Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming! Well ... One of Them At Least!

Ever since I had the pleasure of first meeting one Miss Claire Rachel Pitt a bit over four years ago, we've been planning on her coming back over to the States for another visit.  We've talked about places to go, things to see, people to meet while tossing out one itinerary in favor of another several times over but with only two weeks before that long-awaited and much-talked-about visit actually becomes a reality, I think we have finally settled on a rather busy agenda which will pretty much fill up every moment of the six weeks that Claire will be a guest in the United States.  Six weeks packed full of activities and honestly, we could have probably easily planned out another six weeks chock full of things to do and still had more left over on our list!

So, what do we have on that oft-changed, rearranged, and busy agenda?  Read on and you'll see that I need to put vitamins on the top of the list of things I gotta pack!

October 17th - While on her side of the Atlantic Ocean Claire will arise at the crack of dawn, get herself to the airport, and travel back through time as she hurtles towards Boston at about 500 miles an hour, I'll be doing my usual work routine having hopefully gotten all of my packing done so that when quitting time comes I can run home, change clothes, toss my suitcase in the car, and head north to greet her on the other side of Customs with her requested "coffee and vodka".  Lots of coffee, a little vodka, and maybe one of those silly little signs with her name on it just to make her feel important.  Hmmm, wonder if I can find a limo driver's hat by then??

Once we've got Claire's cases tossed in the boot along with mine, I'll point the car north and set out for Bangor, Maine about 4 hours northeast of Boston.  Upon arrival we're going to check into a cheap motel that will hopefully at least be clean and comfortable, let Claire attempt to sleep off some of her jet-lag, and then head out bright and early the next morning for an early morning jaunt past the home of horror writer extraordinaire Stephen King who reportedly has some wicked cool gates that I just gotta get a photo of!  

October 18 -19th - After hopefully not being arrested as stalkers, we are then going to continue through Maine to the most northeastern town in the United States - Lubec, Maine. While there we will be staying for two nights at the lovely Peacock House, a historic bed and breakfast overlooking the Bay of Fundy!  While there we've got lots of exploring planned including a tour of the local lighthouse that has long been on my list of lighthouses to see!

October 20 -21st - Passports in hand we're going to continue heading east and cross over the Canadian border driving through New Brunswick to Hopewell Rocks - home of the world's highest tides.  During our time in Canada, we'll be guests of the Innisfree Bed and Breakfast who have promised to make sure we see all there is to see in the area - sending us out with our bellies full from a hearty breakfast first.

October 22nd - 23rd - Leaving the wilds of Canada behind, with hopefully the closest encounter with moose or bear being from a safe distance, we'll start homeward bound stopping first for a night in the area of Acadia National Park with the hopes of catching the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain before we make our way back to Connecticut.

October 24th - 25th - Claire will hang around the house chatting with the girls and keeping Tesla company while I go to work for a few days and rest up for the next phase of our wanderings.

October 26th - 28th - Back to Massachusetts and the North Shore where Claire will get her first glimpse of my beloved Salem - right smack at the peak of the Halloween madness that is the hallmark of Salem in October.  We'll be staying at Chez Lederhaus - home of my friends Walt and Juli whom I can't wait for Claire to meet and vice versa.  On the 27th of October Claire will be doing her best Simon Cowell impression as she takes on the role of judge at the uber-cool Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball.  As she gets to take a guest, that will be me along with my trusty Nikon and I'm sure it will be just as much fun - if not more so - than last year's Halloween Ball.  Hopefully there won't be any snow this year but you just never know!

October 29th - November 1st - Back in Norwich, Claire has talked me into a visit to Dark Manor which is supposed to be THE #1 haunted house in Connecticut. Fortunately it's located not too far from home so in case anyone needs to change clothing before heading out to the Harp and Dragon for a pint afterward, it will be easy enough to just pop by the house! I'm sure that on Halloween night, Amanda can find something spook-tacular for Claire to do - zombie makeovers may be included!

November 2nd - November 4th - We'll be trundling southwest to Hazleton, Pennsylvania and staying at the Ramada while meeting up with one of Claire's blogging buddies from Pittsburgh as well as Lisa and her Macs (both big and little!), whom I have already had the pleasure of meeting up once a few years back - of course, that was pre-Little Mac! I believe a coal mine tour and a tour of America's oldest operating brewery are on the current agenda while there, as well as meeting up with Mod Betty from Retro Roadmap who is going to point us in the direction of some of the true Americana that Claire craves!

November 5th -10th - Back in Connecticut for a breather while I'm once again off to work and Claire keeps the home fires burning as she prepares some Doodologist-type things which she'll be attempting to peddle at a craft fair in Rhode Island being held at the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge in Cranston from 10am to 3pm on November 10th.  We've rented a table at the annual event sponsored by the Rhode Island Chapter of the National MS Society and I'm sure as long as we have Claire do all the talking and mention that the crafts are from England, she'll sell out completely!

November 11th - Off for tea and luncheon at Mrs Bridges' Pantry in South Woodstock with Princess Patricia of Ansonia in the Valley and my friend Paula who is an amazing art teacher and occasional distracted sidekick joining us. Mrs. Bridges is an authentic British tea room but we won't know exactly how authentic until Claire gives it her authentic British seal of approval! I anticipate a jolly good time though I still think we should consider wearing proper hats!

November 12 -14th - A little more hanging around in Norwich while I work and Claire possibly meets up with another blogging chum of hers from nearby New London.

November 15th - 19th - Back up to Salem and the lovely Hawthorne Hotel for five awesome nights with lots of wandering planned so that I can show Claire exactly why I love the North Shore as much as I do.  Depending on if we can fit it into the schedule, we might even get down to Plimouth Plantation for a visit with the Pilgrims if our timing works out and we don't get distracted visiting too many retro-diners and sampling pie and coffee while Claire checks out one lunch counter after another and drops the occasional quarter in a jukebox. Diners, drive-ins, and dives are definitely on her list of "must-sees"!

November 20th - 25th - Off to the lovely Sunset Hill House located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for five nights of ...  free! As Claire says, "Who says social media doesn't get you lovely things?"  Again lots of things penciled in, but nothing concrete other than helping them to decorate for Christmas and being able to take advantage of all the wonderful hospitality of the innkeepers and their staff as we take on the role of "embedded Facebookers".  Make sure you like their page, Sunset Hill House on Facebook, as we'll be live-blogging on both their page and ours during the time that we are there.

November 25th - 26th - Before heading home to Connecticut we'll be spending one night in a place that has been on my bucket list for a very long time, the beautiful Omni Mount Washington Resort which is a member of Historic Hotels of America as it has a truly impressive history - one that Claire and I will be learning all about on our private tour of the resort on Monday morning.  As excited as I am about everything else - and trust me, I am! - I am really looking forward to our one night in Bretton Woods as it will be the perfect way to end our whirlwind touring of the northeast.

We'll be arriving back in Connecticut probably late in the day/evening on the 26th with just enough time for me to catch a few hours sleep before it's back to work for me and a couple days rest for Claire before I have to take her back up to Boston and Logan Airport on the 29th so that she can climb on a plane and jet back to jolly old England. Provided she manages to get back through Customs of course!

Like I said, Claire's going to be here just about six weeks and I've got no doubt that the time will fly but hopefully not so fast that we don't get a chance to enjoy all of the things that we've got planned.  And yes, we do have a lot but you should see the list of things we had to shelve for another time! Yikes!

Hopefully Claire won't wait another four years before she gets back here so we can start work on that next list but in the meantime, I also want to start working on my own list of things I want to see in England as it's my sincere hope to get over there before Claire gets back over here.  Provided she doesn't like it so much that she finds a job and moves over permanently!  If that happens, we'll be making even more lists!


  1. whew! what a plan! and thanksgiving in there as well! give her a hug from me...

    smiles, bee

  2. Boy, I sure wish there was a trip west involved, or a pick up Jeanie from the airport task. bummer. You all will have tons of fun!!!!

  3. WOW that's a packed itinerary! I have no doubt you two will have a fantastic time. Give Claire my regards. :)

  4. I am knackered reading this! and it doesn't include half of the things we are actually doing, just the places we are staying! It will take about four years to write up the blog posts and edit the pictures!

    Jeanie, hop on a plane dude!

    waves hello to everyone else :) :)

  5. Have a fabulous time the both of you. My best to Claire. :)

  6. Whoa! You ain't messin' around none, are ya?! What an awesome intinerary! WIWT!

  7. Now that's my kind of itinerary! lol I so wish I could join you, you two will be visiting all the types of places I love to visit!! Such a shame you won't be bringing Claire to Niagara Falls but I understand about the lack of time when there are so many other places to visit. If you have a change of mind, though, just let me know:-) xoxo

  8. I'm tired just reading the schedule. I suspect there will be plenty of photos and recaps. Have fun!

  9. Sounds so good! Wish I could go to! And go Rachel for 6 week vacay! Have a great time, girls :)

  10. Fabulous plans. I'll tag along!

    Big hugs, honey...

  11. this all sounds amazing!!
    I'm looking forward to all the photos
    please say hi to Stephen King for me :)

  12. Just re-read this...holy cow. I live vicariously, you know?


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