Saturday, 14 September 2013

From the 'Old' to the 'New' - England, that is!

Earlier this week DD and I flew back home from visiting my cousin and his wife in Merrimack, New England. We had a wonderful time touring various places (managed to clock up visits to four states!) and as cousin's wife is a chef we were VERY well fed! :-)

The new camera I got before my trip to Prague earlier this year came into good use. Before, I'd never got past the 'point and click' stage or even moved off the 'Smart' setting; however, my cousin is a whizz with photography so I picked his brains for a few pointers and under his careful tutelage I ventured into new 'territory' selecting the different features my camera has to offer!

Herewith (over the next few posts) some of the things we saw and got up to (I'll try to keep it in chronological order so I don't forget things!)
starting with a trip over the state line to Massachusetts:

Amazing restaurant in Lowell, 'Life Alive' - surprised by the wonderful food, as well as the interior decor!

Suitably replenished we strolled across the road to the New England Quilt Museum. There was a special display of antique quilts from Pennsylvania on view - some of the colours were as bright and fresh as they were originally. Although photos without flash were permitted for personal use we were told they could not be used on blogs or websites :-/  So, here's a link to their own site, if you're interested.

With handicrafts in mind, we ticked off one of our 'must do' items with a trip to 'Michaels'! Here in the UK the nearest thing we have is Hobbycraft - but it's weeny compared to Michaels. In anticipation of our visit DD and I had deliberately packed 'light' in order to leave plenty of room in our luggage for yarn, etc.!

Only half-way round the store!

A few days later, at a Labor Day BBQ, we learned of yet another craft store which out did even Michaels - so that was swiftly added to our itinerary and DD, together with my cousin's wife and I, decided to drop in for a quick look. A couple of hours later, the three of us had spent some serious money!

Some of our treasure!! I'll be posting about this on my alter-ego, The Knitting Assassin!

Next - a trip on a schooner out of Gloucester (Of 'Perfect Storm' fame)

One of the boats in the harbour

Hoisting sails on the 'Thomas E Lennon' - we declined the offer to join in!

Views around the shore

Back to the dock - and a view of the lobster buoys hanging from the rafters

A few days later we visited the Butterfly Place in Westford.
The photography 'lesson' for the day was 'close-ups'!

An Atlas or 'snakeshead' moth
(see the Snake-head image on the tips of the wings!)
This was a 'biggie' - about 8" across.

Butterflies weren't the only things in the enclosure:
Koi carp in one of the pools

Tiny Japanese Quail were scurrying about under our feet!

That's all for now........more to follow, as we venture into Vermont!


  1. When my British sister-in-law visits, she just plans on shipping it home.

    Lovely pictures. I enjoyed the food remark. My daughter owns a restaurant. When we travel together she already knows where we will eat.

    1. Joanne - I think we might have considered shipping if we'd purchased much more yarn!

      We certainly tried some exotic food - guided by our resident chef!

      Thanks for commenting :-)

  2. Your trip sounds like it was wonderful. The pictures are beautiful.

    1. Yvonne - it really was a super trip, thanks to our excellent hosts! :-)

      There are more pictures waiting for future posts.......!

      Thanks for stopping by :-)

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful visit to New England! Love your pictures! Yes, sadly, you came too early for foliage. Our peak is usually mid-October. But still looks like a beautiful trip!

    1. Alyson - we knew we'd miss the colours, travelling earlier to avoid crows (and the cost!)
      I've told my cousin to take lots of pictures of the woods behind his home when the Fall hits, though! ;-)

      Thanks for leaving a comment - much appreciated! :-)

  4. Hi Sue .. sounds like a lovely time - and beautiful views - great news having an expert give you pointers with the camera .. and you've done well .. love the moth and butterflies ..

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary - we did indeed have a good time, so many wonderful memories - and lots of pictures still to share in upcoming posts!

      Thanks for the comment! :-)

  5. Really truly gorgeous photos, Sue. That Life Alive looks like a perfect place to while away an afternoon and the snakeshead butterfly? Amazing... really looks like snake heads. And eight inches across???? HUGE! Love the old factory on the shore.

    Are you sure you bought enough yarn? Cause you might have left a strand or two back at the store.... :)

    1. there's plenty more yarn left over there, Cathy - cheek!! ;-p

  6. Beautiful photos! I envy your trip. It's been many years since I've been to New England and I'd really like to return one day. We have a Michael's not far from where I live, but we rarely go there since neither my wife nor I do much craft stuff. I do like to look around there. We need to get over there and get some frames for some prints we've acquired.

    Wrote By Rote

  7. Thanks, Arlee - we had a really lovely time and not just seeing the sights but also experiencing American Culture - quite different from the UK!

  8. Hello fellow blogger!
    I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read the nomination post (link below) and share the love. I was really chuffed to be nominated and have had great fun answering my nominator's questions and compiling questions for nominees.

    Congratulations, and keep up the good work!

    Now, if you are so inclined, click here: