We're so glad you joined us!

Here we are – kids, dogs and all! Thanks for visiting our page! We're hoping that you will enjoy hearing about our travels and experiences as a family. We intend for this blog to share more than just travel journals, but also insights and lessons learned during our daily adventures. Please share your comments and come back often! * update * as of August 2010, we finished our journey, so new entries to this site will be rare. Linda's starting a new personal blog here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring on the Farm

We found the Remick Family Farm online while searching for maple sugar shacks. We learned that we were late for the syrup making season, when the maple tree sap is heated and processed into delicious syrup. The trees 'run' with sap during February and March typically and while the rest of the country had an incredibly cold and snowy winter, Vermont and New Hampshire did not have an unually hard winter. Great for the residents, not so great for the syrup makers!
After finding out more about the farm, we drove up anyway as the farm has been reworked to become a teaching facility about farm life. Here's the sugar shack where the syrup is made. When in season, the tell-tale sign is reported to be a lot of steam rising from the building. Too bad we missed it, but we did buy some syrup - very tasty!

The most charming thing about spring on a farm are the new babies everywhere. These kids are only 3 days old!

The kids were charged with creating fences with stones and long timbers.

They did a great job and didn't have to work too long. We are happy to see how well they work, though, as we hope a farm is in our future!

Another baby was across the field - this little week old lamb.

Craig had a nice chat with mom...

The lamb flopped over when it got too fast for its little wobbly legs.

No worries - it found its feet quick enough!

These two Heritage breed turkeys were not particularly charming nor were they happy to see us! We were happy to be on the other side of the fence as these two guys were wishing for us to leave them alone.

These two wanted to see us, until they found out we didn't have any feed for them.

The town of Tamworth now surrounds this part of the farm, which covered 400 acres at one time.

A wagon ride closed out our farm visit, with these beautiful twin sisters pulling us around.

Very strong Belgians, they had no trouble pulling the wagon around the farm for a short visit.

We stopped at the hardware store before leaving, where they also sell homemade ice cream - Moose Tracks is a nice flavor with chocolate and peanut butter mixed into vanilla. Another little adventure is done for the day.

Live Free or Die

Bonus points if you can guess the reason for this blog title? If you knew that this is the motto for New Hampshire you get the prize! After the hustle and bustle of Boston, we are enjoying the rural New Hampshire sights.

We started with a trip into Portsmouth. Billed as a nice New England town and the building place for submarines, we found the city to be very neat (as in tidy) and somewhat eclectic. Our first stop was a house designated as the home of John Paul Jones. Actually, his time here was brief and he only rented a room in the house. At the time he was here, however, he was supervising the construction of the America, a ship for the newly established United States.

Now established as a museum for Portsmouth, a hard working group of volunteers continues work on the garden. We enjoyed the early fruits of their labor in these tulips!

We continued carefully around the town. The streets are narrow and meet at odd angles amongst very tall, compactly placed houses and shops.
Everything had a look of being well-kept and preserved and we enjoyed the glimpse of life in this busy town.
We also wanted to see the Albacore, an early submarine research vessel. Launched in the late 1950's, we enjoyed learning about efforts to develop a boat that was both fast and quiet!
Exporing further in the town, it wasn't long before we found ourselves in Maine! The New Hampshire coastline is relatively short. Lots of homes and docks are nestled in quiet coves along the coastline with evidence of many buoys with lobster traps attached.

The boys smiles are a little frozen and it's not just because of the pose. The sun was deceptive as the breeze off that Atlantic water was very cold! We didn't stay out in it long with our light jackets!

Ready for a break, we found an interesting old grocery store that offered us coffee and Coca Cola in the old fashioned small glass bottles! Cory is an enthusiast of Coca Cola in a glass bottle, so we couldn't pass this up. The grocery is well preserved, inside and out and we enjoyed the trip back in time as we took a little break from the driving and looking.

Across the street is an old delivery truck belonging to the grocery.

All in all, our day was a nice change of pace - to simply looking around at a place that was new to us - very nice!

Oh - and the prize for knowing about New Hampshire's motto? Isn't just knowing you are that smart prize enough? Well, that'll have to do as we don't have a reward system worked out! Congratulations anyway!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Freedom Trail of Boston

Up for some history? Boston is a terrific place for seeing some famous landmarks recorded in American History! From the Tea Party rally on "The Common", it was a short walk over to the golden dome of the state capitol where we found a map and guide for a walking tour of Boston called, "The Freedom Trail". The trail is marked on the sidewalks and streets by either a strip of red bricks or red paint, so it's very easy to follow. The capitol building, although constructed in 1795, is called the 'new' State House by Bostonians. The 'old' State House was the one used by the British government during colonial days. We'll show you a photo later as we pass by.

The Park Street Church was our next milestone. Built in 1809 on the site of a town granary, the church served practical purposes as well as religious. During the War of 1812, the crypt stored gunpowder! Amongst the 'firsts' for this church, were first Sunday School in 1817, prison aid society in 1824, and missionaries to Hawaii in 1819.

Behind the church is the Granary Burying Ground, where many famous Americans are buried. Three signers of the Declaration of Independence, nine governors of Massachusetts, the victims of the Boston Massacre, 'Mother' Goose, Benjamin Franklin's parents and Paul Revere all are buried here.

On we walked to the King's Chapel - a symbol of what Puritans fled. After more than a half century of the Puritans exercising their religious freedom, King James II order the establishment of an Anglican parish in Boston. When no Puritan would sell the Anglicans land, the Governor seized a corner of the burying ground - assuming that the dead could not complain! In Britain at that time, church and nobility were enmeshed in corrupt politics and Bostonians wanted no part of that. When the American Revolution caused the British Army to evacuate Boston, many of the church attendees left with them. Eventually, the church became the first Unitarian church and continues today.

At the site of the first public school, Boston Latin School, this statue of Benjamin Franklin stands. Although he actually dropped out of the school, Bostonians are still proud of his attendance, along with other scholars such as, John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

In the early 1800's, this building functioned as the home of the nation's leading book publisher. Known now as the Old Corner Book Store, several now famous authors gathered here including Longfellow, Hawthorne, Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Charles Dickens also visited here.

This is the famous South Meeting House where the original Tea Party members masqueraded as Mohawk Indians before boarding British ships to dump the tea in the harbor.

And just down the block, the Old State House - the seat of government during British Rule.

Cory recognized the symbols of the lion and the unicorn at the top of the building as being identical to the banners and shields displayed at the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg.

After all the Tea Party and more than half of the Freedom Trail, we were ready for lunch and found delicious clam chowder at this restaurant on the harbor. All around us, business folks were ordering huge lobsters, but we were quite happy with the New England style chowder and fresh rolls. Our feet were also happy to get some rest!

Refreshed, we strolled out the pier to see if we could spy the location of the ship emptied of its tea. The exhibit was closed during our visit to Boston and it could not be made out from here. We enjoyed the beautiful spring day on the harbor anyway!

On we went and found Paul Revere's House...

And this tribute to his famous ride to warn the colonists of the British approach...

And here's the North Church with the tower housing the location of the warning lamps 'One if by sea, two if by land'.

We deviated from the full tour due to our tired feet and legs from standing at the Tea Party for 3-4 hours before beginning the trail. We would definitely continued on across to see the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill, but were just too tired to make it on this day. We looped back through the downtown area and enjoyed a close look at many of the taverns.

Several markets are centered around Faneuil Hall. Restaurants, shops and modern chain stores are all mixed in four large buildings.

And amongst the several offerings, we were pleased to see 'Cheers' - a copy cat of the famous bar in the TV series by the same name. The boys didn't have a clue!

Our walk back toward the train station took us back by the Old State House.

Next to the traffic signal on the right is a circle of pavers that marks the spot where the colonists fell during the Boston Massacre. They were shot at very close range from that balcony visible ont he second floor.

Successfully making our way back to the train station, we got the boys to pose for one more photo!

Well, two...they're just so handsome! We made it back in plenty of time for the commuter train we wanted back to our spot at the RV park.