My New England Trip

It was the usual joy of traveling with my wife and daughter who evidently think I just walk around during the day and spear 100 dollar bills with a trash collecting stick. The two of them managed to do their usual routine which is to pack along more luggage than went down on the Titanic. Anything they don't have room for, they ask me to put in my luggage which in their world is probably full of useless crap like my clothing.

Well, the trip was quite educational. We discovered that Sprint has absolutely no cell phone coverage north of Manchester in NH and sporadic service (if any) in ME. Boston of course was no problem. The Internet? Ha! Not in northern NH! What is New Hampshire anyway? A forest with a government and a few towns?

And what's with the moose? NH has signs about every 50 feet indicating that you may be on the verge of hitting a moose while there are no signs in Maine about moose or any other animal.

There is an eating pattern that we did observe taking highway 25 from Conway NH to Portland ME. The pattern is you pass a pizza parlor then an ice cream store then a pizza parlor then an ice cream store over and over. It was weird. I presume that Maine residents have just tossed in the towel regarding obesity issues in the US.

So we did the Freedom Trail walk around Boston last Wednesday in the 103 degree heat with the 112 degree heat index. Did you know that the Freedom Trail walks ends in Filene's basement? Neither did I.

The highlight of Thursday was touring the Albacore sub in Portsmouth, followed by more binge shopping by the wife and daughter. I spent a whole dollar that day on an Albacore magnet which I think I probably have lost already.

Wed, Thurs and Friday were spent at the Best Western in Manchester which had FREE and excellent (except that it was B) Internet service plus a great continental breakfast which included waffles.

Friday we had to check out and move to Chocorua NH for the wedding welcome dinner. We stayed at Samantha's Inn which is slightly better than sleeping in your car but not by much. That evening we attended the wedding welcome dinner where we met what I can only presume were the immediate drinking buddies of the groom and my wife's brother's family which included his daughter the bride. As far as I could tell most of the people there were either overly inbred or else dropped on their head a lot when they were babies. Well, the food was good, and more importantly the booze was free.

Saturday we went shopping (Surprised?) before going to the wedding that night. The post wedding dinner consisted of the usual inedible rubber chicken. At least the booze was free. My 19 year old worked her deep cleavage dress on the bartender and drank about 5 rum and cokes. The good news there is that she has my high alcohol tolerance.

Sunday we went to the post wedding breakfast, which totally lacked mimosas or bloody Marys. Sigh. Well we said our goodbyes and loaded the luggage in the van and drove through ME to Boston. We stopped at the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse where the presumed heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune did more shopping even though the gift shop couldn't have been more that 20' x 20' square.

We checked into the Marriott Wharf hotel next to the Boston aquarium. No I didn't pay their minimum $450 a night fee for a room. The bride who is quitting her job at Harvard got the Harvard discount for the room of $99 and paid for it. The ransom to park the car was $40 a night, the Internet connection was $10, etc. I was somewhat surprised that they didn't have a coin slot to charge you for using the elevator inside the hotel. Was it worth $450 a night? Not unless Meg Ryan was going to drop by to tuck me in. Um, or a word that rhymes with tuck.

Monday morning the Women With Bottomless Pocketbooks managed to spend $50 on souvenir T-shirts and baseball caps at the booth in front of the hotel. It was amazing. They hadn't gotten 50 feet from the hotel before shopping. Then they walked to Filene's to resume their shopping while I stopped near there at Borders (if you fall asleep in a chair there, they rudely wake you up, trust me on this one).

Finally we got to Logan, dropped off the rental car, lounged around the airport which has no free wireless service and boarded JetBlue to connect in NYC at JFK. So, we barely managed to make our NYC connection only to be caught up in the FAA computer glitch that occurred that evening. We sat on the runway in that jet for FOUR HOURS before taking off for our five hour flight to Sacramento.

Despite all this "fun" we just fell in love with the northeast (well except for the useless people in NH) and are ready to move there if anyone will offer me a job that pays real money.

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