Things I LoveU.S. TravelWining/Dining



Continuing this 2-part post from the Thanksgiving in New England (read Part 1 HERE), we had three days exploring Maine and a bit of southern New Hampshire.

From our stay Manchester, it was on to Maine via a stop for lunch in Concord, New Hampshire.  While I drive and Sam navigates (along with managing the playlist), the hubby generally does the “where to lunch” search. The Concord stop included good burgers at The Barley House, a view of the state capitol and a bit of shopping at Pitchfork Records for fans of vinyl.

Above, the capitol in Concord; below, searching for vinyl gems

From there the drive to Portland, Maine, is under two hours.  Portland not only is Maine’s biggest city, but a bustling “foodie scene” — which is always a plus.  It is well located for travel to other parts of the state and just a couple hours north of Boston.  One day it was north to Freeport (best known as LL Bean’s headquarters) and Augusta.  Another day it was south to Kennebunk and Portsmith (NH).  Clearly, one can see a lot in a relatively short period.

Below, delicious dinner at Scale’s in Portsmith — pick your seafood; arctic char; grilled bread; apple cake

Below, the only beer drinker in the family.  Fun fact:  there are more breweries per capita in Maine than any other US state. 

Below – “Marketing 101” courtesy of LL Bean                                                                     

Below, the capitol building in Augusta.

Dinner at Chaval in Portland featuring French/Spanish small plates — excellent Coq au Vin.

Below, seeing Strange World in Portsmith, NH, on Thanksgiving.  Thrilled to see Hannah’s name in the credits (again). 

Downtown Portsmith below 

Below, our travel map.  The longest route was Boston – Manchester.  Everything else was a couple of hours max.  I research everything in advance! 

And then the trip ended as it began.  The last day was back to Boston in time for spectacular pizza at Regina’s below and a rendevous with east coast cousins near Logan Airport.

So what is the “key ingredient” I teased in Part 1?  Flying home on Friday instead of Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The flight was nowhere near full, meaning empty middle seats.  I managed upgrades for the hubby and me (no cost or miles!).  American Airlines is employing new transcontinental Airbus planes and they are terrific.  Spacious, good entertainment options, and seat outlets. All pluses in my book. From landing to home was about an hour.  With checked bags.  That is unheard of.

Enjoy some previous Thanksgiving destinations via the following links (The Carolina’s, Napa, Portland-Oregon).  One fun discussion is always “where to next year.”  I’m happy to report we have a unanimous decision.  But you’ll just have to be patient to find out where.  One hint:  staying in our time zone. As always, I’m very grateful to have this family time. I hope yours was special too.

Below, the Bush family home “Walker’s Point” (viewed from the back), Kennebunkport, Maine