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Exploring New England

Lowell_1I love to explore new places. My neighborhood, my town, the local area, and neat places within a day’s drive or so. It’s the reason I enjoy moving. I get to dig deep into areas I’d normally only cover with a quick pass.

There are lots of ways to find hidden gems. I start by running. I’ve pretty much covered all of Hanscom AFB on foot now (it’s a fairly small base), and I already found a new commuting route for my husband. You know, to shave his ten minute drive down a bit. 😉 (He deserves this after his long trip to/from the Pentagon every day for four years. We’re all excited to have him around more.)

Last weekend we took a drive just to get out of the hotel. We headed up to Lowell for lunch and then into New Hampshire to look around (and check another state off my list).


I’m excited that Lowell is so close. I remember learning about this birthplace of American industry in my Textiles class at Cal Poly, and I’d like to visit the Smithsonian museum up there. Plus, it’s a cute town with a great little vegetarian restaurant. 🙂

Even closer to home we have Lexington and Concord. (Did anyone else have to read April Morning in school?) The American Revolution started here, and I remember some really cool cemeteries from my visit as a teen. I’m not into the macabre, but the headstones have interesting inscriptions and date back to the 1600s.

Of course, we’re less than 20 miles from Boston, close to the beach, finally have easy access to the whale watching tours (I’ve been trying to do this for years!), not to mention the rest of New England, Montreal, and Quebec are within a day’s drive.

I’m not too keen on winter weather, but I’m looking forward to all of the cool places we have around us to explore. Maybe I’ll take up snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Really, the hardest part will be choosing where to go next!

Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    I am so excited that I will get to explore with you (through your blog) this wonderful city! Please post pictures and share with us your impressions!
    You seem very happy in your new town! And I am very happy for you Gwen.
    All the luck my friend!

  2. Reply

    Hi Gwen,
    How interesting. I love your description. We went to Lowell but so long ago, I just don’t remember it. So we will go again.
    I will try your ‘Vegetarian’ restaurant even though I am more ‘Vegan’ than Vegetarian.
    You will love Montréal and also Québec.
    Have a nice day, thanks to take the time to write, Lison,

    • Reply

      Lison: We’re vegan too and the restaurant had plenty of vegan or vegan-friendly dishes. I can’t wait to visit Montreal and Quebec. My boys would especially love it since they’ve both taken four years of French and plan to continue. 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Reply

    Hi Gwen, we toured through your end of the country one summer, so pretty. You’re going to love fall, all those brilliant Maple tree colors 🙂

  4. Reply

    Hi Gwen, you are living in one of my favorite places on the planet, and I know you’ll have lots of great adventures. You mentioned visiting Concord, and I highly recommend that idea. Of course, there is the wonderful Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (not at all creepy), where you can visit the graves of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, Hawthorne, and others. Also, be sure to stop by Old Manse. The house was owned by the Emerson family, but Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia lived there as newlyweds. You can see the writing desk used by Emerson and Hawthorne, and Sophia even used the diamond in her ring to etch little poems into the window panes, and the panes are still there. Wow, just writing about it makes me want to jump on a plane and visit myself 🙂 Enjoy!

    • Reply

      Oh, very cool, Karalee. This afternoon I accidentally discovered Thoreau’s house is about two miles away from me. Based on all that’s within driving distance, I think my weekends may be booked solid for the next few years. 😉

  5. Reply

    Gwen: Quite a while back, my cousins, husband and I visited the New England states and what fun that was. Hubby is a native Californian and I am transplanted New Jersey gal living in an historical town on the southern gateway to Yosemite National Park. To see the acclimation was smooth, would be a fib. Pure culture shock. But we all have learned to survive and I look forward to hearing more about your finds. As for Montreal and Quebec, there is a little known church in Old Quebec (or it could be Montreal) that was constructed without nails. It is small and lovely and there are cobblestone streets.

    Enjoy your new surroundings, Your Scrivener Friend, Sandra

    • Reply

      Sandra: What a beautiful area you live in. Yosemite is spectacular. But it’s always an adjustment when you move to a new place. At our newcomer orientation they had a not-entirely-joking quiz about the words some people use here that we might not be used to. Like bubbler for drinking fountain, or barrel for trash can (which you apparently use for rubbish not garbage). 😉

      Just today it finally clicked with my older son that the neighboring cities of Lexington and Concord were THE Lexington and Concord he learned about in history class. Now he’s excited. 😉 Old Quebec sounds great. Can’t wait to get up there. Thanks!

  6. Reply

    Hi Gwen! Glad you’re up here! If you ever want to do something and are looking for a buddy (if your hubby doesn’t want to go), I could meet up with you somewhere! I’m about 1 hour 10 mins from you.

  7. Reply

    A little further afield, but so worth the trip: Cape Cod, especially above the “elbow” where the National Seashore is – gorgeous beaches and water cold enough to test your nettle as a new New Englander. And Bar Harbor, Maine, and Acadia National Park – fabulous hiking and vibe.

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