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!
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.
I have to be the only parent who has to beg a child to go to a fair, but since Lydia needed to take festival photos and Lieren was at work, I “dragged” Lydia to the King Richard’s Faire in Carver, Massachusetts. Not only was she delighted at how fun it was but she really wants to go back next year, with her sister!! We watched an old-time duels, and enjoyed the wild costumes and reenactments from a time long ago. Our one fun souvenir, besides photos, was a fidget-spinner ring, for each of us.
We were trying to resurrect a daytrip that wasn’t going well, and our Plan B brought us to Whitehall State Park in Hopkinton, MA. What a beautiful day and place for a short hike. I love paths where the pine needles are soft under your feet and the sun shines through the branches!! We did a quick shake to avoid bringing home any ticks prior to getting back in the car!
So it wouldn’t be New England if we didn’t have the Patriots!! Now, Pats’ tickets are not only hard to come by but also not very cheap, so the next best thing is the preseason Pat’s Training Camps. We’ve gone for the past three years, and LOVE seeing all our favorites practicing. This year did not disappoint as we of course had Tom Brady and Jimmy Garapolo, but also Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Steven Gostkowski, and Danny Amendola to name a few of our favorites. And extra fun to get autographs after the practice!