We’ve been in New England for 12 days and I’m going to try and sum it all up in one post. So… get yourself a cup of tea and get comfortable – by the time you’re done, you’ll either be booking your foliage vacation to New England for next fall OR you’ll be so tired of seeing and hearing about leaves & lobster that you’ll be ready to go vegan and move to Florida.


  • The most breathtaking fall colors I’ve ever seen. On every single road. Every single day, the trees were more beautiful than they were the previous day. Apparently all the leaves are expected to be gone within the next week, but we’re not sticking around to see it!
  • Putting our toes in the Atlantic Ocean in Hampton Beach, NH. Of course Mahmood and the kids jumped in and swam, even though it was only 50 degrees outside! The beach town had already closed for the season (which was eerie, but beautiful at the same time), and the beach itself was absolutely gorgeous.
  • Lobster! We ate a lot of lobster. Everything around here is served with with lobster. Lobster rolls, steamers, lobster bisque, stuffed lobster, you can even get lobster on top of your burger. My absolute favorite was the lobster roll at Eventide in Portland, ME – it’s a modern version with a browned butter sauce (so it may not be for the Lobster Roll purists) but it was AMAZING.
  • Hiking in the local NH hills. The views were incredible, the foliage was gorgeous, and we even got to visit a working watchtower! The watchman explained to us how he can pinpoint the location of a fire many miles away using his maps and tools. The kids loved it, and we learned something too! Bonus: this is where we got some of our best foliage pictures.
  • Portsmouth, NH and Portland, ME: both really cute seaside towns. We ate lobster, listened to live music, discovered fun bookstores, and generally agreed that we absolutely loved both of these places 🙂
  • 3 days in Boston: First of all, our hotel (The Lenox) was awesome – when we arrived, the valet gave the kids stuffed animals, and then the bellman gave them each a “color your own” backpack set. Happy kids? Check. The weather was amazing, so we spent tons of time outdoors, playing Copley Square, then at Boston Common, hanging out at the duck pond, and playing on the ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ statues. The kids were thoroughly entertained by the street theatre performances at Faneuil hall. The kids loved seeing the castles (churches) all everywhere. Mahmood and I agreed that Boston is an awesome city, and it absolutely earned a spot on the “places we would live if we ever moved away from California” list.
  • Touring the local towns in NH. We had sushi in Concord, made a giant leaf pile in historic Walpole, had lunch at a country store in Hillsboro, and shopped in downtown Keene. We had a blast touring the area like locals.
  • Our host, Tom. Tom is a friend of Mahmood’s family who was instrumental in first bringing the family from Afghanistan to the US, and helping them get used to US life once they arrived. He opened his home to us, captivated us with stories about Mahmood’s family from decades ago, served as our daily tour guide, entertained the kids when we needed a break, and also served as our professional photographer all along the way. (Yes, we’re still trying to convince him to join us for the rest of the trip 🙂
  • Our other host, Mike (Tom’s son). Mike is a chef, and thanks to him, we ate amazing 5-star meals nearly every night.
  • Some of the best moments we had were just hanging out at home. We spent a number of days at home while the kids played all day in the woods, chased Dragon (the kitten), hunted for ladybugs, and read stories with Tom. We even spent an afternoon working work Tom, helping to build brush piles to clear the woods.

This leg of the trip was really wonderful. From the gorgeous foliage, to the amazing meals, fun days relaxing at Tom’s house to 3 gorgeous days in Boston – it is so hard to leave! And yet, we know we still have so much in front of us. So off we go, we’re headed to Connecticut next, then to Virginia.