Boston smells like fish-n-chips. On the plane, looking over the Atlantic and approaching the airport, we peered into the scene below us, already recognizing that nothing was familiar. We saw much older buildings, islands, inlets, and I began to think about first impressions, and our senses, and I wondered, What will it smell like when we step out of the terminal? Will I smell the ocean, the way we do when we land in San Diego?
Our one checked bag was easily recovered from baggage claim, and we were stepping out of the airport, looking for the curb where we would be met by Jennifer. Traffic, luggage, the bewildering way we feel when we've practically time-travelled... my thoughts were plenty occupied, when, suddenly, I was hit with an overpowering aroma. It was so prevalent and insistent, it stole my focus from everything, and I blurted, This is amazing, their ocean smells like seafood! Literally, my brain formed this beautiful, if illogical, conclusion, and I could practically see the harbor of Boston, which smelled of amazing fish-n-chips, chowder, cod stew! I never want to forget my first impression of Boston.
Our first morning in Massachusetts we were waking up amidst all the beauty and wonders that we saw flying over, the day before. From about Lake Erie, east, we'd gazed on a painting. A landscape painted in swaths and laced trails of brilliant orange. Here, on the ground, in our friends' home, all of that color, and warmth of welcome, was even more vivid and wonderful to behold. I felt so at ease and enchanted, if our entire stay were in their home, garden, neighborhood, I could not have been disappointed. The backyard sloped up into trees, oaks, maples. The rocks and sunshine beckoned us, come, explore. We found more of Jennifer's bunnies, a gnome, or two. Beneath fallen leaves is the groundhog's den. Everywhere... acorns, and acorn caps, which are essentially the epitome of natural fascination, and charm. I gathered them like a covetous squirrel. We gazed on lichens, moss, twigs, nooks. We wondered at the brilliance of hues in the leaves, on the ground, everywhere.
And in ten days in New England we...
Visited Boston, and the Public Garden, Boston Common, The Granary Burying Ground, and ate at the Parker House.
We met fellow chicken blogger, Lauren Scheuer, Marky and Angel, and her hens, of course! We explored a midden, played with string and tools, made art, laughed, and became friends.
We stepped aboard the Mayflower II, walked through time into Plimouth Plantation, bought corn flour from the Grist Mill, and even saw the real Plymouth Rock... quite a spectacle! We paid our respects at the Miles Standish Burial Ground, where the children visited the markers of their ancestors, John and Priscilla Mullins Alden.
We followed wild turkeys through Jennifer and Ken's neighborhood, made fairy houses, built our first pumpkin stack.
We walked through Salem, stopped in Peabody, and drove on to Portland, Maine. We explored the coast of Maine, all the way to Camden. And walked a breakwater to the lighthouse in Rockland. We found Bath, and Red's Eats. We discovered rocky shores, forts, more lighthouses, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and more cemeteries than I can count.
We visited Concord, Walden Pond, Lexington, Orchard House, Nesting, and had a delicious and memorable dinner at Bullfinches. Squeezed in a visit to Westborough, the farm, two more cemeteries. We saw rowers on the Charles River.
I'll get to all of that. I hope. For now, Jennifer and Ken's home, and some of the pleasures we enjoyed there...