Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New England - Day 1

So in the next few days, you get to hear all about the trip to New England I took with my best friend from high school. She needs a nickname... Tanner Nicely, Ms. Nicely will do for short. Her family owns a house just barely inside northern New Hampshire. She wanted to go there, stay, and travel around neighboring states and head into Canada as well. I was so excited and ready to go! It had been ages since she & I had gotten to do anything like this that didn't involve the rest of my family. Finally, our chance to hang out and chat without the many interruptions my two lovely children can bring.

So this brings us to the first day. Nothing extremely interesting this day, it was travel day. We were flying into Boston, renting a vehicle and driving north. Well, ashamedly, it had been 4 years since I had flown (I have kids remember), and I frankly couldn't remember what to do, what not to do. I had all my metal chains and swords in the bin to run through x-ray. I had my shoes off. We were only doing carry on so we could skip baggage claim in Boston. Admittedly, I was a little worried about my carry on contents, so I made Mr. Wizard and the kids wait on me to get through. See, I was traveling with my camera, the whole lot of it, the cables, the lenses, and my tripod (AKA club to a could-be grumpy security person). I wanted to take it after all, I did want to be in a few pics at least! And you never know if you might run into something beautiful along the way that would require a slow shutter speed that ISO can't make up for. I am boring you all already now, I can hear the snoring...

Security was tough! I had to dig in to my carry on to grab my license (oops forgot that part). The guy wasn't very friendly at ALL, but I made it through, tripod intact, and we headed for our gate. Now, I need to rewind a tad because I left out an important fact. I didn't eat that morning because as I had been looking at the airport stuff, I had seen on their list of restaurants - Kolache Factory. My heart skipped, my stomach growled, and frankly the drool was leaving stains. Anyone who hasn't experienced this deliciousness in an all-contained roll, well, who are you people?! Kidding, they aren't well known yet. So as we arrive (on the opposite end of the airport where we needed to be), I was disappointed because it seems for some reason, the airport needs to update their restaurant list. NO kolache, not even a crumb...

So after settling in at the gate, the coffee hit, I had to search for the restroom. While I was up, there was a vending woman with some great looking muffins, not kolaches, but I am starved and jittery at this point. So I get a blueberry muffin and a bottle of water. Though as the girl gave me the total, I had wondered if she heard that I was grabbing a water out of the cooler, and asked if that was included in the price. "Well, I hope a muffin doesn't cost $4!" And a good morning to you too witch. I didn't want to walk off with a water you didn't get paid for... Prices these days, no one can be too sure, especially in an airport! Seriously, if this was a red-eye flight out, I could understand the lack of friendly people... what gives?!

So as we wait, our plane pulls up, everyone rushes to the gate. Now, this phenomenon always gets me. This wasn't a Southwest flight, there are assigned seats. So what is the hurry? Also, there were maybe 30 seats on this particular flight (maybe more I didn't count)... do we really need to board by rows? I mean really... So as we sat down, and got our belongings all stowed under the seat, it was time to read all the magazines I had held onto for this trip.

Ever land in Boston? Well, let me fill you on a surprise. You actually begin your landing pattern - over the OCEAN. Now since Ms. Nicely had forewarned me, I was prepared and took it all in, it was actually very pretty. I was sitting on the side nearest the beach. Then I glanced out our neighbor's windows... and realized just how spectacular that really is. Ocean as far as the eye could see. I don't think we are in Kansas anymore! In fact, we were never in Kansas...

Want to know how small the plane was? In Boston, we left the plane using stairs and walking down onto the tarmac. I felt like I was in Pennsylvania again! The airport is huge but easy to get around. No baggage claim since we did carry on only. We head out to wait for the rental's shuttle. Not to bore you with all those details, we got our vehicle... LOL low milage, for NOW (check our trip odometer in the future post).

We loaded up and headed north. You could see some rain clouds in the distance after a bit into the trip. But no big plans today, so we should be fine. Our only plan was to stop along the way at Wal-mart to get the necessities we needed more than 3oz of, razors, sheets for Ms. Nicely's bed, soda, and car food. Not to mention the candy stash we gathered!! Man I should have taken a picture of that! LOL.

We were leaving Wally, it had been raining the whole time we were inside. Somehow, we missed it! We decided we need to eat, we had only had muffins after all. This started a pattern for the trip... we only ate like one meal a day. Kind of cost effective! We went across the street to Ruby Tuesdays and had an excellent meal. Grabbed some Dunkin' Donut coffee and continued north. May I pause here and reflect again... I love New England and their plethora of Dunkin' Donuts. They were seriously as thick as Starbucks are, here at home!

Here are a couple of pics along the way. And for some reason, I was NOT supposed to see where the "Man in the Mountain" used to be (he fell in case you didn't know). But I got a picture of the clouds all around that particular mountain. It was the same way headed back past it!

We get to the the neighboring town, and head in to get groceries. Our plan had been to cook at "home" for at least one meal a day, to keep our cost down. Got to the house, busted open a few beers, and relaxed and chatted on into the night. You want to know how to get a good night's sleep? Sleep where there is NO children! The beer maybe helped too...

Product rave:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer, it's what's for breakfast!
Not really, we wanted something somewhat local and this was mighty tasty. Just be ready to actually chew the stout as you drink!

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