July 30, 2016

Cruisin the East Coast

July 30, 2016
Driving to Massachusetts

My sister and her family came to the East Coast to pick up my amazing nephew from his internship in D.C. and decided to take a vacation while they were here.  I got to have my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece for 10 days!  We left on Saturday morning and met them outside of D.C. and then headed to Boston, Massachusetts to see our Maria!

The journey took us about 12 hours.  It should have taken us 10 but the traffic around New York was absolutely crazy.  We finally got to Boston and nestled in at Maria's house.  We then took the bus to downtown Harvard Square for dinner.  After dinner we made our way home and got some well deserved sleep.
Apparently this yellow house in Cambridge was once my ancestor's home
The "Mongolian Grill" type restaurant we went to
Unfortunately they didn't have air conditioning and it was in a basement....talk about HOT!
July 31, 2016
Boston, Massachusetts

On our second day we got to go and explore Boston!  None of us had never been there before and we were pretty excited about it.

We started out with breakfast at the Beehive.  It was an incredibly cool place.  Very eclectic and unusual with great food!

Even the area around this place was neat

The flowers were so bright!

There was even a little garden right out front

My guy and my sister!
Brother-in-Law Jason, nephew Hunter, Niece Jade, and our Maria!
The sweetest and cutest server ever!
My first poutine!
After breakfast we started walking.  It was pouring rain but the walk through Public Park was still beautiful.

My cutie patootie, Jade
Statue of Edward Everett Hale and American author

 Next, we stopped by Cheers to have a beer.  I mean we just happen to be in the neighborhood...  :)  The inside was nothing like the show at all but the beer was good and it was a cool box to check in our travel adventure!

After exploring the south end we headed towards the north end.  There were a couple things that our history buff, Hunter, wanted to see.  He is looking at going to graduate school in Boston so this was a prime opportunity to show him what his new stomping grounds could be.

The state house with it's gorgeous dome
The Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial
 We saw so many truly cool monuments and statues.  The Robert Gould Shaw memorial has a story about an African-American regiment, which fought in the American Civil Was, was told in the 1989 movie "Glory".

General "Fighting Joe" Hooker
Of course all Jack saw was the "Hooker" part...
While Mary Dyer have been one of the four "Quaker martyrs", I personally believe she was more than a little mentally ill and seemed to jump from one controversial religion to another.  Who knows if she truly believed in them or if she was just itching for a fight but if you read about her history, she just seems like an extremist rather than someone who was a true believer.  Ah well, it makes for a good story and a cool statue.

I just love how the modern buildings are mixed with the old
Emmets reminded me of the pubs in London!
My brother-in-law, Jason, is a super friendly and charismatic person and he strikes up conversations with all sorts of people.  While we were walking around he started to talk to the manager of Carrie Nations.  This is a prime example of what a great sense of humor Bostonian's have.  Carrie Nation was a major spark in prohibition, and Carrie Nation (the business) is a bar!  You got to love that one!

Carrie Nation
 The manager took us on a private tour of the establishment.  It was amazing and felt like and looked like a 1920's speakeasy!

I don't know who would want to kiss any of those lips....
It was very dark in there.
 Our next stop was the King's Chapel Burial Ground where our ancestor, Dr. Comfort Starr, who helped establish and gave land for Harvard University. Dr. Starr was our 11th Grandfather from Kent, England.

I started doing research, building on my brother Brian's research and I am finding so much interesting information.  I'll do a separate post on that at some point. When we were done there we walked to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.

Jack found it appropriate that Samuel Adams was the first thing we happened upon....but only because he likes the beer
Faneuil Hall
They were having a reenactment.  It was pretty neat

The Quincy Market

 After a quick bathroom break we figured we should make our way to Old North Church where Paul Revere hung his lantern in the window, but stopped by the Boston harbor first.

Hunter and Jade in front of the harbor
 Of course we had to swing by the Paul Revere house too.

Backside of Paul Revere's house
The front of the house.  It was so inconspicuous surrounded by businesses

Super cute garden across the street too
Finally Old North Church

The World War II memorial inside the courtyard of Old North Church
Inside the church

I think over all we did the Freedom Trail right!
After all that walking we walked to Massimino's, a little Italian restaurant then took an Uber (my first) back to our cars.  We had a couple drinks then went to bed.  We were heading to Salem and then Maine the next day.

August 1, 2016
Salem, Massachusetts

When we got to Salem we started off at the Tourist Center and of course just had to take a fun pic!

Me, Hunter, and Annette
Right away we went to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial.  In 1692, 14 women and 6 men were accused of being witches, were tried, convicted, and executed. Executions took place on June 10, July 19, August 19, September 19 and September 22, 1692. To this day, the events of 1692 are used as a yardstick to measure the depth of civility and due process in our society.

The Witch Trials Memorial was dedicated by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel in August 1992 as part of the Salem Witch Trials TerCentenary. The design was selected in a international competition that received 246 entries. The winning design by Maggie Smith and James Cutler was inspired by the Vietnam Memorial.

The Memorial consists of 20 granite benches cantilevered from a low stone wall surrounding an area adjoining the Old Burying Point. The benches are inscribed with the name of the accused and the means and date of execution.

The Thomas Haines House
The Tomas Haines House, on Centre Street in Danvers, was built in 1681 by Haines, an innkeeper.  During the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Haines gave testimony in the trial of Elizabeth How of Topsfield which resulted in her being hanged as a witch on July 19, 1692, the same day as Rebecca Nurse, her sister-in-law.  Haines moved from this house to New Jersey in 1704.

The Witch Trials Memorial

A compilation of all the stones
The Burial Spot (The oldest burial area in Salem)

We walked around a bit just taking in all the cute little shops and spots that they had lots of kitschy stuff set up then went to Murphy's to eat my first lobster tacos!

Hunter being a witch!
Annette being a witch!
Statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author "The Scarlet Letter"
 Nathaniel Hawthorne was quoted as saying, "No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."

Close up on the statue
After our amazing lunch we decided we should get on our way to Maine so we started back towards our cars.  On our way though we saw this very cool exhibit called Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty. His work is pretty darn amazing.  Click on his name above if you want to see more from him.  It was a display that children can play on and will remain until it falls apart naturally.  I'm so glad we got a chance to see it before it breaks down.

There were lots of cool little shops everywhere
Statue of Roger Content, the founder of Salem

He looked like a witch to us
Our group
After we said our goodbyes to Maria we got in our cars and started our journey to Maine.  I felt pretty blessed to be seeing the East coast.  It's something I have wanted to do for many years and didn't think I was going to be able to make happen.

We drove to Portland, Maine and had a little bit of a difficult time finding a resonable priced hotel that had beds big enough for all of us but we finally did in a little hotel that wasn't as nice as we would have liked but it was a clean place to sleep with a hot shower so we were lucky, AND we were in Maine!

We went out to find some dinner and found a nice pizza place with cold beer downtown.  We got a couple pictures while and after the sun went down then went back to the hotel to get some sleep.

Downtown pier in Portland, Maine
Just a cool little street view

August 2, 2016
Portland, Maine

After getting a good nights sleep we set out for the adventure of a lifetime!  I was beyond ready to see my first lighthouse!  We had such a gorgeous drive to Portland Head Lighthouse through an amazing neighborhood that showed us some of the glorious homes in Maine.  It really made me want to live there but knowing we will eventually settle in Washington State, I will override that feeling.

Our first view of Cape Elizabeth
Seriously happy hearts just being by the water again!
Michael (Jack), Jason, Jade, Hunter, & Annette
Of course I was taking pictures of all flowers along the way too

Look at that sky!
How can you not be in love with a view like that.
My sis & Me

Annette, Jason, & Jack

Jade & Hunter
Our first glimpse of the lighthouse
YES!!!! Lighthouse!

It was so much fun to see our first lighthouse.  It's definitely something I will make a habit of from now on!

Jack, me, Hunter, Annette, Jade, & Jason with our lighthouse behind us
Me, Jack & Killian in front of the lighthouse
Oh it's glorious!
I mean just look at this...my heart still beats fast when I look back at these pictures
It just lends itself to pictures
My sis & me
I would have loved to check out the eagles nest but no worries, we had so much more to do!
Just so beautiful

Small break before heading to more sights!
So after Cape Elizabeth we tried a beach.  The reviews said that Crescent Beach State Park was a good beach but it neglected to tell us it was hella expensive!  I just wanted sand...ah well, it was pretty.

Another great beach view
Hunter & Jade
My lovelies
Hunter sand surfing

We then needed to find some food.  There was a terribly cute place called Kettle Cove Creamery & Cafe on the way that had ice cream and delicious lobster rolls.

After a nice lunch and the lighthouse, we still weren't done...not by half!  There were tons of little islands around that needed exploring!

We drove to Orrs Island and checked out one of the MANY bays.  It was so picturesque and very calm.  My Killian dog actually got into the water too, which is impressive since she can be a little chicken most the time.

A pic from the road there

Lowell Cove
Lowell Cove
So beautiful...
This is a place you could sit back and read a book
Hunter, Jade, me, Annette, & Jack
You really could spend an afternoon here
Jack, me, Hunter, Annette, & Jade
This place is being built but when Jack & I move to New York, I WILL be staying here at least once!
We continued on to Lands End in Bailey's Island...they had the cutest shop where we got tons of touristy things!

There is something about the water that makes me feel completely at peace

Fisherman's Memorial

I think I should take over that house on the right...
How cool is the land formations here?

Land's End Giftshop

More cool rock formations!

Me, Killian & Jack
After Lands End, we knew we needed more lobster rolls so we went to the biggest rated Yelp place around this area, which happened to be Cook's Lobster & Ale House...they weren't kidding.  It blew our socks right off.  Good thing we were at a beach so socks weren't needed!

The coolest Cove around.  Pic from the internet to show how cool this place was
Pic from the internet to show how close the lobster catching place was to the restaurant!

My guy enjoying the weather while we wait for food
We sat outside since Killian was with us.  Our view didn't suck!
The food was sooooooo good!
Perfect view, perfect food...
We stared at this for hours!
The sky put on a show for us too!

When we had our fill and had enjoyed the scenery for a very long time we headed back to Portland with a quick stop to the Island Candy Company.

All these cute places!!!!
This place was family owned and the grandparents made a beautiful garden for customers to enjoy as well

Just can't get enough of these places!
After this truly glorious day we headed to Freeport, Maine, got some dinner and went back to the hotel to rest up for our very long trip home the next day.  Freeport was such a cute place and we did spend some time there shopping since it was the home of LL Bean.

Hilton Garden Inn
Much better!  So cozy!
Super cute little chapel next to the hotel
They even had a neat little garden/walk area by the hotel
We went to the Jameson Tavern since...of course it's called Jameson!  ;)

The shopping center on our way back to our hotel
Everything was within walking distance

August 3, 2016
Freeport, Maine

After we got up and had some breakfast we went back into town, shopped then headed home to Charlottesville.

Back to shopping!

Yep, it was soooo worth it!
Our drive may have taken around 13 hours but it was worth every moment.  Even if it wasn't in Europe or some other amazing place in a foreign country, it was one of my favorite trips I've ever taken.  Not only was I surrounded by water, sand, and sun, I was with my family.  You just can't beat that.  It will forever be one of my fondest memories.  I am thankful every single day for the blessings that have been given to me but to be fair, there are some days that even God outdoes himself!