exactly what DH and I did.

We were given two room keys and when we got to the second room…..this was the view from the balcony!






(low tide)




(looking the other way)


SOLD!

Both my mom and DS were relieved to know that they were staying here for 2 nights. I don’t think playing wandering gypsy sits well with DS and I’d like to know where he inherited that from! Certainly not from either parent!

The resort was fantastic…it had a pool….




…and all the amenities you would expect; including an amazing restaurant where we had dinner that night. The adults all settled on the lobster dinner – clam chowder to start, followed by a 2 lb cooked lobster with 2 sides … all for $27. Breakfast was also served in the restaurant and I have the vague recollection that hot breakfast buffet was included in the room tariff.

Kennebunkport itself was delightful. As best as I can work out, this was the closest that came to the center of town, where two streets intersected.




It didn’t have the usual touristy shops…sure there were some….and I do have a fridge magnet from this place….but the shops were more upmarket…









….and there was a presidential link!

In fact…if you followed the road the resort was on and kept going round two or three corners, you’d come across this compound…..



(view from the ocean)




(view from the other side)


…owned by the Bushes.


We were pretty lucky to have hit Kennebunkport the week we did….the week before, it had been crawling with secret servicemen and security as President Bush Jr had come visiting ex-President Bush Sr with his special guest, President Putin. The locals were all buzzing from the visit.

We did see a great big boat going down the river towards the sea when we were in the pool…with 3 boats of Men In Black, complete with sunglasses. We figured Bush Sr must have been going out fishing!


This particular corner of town was also another draw card.




This is THE Clam Shack, that the Bushes love and has fed practically every foreign dignitary to visit here.

Can I just say that the Crab and Lobster Rolls here were just out of this world? About 1 lb of pure crab meat or lobster, freshly cooked and peeled, sandwiched between a toasted bun and a wonderful tartare sauce to dress the crab meat. The crab meat in my bun was still warm….and DH's lobster roll was to die for.

And we also enjoyed the Lemonade Stand…



(yes, more bahookie...)


…this drink was the perfect accompaniment to that Crab Roll.




All in all, we had 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners in Maine/New Hampshire area. Not counting breakfast, I think we had lobster or crab for lunch and dinner for every meal. It was so cheap in 2007, compared to prices in Oz.

Here’s an example of dinner….we had this on the second night. Again we had a clam chowder starter with the 2 lb lobster and 2 fixings for $25.





(Continued in Next Post)
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:46 AM   #101
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(Continued from Previous Post)


There She Blows!

I’d already indulged the inner Chemistry geek in me earlier in Toronto. Now it was time to indulge the inner Zoology geek in me.

It was definitely time to go seek out some wildlife…..and I was hunting me some blubber!
Afterall, we were in the Bay of Maine, one of the largest spots for whale watching in the world.
I contemplated taking a trip out of Boston and in the end, we ran out of time.


One reason we ended up in Kennebunkport and not Ogunquit was the presence of a boat charter in the port…





…and pricing wasn’t that bad either. From memory, the trip cost us about $35 per adult.


I dosed up on seasickness pills, which I managed to get at the chemist in Kennebunkport.





We headed on out…




….past our resort.





You can figure out where our room was located as we sailed past that pier! We definitely lucked out on our resort and I have no hesitation in recommending it as a place to stay.




It didn’t take long to head out to the sea on the Kennebunk river.




I remember it being freezing and it definitely rained on us….but this was the perfect spot for me (rain or no rain) and my land-locked legs and stomach. I was real glad to have taken those seasick pills that day!




We spent a bit of time trying to find whales and dolphins. In the end, we found 2 humpbacks…and the trip was well worth it!























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Old 06-12-2011, 07:42 AM   #102
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Am loving reading your updates
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Old 06-12-2011, 08:16 AM   #103
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Wow, love the latest update. How wonderful to see those whales and the town looks so quaint and lovely.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:13 PM   #104
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What a cool little town! And the lobster dinners sound fantastic! We'll have to add that to our list.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #105
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I was wondering if you'd end up on a whale watch! A very New England thing to do. Smart move on the seasick pills too! Last one my wife and I were on, we got really sick. It's tough when the boat stops and rides the swells, even on a calm day.

My dad and Step-mom go to Olgunquit (I can never spell it right) all the time. They have the most beautiful beach, but the water can be really frigid. For us, if we're going to drive 9 hours to go to a beach, I'll drive 10 and go to Virginia Beach, or I'd rather drive 14 and go to Myrtle Beach. (Or screw it, let's just fly!)
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