East coast reminiscing

We’ve been home long enough to finish the laundry, upload the photos, put away the travel books, write trip advisor reviews…but my mind keeps going back across the country. I love traveling to the east coast. There is something so exciting about visiting the bustling city of Boston, shopping on Newbury Street, walking through the Public Garden, exploring new parks and museums, and visiting old favorites. We were lucky to have a whole week in Boston after our daughter’s graduation, followed by a long weekend in Maine. Staying at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge offered us easy access to the Charles River and to downtown destinations over the Longfellow Bridge. I’m always thrilled when I realize that I can actually walk to some of the places I want to visit!

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Also lucky to have a car for a few days during the week, I took advantage of the opportunity to visit a few spots outside of the city center. While my daughter had lunch with a friend in Chestnut Hill, I stopped in at the Frederick Law Olmsted Historical Site, Fairsted, http://www.nps.gov/frla/index.htm.  What an accomplished landscape architect and designer he was. I had no idea that he’d designed the outdoor spaces of so many parks, universities and landmarks across the country (including Central Park and Stanford University). I love his vision of creating equal access to all recreation areas. Right around the corner from Fairsted was the Arnold Arboretum, www.arboretum.harvard.edu, also new to me! What luck to arrive while the lilacs were in full bloom! Such a lovely spot, filled with blooming trees. I only regretted that I didn’t have more time to explore the miles of trails crisscrossing the beautiful landscape.

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Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Heather, (check out her awesome travel blog: http://thewayitravel.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/san-diego), I returned to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts to view the incredible Quilts and Color exhibit, http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/quilts-and-color.  My timing was perfect – exhibit collector, Gerald Roy, was on hand, telling the fascinating stories behind many of these beautiful works of art.

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On another day, my daughter and I ventured up the coast to the nearby and charming village of Marblehead. What a treat! We loved wandering the narrow tree lined streets, admiring the colorful, historic homes and the beautiful harbor vistas. We found lots of tempting shops and friendly shopkeepers on Washington street, and plenty of appealing lunch choices at Shubies on Atlantic, http://shubies.com. We liked it so much we even checked out some real estate listings! Haven’t made any offers yet…

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Heading up to Maine for the long weekend, we spent our first night in Portland. We were pleased with our meal at Portland and Rochester Public House, http://www.118preble.com/?page_id=119, an edgy little restaurant and bar off the beaten path and away from the harbor. Just as tasty were the pastries we picked up for breakfast at the Standard Baking Co on Commercial St. down by the wharf. Their delicious bread and amazing almond croissants are not be missed. Eager to get up to Boothbay Harbor before evening, we made a quick swing through Cape Elizabeth and Fort Williams Park to see the well photographed and picturesque Portland Head Light. It was filled with tourists, but worth the stop!

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We were so happy to return to the Topside Inn, http://www.topsideinn.com for two days of relaxation, high on our perch overlooking the Boothbay Harbor.

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Ed and Brian, the fabulous hosts, have remodeled a bit since our last visit, and the Inn is even more comfortable and lovely than before! We also hit several other old favorites, the Lobster Dock, www.thelobsterdock.com, for delicious seafood dinners (twice!), Wannawaf for amazing blueberry ice cream, and the Boathouse Bistro, where we lunched on the patio watching the boats come and go.

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We arrived back home to find that we are not the only ones who like our special spot on Bay Laurel!

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Our vegetable garden seems to have survived for a week without us (thanks to our dear neighbors).

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Travel is exciting, but it’s great to be back home.

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