Two Key April Events in Massachusetts

Report by Eric H. Photo by  Sarah Musumeci, courtesy of MOTT, MassVacation  Bookmark and Share
April not only means the beginning of warmer weather in New England, but also some famous events -- be sure not to miss the following two in Massachusetts:

Boston Marathon, Mon., April 19, 2010 
This famous 26-mile running event starts in Hopkinton, Mass., and ends in Boston!

Lexington and Concord Patriot's Day Parades, April 17-18, 2010 
What better place to see Patriot's Day parades than the birthplaces of the Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord, Mass.? Be prepared to witness authentic reenactments and colorful "Colonial period groups marching the parade.

New Restaurant Run by Vets: Mike's Mess Hall, Medfield, Mass.

Article by Eric H.  Bookmark and Share
Sometimes, the concept of a restaurant is far more important than what they serve. Such is the case with Mike's Mess Hall, a new restaurant in Medfield, Mass.

While the soups and sandwiches are quite good at Mike's, the mission of this veteran-run "hidden restaurant," now open to the public, has far more meaning as profits support local vets and create scholarships for school-bound locals. Located in the back of the American Legion Hall on Peter Kristoff Way, Mike's Mess Hall features a rather large no- frills dining room with a long counter, and standalone tables, pool tables, a golf video game, and big screen televisions.  Veterans keep the conversation lively, talking about current events from Medfield to Washington, D.C.  The staff is courteous and the atmosphere quite welcoming as there seems to be an aura of gratitude to those customers who have gone out of their way to enjoy some very good food (including burgers, gilled chicken sandwich, hot dogs, and BLTs) and support a worthy concept. Thank-you, vets, for starting this idea, and, more importantly, for serving your country!

Today's special, March 30, 2010, is ham with raisin and pineapple sauce -- sounds great!

Mike's Mess Hall
American Legion
Beckwith Post 110
Peter Kristoff Way
Medfield, MA
Tel. (508) 359-4674

Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley is definitely one of the must see island when you visit Australia. The warm and sunny climate of the city awaits you. But of course, there's more than just the clear skies, Hunter Valley offers many attractions for you.

There are many places that you can go to in the city. Whether you are a wine lover, an enthusiast of natural beauty and wildlife, Hunters has it all. Barington Tops is one of the most popular areas with if you are a nature lover. Here you can see a large of unspoiled cities of rare wildlife.

List of Activities You Can do In Hunter Valley:

  • Wine Tasting There are over 120 cellar doors that will accommodate you daily.
  • Food and Wine. You can see wide selection of world class restaurants.
  • Golf. Enjoy the three championship courses.
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Arts and Galleries If you are into history, you can visit different arts and galleries in Hunt Valley
  • Concerts – Witness the world class acts performing in the vineyards.

For those who prefer the conventional sightseeing routine, there are spectacular building that can be found in the Hunter. You can visit several galleries and museum displaying various antiques and crafts such as glassware, jewelry, paintings and sculptures.

One of the sights in Hunter Valley that is sure to get the attention of all visitors is the Hunter Village Garden located in the heart of the Hunter vineyard at the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. You will be amazed by the colors and fragrances of the twelve stunning feature gardens.

If you are tired of touring, then you can get outside from something new to do. Feel the glorious sunrise from a hot air balloon, or horse back riding in the vineyard. For a more relaxing adventure, you can head to the beach. Hunter Valley is near the sea, expect that you can find some resorts.

Accommodation is not a problem in Hunter Valley. Whatever your choices in Hunter Valley accommodation, whether it is a simple farm to stay or a luxurious hotel, you can easily find a place to suit your taste and your budget.

2010 Spring New England Travel Newsletter is Ready!

Bookmark and ShareArticle and photo (Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine) by Eric H.
We are pleased to announce that the 2010 New England Travel Newsletter is available for your reading pleasure at .

Our first online newsletter includes spring-related articles on Kennebunkport, Maine, Boston, Mass., Ogunquit, Maine, an amazing castle in Connecticut, a few key spring events, colorful large photos of New England, and more.

The New England Travel Newsletter will be published four times a year -- spring, winter, summer and fall. Please feel free to contribute by emailing your story ideas, tips and calendar of event items.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter, and would appreciate any feedback you have so that we can help this publication grow with each season. Happy travels!

Sign Up For The New England Travel Spring Newsletter

by Eric H. (photo of Kennebunkport, Maine in April by Eric H.)
Bookmark and will be publishing its first online New England travel newsletter within a few weeks. You can sign up for this free publication on most pages in the right column .

Spring travel articles, tips, resources and photographs that you'll only find from are just some of the features of the spring travel newsletter. We will publish several times a year, and hope to expand the content with each issue.

With the spring issue almost ready to be released, we recommend signing up within the next five days. Thanks, and happy New England travels!

Cohasset and Scituate, Mass., Photos and Perspectives

Cohasset Town Common, Cohasset, Mass. (photo by Eric H.

Article and photos by Eric H. Bookmark and Share
I had a chance to tour more of the Cohasset and Scituate, Mass., area yesterday. Both South Shore towns (located about 25-30 miles south of Boston) offer some wonderful coastal views -- particularly along Jerusalem Way in Cohasset and quaint downtown districts with restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating as well as gifts shops, boutiques, galleries, and an overall nice "Main Street USA" feel. Cohasset's town common is surely one of the greatest village greens in New England with its pond and large expanse of land surrounded by historic buildings.

If you have a chance, please sign up at our Facebook Fan Page to take a look at a video taken at Minot Point in Scituate of the ocean current.  The waves were really spectacular, as you will see! Below is a photo of the rush of the ocean yesterday:

To give you a flavor of the two towns, here are some photos of Cohasset Village, Jerusalem Way, downtown Scituate and Scituate Harbor:

The Scituate Harbor scene can be enjoyed with a stay at the Inn at Scituate (photo below), located in the downtown district. The waterfront location is ideal, and within easy walking distance to all the locally-owned little shops, movie theater and restaurants. As stated in previous posts, Cohasset and Scituate resemble the more famous quaint Cape Cod towns that require a trip over the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges (which can be quite challenging, traffic-wise, during the summer tourist season). Here, you are within 30-45 minutes of Boston, yet feeling like you're a million miles away from the urban life. We wholeheartedly recommend visiting these great South Shore towns!

Related articles and hotel resources:

New England Photo of the Day: Cohasset Harbor, Mass.

Article and photo by Eric H.
Bookmark and ShareCohasset Harbor, located in the picturesque South Shore suburban Boston coastal town of Cohasset, Mass., offers a nice setting for a spring day. Whether it's fishing, walking, or just viewing the scenic protected harbor, the feeling is relaxed and purely quintessential coastal New England. The Atlantica Restaurant, specializing in seafood and water views, is located here, as well as the Cohasset Harbor Inn resort, making for a delightful, "hidden" New England getaway. Even though you feel like you're a million miles from the hectic urban, suburban life at Cohasset Harbor, Boston is only about a 35-minute drive!

For additional info and another view of Cohasset Harbor, please check out our Cohasset Harbor travel photo essay at

Maine Down East Sunrise Trail to Reopen for Multi-Recreation Use in Mid-May

Bookmark and ShareSource:
Walkers, runners, bicycles, ATVs, and horses will be able use in mid-May the first section of the multi-use Down East Sunrise Trail, a 10-ft. wide, 32-mile stretch of former railroad bed between Machias and its eastern terminus at Ayers Junction

The trail offers multiple access parking lots and will eventually stretch for 85 miles to Ellsworth, Maine, making it the longest multi-use recreation trail in the state. For more information, log on to

Mad Raven Pub and Restaurant In Waltham, Mass., to Open Raven's Nest in Walpole, Mass.

Bookmark and Shareby Eric H.
Just got word from the Mad Raven Pub and Restaurant in Waltham, Mass., that it will be opening a second restaurant called the Raven's Nest at the former Paddock Pub in downtown Walpole, Mass.

The Raven's Nest could be open as early as late April 2010, and will feature a menu similar to the Mad Raven Pub and Restaurant. The Mad Raven specializes in delicious Irish-American cuisine, including Shepherds pie, fish n' chips and Irish chicken curry. The Mad Raven also offers more than 15 different drafts.

The Mad Raven Pub and Restaurant is located at 841 Main St., Waltham, and the Raven's Nest will be located at 998 Main St. in Walpole.

New England Amusement Parks Openings for 2010

by Eric H.
Just for our "amusement," we have been checking out when local New England amusement parks will open for the season. Based on Internet research, here is what we found:

Canobie Lake Park, Sale, N.H. opens for the season on Saturday, April 24, from 11- 6p.m. Those weekend (Saturday-Sunday) hours will remain intact through May 15-16. Daily hours begin in June, although with varying operating times depending upon the day. For specifics, please visit the Canobie Lake Web Site.

Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Conn., opens for the weekend, also, on April 24, but from 12-6 p.m. Those hours continue into the May 23-23 weekend, with additional hours being added starting on Fri., May 28. For specifics, please visit the Quassy Amusement Park Web Site.

Six Flags New England in Springfield, Mass., opens for the season on April 10. Check out the Six Flags calendar for specific hours of operation.

York's Wild Kingdom Zoo and Amusement Park in York Beach, Maine, opens May 29, according to its Web Site, but we only see 2009 operating hours. Please log on to the York Kingdom Web Site for anticipated updates, or call 207-363-4911.

We recommend calling your amusement park destination first before setting out on the planned itinerary, as there is always the potential for hours to change. Happy amusement park travels!

Ginjo Japanese Restaurant Comes to Walpole, Mass.

Bookmark and Shareby Eric H. gives a hearty welcome to Ginjo, a new restaurant in Walpole, Mass., with hibachi (including great, "fiery" shows being put on by the chefs), sushi bar, dining rooms, a lounge, take-out and delivery services.

The restaurant features a comfortable but beautifully sleek, spacious look, thus belying its plain strip mall location just outside downtown Walpole on Route 1A. Formerly the Blue Orchid Chinese restaurant, the prideful ownership of that restaurant remains intact (and with the original Blue Orchid still in operation in neighboring Westwood, Mass.).

Our first visit included sampling a delicious buckwheat Soba noodles with beef, shrimp and assorted vegetables. Judging from this introductory, incredibly fresh dish, we look forward to visiting this new Japanese restaurant again and again. More reports on Ginjo to come!

Ginjo Restaurant
889 Main Street
Walpole, MA 02081
Tel. 508-660-2888

The Latest New England Travel and Social Issues Articles at

Bookmark and ShareArticle by Eric H.

We're back! Call it an upgrade to 50,000 watts of new online content centering on New England travel and vacation ideas.

So, what's been going on the the newsroom? Well, we're currently featuring a photo essay of Cohasset, Mass., one of New England's most beautiful coastal towns. With a pleasing harbor and a quaint village setting, it's hard to believe that peaceful Cohasset is a suburb of Boston.

Due to popular demand, we also added a "Vacations Package" element to Here, the potential to save money is enormous by combining hotel, air and car rental bookings into one package. The Vacations Packages is powered by Orbitz, one of the true leaders in the travel industry.

For horse lovers, we think you'll enjoy our article on a Lakeville, Mass., farm that showcases several Clydesdale horses. The horses are stunning up close, surely different than what you see in those beer commercials!

On the restaurant side, we recently visited the Tock of the Town restaurant in Medfield, Mass. This relatively new breakfast and lunch place goes beyond your typical townie restaurant. Pride of ownership and a chef who knows what he's doing elevate this small restaurant
to another level.

We had fun putting together "Remembering Locally-Owned Boston Area Stores From Yesteryear," that includes mentions of Zayre department store, Grover Cronin's in Waltham, Mass., Eric Fuch's railroad store in Boston and Samtron Electronics in Somerville. We encourage readers to post comments on their memories!

We have begun to include articles that address social issues around New England, including a homeless shelter in Boston that helps families overcome the cycle of poverty.

We are currently working on a spring travel newsletter. Please feel to sign up for free on any page (sign-up form is located in the right column). Additionally, we are pleased with the growth of our Facebook and Twitter social media pages where we feature the latest updates and discussions centering around New England.

We are currently working on more articles, and will alert you here when news breaks. Welcome back to the 50,000 watt blowtorch for New England travel writing!

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is another impressive travel destination in Australia. This island is situated along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia and around three to four hours away from Brisbane. It is 123 kilometers long and at its widest point it’s width around 22 kilometers.

It was year 1992 when the World Heritage discovered the island. After the discovery, the place is considered as one of the world's largest island and the only place with rainforest that grows in the sand. This makes Fraser Island as one of the most rare and mysterious place on Queensland's coastline. In this area, you can see long undisturbed sandy beach flanked by strikingly colored sand cliffs. It is also a home of 100s freshwater both tea colored and clear blue lakes. Hence, Fraser Island is not just an ordinary island. It's an island wherein the Australian's rich natural heritage combine together.


During the day, there is plenty to do in Fraser Island. There are endless beaches for swimming, playing Frisbee or beach soccer. Some of the visitors come to Fraser for fishing. In fact, an annual fishing competition is being held in here that last for a whole week.

Day Tours at Fraser Island

You can explore the beauty of Fraser Island from a bird eye view using the MI Helicopters for a day tour. In this way, you can observe Fraser's untamed wilderness, sub-tropical rainforests and crystal clear freshwater lakes. It is perfect for a couple who wants a secluded and romantic getaway.

However, it is better if you explore the scenic highlights of Frazer Island by land. You can visit different pounded beaches, rainforest and freshwater lakes. You can also witness the brilliant spring wild flowers and forest clad dunes and other wildlife settling in the island.

What's more, you can select your accommodation here depending on your budget. There are available luxury hotels and resort for rents, even a simple camp site. If you want a feeling like at home you can set up a tent and a campfire on the beach. Just ask anything you wish, Fraser is a great provider.

Bungle Bungle National Park

Bungle Bungle is also known as Purnululu National Park. It is one of the popular travel spots for foreigners and it was situated in Western Australia.
If you are interested to know what Purnululu means is, it's a Kiji term for sandstone. On the other hand, the origin name of “Bungle Bungle” is still unknown. This area is almost 5788 meters high from sea level. This park is popular because of its sandstone domes, that were formed 350 million years ago. You can see the domes on the edge of the range. You need to fly over the whole range to see a new area of domes in the making when an erosion happens in the center of the massif. At first look, you can easily say domes come in orange and grey combination. The banding of the domes happens because of the differences in clay content and presence of porosity on the sandstone layers.

Bungle Bungle National Park is also of great significance of both cultural and spiritual to local settlers. It was year 1983 when a film tram discovered the area, yet there are already people lived there for how many years. The government established Bungle Bungle as Purnululu National Park in 1987 to preserve the importance of the area as well as its significance to the traditional settlers.

For a stunning and beautiful experience on Bungle Bungles, it is highly suggested to visit this place during dry season. It is an amazing experience also if you walk throughout the beautiful landscape with its sandstone domes. The plains come in lush and green for they are thickly covered of bright yellow Acacia flowers.

Most of the activities in Bungle Bungle is walking. But that's part of it. You can't find the famous domes here if you don't walk. It's a good thing most of the walk is very open and sunny. And in your way, you can find jaw-dropping scenery such as domes and cliffs, chasms and rock pools. Take advantage too for sunset look out. There are two sunset lookout in Bungle Bungles. One is The Walinginjdji Sunsent Lookout which is close to the Visitor Center and Piccaninny Creek, it takes half an hour to get there.

Take your time to explore this spot, so you will enjoy the beauty of Purnululu and get the most out of it. You will never be satisfied with your one day stay in Bungle Bungles, but that's enough time in absorbing the atmosphere.