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Top 10 Things I Discovered in New England During My First Year, #1-5

April 25th, 2010 · No Comments · Destinations, Experience

Here is the second part of my favorite new discoveries in New England. (Check out #6-10 here.)

5. Medical Tourism
I have to get political here because there is health care rationing in the U.S. unless you think having to wait 4-6 months to see a dermatologist for a skin check is okay.  As someone with skin cancer I need check-ups every 3-6 months, so I found a phenomenal practice in Boston where I could book an appointment within three weeks.  Now, I make day trips to Boston working in a couple hours of shopping, sightseeing and a Niçoise salad while keeping tabs on my sun scorched skin.

Mirielle on the beach in Kennebunkport, ME.

4. Kennebunkport, Maine
Best known for the summer house of the Bush family, something about this quiet coastal town captured my heart.  Maybe it was the Northern Californian style cold beaches, a poolside filled with people wearing sun hats and reading books at least 2 inches thick, being significantly below the average age, or the pleasant walks and bike rides around town.  I can’t wait to return.

Boiling Maple Sap

3. Maple syrup (and cream and almost anything with maple in it.)
When lots of sweeteners are marketed as “all natural,” maple syrup is one of the least processed of them all.  Basically step 1, let sap drip naturally from trees; then step 2, reduce to a syrup via boiling.   In addition to finding lots of new ways to cook with maple syrup, I am learning that each sugar shack produces a very different flavor of syrup.  We have been applying our California-honed wine tasting skills across New England’s maple producers.

2. Connecticut’s own Neapolitan pizza.
While holed up in corporate housing for a few months, we ate out a lot. For a while it was looking like the only non-chain restaurants that were affordable enough for everyday meals involved meat or pizza.  All it took was a few bites of my first Frank Pepe’s Neapolitan style pizza for me to sing the praises of this wonderful food.  The Guardian newspaper actually named Frank Pepe’s as the best place to eat pizza in the world (so sorry Chicago, NYC and Naples – NOT).  I would put it a close second to our local pizza place, Harry’s but I am looking forward to visiting Naples to see how Connecticut’s own holds up to its birthplace.

Vermont countryside.

1. Vermont
Aaahhhh, just crossing the state line brings a smile to my face. After three visits in south and central Vermont, I can’t get back enough.  The landscape, the people, the food, the attitude suits me so well there may be a small cabin on a river in our future.

Top 10 Things I Discovered in New England During My First Year, #6-10

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