14 April 2011

Travel Bug

Okay, remember the teaser post? Well, this is (one of) the follow-up.

In a span of six weeks I will have been in six states: Massachusetts (duh), Rhode Island, Virginia, New Hampshire, New York, and Connecticut.

Why, Allison, you say, You are such an East Coast traveler.

Heck yes I am.

Not really. I’ve just had a lot of awesome opportunities lately. Really bad time considering work and school are trying to kill me, but these have just been too good to pass up.

First, Rhode Island:

As you may recall, my friend Calvin had his appendix removed several weeks ago. I was able to go with him, his lovely mother, and Mel to Newport, Rhode Island to see the mansions. Holy goodness, the MANSIONS. But first, Newport is darling! I love coastal towns. We went to this little diner called Annie’s for lunch before touring, and they had the best food and best service. So cute. If ever you go to Newport, eat at Annie’s.

During the winter they only have three mansions open, so we were able to see the Elms (not like my old Elms in any way, shape, or form, and I’d take the Newport Elms over the Provo Elms any day), Marble House, and the biggest and grandest, the Breakers. Description really can’t do them justice: the Breakers had two rooms constructed in France, dismantled, shipped to the United States, and then put together again in the house. Who does that? People with money, apparently. And these were the summer homes they used for six weeks. Man.

The Breakers

Also, we discovered that Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt. Amazing.

Second, Virginia:

‘Twas Tualatin’s Spring Break in March, so my family headed out to visit Ryan and Karen in Leesburg. I was able to spend (almost) 48 hours with them, and it was so fun. We went to both the Spy Museum and the Newseum, which are so cool. We spent I think three hours in the Spy Museum and learned about everything from secret codes to disguises to weapons. Super interesting, and a lot of fun. The Newseum is also amazing, and I have to go back: among other things, they have an exhibit on the First Amendment, a room full of all the Pulitzer Prize-winning photos since 1950, an original printing press and newspapers since the 1600s (including one that discusses Blackbeard the pirate), and a very powerful 9/11 memorial.  

Newspapers from 9/11

Jessie made the same faces as the animals at the Natural History Museum


Also, I am hands down Ava Rose’s favorite extended family member, although she did like Mom quite a bit. Quite pleased with this accomplishment, if I do say so myself. And Carter G is still as adorable as ever.

Third, New Hampshire:

Last Friday (maybe Thursday?) Mel invited me to go with her and some other friends up to Mason, New Hampshire to go sugar mapling. So bright and early Saturday morning we went to pick up Calvin, Nathan, and Katie to head out. Okay, maple syrup is cool. And a freaking huge process. 40 gallons of sap from a maple tree makes only 1 gallon of syrup when it’s boiled down. ONE. And the later in the season it is, the higher the ratio goes. They’re also not allowed to add any flavors or sugar to it. Our guide was awesome; he was super snobby about syrup (kind of like me and cheese or ice cream or pitas) and said, “There’s a special place for people who add things to maple syrup…” Our assumption, of course, was that the special place is hell. Nope. “Prison.” So they really do jail you for tampering with maple syrup. For seals.

They had a restaurant, which we had to go to, and I had a delicious waffle with delicious maple syrup. Then we frequented the gift shop and sampled maple jelly beans (really mapley, wow), maple donuts (always delicious), and Mel bought some maple cream soda because it sounded so intriguing (it was intriguing; it really did taste like maple). The sun was shining, we didn’t lose Flat Stanley, and Mel’s car didn’t die like it will very soon. Great day.  

Me, Mel, Katie, Calvin, Nathan eating real maple syrup

Tomorrow I’m heading down to New York to play with Michael, Susie, Eli, and baby Nate. (Yay!) Then the next weekend we’re heading down to Southport, Connecticut for this. So totally jazzed about that one.

Stay tuned for those Eastern reports. They’ll rock. 

I suppose I should say that I have traveled a bit in Massachusetts too, to Lynnfield, Lynn, and . . . wherever the Red Robin was. Now I've forgotten. So it goes. Also, the Rhode Island picture was stolen from the great Calvin Olsen; the New Hampshire photo stolen from the lovely Katie Thornton. I did not take my camera to either state. I did take my phone, but I have no idea how to get the photos off of that. 


  1. fun! I definitely have been bitten by the travel bug! All the more reason for me to come visit you!

  2. So glad you are up for "adventures" as Grandpa calls them! We have been to Newport, too, and were amazed with the mansions. Always have wanted to do the maple syrup thing -