Playing Tourist

When we travel, we like to experience things that we can’t experience at home. We do a lot of exploring, hiking, and eating in the local area of the places we visit. Sometimes, however, we totally play “tourist”. That’s what we did on our way from Ithaca to Ottawa…

On the last day of my course, class finished up at 3:30. D’Arcy & the kids were still on their way back to Ithaca from the day’s adventures, so I went to the bar at the Statler Hotel with my classmates for a drink before we all went our separate ways. It wasn’t long before my family arrived, so I said good-bye to my new friends and we headed towards Niagara Falls.

Before we had left home, we had arranged a visit with our friends, Carl, Nikki, and their daughter, Jessica. Carl & I worked together on the Scotia Prince in 1997, a car-passenger ferry that traveled daily between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine. Nikki is originally from Ontario and they have been living in Niagara Falls for eight years now; they both work in the Casino there.

As it turned out, Carl & Nikki had to work the night we were visiting, but they are allowed two “lates” per year, where they can call in without penalty and arrive for work up to four hours late. This way, we were able to spend the evening together and they went to work at midnight, as we went to bed. We were happy to be Jessica’s babysitters for the night.

It was about 7:30 p.m. when we arrived at their home, and Nikki had made a feast for us for supper: barbequed steak, potatoes, steamed green beans and tossed salad. For dessert, we had berries with whipped cream. It was delicious!! Sarah, Olivia & Jessica played and giggled, the boys hung out, and the adults all talked and got caught up. The girls were thrilled when we blew up an air mattress in Jessica’s room and the three of them  were able to sleep in there together!

More giggling than sleeping going on!

Carl & Nikki arrived home around six a.m., just as we were getting up. We had pancakes and fruit for breakfast before saying goodbyes and leaving to go see Niagara Falls. (Carl & Nikki were heading for bed.)

Breakfast at Carl & Nikki’s

Niagara Falls, at 7:30 in the morning, are beautiful! Well, to be honest, they’re beautiful at any time of day… The sun was coming through the mist and creating rainbows. We got quite wet. Although I’ve been to Niagara Falls a few times, the speed and force of the water flow amazes me every time. After getting another tourist to take our photo, we got into the van to head to Canada’s Wonderland via the Niagara-on-the-Lake wine country. D’Arcy & I have been scouting out places we’d like to return to in a few years without the kids! J

Watching the waterfalls

Beautiful Horseshoe Falls

Family photo in front of the Canadian Falls – all you can really see is mist though.

Olivia gets a lift from Alex to have a closer look.

We got to Canada’s Wonderland shortly after it opened and the place was already PACKED with people! We are a family of adrenaline junkies, so we spent the rest of the day riding roller coasters and other rides. On the very first roller coaster that D’Arcy & the boys rode, Alex lost his glasses while upside down, and we were told to return to get them at 2:00. We split up, since Olivia wasn’t tall enough for the big coasters, but met up at various times, including for lunch. Sarah rode the Vortex and the Wild Beast (twice) and loved it. D’Arcy’s cousin Derrick lives nearby, so he and his wife Denny joined us with their daughter, Justine, for the afternoon. Denny is very pregnant so Sarah, Olivia, Justine & I rode most of the rides in the kids’ zone for the afternoon. They left at suppertime, but we stayed until after 9 p.m. Although the kids could have kept going, D’Arcy & I were at our limit. I was quickly becoming infuriated with the crowds and with people who were jumping into the line in front of us. It happened at various times throughout the day, and I could feel my blood pressure rising along with the temperature. The kids had a blast, and that’s what matters…

Sarah, Olivia, Justine & Snoopy

Evan, Olivia, Alex & Sarah with Charlie Brown at Canada’s Wonderland

We were staying at the Marriott in Vaughn, so made our way to the hotel where we all went swimming and soaked in the hot tub before collapsing into bed after a very full day!

* This post was originally written while we were traveling between July 1st – 15th, 2012. We are back home now and welcoming guests.

Adventures in Upstate New York

During the three days I was at Cornell learning and networking, D’Arcy & the kids took full advantage of their time, exploring Upstate New York.  They spent most of the first day at the Ithaca Sciencentre and then hiked the trail and went swimming at Buttermilk Falls. On the second day, they drove to Cooperstown, NY, to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. On the final day, they visited the Cayuga Nature Center and the highlight of that visit was watching the snakes being fed (glad it was him, not me!), hiked Watkins Glen, and visited Taughannock Falls, the tallest waterfall east of the Rockies. Because I wasn’t with them, I don’t have many anecdotes to tell, but they all seemed exhausted and happy each evening when they came to pick me up at school!

A ball game at the Ithaca Sciencenter to discover the science behind eyes.

Exploring magnets at the Ithaca Sciencenter

Sarah & Olivia explore Space at the Ithaca Sciencenter

D’Arcy & Evan using lowest frequency brainwaves to move a balll 

Olivia, Sarah, Alex & Evan at Buttermilk Falls, NY

Buttermilk Falls, NY

Outside the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

Standing by Lou Gehrig’s locker

With some of the Hall of Famers

A street magician – Alex & D’Arcy both love to perform magic!

At the Cayuga Nature Center

Ithaca is known for its beautiful Gorges

At the entrance to Taughannock Falls, three stories taller than Niagara Falls!

Taughannock Falls, NY

We saw lots of wildlife while we were traveling, this was a fawn beside the road.

Hiking at Watkins Glen, NY

Behind the waterfall at Watkins Glen

Beautiful Watkins Glen

Three days was just not enough for D’Arcy and the kids to see everything that they wanted to see. They’ve made some notes of new places they’d like to visit the next time we get back to that area!

*This post was originally written while we were still traveling between July 1st – 15th. We are back home now and welcoming guests!

The Cornell Experience

The real reason for the first week of our trip, was to get me to Cornell University to take a course; the second toward a Certification in Strategic Hospitality Management. Last year, I took Strategic Hospitality Management, a course which ran during the last week of school, so I flew to Ithaca and back by myself. This year, the course I was taking, Strategic Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels, fell during the first week of summer vacation. D’Arcy had been chosen as the Nova Scotian representative to mark the PCAP Assessments (The Grade 9 Science Exams written across the Country) in Ottawa during the second week of July, so we decided to turn it into a family road trip!

I thoroughly enjoyed my course at Cornell last year, but this year was even better. The course was interesting, led by Professor Dr. Rob Kwortnik, who has been honoured seven times as a Teacher of the Year by students at the Cornell Hotel School. I can see why – he’s very engaging and personable. My class of 26 was made up of hospitality leaders from 15 different countries. I was fortunate to have two other Nova Scotians attending with me: Rob Pretty, owner/manager of the Halliburton House Inn in Halifax, and Shawn Lewis, Food & Beverage Manager at the Prince George Hotel in Halifax.  As is often the case in Nova Scotia, we discovered many, many connections.

Make up of the class

The course material and discussions gave us lots of food for thought and you will be seeing some changes on the Belgravia Bed & Breakfast website after we get home. One of the things that I really had to think about was the question, “What makes your property special? What makes you stand out from your competition?” That’s a tough one for us as a bed & breakfast. Why do our guests choose us over our competition?

Is it our downtown location, within walking distance to restaurants, shopping and attractions? There are two other B&B’s located in downtown Truro. Is it our beautiful historic home? There is another B&B which is a historic home, and all of the B&B’s in Truro are beautiful in their own way. Is it our reasonable rates and good value? Our prices fall within the same range as the other B&B’s in our area, so it isn’t that either.

Is it our fantastic breakfast served each morning with local ingredients whenever possible?  Hmmm. Each of the B&B’s in our area serve a wonderful breakfast. We’re all friends, and have eaten many meals together over the years, so I know that they are great cooks! However, we are the only B&B that is peanut & treenut free, and we do advertise that we are allergy aware. This is one thing that sets us apart from our competition, although I know that the others all cater to food allergies as best as they can, as well.

To explore the idea further, I then had to look at why guests choose a B&B over a hotel. We find that our guests are looking for a personal experience at our Bed & Breakfast. B&B guests want authentic, culturally relevant experiences. They are not looking to be anonymous, like in a hotel. In short, we are our brand. Our guests get to know us through our website and our blog, and even through Facebook, Twitter, and Trip Advisor, and then choose to book with us. Often, they will book because we have things in common: teachers, outdoor enthusiasts, quilters; people who love music, the arts, local food, running, gardening, and reading. People definitely book with us because they are confident that we will accommodate their dietary restrictions safely. (We understand there is nothing worse than an allergic reaction while away-fro-home!) I think we already give people a pretty good sense of who we are, but we can become better at it. This course has given me some tools to do this and I’m excited to make some changes that will hopefully make our guest experience even better!

As I said last year, attending Cornell University was something of a dream when I was taking my Bachelor of Tourism & Hospitality Management at Mount Saint Vincent University years ago. I loved reading the Cornell Journals when doing research. I am very grateful to the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for their support of Executive Education and supporting  the dreams of tourism operators in Nova Scotia! I know that the Nova Scotia Tourism Industry will be strengthened as a result of the participation of its industry leaders!

Anne, Rob & Shawn, “The Canadians”, studying hard!

Members of the class

It wasn’t all hard work – Anne, Rob & Shawn networking at the opening reception after class on the first day.

Our professor, Dr. Rob Kwortnik

I passed!

My certificate of accomplishment

Official class photo

Going Deep into an Underground Cavern

On the 4th of July, we got up and packed everything back into the van. For the first time of our vacation, we were running on schedule! We said heart-felt goodbyes to Kate, Willem and Jacob and started out on the 6 ½ hour drive to Ithaca, New York.

The drive was easy and uneventful. Kate & Willem both grew up in Upstate New York, so know the area. They had suggested a stop at Howe Caverns as a fun activity. We arrived in Howe Caves mid-afternoon and had a picnic before signing up for the tour.  There was a play set nearby that the girls made good use of!

It was really neat! Howe Caverns are a series of underground caverns, discovered by farmer Lester Howe in 1842. We took an elevator underground 156 feet, and entered a whole new world, filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and flow stone. Sarah was worried about the possibility of bats, but our tour guide assured us that although there are bats in the caves, they live in the part where we wouldn’t be going.

The caverns were a constant 12*C and we were underground for over and hour-and-a-half. We had a boat ride at one point, and got to wander through a series of twisty-turny tunnels, the best example of flow erosion in North American. We stopped at the Bridal Altar and D’Arcy & I stood on the granite heart together, which means we’ll have another honeymoon. (Hmmm… and the plan already was to be in Niagara Falls, Honeymoon Capital of the World in just four more days! 😉 )

An animated Lester Howe told us the history of the Caverns before we headed underground.

Giant Stalagmite

Through the windy tunnels

The Bridal Alter, created for Lester Howe’s daughter. Over 600 people have been married here in the years since.

Our family, 156 feet underground

We were happy we stopped, and when the tour was over, made our way across the State to Ithaca. It was 8:00 as we pulled into town, and we knew that Moosewood Restaurant where we wanted to go for dinner, stopped seating at 8:30. We drove around until we found it (I gave D’Arcy bad directions – sorry honey!) and got a table at 8:20. I told the hostess about Olivia’s food allergies, and she immediately pulled out a menu with every ingredient written on it, and told me what Olivia could & couldn’t have. The girls were tired & hungry and our server, Emily, recognized this right away. She made sure to bring out drinks and appetizers right away. We had tortilla chips and salsa, a fruit plate, and a havarti cheese dip with rosemary crackers to start. A few bites and the atmosphere at the table lightened considerably! Each of our meals came with either a soup or salad to start. Olivia devoured her soup which was creamed  potato, vegetable and chesse. Sarah had a plate of steamed broccoli with cheese, D’Arcy had a Thai curry vegetable dish on rice, I had spinach and ricotta ravioli, and Olivia & Alex each had a burrito filled with mashed sweet potato, red peppers and black beans. We had so much food, we packed some up and took it back to the hotel with us, taking a quick drive around the Cornell University campus on the way..

We had been hoping to experience some 4th of July fireworks, since we were in the US, but a policeman told us that the fireworks had taken place on the 2nd, instead. Go figure?! We checked in at the Country Inn & Suites, Ithaca, exhausted. When we checked in, our room key didn’t work, so D’Arcy went back to the front desk while the rest of us waited outside in the hall; Olivia was asleep in my arms. They switched us to another room, and we quickly got in and settled down for the night. I was looking forward to my course at Cornell the following day, and D’Arcy & the kids were looking forward to more adventures!

Subways, Trains & Amphibious Vehicles – Exploring Boston

For the record, getting ten people (including six children) out of one house in time to catch a commuter train is no small feat! When planning our day, our friends Kate & Willem suggested that we would probably be smartest to take the train system from Salem into Boston, avoiding the issue of needing directions, finding parking, and avoiding the crowds in town. We knew that there would be many people in Boston for the 4th of July activities: the Boston Pops were rehearsing for their concert on the river, the Tall Ships were docked in Boston Harbor, and there was a US Navy Aircraft Carrier docked as well.

Since we don’t have much available in the way of public transportation in Truro, the kids were very excited at the idea of taking both the train and the subway. If we had done nothing else all day, they probably would have been happy! We took the commuter train from Salem to North Station, where we boarded the subway to go downtown.

Waiting for the train in Salem

D’Arcy with Isaac, while we waited for the Subway

Once we got in to Boston, Willem left us and went to get tickets for a tour of Fenway Park. While he was doing that, we bought tickets to take a Duck Tour of Boston, coordinating our times. By the time the tickets were purchased, it was time to go to lunch, so we walked to Quincy Market for lunch. Along the way, we stoped at the Holocaust Memorial which was extremely moving. We took our time reading the quotes along the way.

The quote at the entrance of the Memorial

Holocaust memorial

Quincy Market is located in Freedom Hall.  Basically, it is a large food court area, but without the normal chain restaurants. The place was packed! I was going to get Olivia a smoothie, usually a “safe” choice that also provides some nutrition, but just before I placed the order, I noticed that one of their smoothie options was made with peanut butter – too dangerous! The risk of peanut protein on the equipment is too high. I ended up going to another standby – a pizza place and asked if they use egg or soy flour in their crust. They didn’t, so she & Sarah each had a slice of cheese pizza while the rest of us had paninis. Evan & Alex sat across from a couple from New Bedford, located about an hour outside of Boston and had a great conversation with them. We had a bit of drama when Olivia developed a nosebleed, but we got it stopped quickly.

Taking a break with a statue

Quincy Market

The kids posing in front of the giant macaroni

After a bathroom break, we headed off walking to our tour of Fenway Park. It was hot and muggy and we had to go up a number of stairs to get there. Kate has some health issues, and was finding the walk difficult, but she pushed through like a trooper, not willing to give up.

Evan is a baseball fan, having played on a team since his t-ball days. Sarah was born early in the morning the night after the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, breaking the “Curse of the Babe”. In fact, we watched the game from my hospital room. The tour was good and we got some interesting information. I guess our criticism is that the group we were in was really large (>80 people) so it was difficult to hear. However, I think we were happy just to get to be in all the different areas of the stadium. Unfortunately for D’Arcy & Evan (fortunately for the rest of us) the Red Sox were playing in Oakland, so we didn’t get to attend an actual game. Evan made a statement by wearing his “Yankees” shirt which got many comments!

Fenway Park

Sitting in the oldest seats in the park

View from the Green Monster

Kate, Willem & Isaac in the press box

Olivia was happy to know that she would have a safe spot to watch the game!

The tour went longer than its scheduled 50 minutes, so we actually had to leave before it was over to walk the ¾ mile (1.2 km) to catch the Duck Tour. We stopped at the pharmacy for drinks and walked along, stopping along the way to feed some Canada Geese. We arrived at the Duck Tour with just minutes to spare and found our seats.

The Boston Duck Tour was a hit with all of us. We drove all through the city, our guide Bobby giving us interesting and useful information. Weaving through the traffic, we realized that taking public transportation rather than driving had been a wise decision! The highlight of the tour was when the amphibious vehicle went from land, into the Charles River. Olivia had just dozed off beside me, so I woke her, telling her we were in the water. “I just want to go back to Jacob’s house and have a nap”, she responded to me with eyes closed. I gave her a gentle nudge and she opened her eyes. When she saw where we were, she was instantly awake. Bobby asked the boy sitting behind us if he wanted to drive which led to all of the kids on board – including Isaac (2) – getting a turn! They LOVED it. There were security helicopters circling in the sky and one happened to land in the field beside us as we were passing by. Talk about exciting! We saw the swan boats in the Public Gardens, but they all appeared to be docked.

Alex

Jacob

Isaac

Olivia

Sarah

Evan

It was close to seven p.m. when the tour was over, so we had to decide whether to eat in Boston, or start home and eat once we got back to Salem. We made the decision that since we’d had such a fabulous day, we’d start for home. Everyone was exhausted from all the traveling we were doing, and we knew that once rush hour was over, the commuter train only ran once an hour. We hopped on the subway, and arrived at the train station with 45 minutes to wait for the train. We got the kids French fries and drinks at McDonald’s to keep them occupied and to tide them over until we got back to Kate & Willem’s.

Once we sat on the train, the adults all realized how exhausted we were feeling! We had a lovely evening at home. We all put our pyjamas on immediately and we put on a load of laundry while we talked and looked at photos. Isaac went to bed immediately and Olivia fell asleep in my arms while we were talking. Jacob and Sarah talked and played quietly. There is only three months difference in their age, and they were fast friends. It was such a comfortable, relaxing and fun visit.

At midnight, we realized that as much as we didn’t want the visit to end, we were all falling asleep, so said our good nights and went to bed after Kate wrote out some directions for us. We told them to sleep in the morning and we would organize ourselves to plan to leave at nine. It’s a six-and-a-half hour drive from Salem to Ithaca, and we’re planning a stop at Howe Caverns along the way.

I can’t stress enough what a great day we had! The boys declared it an “awesome” day and the rest of us wholeheartedly agree!

Doing our part to boost the American Economy

We had a productive day in Freeport, ME after a swim at the Hotel.  I don’t think D’Arcy & the kids had ever experienced anything like it! We’re not really big shoppers, and we do like to buy local whenever possible, so haven’t take cross-border shopping trips. We didn’t have a big list, but all four kids need new backpacks and lunch bags this year. Alex has been using his backpack for three years, and they have been using the same lunch bags since they started staying at school for lunch, almost four years ago. Needless to say, they have seen better days! We split up, the boys going in one direction, and the girls going in another. We had backpack/lunch bag success at LL Bean. Olivia was so excited to pick out her first school equipment – and convinced Sarah to buy a matching set so they could be “twins” in September! I was proud of Sarah when she agreed, even though she had originally had a different set picked out.

Olivia & Sarah in front of the big boot truck at LL Bean

As luck would have it, as we were walking down the street, we were handed a menu for The Corsican Restaurant by the owner. I’m not exactly sure what it was he said when he handed it to me, but he did say something about making the bread himself. “Does it have eggs?” I immediately asked. He had my attention! It turns out that they have a whole Gluten Free menu and are very sensitive to accommodating food allergies. He makes the bread with cottage cheese – no eggs! I texted D’Arcy and the boys and we met there to have lunch. As I’ve mentioned before, there is always an underlying level of stress when traveling with serious food allergies, so we really appreciated being able to “relax” while dining out. We had a fabulous meal with great service. I will be recommending them highly on Trip Advisor when we arrive home!

We made a few more stops on our way to the car, and did our part to boost the American Economy. At one store, D’Arcy’s receipt said that he had saved over $360 – more than double the total of his bill!

Sarah & D’Arcy outlasted the rest of us. Here we are, hanging out in the van while they finish shopping!

Freeport is about a two hour drive from Salem, so we sent our friends Kate & Willem a message saying we were on our way.  It was smooth traveling on the Interstate. I can’t imagine having to go through those tolls each day to get to-and-from work! D’Arcy’s brother gave us his TomTom to use while we’re on the road and it took us through a winding path to find Kate & Willem’s house. It was fun for us to see the names of the streets: “Cauldron Drive”, “Witch Way”… The school’s name is “Witchcraft Heights”!

Kate & Willem have just recently moved to their new home, so we are their first houseguests! We brought them a loaf of D’Arcy’s home made bread for good luck in their new home. The evening was lovely with kids playing nicely together. Kate & I met when we were having difficult pregnancies with our soon-to-be-eight year olds. They also have a daughter who is the same age as Alex, who unfortunately, is away at summer camp, and Isaac, who is two. Willem had made a feast for dinner – making the effort that everything would be safe for Olivia. I can’t stress enough how much that means to us! We had barbequed chicken, potatoes with peppers & rosemary, awesome corn-the-cob which had been cooked wrapped in tin-foil with butter and fresh basil, and an arugula salad with apples, dried-cranberries, cheese and sunflower seeds! We ate on the verandah and it was beautiful!

Jacob’s birthday is later this month, so we brought safe birthday cupcakes from Truro to celebrate with him.

Jacob, the birthday boy!

It was a late night, so slow morning. Once everyone is awake, we’re looking forward to having many fun adventures in Boston today!

 

 

On the Road Again!

I’m writing this post from Bangor, Maine. We are taking a “working vacation” this year.

I was approved to go back to Cornell University this summer to earn the next course in my Certification in Strategic Hospitality Management. This year’s course is called, “Strategic Marketing for Restaurants and Hotels.” I am fortunate to be participating in this Executive Development Program through the overwhelming support of TIANS/NSTHRC and ACOA. There are ten or eleven Nova Scotian Tourism Industry leaders who will be furthering their education at Cornell this month. Since my course is offered during the first week of July, D’Arcy and the kids have tagged along and will explore Upstate New York while I’m in class each day.

As luck would have it, D’Arcy was chosen as a Nova Scotian representative to mark a National Science Exam in Ottawa during the second week of June. After my course is over, we’ll drive back into Canada through Niagara Falls, visiting with friends along the way before arriving in Ottawa where Evan & Alex will have the opportunity to stay with their cousins and we’ll explore the Ottawa area while he works.

Yesterday morning, as soon as the guests left, we kicked into high gear: cleaning, packing and doing laundry. We had originally intended to leave early this morning and drive straight through from Truro to Boston, but two nights ago decided to leave on the 1st instead and make it as far as Bangor on Day 1.

My plan was to leave at noon, but that was ambitious! We actually pulled away from the house at about 2:00. We aren’t camping this trip, instead staying either with friends, or in suite hotels along the way. Without packing the tent or camp stove, and without the burden of equipment that young children seem to require, we appeared to have more room than usual. It almost felt like we were forgetting something!

Ready to go – room to shop?

Our first stop before we left town was a visit with Ruth & Gerry of Suncatcher B&B. Gerry had surgery last month, and because the girls & I had had colds, we hadn’t had a chance to see him since. Because Gerry makes all kinds of beautiful stained glass creations, the kids each designed “stained glass” looking get-well cards. Sarah was especially excited to write, “Bonne sante M. Mailloux. Je t’aime, Sarah” on the back of hers! We had a good (but short) visit getting caught up. By the time we ran a couple of errands on our way out of town, it was 3:30p.m. when we left Truro for Maine.

We are lucky that our kids are really good travelers. We were on the road for about 7 hours before arriving at our hotel at 10:30 p.m. our time.  About three hours into our drive, Olivia asked, “When are we going to get to Canada Day?” She was sure that we were on our way to the International Gathering of the “Clams” in Pugwash, which we’ve done the past few years.  There is a highland dance competition there that Sarah has participated in. When I told Olivia that we’re not going to get there this year (it’s actually being held today, on the 2nd, or we might have stopped along the way), she responded, “So I wore my Canada shirt for nothing?” We laughed and explained that it was still Canada Day, even if we didn’t get to Pugwash!

This is the Sarah & Olivia’s first time in the United States. We had a sweet Customs’ Agent when crossing from St. Stephen into Calais. She asked each of us the normal questions and asked the girls where they lived. “5 Broad Street!” “Belgravia Bed & Breakfast!” They told her all about our trip – where we were going, what we’d be doing, and who we’d be seeing. She commented that it sounded like a lot of fun and Olivia responded, “You need to quit your job and come with us!” I think she realized that we couldn’t possibly be hiding anything with her along, and we sailed through!

The girls oohed & aahed over the scenery, which isn’t really much different than that of rural Nova Scotia. We were surprised  to see how many motels, gift shops, restaurants and campgrounds were closed and boarded up on this side of the Border. It was a sad and forlorn sight. We had bit of rain in the early evening, and spotted a beautiful rainbow- which reminded me that we didn’t pack raincoats! (That accounts for some of the extra room – hope we have better weather than we did in Newfoundland last year!) We were exhausted by the time we arrived at the Four Points Sheraton at the Bangor Airport, but snacked on crackers, cheese, bread,ham, fruit, carrots,etc. before bed.

Rainbow along Route 9

Maine sunset

We gained an hour when crossing the border from Atlantic time to Eastern time. It felt good to “sleep in” until seven! After breakfast and a swim, we will be on our way to Boston to visit our friends (and former B&B guests), Willem & Kate, in their new home. Kate met me in New York last year when I was attending Cornell, but we’re excited to have our two families together to visit this year.We have about a four hour drive from here, and will stop in Freeport and New Hampshire along the way. We’re not big shoppers, so this is our only scheduled shopping day for the next two weeks.

The weather is beautiful so off we go on another day of adventure!! Thank you to my parents who are looking after the Bed & Breakfast for us while we’re away!! We’ll give you a vacation when we get home – we promise! 🙂