Friday, August 22, 2008

Random New England observations

The whirlwind tour is over, and I'm more or less coming back up to my normal, West Coast speed. Such as that is.

Last Thursday, I worked a full shift, came home, helped pack and regulate, loaded up the car, dropped the boys off at their grandparents', went to the airport and flew all night. Landing in Connecticut, we rented a car, drove all day, showered and changed, and went to my daughter's graduation ceremony at Middlebury, Vermont. We dined there, and went to bed maybe 10-ish (ET), after having been up since 3:30 the previous day. I'd had maybe 45-60 minutes' sleeep.

I don't know how Jack Bauer does it without psychotic episodes. Well, more psychotic episodes.

So then we took off touring a bunch of those postage-stamp little states back there, thanks to my wife's usual brilliant planning. We saw Plimouth Plantation, the Mayflower 2, the USS Constitution, and Old Sturbridge Village. We walked the Freedom Trail.

Then we got up 3:45am on Wednesday and flew home. Then I went back to work yesterday.

So, it was a full, whirlwind tour. I'll probably put up some pictures, eventually, somewhere. But for now, here are some Random Observations:
  1. The weather wasn't nearly as unpleasant as I'd anticipated. We had some beautiful clouds and a bit of rain. The temperatures got up into the eighties. What made the difference (as anticipated) was the humidity, but it was far from miserable.
  2. The most exhausting day was the Freedom Trail walk. On that same day, we walked (it seemed) every square inch of Boston, I climbed that 294-step obelisk at Bunker Hill, we toured two ships, and ended up with a delectable meal at Legal Sea Foods.
  3. How to say it delicately? With all that heat and humidity, you end up quaffing gallons and gallons and... er... not processing much. It all gets used up and sweat out.
  4. My image of New England was population and houses and pavement from border to border. Boy, was I wrong. There are miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of beautiful, thick forests, on rolling hills, with very trouty-looking, fly-fishable streams and rivers, and lots of rocks and cliffs and outcroppings. Gorgeous. I would love to see it in the Fall.
  5. The people we dealt with were all very nice.
  6. There seemed to be a higher-than-usual percentage of grim, very masculine-looking women. Often in pairs. I said "Hm" to myself, and prayed for them, a lot.
  7. Cracker Barrels are great restaurants. But they're better in the South.
  8. Dunkin' Donuts everywhere. Wish we had them here. But the best cup I had was after we landed and got the car, and I'd been up for... hm... (doing math) about 29 hours with about 45-60 minutes' scattered sleep. Had a big, fresh cup, and my, it was wonderful.
  9. We did get a Garmin Nuvi 670, and the ladies cristened our navigator "Claire." We were really glad for the purchase, again and again. Cool thing about having a GPS system is you can go off exploring freely, knowing that all you have to do when you're done is flick the GPS back on, and it'll get you where you need to go. However....
  10. My least-favorite word for the whole trip came to be "Recalculating."
So another trip logged, tremendous credit to my amazing wife's amazing ability to put together the fullest, richest trips.

Excellent, once again, Valerie!

Oh, and I took just <800 pix. I'll put a few more up sometime, p'raps.


threegirldad said...

--10. My least-favorite word for the whole trip came to be "Recalculating."--

See? I told you there would be things about it that made you want to throw it out the window.


DJP said...

Yep. 9.8 times out of 10, it was great... but then you'd come to these kind of iffy, did-she-mean-THIS-one? turns, and the car would just be tense and silent until we knew Claire wouldn't sniff, "Recalculating (— idiot!)."

John said...

Welcome home. I can't imagine having fun with that little sleep. I too once walked the Freedom Trail. Didn't you notice that "Kennedy" feeling (kind a' like that "feeling" one gets in a spooky kind of way)? And didn't you feel patriotic standing on the decks of the COnstitution (probably pretending to be John Paul Jones) and yelling: "Surrender?? I have just begun to fight!!"

candy said...

If Bruce and I move back to NH, you will have to come back and visit Portsmouth and Strawberry Banke. Glad you all had a nice trip.

Kay said...

New England in the Autumn - definitely an ambition of mine too.

Jay said...

Once my teaching contract with the good old state of North Carolina is done with (six, possibly eight, years from now) I think New England, specifically Vermont, is going to be my home. I don't know why, really. I just feel like it's more "me" than the South (love the South though I do).

CR said...

DD Coffee is "okay", not great. Cracker Barrels is "okay", not great. I've been to them before a number of times in South Carolina.

Rob Steele said...

You wouldn't look for clam chowda in the South, would you? Of course not. They have no notion of it down there. Similarly with Cracker Barrel in New England. Dey gots no idea what you talkin bout.

btw, did you know the actor who played Boss Hogg was a Yankee? His accent was as fake as a politician's smile. Glad you had a good trip--ya'll come back now, you hear?

Dawg Doc said...

Glad you had fun in New England. I just left after 4 wet weeks and am now firmly entrenched in the south (Myrtle Beach to be exact...experiencing the remnants of Fay). New England knows nothing about humidity, it's all down here!

DD is the BEST coffee of any chain in America but if you ever get to western Massachusetts there is a small roaster called Shelburne Falls that has excellent coffee.

Unknown said...

Go ahead - you can say it - you sweated profusely! You will be all set when you come visit in Honduras! And - believe it or not - we have DD here! So you will feel right at "home". Glad you are back safe and sound!

candy said...

Green Mountain coffee from Vermont beats DD by a mile.

OK you rested long enough....time for pictures! Bruce will be so homesick when you post pics though.

DJP said...

Thanks, Candy. I took just shy of 800 pix. Hard to choose. Maybe I'll just put them all up at Pyro next week.

Longest. Post. EVER!!!

Pastor Michael said...


I, too, just bought a Garmin GPS for a trip and found it helpful, interesting and sometimes annoying, as with the faux enthusiasm with which it proclaims, “Destination on right” as though you’d never have found the place had you not bought the thing.

I just posted some thoughts on a connection I noticed between God’s wisdom and GPS devices, and knowing your passion for Proverbs, wondered if you might have time to offer a critique.

Let me know, too, if this request is a breach of netiquette—I don’t want to become known as the world’s least famous link troll.

Blessings in Christ,