As I sit in my hotel room on my last day in New England, looking at a stunning view of the Charles River and the early morning crews rowing to their hearts’ content, I’m struck with a feeling that I’ve experienced throughout my New England breakfast journey…gratitude. Webster’s, well, actually Google defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. And, that pretty much defines where I’ve been hanging the past few days.
First my trip began with my friend Pam and her husband, Tom who – for some God forsaken reason – said yes to driving me from Palm Springs to LAX. In my opinion, that is a GIANT ask. But, I had to ask since my husband was busy working (helping to fund a future breakfast trip). Without blinking an eye, they said yes and would not accept anything in return. It was the best send off.
Next, I found myself in Boston at Enterprise Rent-a-Car where their associate, Spencer Dixon, greeted me with a warm smile and a friendly disposition…it was much needed after a long flight on the redeye where I got ZERO sleep.
I then made my way to Portland, Maine to Finn’s home (for you airbnb-ers). I’m not quite sure why this happens, but there have been times when I book my travels and have moments when my brain shuts off. I like to call them brain farts. And, inevitably, I’ll miss a flight because I think it’s leaving at 6:50 when it’s really leaving at 6:30 or I’ll book a room for the wrong day, which was the case in Maine. But, at least when I got off the plane in Boston I was able to sleep for just a little bit and freshen up in a beautiful, clean home (thanks Finn, Joe and Tyson) to then eat Maine’s favorite breakfast at the Bayou Kitchen in Portland.
My post about that experience will come next week. But once again, thank you to Karl and Pat at Bayou for making me feel right at home and for the unexpected, but delightful trip to the Louisiana Bayou with your inspired Cajun cuisine.
Next up was a LONG trip to Burlington, Vermont. When I got there I was dead tired so I was looking forward to a nice comfy bed. My post about this experience will come later as well since it is very much a cautionary tale of false advertisement. Nevertheless, I did find my way to beautiful Lake Champlain and the Hilton hotel that overlooks it. A big THANK YOU to Ben who somehow managed to find me the in-desperate-need-of-a-room-never-been-to-Burlington-Vermont rate. It was the perfect rate for someone traveling on a bargain-basement budget.
After a long night’s sleep, I felt refreshed. Good thing because my next stop was meeting Earl Handy, owner of Vermont’s favorite breakfast spot – Handy’s Lunch in Burlington – and who happens to be one of the most energetic, friendly people on the planet. Thank you to Earl and his crew for an incredible experience. I felt right at home…except, at home, I don’t believe I’ve ever actually eaten breakfast with my Mayor. Yep, I had breakfast with Miro Weinberger, the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Mayor Weinberger, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule that day to eat breakfast!
Next stop was Sunapee, New Hampshire – and to another airbnb location. I was extremely nervous considering the experience I had at the Burlington airbnb, but when I drove up and saw the host’s smiling face my fears were quickly allayed. Thank you to Berit – your hospitality and your home were a perfect introduction to New Hampshire. I MUST go back.
Onto New Hampshire’s favorite breakfast at Daddypops Tumble Inn Diner where owner Debbie and her coworker Minette made me feel like I was an old friend passing through town.
After New Hampshire I was on the road to Milford, Connecticut for Connecticut’s favorite breakfast at the Corner Restaurant (Corner Brunch on Facebook). But before that I was able to catch up with my friend, John Wells and his wonderful wife Kristine. Thank you both for opening up your warm and inviting home, but more importantly, thank you for the company and the laughs!
Next was the Corner Restaurant who treated my visit like the event of the season. I was so overwhelmed by the greeting. I couldn’t believe everything you did for my visit, I felt like a celebrity. Yet, at the same time, I felt like family so thank you for that. I’d like to also extend a big thank you to the Ben Blake, the Mayor of Milford, Connecticut and to their City Attorney John Berchem for making time to support Corner. Milford is definitely A Small City with a Big Heart!
Onto Rhode Island’s favorite breakfast spot…the Kountry Kitchen in Greenville. Thank you to the Brothers Delos – Thierry and Lionel – who each took time from cooking to meet with me and to introduce me to some delicious French-influenced breakfasts. Amazing. I’d also like to thank, Elizabeth, who kept that celebrity feeling going! I felt incredibly special and I loved my Little Lee Menu and the Kountry Kitchen baseball cap!!
After Rhode Island, my husband and I had a half a day to spend exploring Martha’s Vineyard. A special thank you to Skip and Caroline who invited us into their super sweet home – one of the many unique and quaint gingerbread homes in Oak Bluffs. It was an unanticipated surprise.
My final visit was to Massachusetts’s favorite breakfast spot at Toast in Hull. Owners Steve Cassevoy and Audrey Berman greeted me with a sandwich board sign, balloons and bucket of all things “Toast.” I was truly overwhelmed by your hospitality as well as your welcome!
Just re-reading all of this fills my heart with great joy. Please check back next week as I will post photos and blogs about each restaurant and my experiences at each one!
Thank you, New England. You treated me well and for that I am grateful…and, stuffed.