Archive for June, 2008


Vermont Country

Friday, June 27th, 2008

We drove through the back roads of Vermont, spotting numerous farms and covered bridges among the rolling hills. In the Green Mountains National Forest we walked the Robert Frost Trail, a 1.2 mile loop with Robert Frost poems posted along the way.

It began raining on us as we were finishing up the trail. It rained as we drove, looking for some lunch. We passed through town after town with no food in sight. Finally, we spotted a roadside grill. We dodged the rain to only discover that they didn’t have any power. We drove into Brandon and found a pizza place. Shortly after ordering, they lost power as well. By now, we were past being hungry. Eventually, we found food further down the road, but by then it was dinner!

Our Vermont lodging consisted of the nice Churchill House Inn Bed and Breakfast outside Brandon, VT. We were served delicious omelets, croissants and fruit for breakfast.


A trail into the Green Mountains begins right near the house. We walked the path that followed the stream for a short while but turned back due to the dreaded mosquitoes. It was beautiful and we would have gone longer if we had been more prepared for the mosquitoes.



Squam Lake

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Our short time in New Hampshire consisted of packing in a few things: lake swimming, a tour of Squam Lake and a visit to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center. We took the boat tour in the morning. It sprinkled but the boats were covered, though, so it didn’t really affect us. We saw Common Loons on the water, Loons nesting, Bald Eagles nesting, and sites from the film On Golden Pond.



The whole area was extremely beautiful and quiet.



After lunch we rushed through the Science Center due to weather and time. My favorite was the river otter.


Then, we were leaving New Hampshire already! We stopped on the NH/VT border to have dinner with friends we had gone to church with in CA for many years.


The Pond

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

After a very long day at Lexington/Concord and walking the Battle Road, we drove north to the Squam Lake area in New Hampshire. We arrived after dinner and we were quite ready to eat. Jennifer, though, didn’t want to miss the opportunity to hit the water, so we delayed dinner a bit for Jennifer to swim in the lake behind our cottage.


The map labeled it as White Oak Pond, but it was more than big enough for Jennifer. We couldn’t see the edges of the lake/pond.


It had a swimming dock and a small sandy entry into the water. That was all Jennifer wanted and she totally loved her chance to swim in a lake. She wanted to swim in the morning too so we told her if she got up early she could go down to the lake and swim. She was up at 5 a.m., the earliest of any day on the vacation. So, Jennifer got one more swim in before checking out of the cottage that night.


Battle Road

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

From 17th century Massachusetts, we stepped forward in time to the Revolutionary war period with a trip to Lexington, the battle road and Concord. We started with an excellent introduction the the conflict at the Minute Man National Historic Park. The program, The Road to Revolution, tells the story of Paul Revere’s Ride and the battles at Lexington, along the Battle Road and at the North Bridge.

While we did visit the site of the first conflict at Lexington, we spent most of our time walking the Battle Road trail, which depicts historic sites and events along the road the British soldiers were forced back down by the patriots. One nice site along the route is the Hartwell Tavern, a restored house and tavern along the battle road.


Jackie did not enjoy the walk as she felt tired and uneasy at the thought of a battle having occurred along the same route she walked. Jennifer suffered from hunger as we hadn’t planned for lunch very well.

After finished the trail and eating lunch our family visited the North Bridge, site of the “shot heard round the world.” The bridge has been rebuilt in its a lovely location.



Rain Delay

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Rain fell on almost every day of our trip to Boston, New Hamsphire and Vermont. We considered a mixed blessing. It was wet and inconvenient, but it keep the typical heat and humidity at bay.

No where did the rain strike the most havoc than at the Plimoth Plantation. Our day started bright and sunny, but then thunder rolled in and it poured. We had previously had times of short showers but this time it rained and rained and rained. We were in the Wampanoag Homesite when it first rained. We hid inside a wetu house. After a while the rain dripped into the wetu and we were getting wet. We ran for the English village. We found a house with no drips and a fire. We stayed there for a long time, talking with the characters in the house. The rained continued to pour.


Eventually it did start raining much lighter and we were able to finish the village and the crafts center. The rain certainly affected our day, but we persevered.



Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Driving south, we visited the Plimoth Plantation, a 1627 English villiage, in Plymouth, MA. We visited several sections of the area. First, we walked around the Wampanoag homesite. We watched women cooking, spoke to the native people there and found shelter in a traditional wetu (house) when it started to rain.


Next, we visited the English village. We met townspeople, saw the gardens and animals and stepped inside from the rain into the timber-framed houses. A few “characters” did a great job of passing along the gossip and ideas of the day.



We also visited the crafts center and the Mayflower II, an operational reproduction of the original Mayflower. We couldn’t see Plimoth Rock – the rock was truly under construction.


Plymoth photos by Elizabeth Gormish


A Whale’s Tail

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

We may never go on a whale watching tour again.

Not because of sea sickness. Not because the tour was bad. Not because we didn’t see any whales.

Actually, the opposite – we were spoiled with the number of whale sightings and the incredible number of behaviors we saw! We sailed on a large boat to a feeding ground called Stellwagen Bank, a plateau at the Massachusetts Bay’s eastern edge. Here the current comes up to the bank and carries nutrients with it, making a great spot for whale feeding. While we were there, we saw an abundance of fish which were even visible from the water’s surface.

We saw up to 10 different Humpback Whales, including a mom and her calf.


Humpback Whales can be identified by the pattern on their tales and after they are a few years old, they are given a name. We saw Echo with her calf. Echo was first sited in 1988. A NOAA website says, “Echo has a great tail to identify. Her left and right flukes are very similar in pattern, however, on the left fluke near the leading edge is a very distinguishing mark. This mark reminded researchers of the depiction of an echowave from a dolphin or bat. And so, she was given the appropriate name of Echo. This mark may have been caused by an attacking orca whale.”

We felt really blessed to see this many whales at one time.

We took a lot of photographs.


Here’s a small collection of my photos! Not much color contrast, though. 🙁



Sea Life

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

With the threat of rain, we headed to the Boston Harbor to see the aquarium and take a whale watching tour. Thankfully, we were able to do both activities with only minimal rain disturbances.

We started at the aquarium, visiting the various sea creatures. We enjoyed the several different types of penguins as well as the fur and harbor seals.


We slightly pushed ourselves because of our whale watching reservations, but we were able to make it through the aquarium and lunch in 3 hours. Although a nice aquarium, we still ranked the Monetary Bay Aquarium and John G. Shedd Aquarium higher.


Quack Quack

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Mike booked us tickets for a Boston Duck Tour. Although the weather threatened us on our first day, we had clear skies and we were able to fully experience our duck tour. We rode on the “Haymarket Hannah” tour vehicle with our driver Admiral Amnesia.


Photo by Elizabeth Gormish

The sites included Boston Common, the public garden, Trinity Church, Park Street Church, City Hall, the State House, a portion of Beacon Street, the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge and Faneuil Hall. Near the end of the tour, the boat took float and took us down the Charles River and under the Longfellow Bridge for a view of the city from the water.


Photo by Kathy Gormish


While all the sites zipped past us the driver told stories and jokes about the area. It was so quick that I’m sure we missed several “puny” jokes but there were enough that we grasped to make it enjoyable. It is typical of the Duck tour to make its riders say, “Quack Quack” on the ride. We were thankful that our duck driver was not much of a “Quacker.”


Welcome to Eastern Standard Time

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

While Jackie, Jennifer and I had a great reason to be tired the first morning (arriving at our hotel at 12:30 a.m. after traveling all day), it took several days for everyone to get adjusted to the time zone. In general, the girls were not tired at bedtime and they were getting up way later than usual. Jackie, who usually arises before 7 a.m., had to be woken at 8 a.m. It was an odd sight to see her struggling to wake up.