We spent a couple of weeks in New England including a week based in Rockport, Massachusetts in surprisingly gorgeous fall-type weather (pretty lucky for the end of July) with our friends from the UK, Caroline, Stephen and their 2 beautiful teenage offspring – Sophia and Olivia 🙂
It was an action-packed “family” week of day-trips along the coast – north and south…. aimlessly pottering in artist colonies, strolling on beaches and meandering through Rockport with heavy emphasis on mid-morning coffee and cake at the Bean and Leaf followed by lobster roll at Roy Moore’s……and occasionally breaking a slight sweat with some light activity 😉
Heading north we visited our absolute favorite part of Maine – Cape Neddick, Ogunquit and Perkins Cove to walk the coastal trail which was as beautiful as ever – the air filled with the scent of beach roses 🙂 As the day had started with the usual coffee and cake overdose for mommy and I in Portsmouth, NH, en route to Maine (I still know all the best coffee and cake shops in the whole of New England even though we’ve been gone for 8 years 😉 ), it naturally had to end with more lobster roll – this time at Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier in Kittery Point – timed perfectly to share dinner with the mosquitoes along the creek 😉
We might have shed some of the pounds we were beginning to acquire by cycling the 21 mile Shining Sea Bikeway between Falmouth and Woods Hole on Cape Cod if it weren’t for the fact that we decided to head to Chatham for sunset on the beach (spectacular) and dinner… with dessert at the homemade ice-cream parlor …so we ended yet another day flagging under the weight of giant (we ordered small) ice-creams.
Frankly, it’s a good job we don’t live in New England anymore – the world class homemade ice-cream and relentless lobster rolls (and possibly the coffee and cake 😉 ) were beginning to take their toll after only a week and our early morning runs to the harbor, through town and out along the coast road were rapidly declining from 8 miles to 6 miles to 5 until we barely managed to drag ourselves 20′ to the end of the road 😉
As our legs were slowly ceasing to function we swapped for an upper body workout with some sea-kayaking in Rockport Harbor out to Straitsmouth Island. However, as the Atlantic was like a millpond that day we didn’t have to exert much energy which was probably a good thing as poor Stephen’s kayak seat was broken and he spent 2 hours almost flat on his back looking like he was trying to paddle from the comfort of a sun lounger 😉
Once we had packed our friends back off home to England we decided to head north again (mainly to avoid a massive storm swamping the east coast) to re-visit our favorite Maine city – Portland. We varied the intake of horrendously unhealthy New England delicacies (after the giant ginger/caramel ice-cream enjoyed down by the fishing pier which was delightful with the wafts of rotting fish carcass 😉 ) with dinner at Duckfat. Not great for vegetarian/pescaterians as absolutely everything there is cooked in, or with, or in someway impregnated with, or dripping in duck fat – including the steaming hot lemon donut holes in caramel sauce and the caramel milkshake – not our usual fare – but, frankly, the best donuts and milkshake on the planet. We never need to eat duck fat ever again but it was all outstandingly delicious 😉
We caught sunset at beautiful Crescent Beach State Park on Cape Elizabeth – entirely empty other than a clearly insane family with rubber skin who were still swimming in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
I did try paddling from time to time in New England – it was fine once my feet had gone completely numb but Geoff just wasn’t brave enough – fearing full-blown hypothermia.
I would like to say we were a little more restrained in our food choices during our following day in Boston but we weren’t. To be fair we probably walked a good 8 miles along the Harborwalk with its fab views of the Boston skyline and weaving through Quincy Market and the financial district, through Beacon Hill, the Public Garden and along Newbury Street and Boylston and retracing all of that back to the harbor for sunset …… but even so…..
So…places to avoid in Boston…. Sweets cupcakes …. and Drink cocktail bar … not because they aren’t absolutely fantastic but … well… because they are and its impossible to have only one … cupcake… or cocktail… 😉 !!
Managed to throw in a cliff walk with fab views over the coastline and the beach in York, ME on probably the hottest summer day Maine has ever seen and dangled my feet in the brine for slightly longer than the average 20 seconds and, finally, an afternoon in Mystic, CT with 10,000 other visitors – artists arriving in preparation for the art show (like me!) and tourists strolling the river walk 🙂