Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks – but they’ve been fun ones! First, there were birthday celebrations for two of our kids who were born 5 years and 4 days apart. Then a week of vacation.
This wasn’t just a regular vacation, but a last-minute-change-of-destination kind of vacation.
We were planning to go to Florida up until the day before we were supposed to hit the road. Then we looked at the weather forecast. Rain chances of 50-60 percent all week. Two years ago we tried going to Florida despite that type of forecast. That time, we got caught in a tropical storm that caused flooding all around our hotel and blocked the roads. We spent some anxious time in our hotel room before escaping for South Carolina. We were not going to take that chance again!
So it was 6:00 at night before we were scheduled to leave in the morning, and we were scrambling to cancel hotels and come up with a new plan. The new itinerary revolved around the weather forecasts for any potential locations. The weather looked clear in the northeast, so that’s where we pointed the car!
Our spur-of-the-moment trip was a lot of fun! The kids had a bit of lingering disappointment over the canceled plans in Florida at the beginning of the week, but they enjoyed visiting a new area they had never been. They’re all tracking how many states they’ve visited, and this trip added five new states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
We stopped in Pennsylvania for lunch with my hubby’s brother and his wife, then arrived in Providence, Rhode Island as our base for the week. Hotels in Providence were less expensive than those in Boston, and it was a lovely, convenient location for exploring around New England.
We had a great time visiting the historical sites in Boston along the Freedom Trail walking tour. It was a lot of history and walking, so it was definitely more appropriate now that we have older kids rather than littles!
Boston’s Old South Meeting House.
Paul Revere’s gravestone at the Old Granary Burial Ground in Boston.
Paul Revere statue at the Old North Church in Boston.
Of course, we had to stop in Boston’s North End for cannoli. Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street had delicious cannoli that we enjoyed while stopping by the Old North Church. The delicious cannoli was a highlight while visiting the northeast!
Cannoli from Mike’s Pastry in Boston. Yum!
I did not enjoy walking across the Charlestown Bridge to get to the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill monument, since the metal platform allowed me to see through to the river below. Luckily the bridge was not too long. And the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill monument were worth the trip across the bridge!
Bunker Hill Memorial.
After walking through the city in the day, we tried the Boston Ghosts and Graveyards Tour in the evening. My hubby, oldest son, and I enjoyed it. Our two youngest kids were a bit afraid of the ghost stories during the tour. For their sakes, I’m glad we took the earliest tour at 7:00 when it wasn’t completely dark!
Old Granary Burial Ground in Boston – seen at night during the Ghosts and Graveyards tour.
Since the trip from Boston to Maine is just a couple of hours, we headed north for part of a day to see the iconic Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth. I had always wanted to do a Maine trip to visit the lighthouses. We only stopped at the one lighthouse this time, but it was fun to visit!
Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth Maine.
I didn’t use any filters or editing on these pictures from Maine. It was really that beautiful when we visited. Amazing!
Another view of the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth Maine.
In Rhode Island, we spent a lovely day in Newport, which is a short drive from Providence. It was a beautiful destination with a huge number of Colonial houses and big, beautiful mansions, along with a busy wharf, quaint shops, and even small beaches.
Historic homes in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mansions lining the Newport, Rhode Island cliff walk.
Easton’s Beach in Newport, Rhode Island, as seen from the cliff walk.
Boats at the Newport, Rhode Island wharf.
On our way back south, we stopped in Mystic, Connecticut and enjoyed lunch at Mystic Pizza – famous for the movie of the same name, of course. It was good pizza and the town was lovely.
Mystic Pizza in Connecticut.
The drive through Connecticut and New York on Interstate 95 was very slow on our way back home. The primary backup was getting across the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. My brother-in-law had warned us that it was a very congested route, even though that’s what the GPS selected as the best way. We learned our lesson and will take an alternate route on any future trips.
Traffic aside, we enjoyed our spontaneous trip to New England. Apparently the rain in Florida wasn’t too bad on the days we were scheduled to be there, but no regrets on our substitute trip. We made great family memories visiting the northeast for vacation!