Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Boston - Day 1, Dashing through New England

It's hard to believe it's been 12 years since my 2002 trip to Boston, yet I haven't included it in Adventures in Paradise! But a friend is going there next month, and I promised to post this for her. I hope you like it, too. Here goes a pretty-much-unedited, retro look at Bean Town, the Hub of the Universe, America's Walking City, the Cradle of Liberty, Athens of America, the City on a Hill...I hope that covers the nicknames...from July, 2002:

Saturday, July 27

We arrived at Logan Airport on United Airlines at 6:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. our time), having slept a grand total of two or three intermittent hours on the red-eye along the way. The flight was bumpy in spots, but not overly so. Seat 12A was filled by a very personable young man named Fred, a Boston native. So, the hubster and I, Seats 12C and 12B respectively, took advantage of our great good luck and asked a lot of questions. I found out, for instance, that I should not walk alone in a place called Roxbury (which reminds me of a movie title, but never mind that). It sounds like such a nice place, too.

We disembarked and made our way to Avis to pick up our rental car. Why, oh, why are rental car reservations always messed up? Then we had a really good time going round and round in circles, trying to find the right road north. We were sleepy. We were tired. We were cranky. It did not go well, which about sums up that experience. You can fill in the blanks.

Harry checking out the goods at Kittery Trading Post.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We were tenacious, though, and eventually made our way past Bunker Hill on our way to Maine, where we had decided to go sort of on the spur of the moment. We thought we would head just across the border to Kittery. Fred said there was a great outlet mall there, which there was, and he said it would be a pretty drive, which it was. The traffic, however...oy!

Thick, green vegetation.
And lots of water. Maine
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
Be that as it may, it was a beautiful drive. Neither one of us had been to New Hampshire or Maine, so, hey, why not? The foliage is dense, the trees are thick, the roads are absolutely lined with forest, seemingly the whole way. I must someday see this in the autumn!

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We stopped in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire (“our place”) for breakfast at the Hampton Beach Restaurant. The food was very affordable (cheap, even) and rightly so. At any rate, it was a pretty beach town with surfers and everything. Kind of like Santa Cruz in New England, if that makes any sense. Traffic was awful leaving there, so we thought we'd better hop on the toll road to save time. Bad idea. It was backed up for miles. So, we got off again, and traffic was slower than molasses. Sigh. All those folks with SUVs and canoes, going away for the weekend. It felt just like home.

The Bush Compound, Kennebunkport, Maine
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
So, as long as we were in Maine, we thought we'd drop by the Bushes' place in Kennebunkport. It's a nice place, pleasantly situated right on the coast, on a rocky point. It's just so confining, with all those security people hanging around all the time and folks with telephoto lenses trying to get a picture to sell to the tabloids. Honestly, I just don't see how a person could get any privacy at all.

There are lots of gorgeous, expansive (and no doubt expensive) homes in the area. It makes one wish for a place on the coast...

After our all-too-brief visit, we found our way back to 95 South and didn't even mind paying a few tolls. Getting back to Boston only took about a third the time as going up to Maine. I suppose fewer vacationers are in-bound.

We enjoyed a wonderful, tasty, delicious meal at Naked Fish in Waltham. We started with crab cakes for an appetizer, then the hubster had scallops in balsamic vinegar glaze (outstanding!) with garlic mashed potatoes and glazed carrots (and a Samuel Adams beer, of course). I had coconut encrusted haddock with orange-rum cream sauce, asparagus, and fried plantain. Ooooooohhhhh. It was so, so good. Yum!

So, here we are at the Courtyard Marriott in Milford, Massachusetts. The suitcases are unpacked, and we're ready to to. I just discovered that there's no public transportation “out here” (too far from Boston) and that a cab ride to the nearest commuter rail station (5 or 6 miles away) will be $20. That's not good news, but we're good at problem solving around our house. I'll think of something tomorrow.

The pool has been invaded by seriously noisy kids, the hot tub is out of order, and the exercise room has been taken over by an army of 8-year-olds. Sigh. Seems like as good a time as any to go to bed!

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