USA Part 3, Portland to Sturbridge

and THE WEDDING !!

If you missed part 1 and 2, here they are : USA Trip Part 1, and Part 2.

You find us on day 8 of our trip, leaving the peace and tranquility of Toddy Pond, near Surry, and setting off down to Portland, retracing some of our step from 2 days ago.

This time we took pictures of the Penobscot Narrows bridge, and Fort Knox on Verona island as we passed by, plus a house with crazy stuff outside. I love the watering cans feature.

As we had to leave Portland early the next day, we hurried this trip to give us time in Portland.

Our Airbnb was a good walk out of town, but through a nice park. However, having arrived in town, we struggled to find anything of interest. After a lot of walking around, and finding a restaurant recommended by Kelsey, but finding they only offered sea food, and the men saying no thanks, we split up (not with the men!).

Ian and I stopped for an ice-cream, then wandered around the few posh shops we found, and saw a couple of old buildings.

We then decided to just find food, and go back to the apartment.

We dined in Rosie’s, and cut across the hill, a rather dull and uninspiring walk until we reached Back Cove Park. We realised later that Kirsty and Jason had dined, in the same seats even, as us, just before we arrived at Rosie’s.

That evening I googled what to do in Portland for a day, and most of the suggestions seemed to suggest drive out of Portland! Sorry Portland.

Even though we had to leave early, I insisted we stop at at least one lighthouse while on this coast, so Jason drove us over to Bug Light, a cute light lighthouse across the Fore River for a few photos.

Satisfied with that, we set off down the coast, and as I never obtained a pencil (did I mention I collect Souvenir Destination pencils?) or a patch for my camera bag from new Hampshire, we stopped off in Portsmouth, as it sits just below the border from Maine.

IMG_1355After a couple of circuits of the one-way system, we parked and wandered into town, finding more cute shops, and a patch, but no pencil. We had a delicious Maple Mocha coffee and set off again, and arrived early afternoon at Old Sturbridge Inn Lodges

The plan had been for me to join a hike with Kelsey and Co as part of her hen do, but the weather was turning wet, and our delays travelling and checking in to the Lodges meant I was too late. However Kelsey, Jen and Susan had a good hike despite the rain.

We got ourselves ready for the evening. The men were off to a relatives barn for Andy’s stag do, and we girls first went to Cedar Street Grille for food to sustain us.

Most of the ladies chose the Cedar Mac’n’Cheese and were not disappointed, while I opted for the Pumpkin and Squash Risotto with Scallops – this was definitely the best meal of my trip, delicious. It was also a great chance to finally meet the ladies in Kelsey’s family.

We then moved on to Rapscallion Brewery for beer, and fun and games, and a few tears when Jen played the video of messages and photos the ladies had sent in for the happy couple.

Being a sensible bunch, and as many of the party had driven out to the brewery, we all departed fairly early (and fairy sober), back to our residences.

I later found that the men were not so well behaved, and Andy (the groom-to-be) was so drunk, he had fallen over and cut his eyebrow, and was taken back to Richards where he was sick in his bed. Men! Luckily, the wedding make-up artist managed to cover his black eye for the wedding.

Thursday was a free day until the evening, so after breakfast at the Hotel ( a very poor affair with lots of single use plastic dishes/cups etc), we wandered around town to while away the morning.

Later on we visited Old Sturbridge Museum, a village of buildings rebuilt or recreated to show New England life in the past.

It is really pretty and lots to look at and do. The tavern here was the venue for the wedding reception tomorrow.

 

Pete and Jess arrived that afternoon, and a minibus came to take a crowd of us to the wedding rehearsal meal.

This was held at The Lost Towns micro brewery, they had named 2 beers after the bride and groom, and a mobile catering van provided a delicious spread for us.

We started with wonderful nibbles, then had pulled pork, and some beef, all very tasty. The bad news is that Ian swallowed a chunk of pork belly Burnt Ends that was too large, and it stuck, meaning he couldn’t eat or drink any more, but hoping it would clear itself we stayed to the end, and had a good chat to Kelsey’s relatives and friends

IMG_4419The minibus driver eventually dragged us out and took us back. Ian was still not right, but felt OK, and managed to get some sleep.

However the next morning (wedding day!), he was still unable to swallow, so Jason took us to the local hospital, where they gave him a couple of injections, and when that didn’t clear it, suggested we go to a larger hospital.

But we had come here for the wedding, and while in discomfort, he wasn’t in any danger, we chose to go to the wedding, and then find the hospital, so he discharged himself.

So again we got our glad rags on, and all glammed up, set off to Richard and Susan’s house, where the ceremony was to take place.

What a gorgeous house, set in lovely fall woodlands.

The wedding ceremony was wonderful, with charming readings, and Andy and Kelsey had appropriate vows, and their dog, Higgs, got lots of mentions, and was there in cardboard form if not in person dogson. Thank you to the official photographer for these shots, I’m sure Kelsey will post more in her blog.

Congratulations to the happy couple, and welcome to our family Kelsey ❤️.

And a huge thank you to Richard and Susan for helping arrange such a wonderful day, and their great hospitality.

With my son married, the rest of the guests headed back to Sturbridge for the reception, while we went to Baystate Hospital, where we were treated like royalty, due to our finery, and us missing the wedding party, and eventually the offending Burnt End was removed, and Ian was sorted. So we caught an Uber back, and managed to join the last hour of the party. I won’t embarrass everyone with the drunken photos.

To finish on a happy note, the next morning was a post wedding brunch, in the Garden Room at Sturbridge Museum, and Andy had arranged a cake for Ian’s 60th birthday.

 

DSC_4995My crazy family!

DSC_4997

It all turned out well in the end, so I will leave here, to pick up the end of our trip in Part 4.

 

Author: jaynesshardlow

Keen traveller, gardener, sailor,and dog lover, on adventures with my husband Ian, family ,friends and of course dogs Reggie and Rita

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