Following on from my itinerary about A WEEK IN QUEBEC (and my posts here and here on my trip to Montreal and Quebec City), on day eight of our jaunt we drove out of Quebec City airport, heading for the U. S. of A.
Thursday: driving to New England (Kennebunkport, MA from Quebec City airport)
- NB: this is a six-hour drive that we did in nine hours, stopping off at an apple orchard (North Star Orchards) about three and a half hours into the drive. We also stopped for about 30 minutes at the border (necessary)
- Depart hotel Quebec at 8.30am; arrive Kennebunkport, Maine at 6pm
- NB. we had terrible weather on the way; lots of rain
Friday: Historic New England
- Sarah Orne Jewettt House (South Berwick)
- Hamilton House (South Berwick)
- We stopped at the “Wedding Cake House” to take a picture and ogled many of the holiday homes, which are out of this world.
- Maine was suffering torrential storms. We sat in the rocking chairs and watch the rain.
- We stayed at the Nonantum Resort (and while the staff were very friendly and the breakfast very good, I wouldn’t stay there again – too far from the town centre, they give too much preference to their wedding parties (even shutting down the only restaurant in the hotel); and the lift can only be used with assistance, so you end up walking up and down the stairs too much)
Saturday: driving to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
- Kennebunkport town centre
- We drove up the road to visit George Bush Snr’s compound
- Castle in the Clouds / Lucknow Estate – http://www.castleintheclouds.org/
- We stayed in Meredith at the Inn at Mill Falls and we really liked it. We had a great view over Lake (but it doesn’t have in-house breakfast facilities (made up for by the lovely warm sitting rooms with 24 hour coffee facilities and the lively lunchtime/evening restaurant and bar on-site)
Sunday: on the lake
- We could have headed up into the White Mountains but we decided to drive a circuit of the lake, which took about 3 hours (with a stop in Wolfeboro)
- We had planned to take a lake cruise but were just outside of the season for taking the boat direct from Meredith. The other alternative would have been a train ride along the lake.
- I spent the sunny afternoon with my feet up on the balcony, reading magazines and sipping something cold, while D spent the afternoon visiting antique shops in the village. Honestly, by this point I just wanted an afternoon doing nothing as I knew Boston was coming up.
Monday: driving to Boston
- We drove to Boston via Portsmouth, MA.
Strawberry Banke Museum: a village of historic houses from Historic Portsmouth
We spent 3 hours there but we sprinted the last few streets and you could easily spend a day in Portsmouth/Strawberry Banke. Although after a while there is a sense of saturation of “another old wooden house”, the best part of the experience was the “in-character” actors in two of the houses. You can have lots of fun with them as they can’t slip out of character. I’ve seen mixed reviews online of Strawberry Banke and wasn’t sure if we should visit, but I was glad we did.
- We’ve been to Boston before so this trip wasn’t about the “main” tourist sights.
- We took the 9am train to Salem from North Station in Boston (even trying a Dunkin Doughnuts for the first time) and arrived at 9.35am. We then meandered for 20 minutes to the Peabody Essex Museum, visiting a wonderful Fabergé exhibition – http://www.pem.org/
- We ate lunch at the PEM in their lovely café (so we spent about three and a half hours there).
- The rest of Salem was disappointing in general, most of the shops being “tat” (and we ask the locals where the “real” shops were but they said there are none). We took to following a line which is painted on the pavement, making our way to the Salem Ferry.
- The best bit about Salem (other than the PEM) for me was the ferry ride back to Boston and seeing the coastline.
- We ate tea in Quincy Market in Boston
- Shopping AM
- Shirley Eustis House – http://www.shirleyeustishouse.org/
- Boston Museum of Fine Art (entry is free on Wednesdays after 4pm)
- Massachusetts State House tour (free) – http://www.sec.state.ma.us/trs/
- Gibson House Museum – http://www.thegibsonhouse.org/
- Shopping PM
And then we flew back to London, knowing we had a day of rest before London Open House weekend would be upon us.
I’ll do separate posts on:
- the Historic New England, Maine houses
- the Gibson House Museum
- Strawberry Banke