A September 2005 trip
to United States by MCJ graduate
Quote: New England is a hodgepodge destination. It has both the seashore and mountain landscapes because of the four neighboring states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Consequently, you can enjoy all the sites, attractions, and activities each landscape has to offer.
Our first New England stop was the gorgeous state of Maine. Here we enjoyed its seashore, visited the Nubble beacon, and shopped and ate at Ogunquit, Maine. Concerning the seashore, we just walked and took marvelous pictures of the marinas, beaches, and homes built there. And the Nubble lighthouse was picturesque, on a barren, rocky island with the ocean surrounding it. Lastly, Ogunquit, Maine, is a fabulous resort town filled with various activities to do and see (such as shopping, dining, fishing, and sightseeing).
After visiting parts of Maine, we then drove to Vermont. The drive was fabulous. Before we reached the major mountain terrain, we viewed the changing foliage and took several pictures of covered bridges. We then drove to Killington, Vermont, and went to a ski resort. While there, we took a gondola ride to the mountain top. At the mountain top, we ate at the restaurant and took magnificent pictures of the mountains.
When our sights, attractions, and activities were completed in Vermont, we decided to drive to New Hampshire. Along the drive, we stopped at park sides and attractions (such as Old Man of the Mountain and Clark’s Trading Post) and took some pictures. We then stayed in the same area as Clark’s Trading Post is--North Woodstock. There, we chose to stay at a resort called Maple Lodge. It is a quaint resort with a few modern amenities (such as cable TV). Then, the next day, we drove on Kangamangus Highway and experienced the turning foliage.
After enjoying the White Mountains in New Hampshire, we decided to go to Cape Cod, specifically Provincetown, MA. While there, we did the following activities: whale-watched, viewed lighthouses, beachcombed and swam at Herring Cove, went to nightclubs, and dined at seafood restaurants.
Our trip finally ended with going back to New Hampshire. But this time, we went to Hampton Beach. At Hampton Beach, we enjoyed fishing, shopping, dining, and staying at a cozy hotel.
Fortunately for us, we stumbled upon this little gem called Maple Lodge for our lodging needs. This quaint resort was nestled in the White Mountains. The resort owner was a nice, thirty-something year old woman who had inherited the resort from her family. She and her husband ran the resort. Both individuals kept this resort well maintained. The cabins were extremely clean and the outside pool was well kept. In addition, the couple was always asking us if there was anything else we needed for our stay.
Our cabin was a rustic-looking accommodation. My partner and I both like that look, so we relished our surroundings. The cabin had an open floor plan. As soon as you entered it, the living space had two double beds on one wall and a fireplace on the other. And then the bathroom was located in another room but on the same floor plan. Our favorite part of the cabin was the fireplace. We even got to use it because of a chilly fall setting in that September. Besides keeping us warm, the fireplace provided us a way to toast our marshmallows. Hence, our stay there was a great way to unwind/relax and rejoice all our prior sights, attractions, and activities we had already enjoyed earlier that day.
This cozy resort does not have all the modern amenities (such as a microwave or a refrigerator), but it does have a refreshing charm to it. It is just a little slice of heaven secluded in a mountain terrain at a budget price ($65 per night for three people). In addition, it is in the same area as Clark’s Trading Post which means that it is in a convenient location for family entertainment (Clark’s have trained bears, museum, steam locomotives, gift shop, food, etc.).
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 12, 2005
363 Daniel Webster Hwy.
North Woodstock, New Hampshire 03262
Blue Jay is in a great location. It is only a five-minute walk to the beach, state park, and fishing fleets. And it is just a ten-minute walk to the boardwalk and other major attractions. In addition, the hosts, Mary and Rose, are very cordial. Also, the rooms are very cozy (we had a double bed and a small bathroom), clean, well-maintained, and tastefully decorated. And the rooms have A/C and heat, cable TV, refrigerators and microwaves, and maid service daily. There is also a parking spot for each unit. Lastly, the cost of the rooms are moderate in price (unless you go in the off-season, which we did, and we only paid less than $60 a night for two people-back in 2001). Currently, a one double bed room is about a $100 per night (for Friday and Saturday) in the summer.
I highly recommend staying at Blue Jay. It may not be the Ritz, but it is a charming little motel that can offer the traveler a lot for a small amount of money. Don’t forget that this motel is conveniently located for your shopping needs and your fishing/whale-watching excursions.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 13, 2005
Blue Jay Motel
186 Ashworth Ave.
Hampton, New Hampshire 03842
Even with all that despair, I have to admit I enjoyed the ride. Once I got to the top of the mountain, I saw a panorama of mountain scenery. Along with this, the foliage was starting to change colors. As a result, I saw some vibrant colors such as gold, burgundy, and orange through parts of the region.
In addition, there was a restaurant on top of the mountain. It served a light lunch which included soups, sandwiches, hamburgers, and fries. We ended up eating sandwiches.
Considering everything, I highly recommend this activity, especially if you aren’t scared of heights. Not only is the cost moderate (I think we paid $18 a piece for a round trip), the views are simply marvelous on top of the mountain. I can’t imagine anywhere else that can provide you with a better area to view this region. And depending on who accompanies you, the restaurant on the mountain can be a romantic dining experience (it is very secluded), even if it doesn’t serve fine-dining cuisine.
Unfortunately, this trip was taken in the middle of September, and Clark’s activities were not running anymore. Hence, we were limited to just walking the grounds, visiting the gift shop, and taking pictures. However, my partner told me all the other neat things she had seen or done when she had been there before. She told me it has trained bears, a mean backwoods recluse named "Wolfman", museums, steam locomotives, a covered bridge, restaurant, shops, rides, and circus shows. But her highlights of this place were the bear show and "Wolfman". She said the bears would perform tricks like swinging in a swing, spinning on a huge ball, and climbing a pole. And for this, they would receive ice cream cones or bear food. And "Wolfman" would come out of nowhere with a rustic old car, charging at the locomotive with the passengers in it. Then, later, he would catch up with this locomotive tour and be near the railroad tracks swinging an authentic, revved-up chainsaw at the passengers.
Although I couldn’t experience the activities that Clark’s Trading Post has to offer (due to our vacation being in the middle of September), I still highly recommend it because of my partner’s experience (my partner is not easily impressed so this attraction had to be good). And it seems this is a place that has a lot of old- fashioned fun--an amusement park and a circus all rolled up as one.
Clark's Trading Post
Lincoln, New Hampshire 03251
Our excursion was an afternoon one. We went for a half-day from 1:30-5:30pm. Since it was the fall, we fished for bluefish. When we arrived at a fishing spot, the mates dropped the anchor. Then the mates had put chum (chopped up bait) in the water to attract the fish. After that, we baited our lines with herring. And in no time at all, the majority of the ship caught bluefish. When a fish was on your line, you had to bellow "Gaff", which means a mate had to come over to you and gig your fish and bring it up to the boat. As a result of this, your fish was taken to the ship’s ice chest to keep it cold and alive. When the excursion was over with, you could take the fish without being cleaned or pay the mates a dollar per fish to clean it (before you left the boat). We paid them to clean the fish, as most everyone did.
Catching the bluefish was a blast. They were a true fighting fish averaging between 8-20 lbs. each. We also caught small sharks on our lines too. The mate allowed us to touch the shark. One part of the shark felt like sandpaper, and another part felt like silk.
I highly recommend this company for your deep-sea fishing excursions because of the aforementioned. But it is also a family fun activity at a moderate price (for a half-day excursion, it is $30 for adults, seniors $25, children $19, and the rod fee is $5). In addition, this same company offers whale-watching tours in July and August from 1:30 to 6:30pm daily. Adults are charged $31, seniors $26, juniors $22, and children $17.
Al Gauron Deep Sea Fishing
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire 03842
This whale-watch excursion was three hours long. The tickets were moderate in price—I think we paid under $20 then (now they are $26 for adults, $22 for children 5-12, and children four and under are free with a paid adult fare). These tours run from May to October.
We boarded a boat that was very comfortable. And it was fast, modern, and well-maintained. The captain took us out six miles north of P-town, at the tip of Cape Cod. This water is called Stellwagen Bank. The whales frequent here due to the rich food supply present here (this is due to other fish feeding here). Although you can possibly view a variety of whales here, such as the humpback, Minke and the Fin whales, you will see more Humpbacks. The humpback was the whale species we saw the most of.
We witnessed many delightful sights, on this tour. One, whales were so close to the boat that they looked like they were going to flop onto it. Two, whales jumped up out of the water (they breached). Three, mother whales with their babies (calves) swimming together. Lastly, some whales were swimming in pods.
In addition to us sighting the whales, we had a narration on this tour. And naturalists on board answered any questions anyone had about the whales. Also, on this tour you can purchase beverages, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. And you can buy food too. Therefore, this excursion offers a lot to you.
I highly recommend this company for your whale watching excursion because of the aforementioned and the captain and his crew’s dedication to you in having a safe and pleasurable trip.
Portuguese Princess Excursions
70 Shank Painter
Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657
German Valley, Illinois