After riding our bikes back to Boston via Harvard, Broadway, MIT and the east end of Boston, we walk through the Boston financial district and pick up the T at Park Street for a smooth ride back to Harvard Square. Frozen Yoghurt, from Pink Berry, provides a nice post lunch tang and we walk back to our apartment before heading out again to pick up a rental car just off Harvard Square.
Then, it’s off through the Northern parts from Cambridge, tracking back through Porter Sqare where we’d gone the night before to hear a couple of interesting bands at Toad, a bar which boasts Tracey Chapman as one of the previous discoveries. We hear The Silks, a band from Providence Rhode Island who have a lot of the Neil Young style going on and they do an excellent three part harmony rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall be Released‘
Then, it’s the turn of The Whiskey Boys, playing contemporary takes on traditional Celtic inspired American folk and bluegrass. All in all, a good night.
So, in our rental Mitsubishi, we cruise North to Reading and then on to Salem; which still carries the mystique of its association with witchcraft trials. Readers of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible‘ may identify with the setting. We find a nice bike shop and wander up and down the mall, where lots and lots of shops and other businesses are still drawing a link to the theme of witchery.
It’s then on to Marblehead, with beautiful light and almost every house decked out ready for the fourth of July.
The late afternoon lights the bay and the low tide provides a rich aroma of the sea as we begin our trip back toward Boston through small townships which proclaim their red white and blue.
In one of those unusual quirks of what just ‘happens,’ we take a wrong turn and end up having to cross a long causeway to a place called Nahant.
Lynette has the iPad operating in the passengers seat and is using Yelp to find places to go. We decide that it’s time for a relaxed fish and chips type dinner overlooking the water and Yelp finds us ‘Tides‘ restaurant and pub, overlooking Nahant Beach, where we enjoy some great Halibut, Chips and Coleslaw while watch the fading sun introduce pink hues to the late afternoon view.
Boston lies off in the southern distance as the flag flutters proudly in the dying sun’s rays.
Our trip back to Cambridge goes well until some navigational shenanigans which sees some freestyle direction finding and an eventual return, finding a street parking spot for the car and settling in for some relaxation before a busy day exploring to the South.
After a quick trip to feed some quarters into the parking meter, we do some Google maps research and head off down Massachusetts Avenue to the South, before hooking up with the 93, and off through Braintree and a few backroads before arriving in Plymouth, where the signs proclaim it to be ‘America’s Hometown.’
As the place where the pilgrims on the Mayflower forged their first settlement, and ate that first Thanksgiving dinner with hopes of creating a settlement free of persecution and with rules and systems to suit their beliefs, Plymouth is certainly a beautiful spot.
Lovely old homes soak up the bright sumer sun, and the sense of history is palpable.
We have another Yelp success, finding a coffee shop and then taking a walk around the historic foreshore, where memorials abound of those early years from around 1620, where the Mayflower survivors named the location after the place of their departure from England.
Further to the South and we reach the Cape Cod area, where we find a lovely bar/restaurant in Sandwich, where we sample their award winning entry in the annual ‘Best Sandwich in Sandwich’ competition: a plate of Chicken and Lobster sliders, adorned with a garnish of edible flowers.
All of this from another Yelp find, at Aqua Grille, overlooking the fishing fleet and canal.
The next door building typifies so many of the lovely buildings we have all seen on the movies. To see them right there, on a warm Cape Cod afternoon was great.
Due to time, we made the decision not to head further East to the Atlantic end of Cape Cod and turned West instead for Newport Rhode Island.
Newport didn’t disappoint
Away from the tourist throngs of the harbour area, beautifully kept grounds and magnificent homes abound, with classic windswept views of bays and gables, staring out across the water.
We find a spot down by the dock and watch the boats come and go, a decent coffee and apple pie at hand before setting off North again through Providence Rhode Island, with its Capitol: reminiscent of Washington and the busy freeway back to Boston