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New England in the Fall

Three friends and I just came back last Wednesday from a 10 day trip to New England.  After listening to Nancy Rink's lecture on the Mill Girls 2 years ago at Road to California, this trip was starting to be planned.  It helped that I have a beautiful, wonderful sister and brother-in-law who live right outside of Boston and were kind enough to let us use their house as a base of our day trips.

The start of our trip was a little less smooth than we expected.  Our first flight out of Fresno was to leave at 6:00 for LA with a connection to Boston.  However, the pilot called in sick and it took 4 hours for them to finally find one to fly the plane.  But by that time we missed our connection but luckily the United Airline guy working our gate (bless his heart - he had to deal with some pretty impatient people - one lady in particular was very vocal about her displeasure) well, he put us on an American Airline flight later in the day.  Finally they found a pilot and we got to LA and we had to run to the AA wing to catch our next flight.  And we did it.  We finally got to Boston, but our luggage did not.  So we filed our claim, and went to get our rental car.  Got to my sisters house, had a glass of wine and went to bed.  It was a long day.

Brenda took us to Sudbury the next day which is home to oldest operating inn in the U.S. built and run by the Howe family for many generations. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote Tales of a Wayside Inn, a book of poems published in 1863. In the book, the poem The Landlord's Tale was the source of the immortal phrase "listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere."  It also still has an operating grist mill.  Our first historical adventure of the trip.  Oh, we also went to 2 Christmas Tree shops and a very great grocery store.  

By the time we got home, our luggage was at the house.  Yea!  Now we can finish our adventures without having to worry about that.  I honestly can't remember the order of our adventures, but we did go to Maine where we had lobster pie at Maine's Diner (which was featured on Diners, Dives and Drive In's), Perkins Cove where we took a nice walk on the Marginal Way walk - we had beautiful warm weather that day.  We headed to Kennibunkport, shopped a bit and had our first Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and found the Bush Compound.  And yes, we did find a quilt store on the way.  (Can't remember the name but it was a lovely store.)

We also went to Rhode Island one day and toured 4 mansions.  All so wonderful and interesting.  Amazing how the rich lived.  

Here we are in the backyard of one of them.  It was a sunny but slightly windy day.  We took the audio tours of  The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff.  

We went to Cape Cod and drove all the way to Provincetown and back.  We did stop at 3 quilt stores that day.  But here is a view from the restaurant we ate lobster at in Provincetown, which was the Lobster Pot. 

Here was our Lobster lunch.  We had to have our waiter show us how to eat it.  

On Thursday, we took the train to Boston for the Freedom Trail and then on to Fenway Park for a Red Sox game.  The picture of our feet was the start of the historical trail and it all ended at the USS Constitution.  
Then we took the subway to Fenway and it was packed.

 But I finally got to go to a professional ball game (without it being cancelled for rain or divets in the ice).

We had to leave after the 6th inning because we were tired and had a long day the next day and we weren't sure about the train times.  They were winning 9-1 before we left and I think the final game (against Tampa Bay) was 11-1.  It was great fun.  We had great seats - thanks Janice Minyard for getting the tickets.

The next day we left for Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, New Hampshire.  (They were having a sidewalk sale!).
We shopped and then went across the street to the beach on this beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee to eat our lunch.
My brother-in-law suggested on the way home we go north a bit and drive across Rt. 112, the Kancamagus Highway, or 'the Kanc'.  Amazing views. Here's a panoramic view - does not do the colors justice.  It was just gorgeous.

On Saturday we went to Lowell to go to the New England Quilt Museum.  I took a few pictures of some beautiful quilts.



We also got a tour of the mills where the mills girls walked.  It was National Park Day so our entry to all these places was free.

It was loud.  Very interesting to see how those people worked and lived.  We also got to tour the houses that they lived in.  After those tours we also went to Lowell Textile museum.

On Sunday (the 2nd one) we took a harbor cruise and then walked back to the Commons to see the Make Way For Duckling statues that we missed on Thursday and to see Cheers.  On our way searching for our car and a place for lunch (which we found a pub that was wonderful right by the start of the Freedom Trail) we saw an Indian Wedding procession in the street.

On Monday we headed to Vermont where we went to the Ben & Jerry's factory.  Yum.

Did you know they have a graveyard where all the retired flavors are buried.  The epitaphs were hilarious.
Our next stop was Cabot Cheese factory.
And then on to King Arthur Flour shop and bakery.  (No pictures there but oh, the scenery on the way there was tough to beat.)

On our last day, we headed to Salem and also stopped at 4 quilts shops that day.  One really good one close to my sisters house and the other 3 were pretty small but nice.  It was raining that day (first real rainy day) so we didn't get out and about much to see the history of the town.  Headed home early so we could pack because we had to leave the next day.  

We put 1803 miles on the rental car.  Janice had a fit bit and kept track of how much we walked and the most we did was on the Freedom Trail day where we logged over 9 miles.  Every step was worth it.  

When we decided to do this trip the girls decided they wanted to make my sister and brother-in-law a quilt so one late Friday night, we pulled the fabric and decided on the pattern and this is the final quilt.  This is me and my sister in front of her house.

Four ladies on a long vacation together and we are still all talking to each other!   Wonderful trip with some wonderful friends  Thank you Brenda and Gene for hosting me and my friends and thanks to Janice for being a great navigator and to Elaine and Kathy for not being the typical back seat drivers!
Came home on Wednesday and had to go to work the next day and had guild that  night in which I was in charge of programs.  Easy night - we made paper quilted cards which luckily I had all ready before we left.  Worked on Friday and had our guilds boutique all day Saturday, which was very successful.

Thanks for looking.


  1. What a great post, Barb. I can't believe you got all those pictures to download into one article. Happy that you had a great time, and I love the quilt that you girlfriends made for your sister.

  2. I'm glad you were able to get to Rhode Island, but you missed a fantastic quilt store in Lincoln called Ryco. Keep it in mind should you ever make your way back this way again.

  3. Great post Barb. I sounds and looks like a wonderful trip. And the quilt you all made is beautiful!

  4. Have been waiting for your post! Awesome, thank you so much for sharing your trip with us :)

  5. Loved all the FB updates, and now we have the whole story. Fun, fun, fun. Years ago we went on a boat tour through the locks, and toured a couple of mills. Fascinating!

  6. Great summary of the trip. I had always heard about fall color, but we don't have that where we live in CA.
    Brenda and Gene went far and beyond hosting 4 ladies from CA.
    It was a great time!!


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