I have been traveling a lot in the past several years for my job. When I started reviewing every place I’d been – I realized I’m really close to seeing all 50 states by the time I turn 50. So, I have written out lists. I have loose plans. And I have a real job [read: limited vacation] – so I can’t just take a road trip to see all that I’ve not yet seen. So I plotted to take advantage of the fact that I was in Baltimore for a work related then and then tacked on a road trip in the Northeast United States to check off several states.
My rules are that I have to eat or sleep in the state for it to count. So, no airports don’t count. Also, in regard to restaurants on the “eat” part – they have to be a non-chain, no drive through sit in local restaurant (or friend’s house).
On the last day of my work event, my mom flew in to Baltimore to meet me (she also lives in Denver). The next morning I picked up a rental car in Baltimore. I had a bit of an issue with it – but that worked out, because they upgraded up to a red Rav-4. We set out to Deleware and ate at a cute little place called Smiley’s Cafe. It was hopping. And certainly seemed the place to be for brunch for the after church crowd on a Sunday morning. (Check off DE for me!)
Then we kept traveling through a corner of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and then into New York (I have already seen all three of these – but they were on the drive up). I had surprised my mom who has been a big Yankees fan since she was a small girl. I had bought stadium tour tickets. BUT, because of the issue I had picking up the rental car in Baltimore we were almost an hour late and there was no other tour for us to jump in on. Boo! So, I had promised her a stadium tour – we toured the exterior of the building and the gift shop. We got back in the car and headed up to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut (Check off CT for me!). The Mohegan Sun is a large and beautiful casino/hotel. We were treated to Bobby Flay’s restaurant there that night.
The next morning we headed out to Rhode Island. We went to Newport where we had purchased a sail boat tour. It was just 90 minutes around the harbor – but so much fun for someone who lives in a land-locked state like me. The folks at the Madeline were very knowledgable, able to answer any question we had and ready with great stories. I would highly recommend that as part of your tour in Rhode Island! I feel like I missed a lot of Rhode Island and may try to get back (maybe after I’m 50 and have completed this quest). We ate lunch at a place called 22 Bowen’s. We about lost our minds on the awesome burger – Wagyu beef, buttered lobster, truffle oil aioli, and guyere cheese on a brioche roll. But after that meal I could check off Rhode Island! YAY! We did end up going back to Mohegan Sun that evening for another night. (I may have changed that if I had a choice to do this again – and maybe stay in R.I.).
The following morning was a fairly early start and one of the longer days on the road. We went up CT (through Hartford), western Mass (I’ve already been to Boston so I didn’t need to check off that state), and into Vermont. I think Vermont is nearly one of my more favorite places. We stopped at the cheesey but need to do it Vermont Country Store, then we drove to a covered bridge (this was something I think my mom would have wanted to see more of), over to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory tour, and then up to the Trapp Family Lodge. The Lodge was fantastic. I really wish I would have been able to spend more time there. The grounds seem to have everything you would need. We loved eating at the Bierhall – of course enjoyed the beer and the cheese. (We didn’t make it to Cabot although that was also on a list for a one day return). I love my mom but she is getting older and she can’t do a ton of walking. I felt bad wanting to go walk the grounds/trails but leaving her. So we pretty much just hung out at the hotel.
Dartmouth in Hanover, NH was a good morning stop for a coffee shop and breakfast (another check for me) and on into Kennebunkport, ME. What a cute little town! We stayed at the cutest bed and breakfast, Maine Stay Inn. We shopped around the shops and ate dinner at Allison’s – we had a lobster roll, lobster bisque and Maine blueberry pie! This was the perfect meal to end the trip! All Maine-y and such. But check another state for me.
After a great breakfast at the bed and breakfast (and fantastic company), we headed out to see a lighthouse and then shopped at the L.L. Bean mother-ship store. I kept with the refrain of “how are you going to get that home?” until I got to L.L. Bean. Where I bought a flannel! A flannel that will hug me warm this fall with great memories of a cool trip.