What do three lobster rolls, four apple cider donuts, a large slice of sausage pizza, one bowl of New England clam chowder, a large Nutella cannoli, and a dish of homemade black raspberry ice cream all have in common? They were all eaten by me this past weekend.
Why did I eat with such abandon?Well, I was accomplishing number 36 on my List of 50 Things: “Complete a visit to all 50 States: Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts,” and I had a lot of food to try. With all of the food I ate, I felt a little like Templeton the rat in the animated movie, Charlotte’s Web, staggering around the fair with a belly full of food.
Growing up, we took a road trip nearly every summer. As a result, we visited a lot of the contiguous United States, and the states we didn’t visit, I visited as an adult. However, four states remained elusive until this past weekend. I think they would have remained elusive forever if I hadn’t added them to my List of 50 Things.
As all Easterners know, the best time to visit New England is in the fall. So, I made plans to visit these last four statesover my son’s Fall Break (like Spring Break but in the fall). We took a red eye from SLC to Boston last Thursday night and arrived early in the morning to pick up our rental car. Our hotel room was ready for us, so we crashed as soon as we arrived. After a quick nap, my son and I left for Boston’s North End to try out cannolis and lobster rolls.
After finding the perfect parking spot, we headed over to Pauli’s on Salem. Having never eaten a lobster roll before, I had no idea what to expect. The line outside the small take-out restaurant looked promising, and we placed our order. About 10 minutes later, our name was called, and we took our food to a table outside on the sidewalk.
A lobster roll consists of meat-claw, knuckle, and tail meat from a lobster served on a toasted bun. It can be served warm with butter (“Connecticut roll”) or cold with mayo (“Maine roll”). Of all the different lobster rolls we tried during our trip, our favorite was the Connecticut roll from Pauli’s.
While in Boston, we ate cannolis at Mike’s Pastry, pizza at Regina’s, and clam chowder at the Boston Chowda Co. Everything was just as we had imagined it would be—but better. After spending the day in Boston and walking The Freedom Trail to see historical sites like The Paul Revere House, we headed up to Ogunquit, Maine on Saturday.
In Ogunquit, we went lobstering (a post for later this week). At first, my son wasn’t thrilled to go. However, by the end of the boat excursion, neither of us wanted it to end. In total, we (Captain Tom) caught around 10 lobsters and a crab with a metal trap lowered into the water off the side of the boat. The most he’d ever caught in one trap was 31.
After a beautiful day on the ocean, we walked The Marginal Way, a meandering footpath along the coast. Here, I found my future Maine summer home and took some beautiful pictures as we walked.
On Sunday, we went to church and then headed further north to see some lighthouses in Cape Elizabeth and Portland. Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth was the very first lighthouse built by the U.S. Government. Completed in 1791, it is also the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. I always used to think that Maine had the most lighthouses. However, that distinction actually goes to Michigan, which has 124 lighthouses. Maine only has 65. During our trip to Maine, we were able to see four of them. After visiting the lighthouses, we drove south through New Hampshire (beautiful fall leaves) and on to Connecticut.
When I first planned the trip back East, I hadn’t originally included Connecticut since I had already been there. However, a trip to New England wouldn’t be complete without a visit to an apple orchard.
Lapsley Orchard is a 200-acre farm in Pomfret, Connecticut and has been producing food since early colonial days. It has great apples and pumpkins, but Lapsley Orchard is famous for their apple cider donuts. Since we hadn’t yet had dinner, this made our decision easy. We would have donuts and cider for dinner. Although we started off with only a half-dozen donuts, they were so good that we decided to buy another half-dozen to take back with us to Utah. I had to share these yummy donuts with the other kids.
By the time we finished at the Orchard, it was approaching evening, so we decided to make our way east through Rhode Island and on towards Cape Cod—our last stop. Unfortunately, we hit traffic again and Cape Cod at night didn’t seem that appealing. We would have to save Cape Cod for another trip.
After several wrong turns, we finally arrived at our hotel near the Boston airport. I couldn’t believe our New England trip was over, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Time flies when you’re trying to pack in as many sites (and food) as possible in three days.
Once settled in our hotel room, we climbed into our matching queen beds to watch the movie, Four Feathers. However, the donuts dipped in cinnamon and sugar and the delicious apple cider kept tempting us from across the room. Suddenly, I felt like a crack addict needing one more hit.
I’m embarrassed to admit that we ended up polishing off ALL six remaining donuts and cider that night. Given how much food we ate over the entire trip (and when I say “we” I mean “I”), the obvious lack of self-control on our last night shouldn’t be that surprising. Please don’t let my other kids know I ate their donuts. What happens in New England stays in New England.