It seems like only last week we were in Portland. Portland, Oregon. Maria and I filled up a whole week with really wonderful Northwest adventures, family time, and city trekking. And like I say, it feels like all of this was just last week, and next week... next week we will be in Portland, again! Portland, Maine! And Boston. And Concord. And Salem, and points between!
This is a dream coming true, years in the making, with an added, generous boost from Ruth. And when William heard my plans, he sighed so wistfully, I had to see if we could add a ticket. Don't you love it when, otherwise complicated, plans work out smoothly? That's how this trip has been coming together... smoothly, and full of promise for some truly exceptional experiences and opportunities. We've had terrific luck with timing, reservations, with the warmth and kindness of friends... Jennifer, Lauren! It seems the path is wide open for a wonderful adventure.
Normally, I don't like to advertise our plans, but the Northeast is all new territory for us, and I keep thinking how insightful and helpful my friends are, how many good tips we might miss if we don't say something now. We will see Concord, and the Granary Burying Grounds, and we've read about the Peabody Museum. We hope to see Plymouth, the Miles Standish Cemetery. We would be remiss if we didn't catch some historic sites of the American Revolution, I know. Am I missing something in New Hampshire? We drive through when we go to Portland. Are there Maine stops it would be a tragedy to skip? I'm thinking of stopping at Fort William's Park, Maine, and finding a farm where we can eat local noms!
Portland, Oregon gave us such a promising glimpse of Autumn colors, and now I am pinching myself, thinking this is only a dream... we are actually going to see New England in the fall! For a month I've had Boston and Portland added to my weather app, and I check it twice a day. The closer we get to our departure day, the more gleeful I feel. The temperatures are dropping! We are going to freeze, but happily! I have no sense proportion... I feel seriously compelled to write notes to myself: Do not pack flip flops (standard daily wear, year-round). Do bring a real coat (So Cal hoodie is not a coat.) What about gloves? Long underwear? I cannot say that I've stopped wishing for snow, even though snow would be crazy on a lot of different levels. I cannot say that I haven't stopped imagining that we get snowed-in, no flights going west, but miraculously, Geoff, Alex, Max, and Bambi can come to us, so we have a white Christmas together, and snowshoe through the woods. It's true, I can make fabulous trips, in my mind.
As for reality, we have plane tickets, and places to stay. We have reservations for a visit to Orchard House. Maria is reading Little Women, and just finished Once Upon a Flock, a gem of a book, with New England color, and plucky hens! Remind me to find our copy of Make Way For Ducklings. It's the one book about Boston that I feel most familiar with, and I keep meaning to brush-up. Should we get on a ferry from Portland, visit an island? Is it true that apple cider donuts are very yummy? How could they not be? I can't wait to compare all that I have imagined with all that we see and do.
Here's a personal bit... ever since I was about ten years old I've had strong notions, and yearnings to visit three places: Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Maine. Wisconsin and Hawaii became significant and dear destinations for me, with strong ties and meaningful connections. I've known, for nearly forty years, that someday I would love to, have to, visit Maine, New England, the Northeast, and I feel lucky and stirred to be about to fulfill this dream. Maria, William, and I are counting the days, and full of wonder.