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Published: November 2nd 2013
Well .... almost all closed for the season but not quite as we drove from the White Mountains to the coast of Maine and then southwards back to Boston for our last night.
Some blue skies greeted us at the Atlantic Ocean at Boothbay Harbour and as one of the few places open it was lunch at the Tugboat right on the water.... could we resist crab rolls and fried Maine shrimp - of course not. These towns along the coast here must be buzzing in summer with their quaint houses, interesting shops selling everything from a million sorts of popcorn to salt water taffy, lobster shacks, whale watching cruises, harbours filled with boats and then of course the light houses dotted along the rugged coastline. There were still only a few folk out and about so it was somewhat peaceful to explore this area without crowds.
We spent the night in Freeport - settling on a motel just out of town as we had asked at a few B+Bs in town to find they were fully booked and charging a fortune ...it so happened to be VERY busy with a Halloween Pumpkin Festival ..this was amazing with huge
tall towers and mazes of carved pumpkins all lit up at night. Restauarants in the evening were all full with long waiting times then we spotted a Johnny Rockets ( one of our favourite places for burgers etc in Dubai when we lived there) so hunger, nostalgia and a seat in a booth tempted us in there. So our first stay in an Econolodge was thumbs up from me ...nice room, pleasant reception staff and a very good breakfast laid on in the morning.... good value.
On our second day driving down the coast thanks to Suzanne's friend in New York we had tips for which places to explore in our limited time ...so it was a few hours in Portland next ... and there we jostled with crowds from a cruise ship down at the port with lots of craft market stalls along the dockside. So we wandered round a few streets in the old town and cooler weather brings on the urge for hot chocolate of course. So now I have been to Portland on both West and East sides of USA. You have always got to check the location of a town as there are many
places scattered about with the same names even in the same State.
Then on to Bailey Island where we had been told just keep driving and the road ends eventually ...and so it did a big barrier across the road next to the ocean , with great views across the sea to some islands off shore ...this reminds me of the archipelagos on Sweden's coast. And as well as the wonderful scupture to fishermen there was an opportunity to do more on my photo study of Adirondack chairs!! ( Have I got this right ?? was that the first day or the second ...well I don't suppose you the reader is too bothered!!)
I forget which was next - Kennebunk port or York beach . Kennebunk was a delightful place with all these cute houses/shops right on the water as well as some magnificent older properties in the pristine tree lined streets.(I am not saying too much as I think the photos speak for themselves.) Lots of people had obviously been bussed up there from the cruise ship and thronged the main street but we found a very nice cafe tucked away down a liitle side street and
warmed ourselves up with smoked haddock/clam chowder.
We stuck to driving along the coastal road as much as we could often seeing large areas of salt marsh and along York Beach- sand dunes and long stretches of beach backed by cottages and small resorts and hotels. But all this stopping to see things meant our 2 hour journey to Boston took about 5 hours!!! So I will skim over the build up of traffic as we got closer to Boston on Saturday late afternoon and it was getting dark - suffice it to say it was one of my most challenging drives ( along with the ones round Paris ) and if it hadn't been for Suzanne's great map reading skills, levelheadedness and her screen shots on the iPad we would probably still be driving around trying to find the airport now !!!
We were staying this last night at the Hyatt Boston Harbour due to a mixup at Booking.com where our original hotel had overbooked and I had calls and numerous emails/ messages from booking.com to sort another hotel. Their customer service has been brilliant and they say they will pay the difference between the original hotel
and the Hyatt...so I was happy with that. After the horrible ending of the drive we were in a lovely room on the 6th floor with a great view of Boston across the harbour.
Sunday came and we were all packed but had a late check out and time to fit in a trip on a water taxi over to Long Pier and a walk up to Quincy Market to grab some breakfast. To the airport later for me for my flight home and a bus for Suzanne to New York for an extra few days.
Now we are both back at home and can hardly believe what we managed to see and do in 2 weeks ... we had a wonderful trip there in New England . America is a great country with so many fabulous interesting places to see ...where to next I wonder ??
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