Road Trip: New England
Oh, New England. How I miss you in this 100 degree day in the south. To cope with the heat, I’m sharing some photos from my and Keith’s road trip to New England last summer. As two workaholics who are very bad at planning and committing to plans (for taking breaks), Keith and I actually spent a weekend booking plane tickets and committing to a week-long vacation. No laptops, no emails, and no work calls. We drove a bit over 800 miles in a week, taking scenic routes, from Rhode Island to Maine. We planned most of our days, and left some days unplanned.
Note: Click on the photos to make them bigger!
Day 1: The Breakers
We flew from Atlanta directly to Providence in the morning, and arrived around noon. We headed straight to the rental car station, hopped into a Ford Edge SUV and went straight to Newport. Initially, we didn't plan on going to Newport because it would take us south, but considering that it was only a 40-minute drive and we had time, onward. We had lunch at a cute restaurant called Midtown Oyster Bar, and went straight for the raw oysters with delicious horseradish sauce. I can't remember what Keith had for lunch, but I had mussels with steak frites, and it was so good! If you're ever in Newport, RI, this is a good spot for lunch.
After lunch, we went to the Breakers Mansion.
And the Breakers did not disappoint. We took the self-guided audio tour throughout the mansion, and I appreciated being able to take my own time, reading signs, taking pictures (see below). If you, like me, are fascinated with outrageous architecture and a history buff, I highly recommend visiting the Breakers (and the other Newport Mansions).
After the Breakers, we drove up to Cape Cod (about 2 hours) to rest up.
Day 2: Cape Cod & Nantucket
Truth be told, I didn’t really love Cape Cod. We mostly stayed in Cape Cod because it was cheaper than staying in Nantucket. We got up early, ate our breakfast, and headed to Hyannis Port and took a high-speed ferry to Nantucket. The ferry itself was a fun ride - Bloody Mary’s all around and some really good cookies baked by a local Cape Cod bakery. We sat at the top outdoor area. Tip: if you want to do this, bring a light waterproof rain jacket and possibly some pants. Even though it was summer, it’s significantly cooler in New England, especially when you’re out in the ocean.
Out of all of the places we visited (and we visited some amazing places), Nantucket was my favorite out of the entire trip. I could really see myself living there and not get bored (yes, even sans Target). There’s such a breeze to the lifestyle (literally, it’s breezy most of the time), and everyone is so nice and proud of their island culture. There is a rich history of whaling in Nantucket, and we spent a bit of time at the Whaling Museum. If you watched the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix, this is the same whaling museum where Emily ended up working as a storyteller at the end of the show. I can confirm that there is definitely a storyteller session (which was actually much more fun than it sounds, and truly fascinating). We spent the entire day in Nantucket, walking around the town, visited the Whaling Museum, picking out houses we’d like to purchase when we hit the lotto one day, and skipping rocks at the beach. We had delicious shrimp and grits at a restaurant/bar called Charlie Noble, bought some cool bracelets, and headed back to the ferry and had a late Thai dinner in Cape Cod.
Day 3: Cape Cod to Kennebunkport
We woke up quite early in the morning and headed for Kennebunkport, Maine. We took the scenic route, and passed through Boston and Newburyport in Massachusetts, then Seabrook, New Hampshire. If you plan on doing a similar trip to this, and you aren’t pressed for time, I highly recommend taking the extra 1 hour and a half and taking the country roads. We made a few pit stops at river sides, just to take in the scenery. We passed through a few quaint little towns, and had the best Thai food in New England at Kong Thai in Seabrook, NH. Fresh seafood with rich flavors - you can’t really go wrong. The owner is a very nice man who gave us extra appetizers when he found out we were on this adventure through New England.
Once we arrived in Kennebunkport, we headed straight to our Airbnb. We stayed in an authentic colonial house with a woman named Marlene, who I believe is Scottish. She had such a beautiful house, with the quintessential New England finishes in the interior (chinoiserie wallpaper, anyone?), a beautiful garden, and the perfect location as we were steps away from downtown Kennebunkport.
Kennebunkport is a charming little town with beaches, artisan shops, and great restaurants. We spent most of the day walking around the downtown area, wandering in and out of shops, stopping to get ice cream at Rococo. We had dinner at an Ports of Italy The Kennebunks, where I had delicious squid pasta. The rest of the evening was pretty low-key, as the next morning we headed out to Bar Harbor.
Day 4: Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor
The drive from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor was about 4 hours. It’s a gorgeous drive, and we took a few stops along the way. The drive to Bar Harbor was one of those drives where I’m glad that we took the scenic route. It took longer, but the views were worth it.
Day 5: Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park
If you haven’t been to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, GO. Pack yourself, your spouse, your kids…and go. Easily, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I won’t even bog this down with a longer narrative - just look at the photos, and I’m no pro photographer!
Acadia National Park:
Day 6: Bar Harbor to Boston
Our stay in Bar Harbor was cut short due to rain, so we made an impromptu decision to drive to Boston and spend an extra day there rather than just going there to fly back home. The drive to Boston was ROUGH. It rained heavily pretty much for the entire 3 hours, so by the time we got to the Omni in DT Boston, we were exhausted. After settling in, we walked to the Beantown Bar - a very Bostonian dive bar - and indulged in some top-notch wings & brews.
Day 7: Boston
Our final stop in Boston was essentially a wonderful day in the city. We spent a good portion of the day exploring the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (one of the best museum I’ve ever been to) and walking around Beacon Hill. We ended the night with dinner at an Irish bar, Emmet’s, then later at the Omni Parker House bar for a nightcap.
In the last nine years that Keith and I have been together, we’ve been on a number of trips. This trip surpassed the other trips. We had a very loose agenda, we took the long road, and it allowed us time to just hang out. Between work, running a business, families, friends - sometimes we forget that taking breaks together is so important; like routine maintenance. We listened (and sang along) to good music, talked, stayed quiet, and just took in new views.
To summarize this trip in the words of Hemingway, “We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other.”