Monday, October 24, 2022

New England - Fall break 2022

 We originally planned to go to New Mexico for Kate's 47th state but Delta cancelled our non-stop flight a few months ago so we re-booked to go to Boston. We hoped it would have pretty colors for Fall and knew that we had family to visit. We arrived with very little plans but quickly filled up the days. We spent the first night visiting the Hawkins family as we were staying at a hotel very close to their house. We got Mexican for lunch that they recommended and ate Legal Seafood at their house for dinner. The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins and their toys (as they are always better at someone else's house).

For part of the trip, we knew we wanted to go to Connecticut and Rhode Island to visit places where no one but Kate had been. That was a fun-filled day with a stop in Providence to get coffee at Bolt Coffee and donuts at Knead donut where they had a kitchen for the kids to play in. We drove by the beautiful campus of Brown University and down Benefit street that has a lot of the scenes from Hocus Pocus 2. So many fun Halloween decorations on the houses and beautiful fall colors. From there we went to Connecticut to go to the Mystic Aquarium that was only a little over 1 hour away from our hotel in Dedham, Massachusetts. The kids played the license plate game on the way there and started a streak that would end in seeing 41 out of 50 states! The aquarium was fun as we saw beluga whales and Kyle loved petting the stingrays. We enjoyed finding a local German beer hall and grabbing lunch before doing some shopping and heading back through Rhode Island. Kate had interest in going to Newport to shop and her friend Sean who lived between Providence and Newport for a few years had some great kid recommendations on where to find a park (stopped in Jamestown) and restaurants (ate at Brick Alley pub). We had a great time at the shops there! We ended the 10+ hour day back at the hotel in Dedham.

The next day we didn't have any solid plans so why not go for a beautiful fall drive and happen to hit up 2 more states :) Since Kyle and Cecilia hadn't been to New Hampshire or Rhode Island (and Maeve hadn't been since she was 8 months old) we decided to take a road trip in the other direction. The main idea was to go to Portsmouth which had a submarine museum but when we got there it was closed. So we hung around town and watched the lift bridge go up and down. We decided to walk across it as it's one of the few that you can do that on so the kids really enjoyed that. Once we got to the other side, to our surprise, we were in Kittery, Maine. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and then found another playground to play on before heading North just a short time to see Kennebunkport again. It was one of our favorite spots a few years ago so we went to the Pier to eat at the Cape Pier Chowder house. The kids didn't love the fresh seafood smell but we loved the Clam Chowder and Crab roll and the Blueberry pie. We didn't attempt to figure out how to eat the whole Lobster but Maeve enjoyed watching them prepare that. Then we headed into town and it was busy so the amount of time it took us to find parking was the amount of time we spent buying little trinkets for the kids - ha! From there we headed back to the hotel but with traffic decided to stop and eat in Lexington, Massachusetts. Very cute downtown and got some pizza at a local spot. Another 10+ hour day and now over 500 miles on the car!

On Saturday, we spent the day exploring Boston. We started with a tour of Fenway Park that Maeve was excited to do. Great tour and even Kyle did a great job coming along on the hour long tour. We then met up with cousins (Elizabeth, Stephen, Hadley, Clare, Charlotte, Matt, and Colin) and toured the city. We spent time at the New England aquarium seeing the Sea lions and then when to High Street Place food hall to have a relaxing lunch with football on, food everyone could choose from, and bags for the kids to play outside. It was a great spot where Maeve tried oysters again and we had more clam chowder! After that we continued our walk to Boston Public Gardens to see the ducklings and another playground :) We had a little bit of a walk back to the car so we hopped on the T with Matt and Colin and Kyle wanted to stay on longer. After Eric drove in traffic for the next hour, we finally made it back to Elizabeth and Stephen's house where we ordered some delicious crab and shrimp and spent the night catching up while the kids played and watched a movie. So much fun seeing family after a few years!

The last day we went to Brunch with the Hawkins and we finally finished the day with the last playground! It was a great trip to see New England in the Fall.