Vistas are beautiful, but people make the journey

My wife and I returned yesterday from a wonderful trip to New England. Flying into Boston, we ventured north to Maine for a few days returning to Boston for a brief visit then traveling southwest to Connecticut to see more family. The vistas and scenery were terrific, but what made the trip so special was visiting with our nieces, nephews and friends.

Our first stop was in Bar Harbor, Maine, which is quite the place. It sits on an island reached by driving, that mostly consists of the Acadia National Park, a true treasure. On Saturday, we met up with our niece and nephew (and his son) who live in Maine. Our niece loves showing her favorite place off to visitors and she traveled up from Portland to be our tour guide.

We all met at her favorite breakfast restaurant.  We hiked two separate gardens – Thuya and Asticou gardens – and then ventured into the park to see lakes, mountains, beaches and beautiful scenery, returning to Bar Harbor for an early dinner.Spending all day with them was a treat and allowed us to get to know them. We had never met our great-nephew and not seen his father in over ten years.

On the way to Boston, we hugged the coast at the suggestion of my wife’s brother and saw more vistas and extremely quaint towns. Boston offers so much, but our time was limited as our relatives in Connecticut said they would love to have us stop by for dinner before we left. So, we did two walking tours downtown probably walking as much or more than we did in Maine.

Like true world-class cities, Boston has beautiful parks in the downtown area, the Public Garden and Boston Commons. Later we visited the Back Bay Fens Victory Garden, which is a few blocks from Fenway Park, the famous baseball stadium. Boston is a pedestrian friendly city with wonderful architecture, restaurants, river and bay shorelines and markets. We did do the Quincy Market, which is a treat and went down to the bay. I realize we had only a small taste of Boston, but it was nice.

Our final destination was to drive past Hartford to a small town in western Connecticut. There we saw another niece who had moved with her two kids to her mother’s, who we also know. Our niece had to separate from the children’s father and was living with her mother, her mother’s second husband and their two kids. We had not seen our niece in over ten years and had not seen her mother in 31 years, as she was in our wedding along with our niece.To say we had a delightful time is an understatement as my wife was good friends with the mother. Her husband and other two children were a delight as were our niece’s kids.

The reason we had not seen them is divorce affects more than just the couple. My wife’s brother, who is the father of the children, lives near us and we love his third wife dearly. The niece in CT was his first child and my wife became friends with her mother. After their divorce, my brother-in-law married his second wife and had two children who were our tour guides in Maine. So, we lost touch with his kids and his first wife, who he remains very amicable with. This trip was so meaningful and exceeded our expectations to reconnect. We sensed that they enjoyed reconnecting with family, as well.

I mention this has it is never too late to reach out. Don’t miss the opportunity to reconnect. Seeing his first wife after thirty-one years is now a treasured experience and we have invited them to come down. It was truly like old times and she looked forward to our visit as much as we did. While we had just seen one of our nieces after a long  ten year hiatus, seeing her with her brother in Maine was truly joyful. These two lovely days made the trip even more worthwhile, even more so than the beautiful vistas.



27 thoughts on “Vistas are beautiful, but people make the journey

  1. I always love to hear when people don’t lose contact due to distance, time, and most of all divorce. I am very happy for you and your wife that you met so many of your loved ones.
    I have been to Boston twice but visited the same places (more or less) both times since it was 15 years between the visits. But nothing really had changed. Boston is the cleanest and most well-kempt city I have ever seen in the States. As you said, it is very pedestrian friendly. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us, Keith!

  2. Note to Readers: I did not want to intrude on the key theme of the post, but we went to an improvisational comedy place in Bar Harbor called ImprovAcadia, which was staffed by former Second City people from Chicago. It was lots of fun.

    On the humorous side was getting lost in Boston when we panicked at a sign that said the Toll Booth would not take cash and we exited the highway. Thank goodness for GPS. Also, our B&B in
    Boston was so small that I could almost touch both walls at the same time, with a bathroom down the hall. Of course, that would have been fine, but too much water at dinner proved to be a liability causing frequent trips down the squeaky hall.

  3. Keith, I love hearing stories about peoples reconnecting with family. I find it sad when peoples tell me that they have not seen a family member for many years. During the trip, it also sounds like you saw a lot of beautiful scenery. I’ve never been on a trip without getting lost at least once. I just put it down as part of the experience.I hope the weather wasn’t so hot. You are blessed, Gronda

    • Gronda, many thanks. The weather was outstanding. The only rain we got was as we were leaving Bar Harbor, but they needed it. It is nice to reconnect with family. As for getting lost, that is part of the package, I think. I did learn at the end of October, Boston tolls will be all EZPass paid with no cash. So, when we return….Keith

    • Many thanks. It started out as a trip for sightseeing and then we said, let’s reach out to my brother-in-law’s children. I am so glad we did. I have some blogging friends in the Northwest and we have been trying to figure out the best mix without driving too much. It may start in Vancouver and end in Boise, Idaho or reverse that. We want to see Seattle and Portland and the mountains nearby, as well. I have been to Seattle on business, but that was twenty years ago. I also heard good things about Victoria Island there.

      • Hey Keith, that sounds so exciting! Do let me know when you plan on coming to Vancouver then. Yes Victoria island is a great choice for a day visit lots of sightseeing to do and Vancouver is a good start for a road trip through the pacific north west. We are 2 hours away from Seattle and 5 from Portland so it’s a perfect road trip!

  4. That sounds like a great trip! How nice that you were able to reconnect with people you care for. I agree that as nice as sightseeing can be, the connections (whether with new friends or old) made along the way really do make the trip.

    Funny story about our only trip (many years ago) to Bar Harbor: It was late in the fall season and we called ahead to book a room in a bed and breakfast establishment we saw advertised. When we got there, we found that the bathroom we were suppose to use was upstairs and down a long hallway and our room contained two twin beds, situated across the room from each other. Neither was a huge deal as we are pretty flexible and were grateful to have a place to stay. Then the next morning, we couldn’t find anybody to tell us where to go for the breakfast portion of the “Bed and Breakfast” we had booked. We hung around for about an hour, hoping that someone would appear… nothing. Finally we left. We figured that they had no intention of feeding us breakfast and just hid until we went away.

    • Thanks again for stopping by, MW. This journey was special. In fact, one of the nieces will be joining us for Thanksgiving where her Dad and his wife will join us.

  5. Wow, Keith thank you for pointing me to this post. It makes me long even more for my bucket-list trip to New England. Also, the aspect of reconnecting with family has a soft spot in my heart. I am so glad you were able to do that. My family is very small and fractured. Unfortunately, those who are left are very set in their ways. But I am still hopeful. Hearing about your visits fans that hope!

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