Monthly Archives: September 2010

Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 10

Sun. Aug. 29, 2010:

            This time
around there was no 5am wake-up call, it was a much more reasonable 7am. Sadly this
was our last day and we were heading home. This was my last Dunkin’ Donuts run,
so I had my delicious (and apparently really bad for you) coffee cake muffin
and I bought a strawberry donut to share at home. We got back on good ol’ I-90
for the last time (I think we pretty much drove the entire thing) and I managed
to stay awake the whole time for once. And yet again the Erie Canal Way signs kept
popping up, over and over again. The night before I had found Sierra Mist
Natural and was now enjoying it in the car, after I had finished my coffee of
course. It was pretty good, better than Throwback Pepsi and Throwback Mountain
Dew. There was barely even a line-up at the border, we got across in less than
5 minutes, yet on the other side coming back into the States was a huge line-up
that went on forever, continuing the theme of the trip of reverse traffic jams.
A nice way to end the road trip.

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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 9

Sat. Aug. 28, 2010:

here was also really good, they had Fruit Loops and mini-lemon poppy seed
muffins, but alas the coffee was the worst I’d had on the trip. The GPS had to
charge so I plunked down with my breakfast and watched an entire movie on HBO,
it was an awful movie I still do not know why I watched it to the end. It was
fun making fun of it and predicting stuff. On the way to Saratoga Springs, NY we
passed through Massachusetts (another 3 state day) and we passed through Roosterville.
There was a sign for a picnic area that showed the tree leaning towards a
picnic bench… as though he were stealing a sandwich! As if that was not weird
enough, in Ofis, MA they are chicken mad! 
All the store fronts had pictures of chickens and one restaurant was
offering a “chicken retirement plans” (BBQed, braised, rotiserrie etc…). After
that, as if we had not encountered enough weird: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
I really thought I had not read the sign correctly, but then I saw more, it’s
an actual thing!

            We just
happened to be in Saratoga Springs on the biggest day of the year for them: The
Travers Stakes Cup, a horse race. We parked at the track because there was free
parking. We were going to go watch the races but you had to pay $8 to get in
and I didn’t feel like it, but then Brent convinced me to go, and admission
turned out to be $5. How could we not? It was the biggest day of the year and
we just happened to be there. Impulsively and at the last minute we decided to
bet on a race, we were going to wait until the 6th but that was too
long away, so went and bet on the one that was just about to happen, the 4th
race. I just followed my gut instinct and bet on the same horse as Brent did,
horse 5 to win. As I later found out, the only reason for this was because of
the song “Chips Ahoy” by The Hold Steady in which some girl bets on the 5th
horse in the 6th race. The odds for our horse we were 1:10 but by
the time the horses were at the starting line it had gone up to 1:12. Our horse
was not a favourite, and for most of the race he was lagging behind. The horse
with 1:50 odds was in the lead for a bit, causing a surge of excitement beside
us (I think the guy was hugging the girl and yelling at the horses?), that is
until horse 5 decided to pick up speed. He came from the back, almost out of
nowhere, and this was towards the end of the race. At this point the excitement
shifted from everyone around us to just Brent (we were the only people in the
vicinity who had bet on horse 5) who was jumping up and down and screaming
something about running or number 5? I forget, I was very confused. I remained
confused up until I went up the betting window and got my $5 back as well as
another $61. I was kicking myself for not having planned to go to the Coach
outlet on the way home, rather than at the beginning of the trip. Watching the
replay, our horse won by an entire horse’s length! Whereas second and third
place was a photo finish and the judges had to verify it. The next race was not
for another half hour so we walked around the place, enjoying our betters high.
We found out from overheard conversation that our horse’s name was Monister.

            For lunch
we went to some Mexican place where I decided to go for the pizza instead of
chimmichongas. We went to the park to check a map to see the locations of
springs, and conveniently enough there just happened to be four springs in that
very park. Here is how it broke down: 1.) tasty refreshing regular spring
water, 2.) slightly metal/bread taste (in the bottle it was found to have stuff
floating in it) 3.) infused with sulfur, tasted like rotten eggs and bad cheese
4.) smelled even worse of sulfur, refused to try it, but apparently it was also
(naturally) carbonated, making it that much worse. While we were at spring 2
some girls came over and warned us about number 4, but we couldn’t find it so
we assumed that they had meant number 3. They were right about the stench. As we
were making our way back to the car I thought I would give water 4 a try, but even
just opening the bottle and getting a whiff, made me change my mind. We had
gotten some in a bottle so as to take home and trick people into trying it for
giggles. When we got back to the track it was the 8th race but the
odds were pretty even across the board so we decided not to bet (when we looked
it up later, the horse we would’ve bet on had lost anyway). I would also like
to point out that it was boiling hot, and getting into a car that had sat in a
hot parking lot all day, did not help matters. To finish off we went to
Saratoga Spa Springs State Park (quite the mouthful) to see a few more springs
and apparently two geysers. Both geysers turned out to be sulfuric as was one
of the springs. I knew this in advance because I figured out that the rock
around the sulfur springs turns a rusty red. As per the fresh water spring, I bottled
it and took it home, it was delicious. I did have fun watching Brent try all
the sulfuric waters, make a face and then spit it out only to go back for more!

            From there
we went to Utica, NY because all the hotels in Saratoga were booked, and now we
knew why. We had misremembered a quote from the Simpsons about Principal Skinner
saying that Utica is known for its steamed hams. So for dinner we had fastfood
burgers. I had Wendy’s because I was also craving their boneless wings. The TV
was not as good, ended up watching Married With Children and Jersey Shore.

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Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 8

Fri. Aug. 27, 2010:

            The breakfast
at this hotel was sub-par; there was no milk for my coffee, just coffee whitener
which is gross. And the oatmeal did not have ingredients listed on the packet,
so for all I knew it was full of awful bad-for-me stuff so why not just go all
out? Dunkin’ Donuts strawberry frosted donut for breakfast it was! It looked
just like the stereotypical Simpsons donut (but tasted way better, they had
movie promo ones for sale at 7-Eleven once). The plan was to get done today
what we had planned for yesterday: explore Essex County, CT which consists of
Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton. Essex is right on the Connecticut River (about
which they have a museum) so there were some nice views there, and because it’s
a “retirement community” everyone was awake that early in the morning and
cheerful and happy. On the way to Centerbrook we stopped at Essex’s other
tourist draw: the steam train. As we were getting out of the car the steam
train was actually pulling into the station, good timing on our part. There were
lots of old train cars and even a red caboose. As the steam train passed we
found out that the steam smells really bad. In Centerbrook the only thing to
see was a small river going over a dam? It didn’t really seem like a dam, nor
did it seem like a waterfall. And in Ivoryton there was nothing but houses. Historic
Litchfield also consisted of houses but these were older and cooler looking,
they were from the 1800s and there were lots of old churches as well. Everything
there was painted white, one store-front was actually putting on a new coat of
white paint. This place was also small and had not too much to see. Off to West
Cornwall to see a covered bridge, except we passed through some smelly cow
country. For a while it looked like we were lost, but then we saw a sign
promising the bridge. But the sign was off, it was way further than the sign
had said, making us think we were lost again. When we got there it was just as
promised, a covered bridge. It looked cool and we got to drive through (over?)

            We almost
missed the parking lot for the Appalachian Trail to the top of Bear Mountain
(north of Salisbury CT) just as the trail guide had warned us. The first two
miles of the trail were to be steep and grueling warned the travel guide we had
found on the internet, and they were not exaggerating. It was indeed steep,
hell on the hamstrings (at one point I couldn’t completely straighten my leg),
but we kept passing people on their way to the top or on their way back down
and we kept thinking, if they can make it so can we. There was even a family
with children and 2 dogs! There were some cool mushrooms along the way but that
was about it, no wildlife of any sorts, well that I could see anyways, the
forest was pretty dense. It took us about 1.5 hours to reach the top… or what
we thought was the top. There was some exposed rock and the trees had cleared,
there was a great view of the mountain range, but according to the trail guide
there was supposed to be a pile of rocks, which we did not see, so we continued
on. It took us another half hour before we reached the actual top! And then we
climbed that pile of rocks, so we were at the very actual top. The view was amazing;
you could see towns and lakes and more mountains and so much blue sky! Plus it
was nice to sit down. The plaque said that we were about 2000 some-odd feet
above sea level. It also said that the pile used to be a tower. While sitting I
saw a bird fly by, the only wildlife I saw during the entire hike. The descent
was only slightly easier; my hamstrings got a break but only at the cost of my
knees now taking the brunt of it all. It was all a bit unnerving now though,
slowly making way down steep paths, especially the exposed rock which was
rather smooth and hard to walk down. We made it back down in less time, about
1.5 hours? Everyone we passed on the way up and down was so nice and said hello
or smiled. As you got closer to the top the people seemed more
rugged/experienced, having on hiking shoes, carrying camel packs (water bags)
and even a couple who had clearly not showered in days.

            We were
so hungry after this, having not stopped for lunch, we were basically running
on snacks.  My hunger of course lead me
to wonder, was Salisbury steak invented in Salisbury CT? Well it was invented
by an American, so maybe. My hunger was really getting to me, I joked that when
we finally got to a restaurant it would be like the scene in Harold & Kumar
when they get to White Castle and order an exorbitant amount of food. I kept
saying that I was hungry as a bear. We had dinner at Applebee’s because our
keycard to the hotel gave us a 10% discount. I had the most delicious dinner that
hit the spot: peppercorn steak with asiago cheese on top. For snackage, yes we
were that hungry, we had chocolate covered pretzels that we had seen on the Price
Is Right earlier, Cape Cod potato chips (apparently it’s not just a regional
thing) and cherry Dr Pepper. I forget where we were staying, I think we were
still in Connecticut, yes, yes we were. Sadly there was nothing on TV, so we
just watched and made fun of the Real World. Later Les Straud’s (Survivor Man)
new show was on, and right as I was going to go to sleep, Freaks and Geeks came
on. How could I pass up a good show like that? Plus it was fun picking out all
the celebrities, it was like a young not-yet-famous stew.

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Posted by on September 6, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 7

**not my photograph, but so hard to describe the Boston Cream Pie from Legal Seafood

Thurs. Aug. 26, 2010:

            We woke
up early for the first time in days not to the sound of rain, but to wonderful
glorious sunshine!  We drove about 20
minutes to the other Steamship Authority to catch a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard (no,
we were not stalking Obama) only to be told to back track to a parking lot… that
was 5 minutes away from our hotel! From there we had to take a shuttle bus on
which everyone was worried because we were all trying to catch the same ferry
and it didn’t seem we would make it on time. As soon as we got there we ran to
two separate lines to get tickets, and I mean ran, we sprinted ahead and around
everyone on the bus. We barely caught the ferry; thankfully it was not running
on a strict schedule. The ride itself was about half an hour and not that interesting;
save for the occasional seagull that swooped down in The Birds style and almost
hit people. The first thing we did when we got there was grab a free map, given
we had a completely different plan initially for our day on the island
involving bikes and cliffs. We instead went on a self-guided walking tour of
the “town” of Oak Bluffs and saw the gingerbread cottages, the best by far was
a strawberry pink one decorated with hearts.

            We walked
along the coast road to get to a lighthouse conveniently located on Telegraph
Hill (we had been to a Telegraph Hill in San Francisco the year before). On our
way back towards town, we stopped at the beach for our well deserved beach day
(only 4 days later!) at high noon of all times. We went swimming for a while. At
first it was really cold and I took forever to get in the water, but once I was
in it was nice and refreshing. Having cooled down I headed back to land to work
on my tan. My relaxation was routinely interrupted by a loud mouth on her cell
talking about some wedding in Arkansas and a newly available divorced guy. Fun.
There was also a mom who buried her kid in the sand, up to his neck, it was
awesome. For lunch we went to Nancy’s, a place we had heard about the night
before while channel surfing… because Obama had eaten there the day before,
again not stalking. I can see why he ate there, this place was awesome. They had
the best drink in the entire world: a something Daly, basically lemonade with
sweet tea vodka in it. We still had some time to kill  before the ferry left so we wandered around “town”
some more and looked at more houses as well as making fun of the tourist-y
shlock, t-shirts that said stuff like: I vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard with
Obama 2010. How cheesey. The ferry ride back was awful boring, my dehydration and
tiredness did not help matters. I kept falling asleep and my head would snap
forward and wake me up. There was also some really grumpy mothers and annoying
children all around us.

            As soon
as we got off the ferry we ran for the shuttle and got seats right at the front
so we could get off first. And what a good plan that was, as soon as the bus
arrived in the parking lot we hopped off and ran like mad to the car (people
stared), but we got out of the parking lot before anyone else, most people were
actually still lumbering off the bus! Up next was Legal Seafood, so it is
understandable why we ran so fast. We went through the last roundabout of the
trip as we left Cape Cod, but we actually missed the exit and had to go all the
way around it. On the way we passed a sign for the Lizzie Borden Museum, which I
now found out is also a bed & breakfast, so you can spend the night where
the murders happened.  When we got back
to Rhode Island, we or I, I forget, waved our hands in the air and cheered. Not
quite sure why, probably because we were that much closer to Legal Seafood. I learned
two lessons on this stretch of road trip: 1.) leaving Sour Patch Kids in a hot
car all day makes them ever more delicious and soft 2.) the Sour Patch Kids in
the bottom of the bag are brutally sour and almost inedible. When we got to the
restaurant there was still the small matter of I was wearing my bikini top, so I
climbed into the back of the car, not the trunk, but at the very back, and
changed under my shirt, it was awful, I hit my arm and then was stuck  in there because the hatchback of the Jeep
doesn’t open from the inside so I had to pound on the door.

            At Legal
Seafood we had a feast of sorts, we ordered a bunch of appetizers and split
them all. We were seated at a 4 person table and eventually spread out over all
that space because we had: crab cakes, Rhode Island style calamari (made with
banana peppers) with accompanying sauce, New England clam chowder and small
plates for grabbing stuff. It was a delicious mess of sorts. As was dessert: a
boston cream pie: a small layer of barely-there graham crust, then a giant pile
of cream, with a solid layer of milk chocolate on top and then chocolate sauce
drizzled on top. It was heavenly. This was also the point when I could not eat
any more seafood, after this it was just too much, I couldn’t even finish my
half of the calamari. I can see why Legal Seafood was named one of 1000 things
to see in the world in that book they had at Chapters.

            As we
drove to Saybrook, Connecticut (where we were staying) a cop tailed and pulled
over a speeder in front of us, which freaked us out at first because it seemed
as if he were coming after us. I also found out in this portion of driving that
seafood burps are gnarly, so gross. The sun was setting so I grabbed for my
camera, but as I came back up, the sun was gone and it was dark… it was only
8pm, it really hit home that summer was ending. We passed by Lyme, CT which
made me wonder if after Lyme disease was discovered was it bad for tourism? There
was a sign on the highway warning of a prison area followed by exits to a beach
and a park. The first thing I saw when I turned on the TV was a Spanish show
featuring a lady dancing with some dogs. What is with all the weird Spanish TV
in the States?! Thankfully there was a Futurama marathon on followed by The
Daily Show in which Jon Stewart spent the first 10 minutes just ripping into
Glenn Beck (that weird pundit we saw on TV earlier in the week that we could
not figured out if it was joke and what he was talking about) and his proposed
rally that Stewart called Beck-a-palooza among other things. It was hilarious.

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Posted by on September 5, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 6

Wed. Aug. 25, 2010:

            Again it
was raining, surprise surprise. Thankfully this was to be the last day of rain.
We decided to post-pone Martha’s Vineyard until the next day when the weather
would actually be nice because we did not have much planned for that day anyways,
we could squeeze it in. For breakfast we went to William Shatner’s favourite
bagel place: Cape Cod Bagel Café. And I can see why he likes the place so much,
pizza bagels are awesome. Afterwards we went to Wal-Mart to buy some fruit to
snack on in a sad attempt to counter-act all the bad food we had been eating. I
also stocked up on Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate and am now regretting not having
gotten more because I am seriously hooked on it and we don’t have it here in
Canada. As we were heading to the cash, we overheard a guy talking to his
(assumed girlfriend): “the reason [his
emphasis] I have so many more girl-friends than guy-friends…” and he trailed
off and we don’t know how badly it ended. At the checkout my eyes also chanced upon
a Thingamagig, a chocolate bar that the cashier told me was really good. And was
it ever: it had peanut butter and rice krispies all wrapped up in chocolate.

            The weather
cleared up in the afternoon so we drove down to Nobska Beach and Lighthouse
which was very pretty. I rolled up my pant legs and walked around in the water,
it was surprisingly warm and apparently that is one of the warmest parts of the
Atlantic Ocean in that area. From the beach you could see Martha’s Vineyard and
the ferries going back and forth. Also while we were driving to and from the
beach we encountered mild flooding on the roads, that’s what happens after four
straight days of rain. The sun had peeked out for a bit but it was still cold
and a little bit rainy, so we just hung around the hotel playing in the arcade.
Earlier when we went to check out the gym we passed by and I noticed that the
claw machine was rather empty, emptier than it had been when we checked out the
pool.  I was suspicious, this of course
meant it was easy to win so I grabbed some quarters and played. At first the
machine rejected my quarter… and gave me an extra one. So I tried the other
slot, played and lost… only to get another quarter back! So I played again and
won a TY seal (remember those from the 90s?) technically for free because I had
gotten two quarters out of the machine.

            For dinner
we went into “town” and ate at La Cucina Sol Mar (which was actually fancier
than I had expected, it said casual dress!) a fancy Italian place. At first the
waitress just kind of looked at us funny, almost like we were out of place. I finally
got to try swordfish, it was delicious and light and very savoury and not heavy
at all, I ate the entire thing and still had room for dessert: the world’s
greatest tiramisu. It had less cakey stuff and more filling, and it was served
with whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate drizzle on top. Best dessert
ever. We walked around “downtown” Main Street and I was drawn into a cupcake
place by its name: CupCapes of Falmouth, where my sweet tooth took over and I ended
up getting a chocolate cupcake with cookies and crème icing on top: it had
crushed Oreos in it!! When we got back I brewed a nice cup of pomegranate
cranberry green tea that I had bought earlier in the day and settled in to
watch America’s Got Talent results show while on Twitter (best combination).

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Posted by on September 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 5

Tues. Aug. 24, 2010:

            We woke
up really early to go catch the ferry to Nantucket; I think we woke up at like
7am or so? No wait, 6:30am, it was an 8:30am ferry and we had to be there 45
minutes before and that all just adds up. Breakfast was not too shabby,
mini-lemon-poppy seed muffins and also pancakes! We were about to leave when we
realized we left the umbrella in the hotel room so I had to run back (and
managed to jump into a giant puddle) and get it. We got to the Steamship Authority
only to find out that our ferry had been cancelled, it never even left the island
to come to Hyannis because there was an ocean advisory of sorts that amounted to
giant ship-tossing waves that were too dangerous. So there we were, 7:30am and
not sure what to do, bleary-eyed and tired we decided to go Ihop which was
thankfully open that early. We split an order of chocolate batter chocolate
chip pancakes, I had another cup of coffee after having just chugged my earlier
one in the parking lot before going in. because we said we were splitting they
brought out the pancakes on two plates, each with whipped cream and chocolate
chips on top. It was heavenly! So good! They were delicious and light and
fluffy and chocolatey and the whipped cream made them all the more better. And they
weren’t heavy either, just perfect! We were told to call the place at around
10am to check the status of the next ferry at 10:30 am, so we only had 2.5
hours of time to kill. Only.

            So we
went to the parking lot and just outside of it there is a smaller temporary
lot, so we just sat there in the car. I climbed in back, moved stuff around
made a make shift bed for myself and tried to catch some shut eye, which barely
worked. As soon as I turned over the coffee kicked in and I was awake but still
feeling tired. It was awful. Then it got worse, I had to pee. So we drove to a
nearby gas station because apparently at the Steamship Authority they don’t
have bathrooms, or so Brent told me, I later found out that they do in fact, which
would’ve been nice, given that the gas station bathroom had just been wiped
down with bleach.  When I went in my eyes
started to burn and water and my throat was all itchy and there were still
puddles of bleach on the floor, not good given I was in flip flops! When I got
back outside I could still smell/feel the bleach, and I myself had soaked up
the smell as had my flip flops. It took me a while to get over it. It wasn’t
even 10am yet, but we called anxiously anyways and of course they still had no
idea on the status. At this point I noticed that a blister had formed on my
toe, which would explain why I was in such sleep-depriving agony all night. We went
back to the SA and talked to lady who forewarned that even if the ferry left,
it might not be able to make it back and that the waves were supposed to get
worse throughout the day. So we walked along Main Street (yes that same one
that had eluded us the day before) and pondered what to do next. Risk getting
stuck? We decided not to go because the weather sucked and we did not want to
get stuck there overnight. We went back to get a refund and found out that
ferry that would’ve been taking us had not even arrived yet! And it was
supposed to depart 10 minutes later! As we left the parking lot the nice
attendant lady (from Florida) told us that President Obama was staying at
Martha’s Vineyard at the time.

            With another
open ended day, we decided to go see another movie. Except it was only 11am so
we wandered the mall waiting for the theatre to open, which we thought would be
at noon but apparently wasn’t until later so we bailed and headed on to our
next destination: Falmouth, MA. We stopped for lunch at Mary Ellen’s Portuguese
Bakery (the same Mary Ellen from America’s Got Talent? Not sure, did not see
her there.) I had an awesome sandwich done right: just marinated pork steak on
a bun, no veggies or fanciness, just meat and bread. The pickle and chips on
the side were a nice touch. We got to the (really nice) hotel only to find out that
check-in wasn’t for another 1.5 hours! Again! 
So we drove down to the marina to see some rain-covered boats for lack
of anything else to do. There was a guy fishing off the dock and I swear it
looked like he had caught a squid but as we walked by again it may have just
been seaweed. We walked along the beach and looked at dead horseshoe crabs and I
found some nice seashells. With more time to kill we headed out on a snack run:
Double Stuff Oreo Cakesters and a giant bag of Swedish Fish and one of Sour Patch
Kids and Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream and of course Sierra Mist. The hotel
we were staying in was the nicest one of the trip. But it also did not have a
fridge so we had to eat the whole pint of ice cream in one sitting; thankfully
the Simpsons Movie was on. For dinner we stopped at Seafood Sam’s so I could
get some lobster bisque and then headed to McDonald’s because Brent had been
craving it and thus made me crave it. The GPS said it was about 5km away which didn’t
seem right, so first we went to the nearby Wal-Mart (a guaranteed McDonald’s
right?) only to find out that they had a Subway not a McDonald’s! I stuck with
my gut instinct that we had passed one on that main road, so we drove on it for
like 2 minutes and there were the golden arches, the GPS got it wrong again! This
was a good day TV-wise, there was Wipeout followed by America’s Got Talent. Perfect
for pigging out on McNuggets and delicious lobster bisque, which was sweet and
salty and meaty and buttery and all around awesome.

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Posted by on September 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 4

Mon. Aug. 23, 2010:

again I awoke to the sound of rain hitting the window. The breakfast at this
hotel was the best yet: mini-cinnamon buns, mini-chocolate chip muffins and
some really good coffee. Initially this was supposed to be a beach day. We were
going to head up to Provincetown (at the very tip of Cape Cod) and have an
awesome beach day. Alas, we couldn’t even go there just to look because there
was a high wind advisory and we didn’t want the car to flip. So we just went to
see Marconi’s telegraph station from where he sent the first trans-Atlantic
signal. We went to look at Marconi beach but it was way too windy and cold.
There were some nice views of the sand dunes though. Just before leaving we
noticed the White Cedar Swamp Trail and decided to go on it because the rain
had stopped and we were trying to salvage what we could of the day. Alas,
towards the end the rain picked up, but thankfully the trees kept out most of
the rain. Marconi Beach was also the narrowest point of Cape Cod, I learned
this from a helpful map near the telegraph station.

With nothing else to do in
Eastham, we headed out to the next stop on the road trip: Hyannis, MA. Thanks to
the bag of Cape Cod chips we had been eating the night before I found out that there
was a mall in Hyannis and where there is a mall there is almost always a movie
theatre. So we decided that we would go see a movie once we got there because
it was too early to check-in to the hotel. The mall parking lot was full so we
parked in a hotel parking lot that was right beside the mall, only to find out
that that was the hotel we were staying at! My eyes lit up like a child’s on
Christmas morning. There was also an Ihop across the street (my evening snack
plans). We also happened to get to Hyannis before noon, as in before the movie
theatre even opened! What else could I do but go shopping to kill some time? There
was a giant line up at the movie theatre so Brent stood in line while I shopped.
In the mall I learned the greatest thing about Massachusetts: they don’t charge
tax on clothing! Thankfully the sales weren’t that great, else I would’ve blown
all my money. We went to see Scott Pilgrim
Vs. The World
and it was nice to see home (the movie is set in Toronto) and
it was funny when people laughed at or were confused by Canadian references. Walking
back to the hotel after the movie to check-in, we got rained on real bad. As I entered
the lobby I was shivering and soaked and the nice guy at the desk told me that
there was complimentary hot chocolate and coffee and tea. My eyes lit up when I
saw that it was Swiss Miss hot chocolate! Only the best!

At this point we were really really hungry
because we skipped lunch. Why did we skip lunch? Because our dinner plans were:
The Brazilian Grill House, which is a buffet! So we just had snacks in the day.
The Grill House is located on Main Street: only problem is that the GPS listed
3 Main Streets! The first one was wrong, so we went with the second one, to
which the GPS dragged us through small tiny dirt (barely) roads. And it was
also the wrong one. At this point about an hour had passed and we were getting
really frustrated. New plan: use the GPSs search a point of interest function. And
success! It only took us 1.5 hours. This was no ordinary buffet. The food
(sorry, meat) was brought to your table! The waiter said they had 16 different
meats that day. We ate steak, filet mignon, chicken legs, lamb, pork, steak
infused with cheese and chicken hearts. Chicken hearts are gross and rubbery and
taste like liver. For dessert they roll up a dessert cart to your table and you
get to choose, we had flan. It was a delicious custard-pudding-sweet dessert. Getting
back to the hotel took us AN ENTIRE 5 MINUTES! Stupid Main St., we blame you! Thinking
that we might go through with the next day’s plans, a trip to the island
Nantucket, we wandered the mall in search of warmer clothes and an umbrella. I stayed
for longer but didn’t find anything in the end. I bought a green tea and then
accidentally dropped it on my foot right after. Boiling hot steeped tea… on my
foot. I ended up with second degree burns on my second toe that only later
blistered, even though I ran it under cold water and even iced it! A week later
it is still gross-looking. My whole second toe is going to have a scar on top
of it. Ah memories. To cheer myself up I thought I would go to Ihop for
chocolate chip pancakes, but first I went to get Brent to see if he wanted any.
We looked up the hours only to find out it was closed! What kind of a pancake
house closes at 9pm?! Instead we watched The Best Thing I Ever Ate and mused on
the best things we’d ever eaten. And the perfect way to end the night: watching
Dating in the Dark (Billy from last season’s True Beauty was on it!) and it was
hilarious as always.

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Posted by on September 3, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 3

Sun. Aug. 22, 2010:

I woke up to the wonderful
sound of the rain hitting the window. We turned on the TV to see what the weather
forecast was looking like only to see a giant rain system sprawled over the
entirety of our vacation destination, from where we were to where we were
going. And it was predicted to last until Wednesday (which it did). This hotel
did not offer any breakfast and thus I learned something new about myself:
Pinka runs on Dunkin’ Donuts. I had this amazing coffee cake muffin that had
sugar and cinnamon crumble on top. We passed through Rhode Island, the
prettiest of all the states we went to. The rain started to taper off and was
just misty. We went over a giant cool suspension bridge to get to Newport, RI which
is where we were going next. We had barely gotten out of the car in Newport
when a torrential downpour started. It’s as if the rain just waited for us to
get out of the car. It rained on and off for the rest of our stay there. We went
on the Cliff Walk and saw all the fancy-pants mansions on the Cliffside and I got
to see the Atlantic Ocean. We got lost trying to find our way back to the main
street, which would’ve been fine, had I not been soaking wet and the rain being
awful and it being windy. For lunch we went to Asterisk and shared a
four-cheese lobster ravioli which was delicious. Ah yes, we also had escargot
in a garlic butter sauce. It wasn’t gross at all, it just weird when you could
feel the shape and texture of it and that brought you back to “I am eating a
snail”. Because it had been raining so much though, I looked like a drowned rat
and thankfully there weren’t that many people in the place. We passed a sign
welcoming us to Massachusetts (and thus we had another 3-state day) as well as
one welcoming us to Cape Cod in all its rainy glory.

Soon after the welcome sign we encountered the
first of many roundabouts. As we got closer to it, we saw the beginning of a
very very long traffic jam of people leaving Cape Cod (the weekend was over)
which also started a mini-theme on our vacation of opposite direction traffic
jams. Thankfully the next roundabout was much less confusing, it only had 3
exits from which we went to Eastham, MA. We stayed in Eastham (which is in the
middle of the arm of Cape Cod) for only one night. There were a bunch of empty
rowboats and motor boats just ominously floating in a lake, leading me to the
conclusion that it was a ghost party. We drove right past the Friendly
Fisherman (our dinner plans) on the way to the motel without even realizing it.
So after we checked in and realized our mistake we backtracked and got dinner, which
consisted of some of the best crabcakes I have ever had. Re-energized we headed
up the cape to check out Doane Rock, a giant rock that had been brought there
by a glacier some years ago. We got lost trying to find the Salt Pond Visitor’s
Centre and just decided to drive along the road when we chanced upon the Coast
Guard Beach which is where the Centre was located, a lucky coincidence. Alas,
at this point I still had no idea which way was north. We also went to look at
the Cape Cod National Seashore, alas it was so cold and windy and sort of rainy
that we did not actually get to go swimming. We did go on the Nauset Marsh
Trail, but we turned back at about the halfway point because it seemed to be
branching off and there was still a second trail we had wanted to go on. As it
turned out later it was the same trail just had two different names, confusing.
We saw a wild deer run by but that was about it. Thankfully we avoided being
bitten by any ticks, always a plus. On the trail we munched on pretzel M&Ms
which are too pretzel-y and not as good as chocolate-covered pretzels. We ended
the day with Cape Cod potato chips and even more TV.

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Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Uncategorized


Cape Cod Road Trip- Day 2

I woke up at 6:30am, mumbled 5 more minutes, rolled over…
and woke up half an hour later. Breakfast consisted of free mini-muffins (which
turned out to be banana, gross) and coffee with powdered cream, not exactly the
greatest breakfast ever. As we drove I stared out the window at the fog patches
rolling over the Adirondack Mountains. It was barely past 7am when we got on
the interstate and there were no cars in sight, it looked like smooth sailing
to Hartford, Connecticut. Not so, because there were no cars around, at all, we
got busted for speeding, which held us back a good 20 minutes. From there we
went back onto the NY Thruway and pretty much rode the entire thing, paying a
hefty toll at the end of it I might add. It was so boring, I kept almost
falling asleep. We kept passing signs saying we were passing through the
Historic Erie Canal; we passed at least six by my counting, so much so I kept
saying it was like in Groundhog Day. There were two wild turkeys by the side of
the road walking along, bobbing their cute but ugly heads. We passed over the
Berkshire-on-Hudson Bridge that leads to NYC and is apparently famous for mobs
throwing bodies rolled up in carpets off of. Apparently.

Massachusetts turnpike was not all that interesting. And what was more
attention-grabbing was the fact that we were running on nearly empty (the light
was on and everything) and there weren’t any gas stations in sight, at least
not for a few miles anyways. Thankfully we eventually made it to one. And to
celebrate we had soft pretzels… but they were soaked in butter! It showed
through the bag right away! As we continued on the highway we noticed two jets
flying overhead. Then three. Then four… they seemed to be multiplying and
spawning in mid-air. Or it was an air show, at least that is what the flashing
road sign said. From the looks of it, it was a really popular air show, the
traffic was back up all the way from the off-ramp and then further down the
highway for miles and miles… so far that we never go to see where the traffic
jam ended (began?) because our exit eventually came up. We passed through
Springfield, MA and made a ton of Simpsons jokes. From the interstate you could
see the Basketball Hall of Fame which was a cool looking sphere.

actually had a sign welcoming you to the state, this sign also constituted
being in 3 states in one day (we had to pass through a tiny bit of
Massachusetts to get to Connecticut from New York). We passed through a place
called Hazardville, CT. We went over to the carpool lane because there was no
one there (and also we were actually carpooling, so ha!) which should have been
a forewarning. The carpool lane soon branched off from the regular highway and
there were signs saying you could not cross the median line to get back onto
the regular non-carpool lanes. We were trapped, which at first was fine, no
traffic, but as our exit started to near we were like oh crap. There had been
nothing warning us of this entrapment, thankfully though the carpool lane ended
right before our exit. What were we doing in Hartford? Why checking out Mark
Twain’s house of course. Which is, according to Ghost Hunters (the TV show)
haunted, in a few spots, so said our tour guide. Before we went on the tour
though, we had some time to kill so we headed back to the car and sat in the
back and ate day-old buffalo wings. Some guys drove by and laughed at our
mini-tailgate party. As if that is not crazy enough, Mark Twain himself was
crazy… cat crazy. He had a bunch of them just roaming the house. Afterwards I
was set on trying Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee which I had heard was really good.
First off, their small is HUGE, secondly they did not tell me that the mocha
syrup is already sweet, so the fact that I then added some sugar to that, it
was bad, it made my teeth hurt. We also passed through Salem, the not cool one
though. But they did have a place called Dinosaur Crossing that prominently
featured a dinosaur sporting nifty green sunglasses and holding a Coke.

Of course we got lost. What’s
a roadtrip without the GPS misleading us and us going back the way we came and
being delayed by a whole 20 minutes because Connecticut roads are all very very
confusing as are the exits and branches of the interstate. In the end though we
did make our way to Mystic Seaport in Mystic CT. Mystic Seaport was just a
whole mess of nautical fun, climbing aboard ships, checking out old banks and
apothecaries and of course avoiding actors playing period parts (awkward!) and
not learning a single thing! I already knew this before, but now it has just
been further cemented in my mind: I would never ever want to be a sailor. Aboard
some of the ships (especially the whaling ship they were restoring) it was very
cramped quarters, I spent most of the time walking with my head and neck down…
and I am short. I also saw some (wild, as in not in an aquarium) jellyfish! They
are not colorful like the ones in the aquarium, but that might be because they
don’t have any pretty lighting. We spent a lot of time at Mystic Seaport, we
were there almost until closing. Alas the aquarium would have to wait until the
next day. At least I had seen some wild jellyfish!

For dinner we were going to
eat at Abbot’s Lobsters, driving to it was a complete and total nightmare. There
was construction being done on one side of a draw bridge so it was one way
traffic on a small tiny road over a bridge. This was not helped by the fact that
there was a street festival that day and the street was packed with people and
no parking at all (else we would have walked the rest of the way). The address
we had for the place did not even exist, the number went higher than the last
one on the road! Yet Google Maps said it existed. Not quite sure what to do,
whether to look for it or find a new place, we went with option two. Mango’s
Woodfired Pizza, which just happened to be next door to the aquarium. We
figured while we are there we can check and see what the aquarium hours are for
the next day. Yet the hours weren’t posted outside, we saw through the door as
people exited that they were posted inside. And there was no one in the ticket
booth because we had just missed last admissions by about 5 minutes (it was
only open for one more hour). So we just sauntered in behind some people
leaving and decided that heck, while we’re in there might as well see as much
as we can in that one hour. In my defense: it was our intention just to check
the times, and there was no one around the gate to tell us. Plus it was just
too easy. And yes we did get to see everything. Mango’s was located in a small
tourist-y village type of mall I guess? Before we even made it to the pizza I spotted
a bakery and the ravenous sweet lover inside of me couldn’t resist the lure of
cupcakes. It was a buttermilk cupcake with coconut and cream cheese icing. Brent
also had his eye on a 7-layer bar that had chocolate and caramel and
butterscotch and toffee and almonds and I was barely intrigued by it (I would
later eat my words). The pizza was delicious and worth the wait (woodfire ovens
seem to take forever!) and it provided some entertainment as I went to have my first
bite… all my toppings slid off. The same thing happened to me with the Chicago
Deep Dish, I suppose it doesn’t matter if it’s deep dish or New Haven style,
either way the toppings will slide right off.

On the way in to the hotel we saw an orange cat
and tried to feed it some sausage from the leftover pizza. But no-go, the cat
was too good for our sausage. Yet later when we passed by, the cat was still
lurking around but *shocker* the sausage was gone! The leftover pizza made for
the perfect evening snack accompaniment to Cupcake Wars, a definite TV improvement
over Jersey Shore.

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Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

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