Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This thing's not allowing me to enter a title. If it were, the title would be:
Winter, Black Flies, and Construction and props to you if you can guess the quip that belongs to those three (four?) words.

For many of us, childhood in New England meant frequent road trips to an adjoining state. I've never hit all six states in the space of a day, but I can name at least a few occasions when I've hit 5 (sorry, Vermont). That's why, when I think of my favorite summer memories, they're all based in New England but they're all over the place. I remember camping with my dad in the White Mountains and learning to fish there. Every summer from early elementary school up until college was spent in Saco Bay, and I spent many of my college summers crammed in a house in Nantucket with too may people and not enough septic (ugh). While I was living in the Berkshires, I spent many days driving through the bucolic northwestern hills of Connecticut or visiting our close friends in Newport (yeah, still no Vermont. I have been to the Ben and Jerry's stockholders meetings, though. That counts, right?)

The husband and I met in Maine (he's a native) and I'm a (Merrimack) Valley Girl. Now we live somewhere in Metrowest, MA in the land I lovingly refer to as Stepford. I'm wondering what your favorite summer in New England destinations and memories are and how many of them involve states other than your own. I'll start by listing mine:
  • There are beaches in Nantucket that, even in the height of summer, are uninhabited. I like to find one and sit there alone.
  • There's a restaurant in Camp Ellis Maine called Huots that has the best onion rings on the planet. They have a take out window so you can grab your food and eat it on the jetty as you watch the sun go down on the bay.
  • Visiting our friends in Rangely, ME and Newport, and Down the Cape
  • The smell of the shower when the water first hits you after a long day at the beach: salt and sweat and sunscreen. Heaven.
  • The Barking Crab at Fort Point Channel
  • Happy's Lemonade at Salisbury Beach
  • Hampton's local color

Now, let's hear yours...


margalit said...

About the title thing...for some whacked reason, if you click right in the title bar, nothing happens. If you click slightly ABOVE the title bar, you can type a title. Just watch for the mouse to turn into an I shaped bar above, and then click and type. It drives me nuts, too.

My absolute FAVORITE place in New England, bar none, is Newburyport.

Plum Island around sunset, when the deer are out and the birds are legion.

Yankee Homecoming (last weekend in July to first weekend in August) with sidewalk sales and craft shows, etc.

Just wandering around town. Love it.

I also love Portland and Portsmith.

The family island, which is a ways between Lincoln Me and Houlton Me on a lake. 2 cabins, plenty of shoreline, nothing to do but cook, eat, drink and read. Heaven on earth.

LL Bean in the fall, after the crowds are gone. Great for a late evening road trip.

Block Island. Oh my goodness, if you've never been, GO. Stay for a week. You'll feel like a new woman.

The Clam Box in Ipswich. Best clams in the world. By far.

Marblehead Harbor. If you like to sail, that's the place to be.

Greystone Beach, Marblehead. It's private, members only. To be a member you have to live in a tiny square of the community. It's never crowded, always fun, and you know everyone there.

Ogunquit in late summer. Crappy rides, cheezy food, excellent beach, french language, kid heaven. It's the French Canadian riviera.

Governor's Rose Garden in Rye NH. Beautiful peaceful garden.

Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield. Great fun for kids, amazing awesome huge shoes for adults. Interactive.

Northhampton, MA. Hippy dippy with good craft shops, independent books stores, plenty of restaurants.

Wellfleet in August. It's psychiatrist heaven and overhearing conversations is totally hilarious. Worth the trip, even if I hate most of the cape (too damn crowded).

P'town in winter. GORGEOUS and silent.

Whirlwind said...

Let's see, I've actually never been to Maine. Or at least, anytime other than being an infant. So, my favorite childhood memories include:

Point Judith in Galilee RI always on Memorial Day. We'd wake up at the crack of dawn and start with breakfast at the Clam Shack (I think thats what it was called). Then my sisters and I would hit the beach with my mom while my dad when out on the rocks to fish. We'd have lunch at the outdoor resteraunt right outside the beach - on the channel. Then while my dad went back to fish, wed visit the shops and walk back along the channel watching the boats. We'd go back to the beach (swim, play in the sand, look in the tide pools, ect.). We'd end the day sitting on the rocks by the channel.

Biking on Block Island was always great.

As was camping in the White Mountains. We always would visit Polar Caves and take the train to the top of Mount Washington.

Amusement parks were always Rocky Point - best place ever as a kid) and Riverside before it became Six Flags.

Zoos - Benson's Animal Farm in NH (I remember eating lunch under the big willow tree).

Roger Williams, Providence RI (back when the entrance was up near the food cafe.

Southwick's Animal Farm, Mendon Mass - I just blogged about going here with the kids.

Cape Cod was always fun. Beaches in CT just aren't the same. It's great to take the kids because there are no waves, but there is also nothing like waves and sea shells!

VT I never visited (again outside of infant stage) until I became an adult. I love how peaceful and quiet it is.

While dating husband, we would drive up to the White Mountains to go hiking. Occasionally we'd hit the Mohawk Trail through Western Mass into NY and back to CT. Just drive, stop and hike. Ahh those were the days!

Ladybug's Picnic said...

I grew up spending every summer in Rye, NH. I spent every summer from age 12 forward trying to finagle a way to get to Salisbury or Hampton Center each night! I have some fantastic summer memories from way back when.

Nowadays we spend as much as the summer as we can on the Cape - hopefully my daughter will have some fantastic summer memories as well!

Mamma said...

Summer to me is time wandering Bearskin Neck in Rockport and sailing around Cape Ann.

Mamma said...

Rockport, MA that is.

Amy Linder said...

Ugh! I was all set to come on and write a new post, but you already did. Guess mine will have to wait a few days. :)

I love Rockport, MA. We used to go there every summer when I was a kid (up from OH, visiting my grandparents in Acton, MA). I haven't been there in years now - I'm sure it's completely changed.... but I hope it's not!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

First, Vermont! My favorite state for its 'vibe'---mostly went as a crazy-single adult: attending the Ben & Jerry's Folk Festival, followed by stopping on the side of the road by a swimming hole and jumping into the cold water; shopping in Burlington, Vermont, at the cobblestone-y outdoor mall; also, driving up Route 91 at the age of 18, from Springfield, MA to Vermont (whose drinking age was 18), and going to some dive bar just over the border. Vermont is just gorgeous.

In MA, Riverside! (Yes, I even worked there); The Big E!; Northampton; Horseneck Beach in Westport; Nantucket; my 'own' Loon Pond in Lakeville; too much to mention

NH: Going to Hampton Beach with my friend's family and walking the boardwalk, thinking we were just too cool; just took the kids to Canobie Lake Park last summer and had a blast

CT: Remember going to Rocky Neck beach for the day with my girlfriends; also Misquamicut Beach

RI: Sand Hill Cove--my favorite beach; Newport for shopping, eating, drinking---also taking a ride on an old America's Cup sailboat; Del's Lemonade and Newport Creamery's Awful Awfuls; Roger Williams Park

Great memories!

SandyShoes said...

I *heart* Waterbury, CT.

OK, no. But there are so many wonderful places that do come to mind...

I spent teenage summers at a camp in Jaffrey, NH, on a lake at the foot of Mount Monadnock. Amazing memories -- that corner of the world is so dear to me.

I also love the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts (lived in South Hadley, Amherst and Northampton). If only the winters and summers weren't quite so looooong. But autumn? Nothing compares.

Worked many years in Brattleboro VT, and although I mostly hated the job, Brattleboro's cool.

There is a tiny part of northwestern CT -- Cornwall -- that I get to once in a blue moon, and it feels so good when I do.

I love Monhegan Island, Maine. It's really too bad I can't paint for shit.

Cape Cod is home sweet home these days, so I know and love it well... and my favorite holiday is Labor Day :).

Major Bedhead said...

The three New England seasons. What do I win?

Going to summer camp up in China, ME. Man, I loved that place. I'm going to have to write a post about it soon.

Hampton Beach. Yes, it's tacky, but it had that cool shooting gallery in the arcade on the strip. And fried dough! And lemonade! And a gypsy fortune telling machine! And skee ball! And tacky prizes, like Mexican jumping beans and Chinese handcuffs! And water that would freeze your ass off! And Junkins Candy Shop! I loved it up there when I was a kid. Now, not so much, but back then, it was heaven.

Sturbridge Village (because I'm a dork) and Concord, MA, to see Louisa May Alcott's house.

Boston, especially the year the Tall Ships came thru (yeah, yeah, I'm old, shut up).

Mahtha's Vinyahd. We only went once, but I loved it.

Driving out to Dairy Queen, in Spencer, for ice cream cones, and being fascinated, every single time, by the story of Dead Horse Hill. Going to Hot Dog Annie's, in Leicester, for dogs. Taking the bus into Worcester to hang out at the city pool in Webster Square. Getting Italian ice from the ice cream truck. Sky Blast (anyone remember that one?), a HUGE fireworks display at the Worcester airport, put on by WAAF, before WAAF left Worcester. I still have the t-shirt.

New England summers rock. I think I appreciate them more because the winters are so unbelievably shitty.

margalit said...

I've got a couple more that I forgot about until you guys put ideas into my head!

19 Mile Brook in New Hampster, right near Mt Washington. Hiking and camping there was a blast. Did it about 4 times and every time it was so fun.

The Big E. I forgot all about that fair. It has been a long long time since I went. But, I love love love the Common Ground Fair in Maine. It's the organic farmers fair, it has great crafts, incredible snacks and the most gorgeous animals. They have sheep herding competitions that are a total blast.

Belfast Maine. A friend lived outside Belfast and we spent a lot of time the until said friend got divorced and didn't get the house. Ah...

Walden Pond in Concord. When I was in grad school we would go in a big group, hike in from side thru the woods by Thoreau's cabin, and skinny dip in that cove. Very quiet and relaxed. Then they banned blowup boats, which stinks, and you couldn't skinny dip anymore. Plus, you have to pay for parking now. Harumph!

Baldpate Pond, Georgetown, MA. I shouldn't tell you about this pond because it's very hush hush. There are only a few parking spaces, it's very hidden and private. It is gorgeous, clean, and you can skinny dip there. You can spend an entire day on a raft or a rubber boat and nobody will ever bother you. Fun for canoeing and kayaking, too.

Bennington, VT. Hippieville USA. It's a way cool town. Way cool.

Townshend, Vt. A friend has a house there that they have owned since grad school, and it hasn't changed much since then. Shabby chic, but in the middle of a huge meadow with a creek running by that you can "swim" in. Total privacy, quiet, and so relaxing. It's my kids favorite place to chill.

Amy Linder said...

OMG! Concord, MA! I LOVE Concord, MA! My grandmother lives near there and we used to go all the time. I've driven through recently, but haven't stopped. I really should.
And, yes, the Pioneer Valley in MA is gorgeous. I went to Mount Holyoke in So. Hadley for my freshman and sophomore years - such a beautiful campus in such a beautiful corner of the world.

Whirlwind said...

FOM - Misquamicut is in RI ;)

Rocky Neck is where Husband proposed - at sunset underneath the tunnel.

Ladybug's Picnic said...

I think another great post would be scenic proposals in New England! My husband proposed on the Cape - in Woods Hole, on the bluff opposite the Nobska lighthouse so naturally Woods Hole is a favorite for me.

SandyShoes said...

Hi Amy, I went to Mount Holyoke too :).

Major Bedhead said...

I live down the street from Mt. Holyoke.

cape buffalo said...

You guys are making me want to hit the road and go every single plaCe you mentioned. This comment strand is like a love letter. You guys rock

BTW- Major Bedhead, you win the quip!!! Tell all your friends, they'll be so impressed ;)

Vicky said...

-Camping at Sebago Lake in ME.
-Old Orchard Beach in all it's tacky glory
-Clamcakes at the Hitching Post- Narragansett, RI
-Swimming in the pond in Blackstone, MA in my grandparents back yard.
-Mystic Village

PinksandBluesGirls said...

I LOVE Rangeley, ME! We have property up there, and go every winter. The only time we went in the summer was like 16 years ago, and it rained the whole week. Haven't been back in the summer since! :)

Martha's Vineyard day-trips... Block Island day-trips... Bonnet Shores Beach Club in Narragansett, RI... camping in New Hampshire... Swan Boats in Boston... Del's Lemonade...

I've got to try all the places everyone has mentioned!

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

lizzy said...

*Biking the Block
*the beach- almost any beach- Watch Hill, RI/ the Vineyard, Singing, Good Harbor,Deveraux [because it is close, 10bucks to park and the planes]
*coastal drive from Hampton to Rye/and rte127 on the North shore- all the way to Gloucester
*lunch at the Vanilla Bean in Pomfret CT
*flyfishing in western ct/housatanic river
*summers of my childhood spent at my granparents house on the coast in Camden ME
*summer sox games
*stroll through the common in the evening on my way to dinner
*the stewart gardner museum courtyard

Kris said...

Oh, Happy's Lemonade! Lot's of memories there. Always with the waffle fries.

The main drag at Hampton...

The smell of coppertone and the salty taste of the ocean...

Getting slammed into the rocky shore at Salisbury, playing pool there - over the ocean. Sitting in the crowd to avoid getting bitten by greenheads.

That first shower after roughing it in the White Mountains for a weekend.

Hiking at Halibut point

scuba diving in Rockport

Shopping in Newburyport (always with dinner at Glenn's or downstairs at David's), and Portsmouth

Whale watching out of Gloucester, or cocktails at sunset on the schooner.

I still miss McT's in Gloucester. *sniff*

Walking out to the lighthouse at Wingaersheek.

The art festival in Marblehead, drinks at the Landing

God I love it here.

Amanda said...

By far our favorite place in New England is Wolfeboro, NH on Lake Winnepausaukee. My husband spent every summer vacation there as a kid and when we got married it became our summer vacation. We can't wait to bring our daughter.

We would take day trips to Concord, NH and Weirs Beach. So much to do in that area. I have lots of other favorites, but a lot of people touched on them already.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Wow. This post hit a nerve with everyone.

As a kid it was always Hampton and Salisbury. I spent the week after high school graduation up at Hampton. Good times.

As an adult every summer vacation was spent in southern Maine. Wells, York, Kennebunkport, the occasional jaunt up to Old Orchard to snicker at the older Canadian men in their tiny Speedos.

These days we spend more time on the Cape. Since my sister moved their and opened her restaurant there's no need to go anywhere else. Would you if you had free lodging and food?

Rock the Cradle said...

Another Lakeville girl here. My mom grew up there in the house my great grandfather built on the shore of Long Pond. I'll have to write about that sometime. We went every year when I was a kid. We had our own microscopic little beach and a old "dock" that was held up by cement blocks. Good times.

Then we went canoe camping. Fourth of July to Mooselookmeguntic in Maine (say THAT five times fast) and various and sundry other summer jaunts down the Saco (before it became the freeway of rivers) The Rangeley Lakes, and one amazing journey down part of the west branch of the Penobscot.

Then, of course, there was Rocky Point, and Plimouth Plantation, and Wind-in-the-Pines in Carver.

And there was Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard in the thick of Hurricane Bob (I'll definitely have to write about that).

And the annual Carver Clambake, in a pine grove, with the smell of pine needles and steamers and hotdogs and corn on the cob all together.

Wish I could smell that again...

cape buffalo said...

RTC- Hey! I was on Nantucket during Hurricane Bob. Our house was right next to the evacuation shelter so we hunkered down there. I wish I could say it wad fun- I had a 102 fever and slept through almost all of it.

Rock the Cradle said...

CB Small world! What an awful time to be sick!

I almost slept through it too...only my excuse was 24 hours previous without sleep (camp counselors on the loose...you know). It probably would have been better for us to be with you at that shelter...as it was, I was awakened by a huge crash right over our heads. Outside, we saw that a tree had uprooted and by some freak of fate, bounced off the side of the roof instead of crushing us to death. The girl in the upper bunk didn't even roll over. Slept through the whole thing!

I love New Englanders. I remember a shop window covered with plywood and the words
"Cowabunga, Bob!" in black spray paint.

Hell of a storm.

Kris said...

Mrs. Chicky--I also spent all my days as a teen at Hampton and Salisbury (as you can probably tell from my comments above!)

And no, if I had a sister on the cape with a restaurant, I wouldn't go anywhere else!

Binky said...

My favorite vacation destination isn't in New England, but it's still not a long haul--Lake George, NY. It's the place we went for many years when I was a kid, so I naturally love it.

My family also rented a cottage at Soundview Beach in Old Lyme, CT a couple years in a row. I was around 16 and it was FREAKING AWESOME. If you are not a horny teenager, though, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

And I love the Big E.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Ahh the Cape. P-town, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans...I'm your gal. See you soon, my friend.

Newport on a bike.

Jogging the quiet roads of S. Kingstown, RI.

Sipping wine on a deserted Nantucket beach in the late afternoon. Hot sun cooled just enough by ocean breezes. Heaven.

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