Note:  I am excited to have my first guest blog!  Thank you to my friend Jennifer Barr.

Lighthouses, Fenway, Tidepooling and Lobster Rolls!

We had a lot of expectations for our trip to New England, but what quickly became apparent is that we needed to add a bit of humor, and as my good friend Helen Brown would say, Travel With Laughter.  What better way to get through three days of torrential rain, a lot of outdoor events, and a high temperature of 61 degrees for your August summer vacation?  So we put a great big smile, added some golashes and ponchos for good measure, and trekked on.   And it’s funny how things work out.  In the end it was one of the best trips we have ever taken – below is our trip report, hope it helps as you plan your own New England excursion.

We arrived in Boston and immediately drove to Ogunquit, Maine.  We walked The Marginal Way, a paved 1-mile walk between Ogunquit and quaint Perkins Cove that hugs the coast and overlooks a rocky shoreline.  The scene was beautiful and even on a drab overcast day, it was one to remember.  We spent the day and finally drove to Portland for our hotel.

The next day we took the Casco Bay Ferry to Peaks Island, where we rented bikes, that is if “rented” means we really borrowed them from a corner place with a lot of bikes, and put money in what looked like an honor box. One thing was certain: Rain + Wind + Bikes = LAUGHTER!  It’s only 4 miles around and a nice excursion, be sure to stop at the honey stand to bring back home a few Peaks Island “it will heal all ailments” gifts of raw honey.  The man selling it was pretty enthusiastic about the local product.

Day three had us driving once again, our original plan was to spend the day on Old Orchard Beach but the weather got the best of us.  We headed South and visited Portland Head Lighthouse, Kennebunkport and finally stopped for dinner in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  They were great stops as we made our way down to Boston for three nights.

Over the next two days the weather finally broke and we took advantage: Day four we walked Cambridge/Harvard in the morning and attended a Red Sox day game in the afternoon.  Both areas are ones to see – the stadium and history were worth the price, and as a big baseball fan, seeing an old ballpark was great.

Day five was the Freedom Trail, an urban hike that hits all of the historical points in Boston, and a perfect way to end our vacation.  Because our hotel was situated around the corner from the start of the trail, we decided to begin at the end and make our way home.  We started at the USS Constitution, climbed all 294 steps at the Bunker Hill Monument, and casually hit all of the stops along the way.  We took all day, started around 9:30am and ended at 3:30 – just in time for free Boston Cream Pie flavored ice cream in our hotel lobby.

Even with the weather I would not change one thing about our trip to New England.  Below are some specific recommendations.  Enjoy!

Lobster Roll: Footbridge Lobster, Ogunquit (a walk up stand)

Lobster Stew: J’s Oysters, Portland

Best Restaurant Discovery:
Galleria Umberto, Boston North End, just off the Freedom Trail.
If you don’t see the people standing in line out the door, you might walk right past it.  Very inexpensive Italian food, local people willing to wait 45 minutes in line.  Do not leave without trying one of everything, especially the Arancini.  Someone in line described it as dirt-cheap Italian street food done well, and I think it’s a pretty accurate description.

Best Breakfast:
Porthole Restaurant, Portland. (we enjoyed it much better than the more popular Becky’s)

Best Dinner: 
Antico Forno, Boston.
Make reservations & then get there a little early.  Delicious homemade pastas – we loved the Puttanesca, Positano and Tiramisu.

Best Whoopie Pie:
Two Fat Cats Bakery, Portland.

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