1 August - 19 August 2018 (Guest Blogger - Ellie - Part 2) Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut,

Day 22 – Wednesday 1st August – Acadia National Park

The plan was to spend the day at Acadia National Park. When we arrived Cath and I watched a short film in the visitor’s centre on the background and history of the park.

We then met up with Tony and the dogs.to explore the parks features: Cadillac hill – the highest peak on the eastern coastline, Jordan’s pond and the Sandy beach. However, it was so busy it was impossible to park, so we ended up just driving to the top of Cadillac Hill and back.

Frustrated, we decided to try and park in Bar Harbor to have lunch, this was also an impossible task. In the end, we found a Lobster Pound BBQ called Maine Luau on the side of the main road near our campsite. It was a simple, outside, picnic bench type set up but the food was really nice as was the homemade blueberry lemonade I had.

From then we returned to the RV for the rest of the day. It was a shame because a lot of people had recommended Acadia to us, saying how wonderful it was, but it was just too busy.

Day 23 – Thursday 2nd August – Travelling South

We were up early and drove the reasonably short journey down to Saco, a small town a few miles north of the Maine/ Massachusetts boarder.

We settled in to the Saco KOA and headed for Old Orchard Beach. It was a nice, local, sandy beach with many motels on its edge as well as a big pier. I got straight in the sea which was refreshing, followed by the dogs and Cath.

We spent an hour enjoying the coast and we had a drink at the local beach bar,

before going back to the van for pork chops and Tony’s homemade chips!

Day 24 – Friday 3rd August – A day at the Beach

Cath and I spent the day relaxing on the beach, whilst Tony explored the town and its high street. Cath and I had lunch at the beach bar before returning to the beach for some more vitamin D. The beach was busy but not uncomfortable, we enjoyed people watching all day.

It started to rain at about 4:30pm, which scared the locals away, they all scurried off the beach like ants – even the lifeguard. That’s when Tony met us and brought the dogs, Cath and I went back in the sea which was so nice as no one else was around – it was a fab end to the day.

The heavens opened once we got back to the campsite, so we rinsed the sand off us in the rain... like true Brits.

Day 25 – Saturday 4th August – Shopping/ Boston

We had an early start today to make room for a detour on our way to the Boston/ Cape Cod KOA.

We stopped at the Merrimack premium outlets in New Hampshire, just north of the Massachusetts boarder.

It was a bit of a disappointment for me as I didn’t buy anything, but Cath and Tony bought clothes/ shoes so it wasn’t a wasted trip. It chucked it down for the whole day, so the drive wasn’t fun, we arrived at the KOA mid-afternoon and were bumped up to a premium site (not sure why).

The rain cleared early evening so we ventured out to an English pub not far from Middleboro – where we were staying. They’d made an effort to recreate one of our pubs, with lots of English beers/ ales and it even had carpet! Cath had bangers and mash, Tony had shepherd’s pie and I had a Shepard’s pie pasty, we demolished the lot.

On our return home, we found a note on the door of the RV from Graham and Moira, who were (un)surprisingly staying at the site as well; so, we went to their van and had a drink with them as they were leaving the next day.

Day 26 – Sunday 5th August – Boston

Today the three of us caught the train into Boston, it took an hour which wasn’t too bad.

Once we arrived we tried to get on a trolley bus, but all were full so we opted for a ‘city view’ river cruise around the harbour. We were on a busy boat but it was nice to see the city from the sea, Boston was smaller than I was expecting, which was nice. The guide told us about the history of the city, the settlement of it in 1630 by the English, making it one of the oldest US cities. Locations of many historic events were pointed out whilst on the boat, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Another unusual fact we learnt was that Boston has the biggest population of Irish people outside of Dublin. After the boat tour, we walked down Faneuil Hall Marketplace which is home to Quincy market and many shops and restaurants. It had a lovely feel to it, it kind of reminded me of La Rambla in Barcelona, only nicer. Despite Boston being a big city, it had a small town feel and was very walkable.

We had lunch at the ‘Cheers’ bar, a recreation of the bar from the 1980’s sitcom, which was fun!

From there we walked a portion of the Freedom Trail, the top attraction in Massachusetts. The freedom trail is a two and a half mile long walk through the centre of Boston, that leads you to 16 historically significant sites, including museums, meetinghouses, churches and monuments. During the walk, we stopped at a shoe shop and Cath bought me some trainers for my past three birthdays and my 21st (which is seven months away), she then sang happy birthday to me in the shop. We then caught the train back to Middleboro and were reunited with the pups.

Day 27 – Monday 6th august – Whale Watching

We were up early today and drove to a town called Barnstable, at the start of Cape Cod to go whale watching! We boarded the Hyannis whale watching boat at 10:30am, it was very busy.

It took about an hour to get to the feeding ground, just off Cape Cod bay, staff then opened the top deck which was for over 18’s, we spent the whole time up there as it was much quieter. Almost immediately after we reached the feeding ground we saw a Humpback whale and a Minke whale, these were smaller than the Humpbacks, almost like oversized dolphins. Speaking of which, shortly after the first whale sightings, we saw dozens of white sided dolphins, along with a school of babies.

It was amazing to see so many of them all at once. We also saw common dolphins and Finback whales, but these weren’t so close as the other species. From then on, the whales and dolphins were everywhere we looked, it was a complete success and exceeded my expectations. We spent about an hour and a half observing the animals before returning to the harbour.

After returning to the dogs,

we went for dinner at the Boston Tavern, which was enjoyable – a good end to a good day.

Day 28 – Tuesday 7th August – Plimoth Plantation - an old spelling of Plymouth

Today we went to the coastal town of Plymouth to visit the Pilgrim settlement, a recreation of the town built by the first English Pilgrims that crossed the ocean over to America. The experience explained how the first English settlers made the journey on the Mayflower ship, rented by a London stock company, to escape the religious constraints in Britain at the time. After three attempts, the Mayflower arrived in Cape Cod in the winter of 1620. The reconstruction showed what the Pilgrim village would have looked like,

as well as the homes of the native Americans, who signed a peace treaty with the Pilgrims.

The reconstruction was realistic and had actors playing the roles of the pilgrims, who were very knowledgeable, although their English accents were questionable!

From there we went into the town of Plymouth to see ‘Plymouth Rock’, a symbol of where the pilgrims first set foot on American soil, it was quite underwhelming to be honest, just a rock with a barrier around it.

We were also hoping to see the Mayflower replica, but it’s undergoing restoration, so on that note, we went home. For dinner, we had homemade chilli and chips – best meal I’ve had since being here!

Day 29 – Wednesday 8th August – Travelling to Connecticut

Today we travelled south, via Rhode Island,

to the Mystic KOA in Connecticut, which only took about two hours. We arrived at midday, and Kira’s travel crate and bed had arrived finally.

The afternoon was spent settling into the campsite, and taking Kira to the vet. Good news – Kira no longer has heartworm, the vet thinks she’s well enough to fly, we have to go back tomorrow to start the travel process.

For dinner, we met up with Moira and Graeme who were also staying at this site (not a shock that we keep bumping into them anymore). We went for dinner at an Italian restaurant called ‘Buon Appetito’, our Romanian waitress was lovely and so was the food.

Day 30 – Thursday 9th August – Exploring southern Connecticut and Rhode Island

We returned to the vet this morning, however she didn’t sign the health certificate as we don’t have a flight booked for her yet, so we said we’d return tomorrow after contacting Dad. From the vet we took the dogs to a small beach just past the town of Mystic in a place called Noank, this was one of the only beaches where dogs are allowed and we met a family who were training their 5 month old black lab – very cute.

As the beach wasn’t really fit for swimming and sunbathing, we dropped the dogs home

and went to Misquamicut beach in Rhode Island, about a twenty-minute drive. We spent the afternoon their and had our picnic, it was busy but not overcrowded and the sea was so warm and inviting, much warmer than the beach in Maine.