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Fall 2023: New England




In the spirit of keeping it real, we are a little behind on our blogs. This two-week trip was taken the last week of September and the first week of October. Between learning more about how to edit videos from the insta360 camera and health concerns with some of our parents, we have been a little busy. I have had a blast learning to edit though. The videos aren't perfect, but I think they turned out pretty well.


West Virginia


Our trip started with us going through Kentucky, then West Virginia. We have been through most parts of Kentucky, but it had been a long time since visiting West Virginia. It was gorgeous this time of year. Since we were hoping to see a ton of beautiful fall colors on this trip, the highways were also very well maintained, which made for a very nice drive. We stopped in Huntington at a brewery for a very delicious burger and a flight of beer. We then walked around the town for a little while to stretch our legs and headed on our way again.


 

Maryland


We basically just drove through this state.


 

Pennsylvania


As we continued making our way east, it started to rain. It rained and rained for hours, even into the next morning. 🌧️☔️🌧️ This was caused by Tropical Storm Ophelia. We were driving towards it. We had a tiny bit of the heavier rain as we got closer to Harrisburg Pennsylvania.  Upon arriving, we went to Appalachian Brewing Company. There were several very tasty beers in our flight, but the best thing was the food.  We ordered pierogis, and I’m going to say, it was one of my favorite foods from the trip. The atmosphere of the brewery was nice.  It was a huge building but was pretty empty as we were there late. Harrisburg is where we stayed the night.


 

New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts & New Hampshire


The next morning we left Pennsylvania and made our way towards Maine. We started with a stop at Starbucks. We were set and ready to go with our coffee, GPS and cameras in hand. I guess I should have had a better hold on my coffee, because I ended up with it all over me when we hit a hard bump in the road. The cup slid down in my hand and popped the lid off. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Coffee went everywhere. I managed to save some of it, but was so frustrated that this is how my day started. Brian tried really hard not to laugh. I smelt like coffee the rest of the day and had a nice stain on my shirt. Good news is, the coffee that landed on the camera, didn't ruin anything.


We were so busy trying to figure out which river we were crossing, that we almost missed the state sign for New Jersey. It was the Delaware River and it was really pretty. We couldn't help but sing the Billy Joel song as we drove through Allentown.


We crossed the Hudson River going into New York. Once we were on the bridge, 🌉 the view of the river was gone, because of the height of the walls. We were a little sad about that, but the bridge was neat.


Connecticut was a very interesting state to travel through. For a long time, we were on a split highway that was kind of hilly but had quite a few exits.  It was just a two-lane highway, and the gas stations were their own exit. I had never seen that before, but Brian said it’s pretty common in Europe.  There were a ton of overpasses, and every single one had a different design on it. Some of them were very ornate, while some were simpler, each one being unique. That’s something neither of us had seen before. We saw an eagle soaring across the sky in front of us, but it was going way too fast to get a picture. We also saw a truck from Kentucky, pulling a trailer, that was headed to help with disaster relief in the places that were flooded due to the tropical storm. For lunch, we chose to stop at the New England Brewing Company.  Come to find out, they don’t serve food, so time for Taco Bell. We picked up drive thru and took it to the brewery. This brewery didn’t serve flights, so we both just got a 6oz taster.  I got the Schnitzengiggles (German Festbier), and Brian got the Schnitz ON OAK (German Festbier conditioned on oak chips). They both were very tasty, but Brian went back for the Schnitzengiggles. It was that good! Another plus from this brewery is the cute sweatshirt I bought about fuzzy baby ducks. That was the name of another one of their beers.


We also went to Portsmouth NH. We planned it so we would be here around dinner time. We went to a place called the Thirsty Moose 🫎 Taphouse. They had so many beers on tap that it definitely made it hard to choose our flight. The flight board was moose antlers. Clever! This was just a very short time in New Hampshire, but it had us really looking forward to the time we would get to spend in this state.



 

Maine


After checking into our room, we walked down to the pier to see the water at night. It was really pretty and relaxing. The sunrises on the water were also pretty and a good way to start the day. Brian had found us a cute little coffee shop in the next town of Thomason, called Flipside Coffee. ☕️ It was built in an old bank. The vault was still there and is used as their storage room. They use part of this space to sell local art as well. The coffee was good, but the breakfast sandwiches were a pleasant surprise.


One of my favorite things we did on this trip was seeing the first lighthouse in Maine. It was the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse and it was beautiful. We stayed there for a while just taking in every part of it. We saw other lighthouses, but this one was our favorite, for sure. The others we saw were the Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse and the Portland Head Lighthouse.




We made several stops along the way to Portland on Hwy 1. One of those stops was in Bath. We saw a ship docked in Bath while crossing the bridge leading into the city. Come to find out, it was Maine's first ship. That's a pretty cool thing to see and have a picture of. Right next to that was the biggest pile of bird poop I've ever seen. This might be one of the weirdest things I have a picture of it, so I'll share it here as well. 😁 Seriously though, it was bigger than my foot. This is the day we also set out to get Brian some Maine Lobster Rolls. This landed us a Sea Dog Brewing Company in Topsham. We sat out on the balcony since it was on a river. They had a delicious blueberry beer, one of the best we've tasted to date. The blueberry salad was also really good, and Brian was loving his lobster roll. 🦞 Down the street from Sea Dog was the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge. It made for a nice little stroll across the river we just ate next to. We happened across something we didn't know was in Maine as we were traveling down Hwy 1, and that was the L.L. Bean Headquarters. This place was huge. The buildings were divided by sport/activity. There was one for biking, one for hiking, kayaking, home, etc. It was huge. The boot outside the hiking entrance and the boot truck we saw later that day at Bissell Brothers Brewing were both just as big. The only other stop this day was at Maine Brewing, a really big open space, with a tall tree water fountain in the center. Finally, it was time to head back to the room and try to get some sleep.




The next morning, we started our day with breakfast and another coffee shop, of course. We headed north out of Rockland to Bar Harbour to visit Hulls Cove Visitor Center of Acadia National Park. You had to climb steps to get to the visitor center, which made this national park unique. It was a beautiful park. We didn't stay a long time but felt we had seen enough and left for Bar Harbor. This is definitely a place we have marked to go back to. It was packed with people, and there seemed to be so much to do, that it would take more planning. As we left Bar Harbor, there was another place to try another lobster roll. 🦞 This place, however, had the added bonus of homemade whoopie pies and homemade blueberry pie. 🫐 These two things are a must while in Maine. We weren't disappointed in either, but both agreed the blueberry pie was definitely the better of the two. With our belly's full, it was time to say goodbye to Maine.


 

New Hampshire Again


Not too much later, we entered New Hampshire. One of the areas we knew we would be traveling would be the Kancamagus Hwy through the White Mountain National Forest. This was a beautiful drive with gorgeous lighting as the sun was starting to set. It was also the first sign that there could possibly be an issue with the rental car. The ABS (antilock braking system) light came on. It stayed on for about ten minutes or so, and then went back off. It was worrisome, but because it went back off, we didn't think a whole lot more about it. We made it to the Riverbanks Motel and Cabins, unloaded the car, then headed to the brewery just around the corner for dinner. After a good night's rest, we woke and took our morning walk next to the river that was right in our backyard. Then onto breakfast at a cute little train diner while we figured out exactly what we were going to do for the day. We decided this would be the day to knock out two more national parks. Saint-Gaudens was in New Hampshire. The road to it was full of covered bridges and scare crow pumpkin people. 🎃 Enfield NH is known for these as a tradition that started over thirty years ago. Word is there's close to a thousand of them across the state in the fall.


We did cross the state line into Vermont for a little bit on this day. We stopped at Harpoon Brewery, which was a nice surprise, for lunch. They also had a blueberry beer, but this one had real blueberries floating in it. It’s Brian’s favorite blueberry beer to date. We went to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, saw more covered bridges, went to Sugarbush Farms to taste cheese 🧀 and syrup, went to Vermont Flannel to buy flannel and crossed a gorge bridge. Then, we headed back to New Hampshire for dinner and our riverside motel.



The next morning, we took another riverside walk. Then, we did what I consider to be, the prettiest and most interesting nature walk we've ever done. We went to Franconia Notch State Park to see The Basin and The Baby Flume. There is a place called The Flume Gorge, but this was enough for both of us. A gorge is not the best for people that have a fear of heights, so the word baby in front of this gorge was a relief. 👶🏻



 

Vermont


Shortly after entering into Vermont again, we came into Montpelier. This is one of the most beautiful Capitol Building settings I think we have seen, especially in the fall. 🍂 We stopped at a place called Prohibition Pig in Waterbury for lunch. We were a tad early for our Airbnb check in, so we drove over to Lake Champlain to get a peek at the water. There was a pile of snow in a parking lot. Brian tried to convince me that it was there because that's how much snow they get there. It was from an ice-skating rink. Our Airbnb was a little different. This one, we stayed in the family's basement with them still living in the upper areas of the home. It felt a little strange at first, but we ended up loving it. The family was super sweet and gave us ideas for things to do while we were there.


That evening we went to the Church Street Marketplace to eat and shop. Our food at Vermont Brewery had a really weird name but was pretty good and apparently something you need to try while in Vermont. After dinner, we walked down to the waterfront to catch the sunset, then on to Foam Brewers. This is still my favorite brewery we've been to. 🍻 The peanut butter porter was so good, and the atmosphere was really different. Our bartender, Tom from Rhode Island, was so nice and easy to have a conversation with. Now, time for an Uber back to the Airbnb for some sleep.