After leaving NYC we started a mini road trip through Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts; three of the six states that make up New England. An area known for seafood, pilgrims, beaches, boats and rich people. Let’s take a look at the map:
New Haven, Connecticut
Our first stop was New Haven, Connecticut, the home of Yale University. We caught up with Andrew’s cousin who is a student there, ate delicious pizza, attended a not so secret gathering of a ‘secret society’ and toured the beautiful campus.
It’s modelled on the likes of Oxford and Cambridge in England, but built a lot more recently. The architects went to great pains to make the place look authentic, even burying roof tiles at different depths in the New England sound to get that aged look. They also strategically broke windows and poured acid down walls. Dedication!
Newport, Rhode Island
Our next stop along the road was Newport, Rhode Island, known for its row of opulent mansions or ‘summer homes’ built by the Vanderbilts and other shipping, railroad and mining barons of America.
They liked their holiday homes big.
There’s a cliff walk through the Bellevue Avenue historical district that allows you to ogle at these beauties. The mansions all have oceanfront views of the Atlantic. As you can see we could not have got a more dreary day for it.
It was during dinner at The Mooring that I had my first clam chowder of the trip:
Not pretty but delicious! As was my 1 1/4 pound lobster:
Not the best photo, thanks to the low lighting in the restaurant.
Onwards to Cape Cod, Massachusetts!
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
We drove to Woods Hole to get the ferry across to Martha’s Vineyard, an island 6km south of the mainland. According to Wikipedia its known for being ‘an affluent summer colony’ once enjoyed by the Kennedys and more recently, a holiday destination of Clintons and the Obamas.
Our first afternoon was pretty gloomy:
On our first night we ate at Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, shockingly I had the chowder. It was good.
We stayed outside Oak Bluffs, a town known for its somewhat bizarre collection of gingerbread style cottages. They’re in an area that began as a Methodist summer camp in the late 1800s. First they camped in tents pitched on the ground, then tents pitched on wooden platforms then they upgraded to wooden cottages. Apparently they are worth a mint nowadays. A lot of them are owned by families, passed down generation to generation.
And they are super creepy.
It was deserted while we were there and had a Hansel and Gretel vibe going on.
Ugh lets get out of there!
There is a super cute candy store on the main street.
Oak Bluffs is home to the oldest platform carousel still in operation. It was built in 1876 and moved from Coney Island to Martha’s Vineyard in 1884.
It was hard to get a photo of the carousel in focus unfortunately. And I didn’t want to stand there for a while and creepily take photos while other peoples’ children were on it!
The ocean is only a few blocks away.
I absolutely love all the wood shingle houses in New England. So dreamy.
We drove along the shore past Joseph Sylvia State Beach.
So blue. Not sure what my obsession with photographing dead crab parts is all about?!
We drove to Edgartown, where the classiest, most beautiful homes are. White weatherboard, wood shingle, black shutters and white picket fences as far as the eye can see.
Stunning. What I would give to own one of these beauties.
We stopped for a coffee in a sunny courtyard and my dad fell asleep in his chair, snoring loudly. It was hilarious and I filmed it but he would probably be unimpressed if I shared it on this blog. I’ll keep it for a rainy day.
Right near here is where the smaller Chappaquiddick Island is separated by a narrow stretch of water. Chappaquiddick Island became famous in 1969 when Senator Ted Kennedy’s car crashed into the water, trapping and killing his young colleague Mary Jo Kepechne. Ted was meant to be driving Mary Jo to catch the last ferry back to Edgartown after a party on the island. She did not tell her close friends at the party that she was leaving, and she left her purse and keys behind. The was not en route to Edgartown when it crashed. Ted got out alive and did not report the incident to police, they found the car the next morning.
Being a big Kennedy fan, Dad made us go look at the stretch of water.
On our last morning we drove down to South Beach.
Very cold and windy.
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
That afternoon we got the ferry back to the mainland and drove to Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. On the waterfront at Hyannis Port is where the three houses that make up the Kennedy compound are. The Kennedy family holidayed there and it was known as the summer White House during JFK’s presidency.
We visited a small museum in Hyannis Port that details JFK’s time on Cape Cod, they had lots of great photos.
We stayed on the bottom floor of a really cute house in Hyannis:
I had a retro prawn cocktail and a cup of clam chowder (not photographed).
The next day we drove through blustery Plymouth on our way up to Boston. It was unbearably freezing (I know, we are weak!) so we literally jumped out of the car for two minutes to get a look at where the pilgrims landed.
Then we went for clam chowder! It was at a place called The Cabby Shack and probably the best chowder of the trip, so thick and creamy you could practically see the calories dripping off the spoon…
That afternoon we arrived at the Harvard Club of Boston for our final days in New England.