Monday, 23 May 2011

New England Odyssey

Last Autumn my mother-in-law and I were lucky enough to experience New England in the fall. Two whole weeks to explore the fabulous scenery and hunt out fabric... and not a man in site to tut.

Collecting our car at Boston airport we were so excited - it was definitely a Thelma and Louise moment. We'd booked a fly-drive package with the itinerary pre-booked, so the only problem we had to worry about was being able to find our hotel each evening.

We started off with a full day in Boston. Easy to explore, we followed the trail which is marked into the pavements, ensuring we couldn't miss any history. Footsore moments were relieved by very enjoyable forays into the incredible Quincy Market... More Clam Chowder and fabulous food than you could eat in a lifetime.

And then we were off! Green Mountains, White Mountains, Lake Placid. With great directions issued from the tour company, all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the fabulous scenery. With ooh's and ah's at every turn, we soon became conscious that we were overworking the "isn't it lovely" phrase. The driving was easy as the road system is very well designed, the only time I wasn't happy driving was in heavy rain. Unlike the UK, there were no cats eyes dividing the lanes, so in the dark pouring rain a four lane freeway disappeared into a wet shiny blob that took every ounce of concentration.

New England has been the fantasy trip for my MIL for as long as I've known her. In her dreams, she envisaged a fabric fest of quilting shops at every turn. We had a couple of twitchy days when none appeared, so instead made do with the glorious scenery instead.

I found the best way of locating quilting shops was by a google search each morning over breakfast, so that we could plot on our map and include in our days adventure. Oh my, but the fabric is so cheap it's ridiculous.... You fabric fiends in the states don't know how lucky you are! At one store we popped into (and re-emerged from 4 hours later) a huge array of fabric was on sale at $2 a yard. Talk about Christmas and Birthday rolled into one!

It soon became apparent that something had to give in the luggage department. Even with BA's generous luggage allowance the maths just wasn't working. Now here is a canny tip to save in the memory bank... Think ahead and take clothes you know you can live without - suggest trawling charity shops and eBay to equip a travel wardrobe you can leave behind. As each new purchase was made and packed, the outfit of the day was left in the hotel. Just think - you can arrive home with no washing!

Aside from the fabric bonanza, the highlight for me was our 3 day excursion to Niagara Falls. The 1100 miles covered in two days was so worth it. The falls were amazing. We laughed like children on the Maid of the Mist, and thoroughly enjoyed our Journey Behind the Falls.

The other full day which I wouldn't have missed for the world was our trip to Old Stourbridge Village. A living history museum, it was absolutely superb. We both wanted to live there...

Old world charm, captured and preserved. A true delight and a photographers dream, I was sorry to leave.

Our trip came to an end by a few days around Rhode Island. How beautiful it is there.

Memories of a wonderful trip that will stay with me forever.

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