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The mix of the tour was incredibly good. I actually went for the foliage and although it was a tricky year because of the early cold snap and then much higher temperatures than usual, we were shown some wonderful colour.
Squam Lake was interesting and we managed to see the loons new to me. Shannon was very friendly and helpful with advice re clothes and expected weather conditions when she felt I needed a suggestion!
The Kancamagus Highway was a real highlight for me with all the beautiful colours. Steve stopped in great spots and chose them when we had particularly good colour and relatively no rain on a tricky day. He really went out of his way to provide photo opportunities. He seemed to know the area very well.
The Cannon Mountain train would also have been a highlight, but it was overcast towards the top of the mountain. The first part of the ride showed just how magnificent the whole mountain have been in full colour had the weather not let us down a little.
I enjoyed the sail at Newport. It was again a different experience. I must admit I spoke to a local about the time Perth Australia won the cup. HAHA.
I particularly enjoyed the tour of the Vanderbilt mansion. Steve asked about our individual interests, and given only a few in the group, three at that stage, discussed the time we personally wanted. I have never had that thoughtfulness on a tour!
We were well guided at Vermont and tasted the cheese. Not sure I would have found it without Steves help. He gave very helpful suggestions re which cheeses to try. He was happy to help me find the place mats I wanted. Nothing was too much trouble. You have a good one there!!!
I wasnt sure what to expect of the lighthouses, but again it was an interesting day with all the time we needed. We were shown the Bush complex and many large houses.
Boston traffic is a nightmare but I was very pleased in spite of the traffic to have time at various locations.
Nantucket was a wet day, but we saw plenty on a bus and when photographing outside felt I was IN the berry ponds. Steve whisked us back on an early ferry rather than leave us on a wet island. Wise and thoughtful man.
The whale watching day was brilliant. 25-30 whales did their thing including tail whacking and it was a wonderful experience. I have been whale watching before, but success was considered to be one whale sighting and it didnt do a great deal.
The mix of the activities worked very well. I must admit, we were guided so well, that speaking to different members of our group, we had all become somewhat lazy in knowing what was to come nextit was all a lovely surprise and that only comes from trust in our leader!
We were taken for terrific meals and Steve gave me so much help in deciphering the menu. Nothing was too much trouble. It is odd that with a common language, so many differences in food interpretations are possible. Several in the group shared a little of their meal so I could taste the foods that were new to me. Great choice of cafes/restaurants.
Steve was always punctual if not early to chat about what we doing friendly and inclusive to each member of the group sensitive in suggesting warmer or wet weather clothing as necessary thoughtful in helping us in and out of the tricky back seats of the vehicle keen to share his knowledge and humour helpful in choosing photo opportunities and he is wonderful company. He asked about our individual interest levels and gave us the time to so what we wanted at each site. He was quick to oblige when I arrived on time, but then wanted a lobster roll. He always dropped us off as close as he could to the site, parked the van, then found us again. Instructions were always clear. I have not had clear instructions on other tours Steve is an intelligent and wonderfully sensitive guide who did what he could for us. I guess that is easier in a small group, but not all guides would go out of their way like he did. Much appreciated.
The view in the back of the smaller vehicle was limited.
The hotel choices were good. I seem to be always surprised about the American hospitality in hotels.
The only mix-up was the pickup in Boston that could have been a major hassle for a first time traveller.
A wonderful set of experiences. I will never forget them.
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