Pambling Roads~~RI to Maine
Pambling Roads ~~ DC to RI to Maine
Our travels so far have taken you to most of the southeastern states up to DC. The adventure continues. I need to make a point about my recommendations. A reader asked why I don't mention more places we have eaten ... because I wouldn't recommend them and I'm not going to write about them. So, if you read and wonder why we don't have more places listed, it's because they didn't stand out. Trust me, we ate at a lot of restaurants.
I could tell you the horror stories: Forgotten refills, cold food, bad service, rude servers, making us feel as if we are interrupting their day, slamming glasses on the table, slamming dishes in the busboys dish tray, taking our plates before we were finished eating, not getting my tea that I ordered, waiting forever for our check, our food order misplaced, other guests who sat down after us getting their food and finished eating before we have even gotten ours, being over-charged, etc.-the list could go on.
None of the hotels we stayed at had any problems. There were a few times when hotel guests were a bit noisy, letting their doors slam, around midnight or in the very early morning, but hotels can't fix rude and inconsiderate guests.
The adventure continues:
From D.C. we drove straight to Newport, RI where we stayed with relatives and had a wonderful time. We did the normal haunts where residents from the island go, no tourist stuff since I was born and raised there and have pretty much seen it all several times over. Although, there is plenty to see from sparkling beaches, Cliff Walk and the Forty Steps, the Ocean Drive, to the historical summer cottages from the gilded era.
But first we must start with La Forge Casino Restaurant on Belleview Avenue. La Forge has been around forever and has taken care of generations of Newporters and guests. It is situated right next to the Tennis Hall of Fame - can't miss it. Don't miss it. It has good food, great service, and awesome entertainment. It is a must. If you go on a Friday or Saturday evening, you will be highly entertained by a very talented man. Dave is well known and very well liked and will draw a crowd just because. You want him to play your favorite song; chances are ... Dave will know it.
Next on our list of must-do and a great place to go is downtown, right near the famed Washington Square. Billy Goode's Tavern and Restaurant on Marlborough St, some great history connected to Billy Goode's. We went on a Sunday evening and were entertained by the Kane Brothers, Phil and Buddy. The room was packed and the crowd practically sang along with every song. (Billy Goode's closed in May - Thanks for the memories)
Another restaurant we enjoyed was a little more subdued than singing along with David at La Forge and/or the Kane brothers. The Boat House restaurant in Tiverton, RI had the best service and mouth-watering food. The restaurant is on the water and probably has one of the most beautiful views of the Sakonnet River. Reservations are recommended.
Sites to see in Newport:
The mansions, as many as you can possibly see while you are in Newport! They are absolutely beautiful. The Preservation Society continues to excel in their care of these beautiful homes. Yes, I do have favorites: The Marble House, The Breakers, The Elms, Rosecliff, and Rough Point. However, I've never toured Rough Point since the Restoration Foundation has taken it over, but I do recall how grand it was. I have a vague memory of standing in front of a window at Rough Point that had a bunch of coat of arms or crests on it. I remember staring at it, fascinated by the way the sun was making it sparkle.
The Monkey Chair ~ Chateau-sur-Mer, Wetmore Estate
Black sand beach ~ Ocean Drive Near Downtown Newport
The Newport Jazz Festival:
At Fort Adams, years ago, yes, admitting my age temporarily...years ago I recall attending the Jazz Festival at Freebody Park and then over at Festival Field before they moved it to the fort.
The Newport Music Festival:
So much absolutely awesome music!
If you feel like walking, Cliff Walk is a fascinating and relaxing walk. You can see the back yards of many of the Newport Mansions, the Forty Steps at the bottom of Narragansett Avenue, a view of the Chinese Tea House, and the repaired/blocked off tunnels where history seems to be forgotten and set aside.
For more information on visiting Newport:
The Lighthouse, Narragansett Bay, RI
Photos taken on our way to Northampton, Massachusetts
Leaving Newport we took our time and made our way over to Northampton, MA. There we stayed at the Econo Lodge in Hadley, MA. The hotel was clean and the service was excellent. The mountains behind the hotel were breathtaking.
One of the nights we dined at a restaurant called Route 9 in Hadley. They have a huge selection of food, which was perfectly appetizing, and the service was impressive. If you are ever near the area or stopping to scope U Mass, stop by for a bite. It is definitely worth it.
Downtown Northampton was swamped. We could not find a parking place to be able to walk around and see the shops and sites. Perhaps next time.
Staying in the Northampton area was a short stay before we hit the road for our next stop, Maine.
Photos taken on our way to Maine
Piscatague River Bridge
Entering Maine on an off-the-beaten path was fascinating. Not minutes after we crossed the border I was looking out the window at the homes and land when I saw three really weird looking "horses" in the distance against the woods. As the split second went by, I noticed that there was no fence and they were not horses -- they were moose. We were going to turn around so my husband could see but decided not to; it was Maine and we knew there are more moose per mile in Maine than any other state. He would be able to see some farther on down the road >> poor guy, never saw another one after that.
Heading over toward I-95, we made our pit stop at the Best Western Waterville. The people there were great. We ate dinner and had drinks at the onsite restaurant, O'Brien's Restaurant and Pub. The service for the hotel and restaurant were top-notch. We couldn't have asked for a nicer room or a nicer stay.
We had a very interesting moment and were not inconvenienced at all. The fire alarm went off and we (obviously) had to exit our room. Standing outside waiting for the firefighters to clear the hotel so we could re-enter, we chatted with some other travelers. We met and chatted with people from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Boston, MA.
I was just starting to ask questions about Nova Scotia and New Brunswick when we received the all clear to go back to our rooms.
Our next stay was in Wilton, Maine where we spent the night at the Comfort Inn. I felt like I was surrounded by the magnificence of Maine. We saw a deer munching near the back of the hotel. My husband loved the pool and we were both thrilled with the excellent continental breakfast. (Loved the waffles)
Medway, Maine was our next destination. We stayed at the Gateway Inn for a few nights and were able to visit with some friends that my husband had not seen in too many years to count. The lady at the desk was very friendly and helpful. Our room was nice and clean. Their indoor pool was wonderful. The hotel was nestled against some awesome scenery. The wifi was a bit shaky but we were most likely very far from the wifi source. I just went to their sitting area and took care of what I needed to and no issues.
Before we left, we made sure to purchase some of the unique puzzles they had for sale. They have them displayed on the walls. We love puzzles and it was a chance to get something different and unique.
Yes, that is a puzzle!
Our first night we went to a restaurant down the road in another town, East Millinocket. I can still hear the waitress "Hi," handing us our menus, "You're not from around here are you?" Honest, she really did say that!
My response, "Is it that obvious?"
Her response, "No, not at all."
I believe that was a very quick recovery on her part. Really? Did we stand out or stick out?
So, the next night we did take-out from a different restaurant, Aerie Restaurant. The food was good. We enjoyed our meal and would recommend it to anyone in the area.
We ate breakfast at a restaurant at a gas station ... several miles outside of Farmington. The food was good, service was good, but boy, the waitresses sure know how to bang the dishes and let it echo very loudly through the restaurant.
We learned that Maine has 2 very different types of drivers - those in an extreme hurry, driving as close to your bumper as they possibly can-pushy and dangerous, passing on curves (with double yellow lines), passing on the peak of a hill, and the drivers who were very, very, laid back, going the speed limit, just as comfortable and relaxed as can be...
We didn’t stay overnight in New Brunswick but we did take a day trip. Crossing the border wasn’t too bad of a wait. They asked the usual questions. Where are you from? Why are you here? How long do you plan on staying? Etc. They were pleasant, yet business-like.
The Hartland Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the world. Built in 1899, it is 1282 feet worth of a one-way road that crosses the St. John River with lots of history to go with it. It is known as a kissing bridge with a cute story about how gentlemen would stop their horses and wagons and steals a kiss from their sweetheart. Yes, we kissed – can’t argue with tradition. Don't forget to stop by the Visitor Center right there near the covered bridge. The employees were great and them had some really neat stuff to purchase.
We love traveling and have many more wonderful places to share with you. If you have anything you would like to share with our readers, comment below, all suggestions to enhance any of our readers travels are welcome.
Other travel articles by Pam Ackerson