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Our refuge in Maine

Friday, October 21st, 2011

October 1st -3rd

After a long day “on the road”, we finally arrived in York Beach, the final destination of our U.S.A. road trip. We were meeting one of my good friends from my B.U. days, Jacquie, at her parents’ house. They had graciously agreed to let us leave our car there for a few weeks while we returned to France. Since I last saw Jacquie at her wedding three years ago, she’s had two beautiful little girls. We arrived around 8pm, just as the girls had got to sleep. We went to a yummy seafood restaurant for dinner (the specialty of the Maine Coast) and caught up old times and future plans.

The next morning, Jacquie’s parents, Mary Lou and Jean-Marie spoiled us with a big American breakfast. They were my adoptive family when I was in college and I spent a lot of holidays with them because it wasn’t always easy to return to Florida.

The weather was terrible- It was pouring rain. So, we took advantage of the day to relax and prepare our suitcases for our trip to Europe. I also spent a little time looking at job offers online. Jacquie had given me some leads. Finally, I really started to imagine what the next stage of our life might be like.

On Monday, the day of our flight to Europe, we woke up to a beautiful day.  The sun was shining and the sky was blue. We needed some fresh air before going to the airport so we took a walk to see the York lighthouse, a classic New England lighthouse that sits on a rock off the mainland.  To access it the guardian has to take a funicular which is suspended in the air above the ocean.

Mid-afternoon, Mary Lou and Jean-Marie drove us to the bus in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We took a very swanky bus to Logan Airport in Boston. We had some extra time so I called my mom and spent some time catching up on email. Finally it was time to board the plane to Reykjavik, Iceland. I don’t think it had even occurred to me that we were going to a new country that we had never visited before or that our trip in the United States was coming to an end.

The Final Sprint: 4 states in one day

Friday, October 21st, 2011

October 1st

We started the day with a cozy Saturday morning breakfast with Michelle and Noah (Toby had left early for work)- warm bagels and cream cheese and a real cappuccino. After a rainy night, the clouds were starting to break up and we could see a little sunshine and blue sky. Hopefully, Michelle would be able to take a long walk outside with Noah to enjoy the day. We had a long day on the road ahead of us.   Our first stop was near Worcester, Massachusetts. We stopped at Wal-Mart to do a little Christmas shopping (legos and electronics for the family in France.) We had a quick lunch at Subway (it was too cold to picnic outside.) Then we crossed the state of Massachusetts. We finally arrived in Gloucester, where we had an appointment with our future landlord to visit our apartment. We rented a short-term apartment for a couple of months to give us some time to get organized and find a job. Gloucester is a cute little fishing village. It’s also the oldest port in the U.S. and our apartment is in the basement of a house on top of a hill overlooking the ocean. It seems like the perfect place to recharge our batteries for a couple of months while we organize our life “post the big trip.”

From Gloucester, we followed the coast up to York, Maine. It was a slow road, slower than we expected, so we cut back to the highway 95. Just at the New Hampshire border, we made a stop at the state liquor store to buy some more gifts for the family in France. New Hampshire doesn’t tax liquor so it’s the cheapest in the region. I guess we’ll make the trip up from time to time to restock our “bar.” We finally arrived in Maine. Four states in one day: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.  It’s a big change from the West where you could spend days driving across the same state.