Tues. July 14, 2015:
Massachusetts to Connecticut
Brent woke me up just before 7:00am therefore I did not have to suffer through the agony of an alarm clock. The reason for the early wake-up was that we were headed to the Brimfield Outdoor Antique fair, and if you did not get there early enough, there was no point in going. We got there at 7:30am and actually managed to find parking. Brent had missed the turn into the first parking lot and so we drove on to the second one, which actually ended up being cheaper.
At first it seemed like there were only a few sellers, it was all along a roadside. As we walked further down however we saw how far it stretched, not only down the road but also across the fields away from the road. As we walked we munched on Mega M&Ms for breakfast, they were not much different than regular M&Ms to be honest.
We spent about two hours wandering up and down the fields, and we saw a lot of interesting things. Some of the vendors clearly did not belong there, brand new still in the package Egyptian cotton bed-sheets are NOT antiques. I found a few old books that were interesting but I find it awkward if there is no obvious price because I am no good at haggling and I have no idea what anything is actually worth. We saw some old Dr Pepper crates, alas they would have been a nightmare to transport home. One vendor was selling old gun cartridges and a wooden case for a Winchester repeater that left me nostalgic for Red Dead Redemption. At another stall we found some really creepy old Victorian photographs. UPS had even set up a few stalls scattered throughout, which only tempted me more but it struck me as an expensive endeavour. Especially given the number one thing I wanted to buy was an old wooden blanket box, which is neither small nor light. One guy was selling a giant Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru sign, I really wish I could have bought it. I had seen someone else eating a donut and it got me, it looked so good. I kept an eye out looking for the donut stall and soon enough I found myself enjoying a delicious apple cider donut. There were a couple of sections that you had to pay an admission fee to enter, but we had already seen so much and storm clouds were looming on the horizon- it was not worth it. On our way back to the car we passed a guy who had written in Sharpie on his shirt PORTER FOR HIRE and he had a dolly tied on a rope to his waist.
We were done, we had seen everything and all before it started raining. We were in the car and set to drive to Connecticut… and it was only 9:30 in the morning. The rest of our plans for the day consisted mainly of food. We were in no rush, so we stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts so I could get my usual caffeine fix. We split a Chips Ahoy crème donut, as Mega M&Ms don’t make much of a breakfast. We tried to check in at our hotel, but apparently our room would not be ready until noon.
We drove to Shady Glen Dairy for an early lunch. The diner also served breakfast and we were worried that because it was only 11:00am they might not be serving lunch yet. The diner was in a crappy strip mall and easy to miss. Inside it looked more like a diner though. The server was happy that we were not there for breakfast, I guess they were switching over to lunch. The diner was set-up so that the booths were around the prep area and the servers could reach over a low wall and place stuff on the table without having to walk in between tables and around customers. It was an ingenious set-up. Plus we could watch them as they fried up our food. The menu was written out on the wall but we knew beforehand exactly what we wanted: a cheeseburger and a cheesedog (confusingly called a cheesefurter). The hotdog (it was less of a frankfurter, more of a small hotdog) was brilliantly served: it had been cut in half length-wise therefore making more contact with the bun. Like I said, brilliant. The cheese slice had been fried into a crispy slice and added a nice bit of crunch. The burger however, was better. The cheese on its own was not that great, it was much better as part of the entire hotdog/hamburger. Because Shady Glen also advertised itself as an ice cream parlour, with homemade ice cream, I could not resist the chance to order dessert. I had a single scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough and it was amazing. The ice cream was vanilla, with chocolate shavings and teeny-tiny pieces of cookie dough, it mixed well together as a whole. The service was impeccable, we were out of there in less than half an hour.
That being said, we still had time to kill. This was one of those rare meals where it would have been nice if it took long. We wandered around the dollar store next door, gawking at stuff. We found Jurassic Park Mike & Ike’s candies. There was a mystery flavoured dino-egg candy. It was fruity-flavoured just like the others. The banana one was disgusting, I spit it out into a sewer. Afterwards we went to the Stop & Shop grocery store. They had key lime Oreos, but Brent vetoed, saying they sounded gross. And I knew if I got it, I would eat the whole package by the end of the day. This was also the reason I did not buy any Biscoff cookies, as they would not have lasted for even the car ride back to the hotel. They had Ben & Jerry’s core ice cream in Speculoos (i.e.: Biscoff) flavour, but we were not even sure if our hotel room had a fridge or not. The last thing we wanted to do was to eat a pint of ice cream, after our cheese-filled lunch. Especially given that we still had planned to go to two more restaurants that day. To clarify: Shady Glen was intended as a late breakfast/brunch, we still had lunch and dinner plans. At the grocery store I had hit the jackpot: vanilla cupcake flavoured Dunkin’ Donuts and sugar cane Dr Pepper! I also found a tacky American cooler drink: Seagram’s Red, White and Citrus.
The hotel we were staying at was on the wackier side. At the reception desk by the breakfast area there was the hotel owner’s pet turtle, just chilling on a rock in the tank. They also had an arcade with a lot of pinball machines. Turns out the reason for the arcade (at least so it seemed) was that the internet was super slow and sucked. It was the middle of the day, what else could I do but watch Family Feud? Then after that, another episode of Family Feud came on. And so it went until 2:00pm, when there was something else on. It was the perfect time for a nap. I woke up half an hour later, voraciously hungry.
It was time to go to Woody’s for some hotdogs. We decided to look up the menu before leaving and then we noticed that Woody’s closes at 3 in the afternoon. Who does that?! What kind of an eatery closes in the middle of the day?! As a back-up we decided we could go eat there on Sunday before returning the car at noon… apparently that was also not going to happen, as Woody’s is only open when there is a specific football team (the Dolphin’s) playing and the game is on. Worst business plan ever, what terrible hours. And so our dinner plans wound up becoming our lunch-dinner combined plans. Instead we would get a larger size pizza from Randy’s Wooster Street Pizza.
On our way out to the car we stopped in at the arcade for a few games. We started with Street Fighter II. Brent won the first round, I won the second with my button mashing and then lost the third. Brent continued on but eventually lost. It was suspenseful watching him play Pac-Man and basketball pinball. I gave the golf-themed pinball a try, I had no idea what was really going on. I got a score of 14,000 and was unsure if this was a good score or not. Then Brent tried and scored 40,000, which was just shy of the 49,000 needed for a free play. As we left we grabbed some freshly baked cookies. It was too bad we were not there on a weekend, as they also had free popcorn by the reception then.
We placed our pizza order and went next door to the liquor store. Brent looked like he was in heaven, there were walls and walls of beer as far as the eye could see. I found some limbic fruit beers I had not even seen while we were in Belgium. Despite the crappy internet, we decided to try and watch Netflix as we ate our New Haven style pizza. Really the pizza just had a slightly thinner crust and it was more crunchy and burnt along the edges. Thankfully Futurama was on TV and we did not have to resort to using the crappy internet until later on, when we dove into the (now) cold pizza. It was actually not as bad as we had expected. We managed to get through an entire episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt without much buffering.