Fern Ridge-Tribune News
The Chronicle (Creswell)
Sweet Lorane Community News
October 6, 2022
By Pat Edwards
My column has been silent for the past several weeks for several reasons, but the most important one, for Jim and me, was the preparation for and our actual long-anticipated 8-day vacation to the New England portion of the U.S. for a “Fall Folliage” tour. We signed on for this bus tour shortly after our store was sold in March, but with Jim’s back surgery, challenged-mobility and the subsequent healing and strengthening of muscles and balance, we were never sure if it would actually happen. We set the event, scheduled from September 21 through 29, as our goal to work toward. We wanted to take part and enjoy each day’s activities without feeling like we were holding back our fellow travelers in any way, and to get as much out of it as we could.
During our 8 days, we visited 6 states—Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Each state was unique its own way. The forests were mostly hardwood trees, although as we got into Vermont and Rhode Island, more and more evergreens began to be seen. We quickly discovered that we were probably a week or two premature for the full color we were hoping to see in the hardwood forests along the way, but to be honest, the scenery was beautiful anyway. We traveled through the White Mountain and Green Mountain sections of the Appalachian mountain range and the more altitude we attained, the more color we began to see.
We experienced the docks and quaint shops of Bar Harbor, Maine, and were lectured about
the correct pronunciation used by the locals—“Ba Haba”with ‘whispered r’s.’ On the second day there, we went into the Acadia National Park and experienced the amazing views from atop Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Eastern seaboard of the U.S.
As we traveled south again, we stopped at some of the covered bridges in New
Hampshire. In Vermont, a favorite stop was the Billings Farm, a living history working farm with interactive exhibits and demos. We also were treated to ice cream produced from the rich, creamy milk of the purebred Jersey cow herd for which it is also known.
We re-entered Massachusetts, traveling through the Berkshires, and spent our afternoon at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. On display were all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers painted by Rockwell as well as many of his original paintings. His main studio was on the beautiful site, as well.
That night, we stayed at the historic Publick Inn in Sturbridge, MA, where we had a colonial-style dinner. The next morning, we crossed into Connecticut to New London where we visited the Mystic Seaport and the Museum of America and the Sea at its Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard Gallery. While there, we viewed and boarded an authentic whaling ship and learned the history of the small boat named the Gerda III that was on display. It was used to help evacuate over 1,400 Jewish men, women and children from Hitler-occupied Denmark during WWII. Many in our group also visited the “living history” shops depicting a colonial seaport town and other ships on site.
The last two nights were spent in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. When we first arrived there, we immediately took a tour of “The Breakers,” the name given to the Vanderbilt family’s huge Biltmore “summer home” located in Newport, passing Jay Leno’s mansion on the way. The house was massive and all of us were questioning on how anyone could consider such a massive building “home.” On the way to our hotel, we passed the Hammersmith Farm, a horse property where the future First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, lived as a child.
Looking across the sunny Newport bay, the masts and white sails of dozens of sail boats bobbed on the blue water around and beneath the Claiborne Pell/Newport Bridge. Our hotel was sitting next to a dock where several huge yachts were moored for the night. Jim and I dined the first night in Newport with two other couples, who had become good friends, at an Italian restaurant; the next day, we ate lunch at an Irish Pub.
On our last morning, we drove back to Boston where we spent the morning visiting the Paul Revere statue and the Old North Church, walking some of the historic, narrow streets that our bus couldn’t navigate, and touring others while on the bus before it dropped each of us off at Logan Airport for our flights home.
As it turned out, that last day, we knew as we said our goodbyes to our newfound friends, that we had succeeded in reaching those goals Jim and I set last March in ways we never imagined. With the memories of all of the historical and beautiful sites we had seen, we both agree that the most precious gifts we were given on our trip were the friendships we made and the closeness we felt for our tour group of 44 people, our tour guide, Liz, and bus driver, Nelson. We got to know many of them on a personal level and each holds a special place in our hearts.
I think we’re both ready to plan another tour for 2023, knowing the rewards we have reaped from this one.
Thanks to Sherry Makowski and Frances Look for sharing their photos.
2 thoughts on “Sweet Lorane Community News, October 6, 2022”
Beautiful write up of a fabulous trip ♥️We are so happy to have met you and Jim! Keep in touch dear friends, blessings from Don and Sherri Makowski
Thank you, sweet Sherry. We loved meeting you and Don. Wish we could have you with us on our next trip in April to San Antonio. 🙂