Sunday, August 22, 2010


This is a personal note about my trip through New England last week with my friend Cecilia.  Our adventure started where Routes 17 and 287 come together in Mahwah, New Jersey and we made a 1,300 mile loop through a beautiful part of our country; one that I don't know all that well.

We drove to Saratoga Springs, took the back roads to Lake George, and found a ferry that took us to Vermont. Serendipitously, we used our GPS to find a Bed and Breakfast gem ouside of Burlington appropriately called Hidden Gardens.   Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, this place had acres of gardens tucked away on a wooded hillside that one could explore for hours.

The next day, we made our way across Vermont, stopping in Montpelier and had another breakfast at a local diner where we were served by a waitress who was quick to point out that she gave up her  executive job to be there.   Also in this charming town we managed to pick up a parking ticket because of our lackadaisical approach to parking meters.    The afternoon drive brought us to Mt. Washington where we took the Cog Rail train to the top.   The weather was spectacular and Cecilia was so blown away by the majesty of the mountains.    After stopping at just about every place we could find, we finally found a historic hotel in Littleton, NH that was built in the mid 1800's that was visited by presidents all the way back to Ulysses Grant.   Littleton seemed like a very tired town.

The next leg of our adventure took us on a delightful drive through New Hampshire and Maine to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.  The beauty of Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and a late day cruise through the harbor made for a very relaxing and enjoyable day.  Seeing bald eagles, seals, lighthouses, rocky cliffs, and the marine layer flowing over the little islands was truly breathtaking.    Walking through the quaint town of Bar Harbor was highlighted by tasting the best Cookie Dough ice cream sampled by yours truly to date.

We started our trek back home with a beautiful drive down the Maine coast.   As we drove, we often spotted interesting things to take pictures of, and turned around to capture them.   Lunch at an organic cafe in Camden that served ridiculously good brownies and treats fueled us for the afternoon drive.  Our intended resting stop that night was Gloucester, Massachusetts, but after losing the accommodations battle, we found our way to Salem where we stayed in a wonderful and historic Inn next to the Witch Hunt museum on Washington Square.   While Salem was very historic and interesting, I think the thought of witches gave us both the creeps and reminded us of how dangerous conventional wisdom can sometimes be.

Our final day included a drive through Marblehead, the Big Dig tunnel in Boston, and lunch in Newport.  On the way home through Rhode Island, we found a driving range that Cecilia insisted we stop at so she could work on her chronic slice, which she seemed to cure.

All in all, it was a great trip.   It is good to get out of the congestion of New Jersey and enjoy the beautiful countryside we have in this part of the country.   As usual, I go through the fantasy of imagining living in each of the beautiful spots I visit.

I just realized that the word business probably comes from the word busyness.    Maybe we should be less busy, and more thoughtful.

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