#NewEngland #Fall road-trip diaries, travelling with our toddler #Travel #MondayBlogs

If you’ve been following these recent Monday blog posts you’ll know we like road-trips

Fall Colours

Fall Colours

Catch up with some of them here;

LA and back on a packet of crisps

Building US west coastal road so we could drive on


New York


New Zealand

Today’s road-trip is about when we went back to the US for a 10 day Fall trip to New England with our two year old.

Our trip began with an evening arrival in Boston, Massachusetts, this time I was armed with my stroller for use in the airports, which can be taken right up to the aeroplane doors and is essential for toddler travel. Our first stop was the coastal town of Portsmouth in New Hampshire. Coming from England and seeing familiar place names out of the environment we knew them in was a little strange. We also found that New England had more toll roads than we’d experienced before in the US.

Getting our fill of the number of states in this area of the US, we went over into Maine and visited Portland, enjoying the coastal road views and taking in some shopping.

The fall colours were amazing and we took our time enjoying scenic river banks. I fell in love with the covered bridges which are a tradition of New England. Built with roofs to keep the bridges open during the winter months. Stopping off at one of the many maple syrup farm shops we were invited around their little museum and given a talk about the maple extraction process. An added bonus was the local stories of the covered bridges being “sweet-heart” bridges, a place to meet your sweet-heart out of site of prying eyes.

We headed into the White mountains and slowly drove to the top of Mount Washington on some very tight and steep roads. (Approximately a 30 drive up and a 30-45 mins drive down) There’s a cog railway train you can take up but the 3 hour round-trip time was going to be too long to entertain our toddler on. For rally enthusiasts there is a “Climb To The Clouds” racing event each July on the Mount Washington auto- road where rally drives race to the top. The record stands at 6 mins and 9 secs set in 2014.

In Conway we stopped off at the steam railway centre

Our travels took us to Vermont and Burlington, we dined in one of those old fashioned train diner cars turned into a family diner and then indulged our daughter at the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, where we took the tour and she made a bear.

We did consider heading across to Niagara Falls, but we didn’t have the time this trip. Instead we headed back towards Boston, taking in the Boston Tea Ship which amazingly our little girl remembers today.

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Next Trip – Denver, Colorado and a rocky mountain white out experience.

Mauritius: An Indian Ocean Jewel #Travel #MondayBlogs

Welcome to the next instalment of my “Road-Trip” experiences.

View from our beach hut

View from our beach hut

Hubster and I were lucky to be able to honeymoon in Mauritius and it was the only time I could tie him down to a beach based holiday, where he didn’t hire a car. With a June wedding we then headed to the summer hemisphere in their autumn, a twelve hour flight had us arriving at the airport which is found in the south east of the island. We were greeted in arrivals by a swarm of eager baggage handlers, grabbing our bags and taking them only a short distance to a waiting mini-bus, welcome to Africa.

We’d booked a hotel at Trou-aux-Biches (sounds great in French, the English translation is mouth of bitches!)  It’s on the north of the island and settled down to a long ride, passing sugar plantations and the capital Port Louis as we dropped other passengers off at different hotels. The wait was worth it, we had a straw thatched hut on the beach- front. We shared this with geckos and one night a cockroach.

For a week the hubster prowled the beach, pool and gardens, we took a pedalo out to the reef where we got it stuck for a while and another time we booked a glass bottomed boat tour around the bay. We hired bicycles and rode to Grand Baie and walked along the beach to the local supermarket for affordable drinks and snacks, our package included breakfast and evening meals but no lunch.  One of my favourite foods was delicious vanilla tea and one of the best meals was a honeymoon special candlelit dinner with lovely fresh seafood.

After a week we had a phone call from a friend of a friend, who lived on the island. They offered to show us some of the sights, which was great as we had little money left for excursions after paying for the wedding. The wife of the doctor came with her driver/ body-guard, they explained that people of many faiths live easily side-by-side in Mauritius, however there were obvious restrictions to how the Doctor’s wife spent her days, the body-guard paid for everything and negotiated all our entrance fees to places. There were many unfinished homes with scaffolding left up for years, because only when a house was finished did the occupants have to pay tax on it. They took us to Grande Bassin a natural volcanic lake and place of religious pilgrimage, where cheeky monkeys competed for attention. Next we went to the National Botanical gardens at Pamplemousse home to giant lily’s and wide variety of palm trees. Another day they took us to Ile aux Cerfs with its beautiful beaches and our final trip was to a Giant tortoise and Crocodile nature reserve without them we would have missed much of the local flora and fauna and it was great to see a place from the POV of those who lived on the island, rather than just from the tourist perspective.

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Next week, New Zealand with a nine month old child.

New York, New York, is there a marathon on? Road-Tripping #Travel #MondayBlogs

Welcome to my series of road-trips, this weeks memory is from when the hubster and I went to New York for five days.

FIVE DAYS! Surely a couple of country mice can survive the city for five days?

Not long after the hubster and I (still pre marriage and no kids) moved into our first home together, the hubster got a job working nights for weeks on end. This didn’t quite match my image of “playing house” and although I understood the need for work, I got the hump about it after several months. So feeling guilty he treated me to a surprise trip to New York.

Shock number #1 middle isle seats on the aeroplane, with no view out of the window, I’d always got a window seat when flying, I love looking down on the world. So there’s me getting the shock of my life when shortly after take off there is such a loud noise below me that it had me convinced the plane was falling apart. (Hands up who guessed I was sat over the retracting wheels?)

JFK was busy and we took a taxi to our hotel down a street off of Times Square. Our room was tiny and we had a disagreement over the price on check-in, apparently there was a little running event taking place that weekend and room rates were through the roof (ahem, we hadn’t noticed the signs about the  New York Marathon!)

I’m sure loads of you readers have been to New York, but for those who haven’t, click on some of the links that might interest you. Looking back we tended to visit outside places, however we did go to Macy’s, Bloomingdales and FAO Schwarz for a bit of shopping. We took a boat trip around Manhattan, then bought tickets for the tourist hopper bus, just sitting on here doing the route round was a great experience. We went to Staten Island, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers (yes it was way before 9/11), cycled around Central Park, bought discount tickets in Times Square to see Grease on stage and one afternoon took a pot luck ticket at a cinema and watched a film called “Stargate” which was to become one of our favourite TV sciFi shows a few years later.

With a city which never sleeps, and pounding our feet on concrete pavements, five days was enough. We nearly missed our flight home as roads were clogged with all the post marathon decamp from the city, good job our flight was delayed, home we came to the green, green countryside, peace and quiet – Phew!

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Next week a honeymoon in Mauritius