I’m still in Massachusetts as I write this, but I’m hanging out in a hotel room and wanted to share how my trip has been going so far.
First of all, I just love New England! I felt that way when we came up here on a family trip to Maine and I feel even more so now. I love the architecture and little towns and the brilliant fall colors and the history.
So, my trip started with a short flight on a beautiful day. I usually pull out my computer and watch a movie or work offline on some e-mail, editing, or writing, but I just sat in my seat, listened to music, and looked out the window.
The entire way.
I was looking specifically for cities that I recognized and was excited when I had a good view of New York City. (You can see Manhattan is the spit of land between the forked river. Central Park is a large rectangle in the middle of it. See it?)
We landed, pick up our luggage and rental car, and headed north from Boston to Portsmouth, NH. The GPS wanted to take us on 95, which is certainly the quickest, most direct route. But who wants to drive on 95 when you can drive on 1A? (Well, my husband when we’re on the way to Maine with two kids in the car, but other than him…) If you don’t know, 1A runs along coast, right up to the ocean in some places. My mom was the one who suggested it. I was a bit focused on getting where we needed to go, but my mom said, “Let’s be adventurous and ignore the GPS.” So, we did. We just turned east, knowing we would hit the ocean at some point.
We were treated with a winding road through small coastal towns and ocean views.
We rolled down the windows and rubbernecked at the amazing architecture and historical buildings. Oh, the houses. Oh, my old-home-loving friends…the houses!!
I just wanted to photograph them all and knock on the doors and ask for a tour. One town, Newburyport had me just about hyperventilating. One amazing three-story historic home with gorgeous details after another. It was a beautiful day and the whole experience felt like a gift.
We had a low-key evening at the hotel in Portsmouth, a charming sea-side town in New Hampshire. We got to eat dinner outside and tuck in early to be rested for the full day ahead.
The whole reason I came this way was to attend the Sage Farm Antiques Autumn Festival. Over 100 antique dealers set up in the quaint Victorian barn and surrounding buildings of the Rochester, NH fairgrounds.
I was brought there to teach two seminars – one on budget decorating and one on starting and running a creative business. I also helped out with a MMS Milk Paint demo, so it was a full day.
The show itself was amazing. I was tortured just about the entire time, because I didn’t drive up in my van and a large piece of furniture, which I was certain to fall in love with, wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment.
I have been looking for an old drafting table and guess what I found? Yep. An old drafting table. Actually, TWO drafting tables and a drafting stool. In addition, I found an antique counter that was a fabulous piece. The wood was buttery soft with age and it was only $350. I expected it to be at least $600, so I got all fluttery when I saw the price.
I did have an offer from someone to bring it down to PA for me, but I knew that it would mean dragging several people into moving a heavy piece and delivering it to me, just because I wanted it. I decided to let it go to someone else. There will always be more amazing pieces.
I did pet it quite a bit…
I bought a few little things I could fit in my suitcase, though, so I’ll share those pieces when I get back.
The evening was capped off with a good dinner with a business acquaintance I’ve been working with for a few years, but had never met. It’s so great when you can put a face to the voice and make more personal connections in the midst of doing business together.
I’m doing a meet and greet in Grafton, MA at Signature Finishes on Monday morning before I fly out, so Sunday was a free day, which is rare on these trips! Usually I fly in and out and don’t have much time to see the sights.
The weather was misery, so we didn’t get to walk around cute little New England towns as planned, but we did go to Salem and toured the House of the Seven Gables.
As a lover of old things, it was really neat to tour such an old home that was actually quite quirky. The tour included ascending a secret staircase that was built into an old chimney! It was a tight squeeze, but quite the experience.
I didn’t bring my Nikon, because of the rain, but here is a picture of the house from the outside. Built in 1668, it’s the oldest mansion in New England!
I wish I could’ve taken more pictures of the surrounding homes, but it was really raining and I wasn’t dressed for it at all!
So, maybe next time.
A few funny things about me when I travel. I always put a ridiculous pillow case on my pillow, so I don’t leave it at the hotel accidentally. This time, it’s a vintage flannel Peanuts pillow case. Yes, I look like I’m carrying around my blankie or something.
I also do not pack light, even when I really, really try.
I always get the “heavy” tag. I even did pack light-for-me this time, but I had to bring some of my sketching and painting supplies along, so that put me over.
And, I like to have options, so I usually pack a few extra clothes and accessories.
Despite lugging around a suitcase that feels like it’s full of bowling balls, it has been a wonderful trip.
Thank you, New England!
PS – Go Redskins!