Just returned from 30 Sept tour

We just returned and had a great time. I'll start with comments about a few of our local guides since we really lucked out with some truly superb ones.

At the Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain house in Hartford, the Director of Events (you can see him in a video on website) who rarely leads tours in his current position, gave our group a thrilling after-hours presentation. He has been a Mark Twain scholar and enthusiast since he was 15 and it showed! He was so passionate about Twain that his voice cracked and he almost got choked up when telling about the deaths and sadness in the family that resulted in Clemens eventually abandoning the home for good- what a tour!!! Though not quite as incredible, our guide the next morning at the Harriet Beecher Stowe house next door was fantastic, also.

The birds of prey handler/speaker and demonstrations with live birds at Hawk Resort in Plymouth, VT were great as was the Park Ranger at the Augustus Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site the following day. Not knowing much about sculpture, I had never heard of Saint-Gaudens, but came away with an appreciation for the man and his fantastic work!

A former newspaper man and politician gave an interesting and often humorous presentation about the New England landscape and historical and environmental evolution of land use.

The stop at Ken Burn's Florentine Film studios- shoe-horned into a small, historic, old home in tiny Walpole, New Hampshire- was extremely interesting. The head producer of Burn's latest tour de force "The Roosevelts" and another senior producer took us through the process of making a documentary, which, in the case of the Roosevelts, can take over 6 years to complete!!!

The last standout was a former teacher and a big Red Sox fan who gave us the tour of Fenway Park, the oldest active baseball park and home of the "Green Monsta" and legends like Ted Williams. I'm not much into baseball, but his tour, narrative, and anecdotes made for a truly interesting morning.

There wasn't much color in Connecticut and Massachusetts, but colors were at peak in Vermont and New Hampshire- we timed it perfectly! Except for two days of intermittent light rain and some morning fog, the skies were generally blue and the temps were mild.

The lodging and food were generally very good, especially the 'lobsta' dinner at the Cliff House in Ogunquit, ME and the farewell dinner at Grill 23 in Boston- now it is time to diet!!!

Comments

  • Wow! Sounds wonderful. Our Grand New England. Crosses paths with your tour.

    Loved our tour. Just home!
  • Samepenny wrote:
    Wow! Sounds wonderful. Our Grand New England. Crosses paths with your tour.

    Loved our tour. Just home!

    We crossed paths with another tour in Plymouth, VT and Ogunquit, ME.
  • I think we crossed in Maine. We were on Yellow Bus Yankee 136 and Yellow Bus Yankee 125 was there as well.

    If not for your posting, I wouldn't have realized how different your tour was from ours.

    Thank you!
  • Hi AlanS,

    I'm so glad you had such a great time on your trip! :)

    -Tim
  • edited October 2014
    Samepenny wrote:
    I think we crossed in Maine. We were on Yellow Bus Yankee 136 and Yellow Bus Yankee 125 was there as well.

    If not for your posting, I wouldn't have realized how different your tour was from ours.

    Thank you!

    You must have seen one of the other half dozen or so yellow Yankee Tauck buses criss-crossing New England at that time, since it appears we were on #107. We saw another bus at the Hawk's Nest in Plymouth, VT on Wednesday, 1 Oct and I believe a different one on 4 Oct at the Cliff House in Ogunquit, ME (where they had their farewell dinner?). The following day both buses loaded and departed at the same time- the other one was headed to the airport while ours was headed to Lexington and Concord then to the Westin Hotel in Boston for our final days- I'm glad we got on the right one! : )

    IMG_1289r.jpg

    This was a last minute decision which almost didn't happen. We decided VERY late to take a Hidden Gems small group departure, but they were all full. Tauck mentioned that there were openings in the full size tour leaving a day later. We thought about it for a day or so, then decided, why not. By the time I called back it was just a week prior to departure and Tauck had already started to release rooms. It took them a day or so, but they managed to take care of all the details and I was able make our flight arrangements. When we stop taking overseas tours, or have another hole to fill, we'll probably take more Tauck US tours, but will try to avoid last minute decisions.

    In this area alone we think the Hudson Valley tour sounds interesting. We haven't been to Montreal, but when I was a kid we camped in the heart of and traveled throughout the Adirondacks, visiting many places including some of those on the tour- St. Lawrence River, 1000 Islands, Lake Champlain, Ausable Chasm, Shelburne Museum, Adirondack Museum, Lake Placid, Lake George, Bolton Landing, West Point (enemy territory- go Navy), Rhinebeck Aerodrome, etc. but it sure is nice having someone else take care of the all the planning, and details, AND all the driving! The Canadian maritime tours look interesting as well.

    The flaming hillsides surrounding the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire in the early morning sun.

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