24
Oct
14

U.S. : A Weekend in New England


It has been one of my dreams to spend a weekend in New England and to spend it during fall would be an added bonus giving me the best time to do leaf peeping.  It all happened one weekend in October 2014 and everything was unplanned. Just as we arrived around midnight at the tiny but efficient Worcester airport in Massachusetts from a quick Peruvian holiday, my fiancée decided to drive me to Vermont. I realized then that I was actually living my dream spending the weekend in New England with the fall foliage at its peak!

My fiancée, who’s based in Connecticut, planned to tour me around the six U.S. northeast states comprising New England namely Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.  Boston serves as its financial, cultural and educational center. It played a significant role in U.S. history as the expulsion of the British authorities from New England in spring of 1776 led to the Declaration of the Independence in July 1776.  

VERMONT

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We arrived Vermont early in the morning after a long drive and we proceeded first to Burlington to check out Lake Champlain.  There was not much exciting foliage to see around the lake so we roamed around town.

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The maple trees were the most colorful ones and they have started to give up their leaves.

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We then chanced upon trees of stunning colors just at the back of Burlington’s famous brunch rendezvous, Skinny Pancake, where we had breakfast.

DSC_0719Further uptown we saw the same sceneries and we stopped to take some more snapshots.

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Pastel-coloured buildings matched the stunning display of fall.

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As we were about to exit Vermont, we stopped at Waterbury for some ice cream experience to cool ourselves off from the red-hot sceneries.


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I had mint chocolate chunks.

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It’s Ben&Jerry’s ice cream!

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We drove out of Vermont into neighboring New Hampshire in search for Lake Winnipesaukee.  The sight along the way was a never-ending display of the different hues of one of the most colorful fall foliage in New England in recent times as confirmed by a number of friends who live in and around the region.

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The hills seemed splashed with colors.  Imagine driving for hours on end with the amazing views.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

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Our next stop:  the live free or die state, New Hampshire!

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No, not yet.  We have not arrived at our final destination in New Hampshire yet.  We had a detour!  Yes, a magnificent detour! We saw a lake, stopped by and searched for that legal (read: no trespassing) spot to view the stunning, colorful sceneries mirrored on water that I could only see on the internet and magazines.

DSC_0768Welcome to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire! My jaw dropped in awe as the entire stretch of the opposite side of the lake was a brilliant display of colors.  I have never seen fall foliage like this.

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I wished I owned one of those tiny houses on the banks of the lake fronting the magnificent display.

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Tilting our views by another 45 degrees, we gazed upon another spectacular view of the lake. I was truly speechless!

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I could only do the thumbs up….
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….and smile!
Onwards to our final destination…
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 …we passed by white houses with colorful trees next to them.
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 We finally reached Lake Winnipesaukee which was our original destination in New Hampshire.
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Because of the unexpected detour earlier, we were less impressed with the scenery here as it was less colorful.
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 The lake was still lovely, though.

MAINE

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We entered Maine with more of the those lakes with beautiful sceneries.
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We even had a classic airplane to go along with the view.
As expected the roadside scenery still amazed us.
We encountered more colors or l would say more reds, along Maine’s highways on our way to Portland which would be our dinner location.  My fiancée already decided we were going to dine at DiMillo’s situated on Long Wharf.
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DiMillo’s was full house and we did not have any reservation.  What a miss out as we realized it was Columbus Day weekend!  We still took a queue number and we were told that the waiting time would be around 90 minutes. To our surprise, we were called in 20 minutes!
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We sat back, relaxed and enjoyed fresh seafood and steak with a pinot noir.

CONNECTICUT

Even if my fiancée was based in Connecticut, we were hardly inside the state and we were mostly roaming around New England.  Finally, on this particular day, a brunch experience at Mohegan Sun was the day’s first major activity.  Mohegan Sun is one of the two major casino resort complexes in Connecticut.
DSC_4333A 10-minute drive from my fiancée‘s place, we ventured into this vast casino and hotel complex when lunch was about to be served.
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Seasons Buffet was our first destination.
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There was a wide selection of delectable cuisine and the place was huge, full of excited weekend crowd.
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Afterwards, my tour of the vast casino started with the glass sculpture….
DSC_4300..then to the Casino of the Wind….
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…where The Mist was located…..

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DSC_4309…and to other parts of the casino showcasing native Indian-inspired designs.
The casino also has a lot of dining choices:
like burger joints…
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 …and other restaurants.
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Our time at the Mohegan Sun finally ran out and we had to leave.
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See you again soon, Mohegan Sun!
We had to be in Truro in Cape Cod, Massachusetts by sunset.
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 As we were driving, we saw another lake within Connecticut and we had to stop.
Calm waters, vibrant golds, blue skies, afternoon sun and a jolly mood ended our day in Connecticut.

MASSACHUSETTS

Driving from Connecticut through Rhode Island into Massachusetts, it was getting dark when we got into the Bourne Bridge crossing the Cape Cod canal.
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We reached Truro in Cape Cod hoping to catch the sunset but we were late for half an hour so we just decided to spend the night further up the cape in Provincetown.
And it was dinner time.
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DSC_4339We comfortably situated ourselves in Bubala’s By The Bay and tried its famous food for the famished. This dining spot is a favorite among Provincetown visitors.  We had mouthwatering orders of stir-fried scallops on pasta, grilled halibut with cilantro sauce and fresh oysters partnered with my favorite pinot noir.
We roamed the city after dinner.
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It took us to nice little boutiques, cool restaurants and bars, art galleries and all…..
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…then to the historic town hall…
…and the Pilgrim Monument, the highest all-granite structure  in the United States.
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We originally planned to go back to Connecticut but we ended up spending the night away at Cape Colony Inn.
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We woke up the next day to a bright, sunny day and we directly went to the beach.
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A day shot of Provincetown’s Pilgrim Monument area from the beach.
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More colorful snapshots on the beach….
…in and around town.
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Provincetown or PTown is definitely one of America’s coolest little towns.
We then had an unplanned detour to an Atlantic Ocean-facing beach.  We had to hike half a mile to reach the beach.
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We finally reached the beach!
 
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A deserted beach where we spent some time.  

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DSC_0920There were gray seals a quarter of a mile from us on the beach.  I was actually interested to check on their resting activities but as the signage showed, we should not disturb them.
Next: The Boston Dinner.
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We chose Top of the Hub because of its amazing views of Boston.  It is situated at the top of Prudential Tower.
With no reservation, the waiting time was around 45 minutes on that weekend night.
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Jazz music soothed our ears.
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A pinot noir was an exciting pre-starter to the senses.

The food was simply delectable.
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my steak
It was a great way to end a busy day.
Oh wait! How could I almost forget the breathtaking 270 degrees night views of Boston from the top.
The Top of the Hub is indeed the ideal out-of-towners stop in Boston.

RHODE ISLAND

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Rhode Island was the last state we checked out.
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It was equally stunning with vibrant display of colors.
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 Again I was attempting to get that classic shot of a mirrored image on the waters but it was a bit windy causing ripples on the waters.
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However,  I was still amazed by the view here….
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….there…
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…..and everywhere!

And on we went to lovely Newport.
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Newport was our day ending destination as we would be watching sunset which we missed to do in Cape Cod.
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We briefly stopped at the city center. Shown here is the International Tennis Hall of Fame flags.
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 Rochambeau’s statue.
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King Park.
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Some yachts, a medium-sized cruise ship and a bridge graced the bay.
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 We finally arrived at the Castle Hill Inn.
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The Lawn and the Terrace Bar were the places where we would spend most of the time while in the mansion.
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We stayed for a short while at the Terrace Bar as we ordered a caffeine-inducing drink and a chardonnay.
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 We then transferred to the edge of the terrace……
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…then to the lawn…
…watching sailboats go by…
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 ..and waiting for the sun to set.
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 Finally, the sun was about to set.
It was a surreal moment watching the sun slowly disappeared along Narragansett Bay.  Another day had ended. It was a weekend like no other, my first weekend in New England.   It was indeed one of my most unforgettable and definitely the most colorful.  Thank God for the beauty of fall and for someone special who was willing to do so much to make this dream come true.  I pray that I will be back next year.  Same season, same place.

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