Yes, we missed last week, the flu hit us hard! We are back to exploring New England Diners this weekend, though.
Since we had a funeral this morning in North Kingston, RI, so we were happy to hit one of our diners on the way home. We stopped at the Jigger’s Hill Diner and Restaurant in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. After a brief wait, we were seated in a quaint diner environment. We all ordered breakfast, I chose the Raspberry Creme French Toast, and it tasted remarkably like the raspberry turnovers with hard sauce we used to make many years ago for a dessert. Even I couldn’t finish the entire serving. The food was delicious, and the timing was perfect as the diner closes in two days for renovations!
Well, it was an all around lousy day for a daytrip. With torrential rains and Lydia sporting a fever, we headed to Modern Diner in Pawtucket, RI. While the neighborhood is not terribly inviting, the food was outstanding. The girls all thought it was 10 out of 10!! Well worth the rainy drive!
Our weekend was a little disrupted by work schedules, so we headed up to the Agawam Diner, in Rowley, MA in the late afternoon. The timing did not allow for any additional day trips or hikes (except for a very quick drive through downtown Newburyport). The diner was charming and classic, the waitress absolutely wonderful and the food was superb. We all got cheeseburgers, fries and then topped it off with their famous pies. In our case, we chose chocolate cream pie and lemon meringue pie. Since we very rarely ever eat pie, this was such a treat! Week three into our diner excursions and we are already hard-pressed to name one better than the next (or better than the previous).
This week the diner we chose was the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, NH. It is rich in history as many presidential candidates have eaten here while campaigning, so we were grateful to come outside of the political season. The Diner, or “Dinah” is clearly very popular, as there was a line (albeit short) the whole time we were there. Lydia ordered the “Queen Dinah” breakfast, which was served on two plates. The food was absolutely delicious, perfect and fresh and generous. The girls preferred the atmosphere of Miss Flo’s last week, but honestly the food here was better, and perhaps if we had visited at 3pm instead of 11am it might have been quieter!
As usual, we looked for a short hike or activity, and found the nearby Dorr’s Pond Park. A short 1 mile hike felt much longer as the first 1/3 mile was a complete sheet of ice. Pretty nevertheless, and I’m sure it is even prettier in any month other than January!
Ok, there is a reason we do not do Daytrips in the in the winter up here in New England. Usually there is snow, often a lot of snow. And mud. And the skies are often very grey. And the trees are barren and the grass is brown. So we will take the next few months and we decided to digress! Instead of weekly Daytrips of the area, we will visit new diners of New England each weekend, and the towns that host them. We found a few “Best Diners of New England” posts and will visit as many as we can!
So, this weekend we went to Miss Florence’s Diner in Florence, MA. We chose this diner because my dad grew up in Florence, and the diner has been there since he was 8 or 9 years old. The food was very good, and the prices even better. We managed to drive to the top of Mount Tom before we ate, and swung through Look Park after we ate, where I spent many childhood visits with my Grandparents in Northampton. It was a chilly 11 degrees out, so we were not very inspired to take many outdoor photos!
Great Esker Park is one of those parks that is very nearby, and frequently pops up when we are googling “hikes near us” but we hesitated going to it because it never seemed that interesting. Being short on time today was the day we chose to check out this hike. Well, I was not wrong. It was not very interesting. In fact, it was a little depressing. Early winter is never a very colorful time to go out, but I think the trash everywhere certainly did not help (as shown in one photo, which was fairly typical of the view). The parking near the Lowe’s parking lot gave us easy access, but also became part of our view. The loop includes some nice hills, so it would be a great place for a run (I’m not sure of how safe it might be if you are alone). But for a scenic view, it was disappointing.
In Milton, MA, there are miles and miles of trails at Blue Hills Reservation (not to mention a ski area). Many years ago I used to do long runs through there while marathon training, but haven’t been on the trails. This week we hiked from the State Police Barracks in Milton straight up a very rocky, rooted pathway up about a mile, to see the Boston skyline. We are slightly past peak autumn colors, so a little more brown orange than red orange, but beautiful nevertheless. Clearly we all need hiking boots for Christmas!!
So often I have time to explore with Lydia, but today it was just me and Lieren!! She wanted to go to Plymouth, and was even willing to walk the full Jetty, which is something I have not been able to convince either of the girls to do in the past. It was high noon, so sun was bright. The day was about portraits and seagulls!
Boston in autumn is beautiful! Even in late November. The girls have been so busy on weekends this is the first day that we’ve had a chance to get away, and even that is with just one of them. The wind was ferocious but the sunshine was beautiful!
I heard that a photography meet-up group was heading to Mount Auburn Cemetery to take photos, and while it seemed like an odd place for photo shoots, we figured it was worth the trip to Cambridge. The pouring rain only added to the beauty of the trees which have just past peak color. While it felt a little irreverent, I think it would be a beautiful place to go back to on a beautiful day for some fair weather photos.