New England - Fall Color Trip 2013

After arriving in Boston after a 6 hour flight coupled with a 3 hour time-shift, we opted to stay the night and pick up the rental car the next morning to set out for the conference in Kennebunkport. This conference was the original motivation for this trip, but we decided to couple it with a few days of touring "New England in the Fall" - in large measure a nostalgic re-enactment of a Photo Workshop I attended some 20 years ago - in the days when cameras still used film.

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The Drive To Kennebunkport
On any trip to New England, when you drive north after flying in to Boston, one tourist attraction are the Outlet Stores in Kittery. If you’re not familiar – imagine a mile of shopping plazas on both sides of the road, where each plaza has maybe half-a-dozen stores. Each store is purportedly a factory “outlet” for some brand where they sell discontinued, or slightly imperfect, or last-year’s model of whatever that brand name is famous for.


Our first port of call is "The Outlets" at Kittery - we elect to play a call to one of the biggest stores and with a wider appeal than just one brand - "The Trader's Post"


At the entrance it becomes clear that the primary theme of this store is camping, hunting, fishing and all manner of outdoor pursuits.


The problem is, almost all the stores in Kittery are of more interest to women, just one or two are of any interest to men. So the men in the family soon run out of steam in terms of motivation and energy. In one of these few stores of interest to men is where you find these poor creatures – exhausted from a day of trailing wives, daughters and girl-friends.

This particular store caters to the red-blooded outdoorsman with hiking boots, kayaks, camouflage jackets, wool socks, fishing tackle, tents, and ammunition. And all manner of outdoorsy clothes for both sexes. So while the women continue their quest here for the right pair of pants or that perfect blouse, their long-suffering men-folk tend to collect in this store to find a place to rest their weary legs.


A few hours later and we are approaching Kennebunkport - we can see the expensive homes lining the shore of the bay.


We enter the old village center over a narrow bridge


Just before the bridge, we catch a glimpse of the village church across the lagoon.


A view looking further up the lagoon - taken from the same vantage point just before the bridge into the village center.


Direcly abutting the bridge is Mecca for connoisseurs of fast (sea)food - Clam Chowder, Lobster Sandwiches, you name it...


Finaly we make it to the Conference Hotel - a magnificent structure that was once an imposing destination for the wealthy. "The Colony Hotel" is sometimes referred to as the East Coast's response to the The Del Coronado Hotel of San Diego, it is celebrating its centenary.


The luxuriously landscaped grounds are designed to encourage residents to relax and enjoy the sea air.


The front portico is decorated to reflect the season of Hallowe'en and Pumpkins


The front lawn of the hotel is lit up by the evening sun that is sinking over the ocean


A few minutes later and the brief alpenglow turns into night - as we enjoy the opening reception of the conference on the verandah overlooking the ocean.


Next morning the conference proceedings are held in an old converted carriage house. The style of brickwork is reminiscent of Holland, as are the Hydrangea bushes.


To a visitor who is used to the parched terrain of a completely rainless summer, the lush green of the landscape strikes one immediately. One has the nagging urge to conserve the rainfall and not waste it on moss-covered stone walls that have stood here probably since before California was a state.


In the late afternoon after the main conference proceedings, we get to explore the environs outside the village.


As dusk approaches, the late sun lights up the trees in their raiment of fall colors.


Next morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we take a short drive along the waterfront, where we are struck once again by the proximity of expensive homes to the beach. Maybe storms aren't as severe here and beaches don't erode like they do elsewhere...


We say farewell to the coast as we set out towards Woodstock in Vermont, which will be our base for photographic excursions during the next few days.


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