United States of America · 14 Days · 59 Moments · May 2017

The Lane's New England Adventure

4 June 2017

We made it to Boston around 2:00 and used our final City Pass tickets to take a Sightseeing Harbor Cruise. The weather held out ... it was just a bit cloudy. We enjoyed relaxing on the boat and learning more about Boston's history. We navigated the confusing one way streets and managed to get our luggage dropped off at the hotel and the rental car dropped off at Enterprise. Tonight we are taking it easy at the hotel; tomorrow morning we fly home.
Sunday, June 4 One last stop on the Cape before heading back to Boston. We went to visit Chatham, home of the Chatham Shark Center. It is a small museum devoted to great white shark research. We got to "swim" with the sharks using virtual reality goggles and saw several cool exhibits. FYI - Great white sharks have been observed off the east coast of N. America over the last 20 years with the return of seals. While the sharks feed off the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts in the summer, they head south for the winter. We drove through Chatham and walked on the beach. Another nice town. 😊

3 June 2017

Jackson enjoyed playing in the sand at Cooks Brook Beach. He wasn't phased by the cooler temps.
Saturday, June 3 Cape Cod National Seashore Explored the Cape Cod shore today. We saw visitor centers, lighthouses, sandy cliffs, and beaches. Went all the way to Provincetown. It was a beautiful day. Jackson braved the beach in his swim suit to play in the sand while Riche and I huddled under sweatshirts and blankets. @ 65 degrees today but the wind felt chilly when the sun went behind the clouds. The consensus is that everyone is ready to go home. 😊 Our journey is nearly complete. We head to Boston tomorrow.
We have a cute and cozy cottage in Cape Cod (how's that for alliteration?). We have enjoyed the extra space, the ability to prepare meals, and the use of the washer/dryer!

2 June 2017

After leaving the Vineyard, we traveled to Cape Cod Seashore. Traffic was heavy. Guess lots of people want to enjoy the beach this weekend! I think school is officially out and folks have begun to arrive at the beach. Two days ago, we abandoned our plan to stay in another hotel. After 2 weeks of togetherness, things had gotten a bit ugly. We rented a cute little cottage in North Eastham, a town that is near the Cape Cod National Seashore. What we are saving by not eating out will more than make up the difference in the costs of the rental! We enjoyed our first home cooked meal in nearly 2 weeks and we were able to see the sun set over the bay this evening. We have some rain showers predicted tomorrow ... but we hope to get outdoors when we can.
Last few happenings before leaving the island ... We walked around the Camp Meeting area. It contains lots of gingerbread style Victorian houses painted unique rainbow colors surrounding a central tabernacle. Apparently, it was the site of religious camp meetings in the past. Lastly, we ate chowda at the Martha Vineyard Chowder Co. Headed back to Falmouth on the Island Queen ferry.
We visited South Beach which has larger waves and stronger currents; then traveled to East Beach which has relatively smooth, calm water. Both were fabulous (particularly since the summer crowds have not arrived)! πŸ˜‰ We had the beach to ourselves.
Friday, June 2 Edgartown, Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard Woke to sunshine and warmer temperatures today. 60 degrees feels like 70! Loved having breakfast on our deck. The first time this trip that we were not all in one room. We all enjoyed the extra space and separation. Yahoo! Walked around Edgartown one last time.

1 June 2017

Great day at Martha's Vineyard. So, so beautiful!! We drove "Up Island," meaning the western end, late this afternoon. Checked out Aquinnah Cliffs and Menemsha, a real fishing village. We had some tasty fresh fish dishes at a waterfront market. We drove through West Tinsbury before heading back to Edgartown. It's a lovely place. Laid back feel. Gorgeous flowers in bloom. Great water views. The countryside has farms with horses and a few cows. We saw lots of wild turkeys! Funny story: I called at 8:30 this morning to confirm we could have a rollaway bed in our room. It was confirmed. We arrived on a ferry with 2 little bags ... When I stopped by mid-afternoon, I was told, "We have no rollaway." Uh-oh. So, I said, "We are going to need a bed." He said, "I'll talk with my manager." I said, "Good. I'll see you at 4 and can't wait to see what solution you come up with." At 3, we checked in and we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite with a deck facing the waterfront. Sweet!
Edgartown - We took a JAWS tour with Mike from Edgartown Tours. Saw all the places from the movie and learned a lot of JAWS trivia along the way. Great tour! Our #1 JAWS fan loved this one!
Thursday, June 1 Martha's Vineyard - Arrived in Oak Bluffs and rented a car. Explored a bit before heading to Edgartown.
Thursday, June 1 We have sunshine! β˜€οΈWe boarded the Island Queen ferry in Falmouth for a short 35-min ride to Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard. It was beautiful and sunny on the shore. Once out to sea, we quickly hit a patch of fog, which sent us scurrying below deck to warm up. As we neared the island, the sky cleared ... warm and sunny again. Not South Carolina kind of warm ... New England kind. The 60 degrees kind with sun. We are excited to see what Martha's Vineyard is all about!

31 May 2017

Wednesday, May 31 Today was a travel day. We left Bar Harbor, ME at 9 am and arrived in Falmouth, MA at 4 pm. We ran into rain as we got near Falmouth. Heavy rain. We are changing the name of our trip to the Lane's New England Rain and Fog Tour. πŸ’¦πŸ’§But we are seeing the sights and bonding and making memories. No pictures today. Just imagine 5 weary travelers in the rain ... with semi-broken umbrellas. πŸ˜‚ A little worn down, a tad argumentative, a teeny bit homesick. But hanging in there ... Tomorrow we take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard.

30 May 2017

More of Acadia National Park ... Cadillac Mountain and Bubble Pond. Love this place. ❀️
Tuesday, May 30 A great start to the day in Bar Harbor. We have sunshine!! β˜€οΈβ˜€οΈβ˜€οΈ The sky is clear and the temperature is warmer ~ 60 degrees. We had a wonderful breakfast at Jeannie's Great Maine Breakfast. And it was spectacular. By now, you know what that means ... gluten free blueberry pancakes. Oh yeah. Good stuff. Walked around Bar Harbor a bit and shopped. Grabbed our groceries for the day. Onward to Acadia ...

29 May 2017

55 degrees - Perfect for swimming?!? When the pool is heated, it works! Jackson, Garrett, and Riche enjoyed the pool while Momma checked out the hot tub. πŸ˜‰
Monday, May 29 Acadia National Park - Thunder Hole, Otter Point, and Jordan Pond Stream Trail. It warmed up to a balmy 50 degrees today. We thought about swimming in the ocean but decided against it. Just kidding. πŸ˜‚ The sun peaked out a few times. We enjoyed a day of beautiful ocean views along a high and rocky shoreline. Amazing scenery everywhere we looked! A plus: This time of year, there are fewer tourists. We were able to drive around easily and there was plenty of parking at every stop.
Monday, May 29 Acadia National Park - Sand Beach. A 290-yard wide beach. Who knew? Sandy beaches are rarely found along cold waters. The sand here is made from crushed shells, mostly sea urchins. The water rarely gets above 55 degrees, even in summer.
Monday, May 29 Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine - along the Park Loop Trail.
Cadillac Mountain (highest point), Acadia National Park - views from two different days. Yesterday, a wall of fog; today, clear line of sight for miles.
Monday, May 29 Happy Memorial Day from Bar Harbor, Maine! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ It's a chilly 45 degrees with a heavy mist in the air. Thus, we are not our usual glamorous selves. ''Tis a frizzy hair day! We're spending the day exploring Acadia National Park.

28 May 2017

Bucksport, Maine We have traveled all day ... because we stopped quite a bit. Seems like we've driven to the ends of the earth. We stopped at 7:00 to eat dinner. Riche had lobster which has given him the energy necessary to drive the final hour! We're almost to Bar Harbor. Yeah!
Camden, Maine - super cute and quaint harbor town.
Maine Hwy 1 Stopped in Freeport, Maine, home to LLBean. Wow! This place zapped some time. Oops! Going to arrive a bit later than planned. LLBean has 4-5 flagship stores of various types and there are many other outlet stores in town, Basically, it's an outlet mall spread out over several blocks. It trapped us ... but eventually, we escaped! 😩
Sunday drive along Maine Hwy 1 Stopped in Portland, Maine's largest city, with a population of 66,000. Ate a meal at Portland Pie because they had gluten free pizza! Walked along the wharf and shopped a bit. Nice touristy spot.
Sunday, May 28, 2017 So long Boston ... we're heading to Maine. We plan to stop at a few towns along the way to Bar Harbor.

27 May 2017

Last night in Boston ... the Prudential Tower Skywalk Observatory, 50 floors up. Gorgeous view of Boston skyline at night!
The boys enjoyed the pool until a kid threw up in it. Yep. Disgusting.
"Wouldn't you like to get away, where everybody knows your name?" Visit to Cheers Bar - right on the edge of Boston Common.
Happy Memorial Day from Boston! 37,000 flags on display in Boston Common representing service men and women from Massachusetts who died while serving our country.
A bizarre fact about Boston. An area of study that I never considered ... investigating toilet contents? This makes Latin and Math sound appealing.
Boston Walk Into History Tour: The Freedom Trail We took a guided tour and learned about the important people and places in Boston that played a role during the Revolutionary War. Our costumed guide (a Son of Liberty) was informative and hilarious. Great tour! We started in Boston Common and then went to the Granary Burial Ground which is a cemetery with graves and monuments of several famous Americans and markers representing an estimated 20,000 Americans buried in the vicinity. We traveled to the Old State House and ended the tour at Faneuil Hall.
Saturday: Sightseeing on the streets of Boston - near Boston Common.
Saturday, May 27 We moved to a new hotel this morning for our final night in Boston. This entire trip involves frequent moves because our hotel stays are either free Holiday Inn owner stays (2 nights at a time) or involve using Marriott points. Tonight, it's a fancy hotel - Marriott Copley Square.

26 May 2017

Lunch at Cheesecake Factory. Yummy! P.S. I am having some minor food sensitivity issues but it has absolutely nothing to do with eating chocolate and cheesecake. I'm sure of it. πŸ˜‚
Friday, May 26, 2017 Museum of Science, Boston We woke to a steady rain - not as windy - but still raining. We Ubered it over to the Museum of Science. We spent many hours exploring the museum. So many fascinating exhibits and hands on activities. A great day to be indoors due to the rain! πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸŒ«πŸ’§πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸŒ« We walked to a nearby Cheesecake Factory for lunch and then returned to the museum to see more exhibits. A fun, informative day. Hopefully, the rain will clear and we will get out and explore Boston a bit tomorrow. πŸ˜‰

25 May 2017

Thursday afternoon - New England Aquarium. A major rain system is hanging over Boston. We arrived to a cold and rainy afternoon. But we made the most of it by visiting the aquarium. They had many interesting exhibits - from penguins, to harbor seals, to three green sea turtles. Myrtle, a turtle that is estimated to be 90 years old, was very friendly and smiled for several pictures. We walked to Quincy Market afterward. On our way home we were caught in a cold, miserable rain and what's worse, we ended up walking 4 blocks in the wrong direction. Our poor little umbrellas were useless - they kept turning inside out in the rain. We trudged along in the blustery rain with the rush hour crowd. We're so thankful to be back in our hotel room; we may never leave! πŸ˜‚
We enjoyed lunch in Boston today at Legal Seafood. They have delicious seafood! We had clam chowder and a variety of seafood. Yummy, yummy. πŸ˜‹
Thursday, May 25 6:55 am Amtrak train to Boston. Everyone got around in a timely manner. Yeah! An Uber driver picked us up in the rain. Turns out traffic flows more easily at 6am in NYC! My crew generously tolerated pictures being taken at this early hour so Mom can remember the moment later.

24 May 2017

Wednesday, May 24 Today is Garrett's 13th birthday! Maybe not his ideal celebration ... but we plan to have a belated b'day party when we return to SC.
So long NYC ... we're skipping on outta here! Our time in New York City is coming to an end. 4 days here has felt like a month. So much activity and noise ... so much we wanted to see and do. So expensive. πŸ€‘ So many people. We walked 5 miles on Sunday and 6 miles each of the past 3 days. 23 miles in 4 days! No wonder we are exhausted. We are resting this evening so we can get up bright and early to catch the train to Boston at 7 am tomorrow. Then we can rest for another 4 hours while we travel.
9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Wednesday afternoon - strolled down Wall St. The kids wanted a picture with the Fearless (Morgan called her Defiant) Girl statue instead of the Charging Bull. Oh, how perfect. πŸ˜†
Wednesday: Visit to Ellis Island. Fascinating history lesson for us all.
Wednesday, May 24: Visit to the Statue of Liberty! πŸ—½Climbed to the pedestal for great views of the harbor and city. It was educational (shhh, don't tell the kids) and enjoyable. Beautiful, breezy weather today. 😊

23 May 2017

Confession - I don't do social media because when something is not so great, I'm gonna say it. Garrett says that people really don't want to hear my issues! Tuesday on Broadway!! Here's the truth about our evening: We saw the Broadway show Wicked and it seemed to bring out the wickedness in us. It was that or the fact that we've been walking 5 miles a day in the midst of millions of people! So we fought and bickered our way to the show and fought our way back to the hotel. Needing rest ... PS. It was a great show! Amazing performers and set, great music, interesting story line. The whole family enjoyed it.
Tuesday evening, we enjoyed a lovely and very "sophisticated" Italian dinner (note Garrett's sophisticated expression) at Maria Pia. This place served gluten free pasta!!! Delicious meal. 😊
Tuesday evening, we visited the Lego store at Rockefeller Center. They had an awesome Lego creation of Rockefeller Center. Cool stuff for Lego fans!
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Carlo's Bakery for some rather pricey but delicious treats. Jackson's number one pick for a tourist destination. He is a big fan of the Cake Boss. He said the chocolate cannoli was fabulous; he gives it 5 stars.
Tuesday morning- Empire State Building from 86 floors up.
Tuesday, May 23 We started with a Big Bus Tour of Midtown, on the way to the Empire State Building. It was so amazing to have a seat up top - hated to give up our seats! Loved it while we were riding. 😊

22 May 2017

Late night dinner on Monday at a cool spot - Gotham West Market. Lots of different vendors with central tables. We could pick whatever style of food we wanted! Several of us had Mexican inspired food - one had burger and fries. Yummy! πŸ™‚
Monday evening, we enjoyed a relaxing 2-hour Harbor Lights Cruise this evening. The rain ended (at least temporarily) and the temperature was pleasant. Awesome scenery!
The one and only time we were able to ride our tour bus today, Jackson and Garrett were guest announcers! They announced some of the upcoming stops.
Monday, May 22 We visited two museums, The American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Both were amazing and contained more exhibits than we could possibly see in a day. A great day to be in museums because it rained all day. By 5:00, we were a bit run down from all the people and all the cars and the waiting ... and the rain. It takes a bit of time to adjust to the big city!

21 May 2017

Our first big challenge - getting from LaGuardia Airport to Midtown Manhattan. Even on a Sunday afternoon, traffic was jammed and slow moving. It took 1.5 hours to travel 15 miles and cost $87, thanks to Uber XL. Welcome to New York City!
Sunday evening, we took a pedicab tour through Central Park. Our guides were excellent - informative, fun, and polite. We saw many of the major sites and were able to stop for photo opps.
Sunday, May 21 Shortly after settling into our hotel, we headed to Times Square to take in the sights! Riche, Garrett, Morgan, and Jackson on Broadway. And the random stranger joining us in the background.