We had all day to drive north from Boston to Kennebunkport, Maine to begin our one week stay at the Nonantum Resort in early September. That meant a little bit of a sleep-in at the Hampton Inn, and the leeway to take any turnoffs that looked interesting along the way. And it wasn't very long before the town of Newburyport, MA caught our eye. First of all, we liked the name! Secondly, on the map it looked like there might be shoreline/fishing boats to photograph...something that we hoped to concentrate on during our two weeks on the east coast. And finally, when I googled it, it sounded interesting. So, we turned east off the highway and headed for the center of town. As we approached the main part of town, Rich noticed a large grassy area filled with American flags, so we parked, grabbed our cameras, and checked it out.
It turns out the town does this for two weeks each year. Townspeople purchase the flags in the name of someone who has served our country, the flag and name are displayed for the two week period, and then the person who purchased the flag takes it home. We spoke with a couple of veterans who were in the area, and it was moving to hear how proud there were of the display.
Following directions given to us by a local, we headed into the town proper. It's just what small town America should look like with flower boxes on the windows, and streets named Pleasant and Liberty. We walked around for awhile, then went to lunch at Grog, which we were assured was where the locals went, and where I had my first lobster roll ever.
After our lunch (delicious!) we decided to drive a short distance to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and check it out. The refuge has six miles of road to drive, and several trails or paths from the road to the shore to see wildlife. We read that during several months of the year, the beach area is closed so the breeding birds are not disturbed. To be honest, we didn't see much wildlife, but we enjoyed the drive, the scenery, and a few of the walks to the coastline.
We thoroughly enjoyed out little detour on the way to Kennebunkport, and talked about how we should have days like this more often, not just when we're on a trip. Great day!