A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: smart alec

We're Home

Back to reality

sunny 98 °F

So after....

9,331 miles,
93 days,
21 states,
2 provinces
1 engagement,
8 breweries/brew pubs,
10 visits with friends/family,
& 36 tanks of gas

we have returned home to Florida! Now we are catching up with family & friends, awaiting the newest family member, job hunting, and beginning to plan our wedding. Stay tuned for the rest of the travel blogs. We will hopefully have them up soon!

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Final stretch home!

Posted by smart alec 06:38 Comments (0)

Pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd

Bahston and the Surrounding Area

sunny 90 °F

We arrived in Beverly, Massachusetts after a farewell/welcome dinner at Heather and Steve’s. Their daughters and friend arrived in Sunapee within hours of our departure. It was time again for another HelpX and we were hoping for better luck this time after staying with “crazy face” up in Canada. This time we were staying at a large villa north of Boston. Our host, Jerusha, worked for an architecture firm and was beginning to fix up the hundred year old villa that her mother owned. Beverly was quintessential New England with sailboats in the harbor and seafood at every restaurant in town. The villa itself was grand with eleven rooms, hidden doors, claw foot tubs, a swimming pool, and elaborately tiled fireplaces. The ceilings had mosaics on them with exposed beams and vaulted archways. The work was easy and rewarding. It consisted of clearing brush, weeding, and organizing. Our first couple of days were light since our host worked 9 to 5, but we spent the weekend building a fence to enclose the side yard for the dogs.

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The puppetrator

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I smell bacon!

On our time off we headed into Boston to see the sights. We walked the Freedom Trail which hit up all the major highlights of the city and its involvement in the beginnings of our country. Being from Florida, it was really amazing to see how much history is in the northeast. It was nice to finally see all the places that we have only read about in books. We visited Paul Revere’s home (Man did he have a lot of children!), three different burying grounds, and the famous church where two lanterns were lit to signal that the British were coming by sea.

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Get your freedom on

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Baller status

The next day was spent touring the U.S.S. Constitution, Cambridge/Harvard, and true to our style the Harpoon Brewery. At the brewery we tried many different types of beer including one that had 200 oysters shucked into it during the brewing process. For those of you anti-oyster people out there, don’t worry they just added a little bit of a salty flavor to the beer!

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Row row row your boat

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The oldest floating vessel in the world

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Beer here

All in all we really enjoyed our time spent in Massachusetts. Jerusha was an amazing host and she loved to cook. We grilled out a couple of nights while we were there and even got to meet her dad. Just an example of some of the meals we shared were a Mexican inspired feast complete with margaritas and a Middle Eastern inspired meal with brick pressed chicken and homemade flat bread.

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Yum yum

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without an afternoon drive up the coast of New England. The land met the sea in ways that it never would in Florida and we were both struck by the beauty of it all. We decided that New England could be added to our list of possible relocation areas. We finished our trip with happy hour oysters and prepared for our drive the next day.

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Hairy scary

Posted by smart alec 14:13 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Summer in Sunapee

Finally seeing the family farm

sunny 76 °F

After leaving Maine we headed to New Hampshire to see Heather and Steve again, only this time it was on our side of the pond. It was great to see a familiar face. Even though it hadn’t been that long, there was plenty to catch up on. We spent the first few days helping them settle into their new home in New London, building shelves, hanging pictures, sorting storage items, and other little tasks. The weather was great for us, nice and warm for us southerners although Heather wished it was a little cooler. We met some more of the family while there including Alan, Tate, and Heather’s other daughter Elizabeth. They took us to the yacht club and their favorite dinner spot for some great meals.

Heather took us to Hannover to see Dartmouth and do a little window shopping. We picked up a few items for a whole 75 cents at the local church yard sale, what a deal! Before we left Steve made sure to take us to the family farm for a cool but nice swim in Lake Sunapee.

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No gators in this water

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The farm

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View of Lake Sunapee from the farm (Once again Jen was crazy for all the flowers)

Our only other excursion that week was spent in Vermont on a self-made cheese tour which included the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery and Shelburne Farms, previously a summer house for one of the Vanderbilt’s. We of course tried all the cheese we could get our hands on and even took some butter and cheese home to enjoy with Heather and Steve. On the way home we took the scenic route back which included the steepest mountain EVER. We weren’t sure if the little Tiburon was gonna make it to the top, but it did and we were on our merry way. We drove through some covered bridges and really enjoyed the scenery.

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Once again Heather and Steve showed us a great time. Heather impressed us with her cooking as usual and this time we even got to cook for them.

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We love visiting the Buzdygans!

Vermont Fun Fact: Cheddar is actually a verb, the process of making the cheese. After the whey has been drained, the curds are cut into blocks, stacked and then rotated frequently to drain the remaining whey. That process is called cheddaring.

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Gettin their cheddar on!

Posted by smart alec 07:27 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mainly Maine

Vacationland

sunny 77 °F

So we finally returned to the states after sooo many days spent in Canada. Taking a little detour on the way…for some reason our GPS loves to take us down dirt roads and no exception was made on the way to the border. We were happy to be back in the good ole U.S. of A., just in time to celebrate the 4th of July. Acadia National Park here we come!

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Where are we???

Our time spent in Maine was absolutely amazing, not only because we got engaged while there (that definitely helped too), but because it was such a beautiful place. We ended up camping for five nights at a walk up site and enjoyed a bit of peace and quiet. It was especially nice to see the starry sky with the Milky Way and a multitude of shooting stars.

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Our little slice of heaven

The landscape of Acadia was breathtaking. It had mountain peaks, rocky coasts, crystal clear waters, and tons of wildflowers. We spent one day hiking six hours to six different peaks, aka the big day. We also took scenic drives, explored Bar Harbor, and even went swimming in one of the local lakes…brrrrr!

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Are we lost?

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Jen's new favorite flower, lupine.

The 4th of July was spent in true small town U.S.A. style. We woke up early for the blueberry pancake breakfast, followed by the local parade. After the parade were the lobster races and cook out. We took a chance on a lobster or two and won big on the lobster from Bryan Smith’s restaurant…a whopping $2. The rest of the day was spent napping under large trees and chatting with some local couchsurfers while waiting for fireworks. We rounded off the evening watching the fireworks through a dense fog which ended up looking a lot more like bright colorful flashes and then enjoyed ice cream from Mt. Desert Creamery.

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Happy 4th of July

Next up was the “2009 Foodiest Small Town in America”….Portland, Maine. We went to eat, see the sights, and eat some more. Our food tasting included gourmet pizzas, french fries fried in duck fat, a goat cheese BLT, and amazing wood fired seafood. When we weren’t eating we were drinking beer at the Shipyard Brewery. We also managed to fit in a little shopping too. Wasn’t too bad of a trip considering we only spent about 48 hours there.

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Lobster rolls on the way to Portland

Posted by smart alec 19:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Learning French All Over Again

Headed for Montreal

sunny

Now that we have decided to continue our travel blog after long debate due to its rather hard task of actually sitting down to write it, we have also decided to provide a somewhat abbreviated version of each city with more insight and thought, and less detailed day to day visits. Now…we last left off heading to Montreal. We were staying with a friend of ours that we had actually met while in a hostel in Budapest (Budapest Blog) during our last big trip. Like us, he had been travelling Europe for an extended time and additionally to far off places, prior to us seeing him again. We were arriving on a Saturday night after an easy drive from Algonquin. We rarely go out for late night adventures on our trips but, our host is a bartender and graciously offered us some well needed shots after crazy-face at our last HelpX. Sebastien was definitely the man about town. Walking the streets we were constantly greeted by friends of his along the way. After a long night of too many shots and beers we enjoyed sleeping in a little for the first time in days.
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Is this how you take shots in Montreal?

Visiting Montreal was like heading back to Europe. Our expectations were pretty high for the city and easily met. We ended up staying for about a week, enjoying the tourist locations, but living like a local. We walked to so many places in the city, building up our stamina climbing the hill every afternoon back to his place.
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Woods in the middle of the city...Mont Royal

Much of the time was spent heading around town with our “chauffeur” showing us his favorite spots. We ate the original smoked meat at Schwartz’s, pasta in little Italy, and a picnic from the Atwater market.
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Speeding around on the racetrack.

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Boys will be boys

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Too much fun!

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That's a lotta meat!

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Bagel anyone?

One of our highlights had to have been our last night spent attending Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. The city was alive with activity and we couldn’t have timed it any better, the Jazz Festival had just kicked off and the weather was incredible.
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Simply amazing!

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Wish you were here Dad!

It was really fun to be around a friend again on the trip and we really enjoyed kicking it with Sebastien, definitely enjoying lots of laughs along the way. I guess that’s what you get when you put too redheads together.

Leaving Montreal we debated where to head next, (we tend to debate a lot on this trip) should we head to more parts of Canada or back to the U.S.? Since the original intent of this trip was to see more of our country we headed to Maine towards Acadia National Park. We were excited to be heading for another outdoor adventure and to be celebrating our nation’s birthday in small-town America.

Posted by smart alec 06:26 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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