Monday, July 10, 2017

Road Trip, New England Edition

Friday, June 30th the Wanderer dropped me off at my sister's house and just after midnight we loaded her car down with coolers, clothes and her 2 girls and off we went. We had big plans, an east coast tour to research for our podcast, Haunted Family Podcast and to have some fun. My oldest niece joked that every 2 years her and I somehow end up on a road trip together. It is always fun, and always exhausting.

For the most part, we just breezed through Maryland, with a brief stop in Hagerstown where I picked up a quilt from the 1800's as a present for the Wanderers mom. We also stopped off in Baltimore to wander around the Westminster burial ground, where Edgar Allan Poe is buried. I love Poe, and I have passed that love on to both of my nieces. I also just really love wandering around old cemeteries. I am a long time contributor to the website Find A Grave.

Our next stop was New Haven Connecticut and Yale University. Yale is one of the oldest colleges in the United States, having been founded in 1701. The campus is beautiful and picturesque.  I can totally see why F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote it into The Great Gatsby and why Rory Gilmore decided to attend Yale. Leaving New Haven I saw a sign for Mystic. I have never watched the movie Mystic Pizza. Mystic may be one of the most charming towns I have ever set foot in. I conquered a fear of mine and drove across a drawbridge. We wandered through shops and ate ice cream while looking out over a cove. Mystic is on the list of places I will go back to someday and spend more time exploring.

Bright and early the next day we were on the road toward Boston. I heard horror stories about driving in Boston. I found those horror stories to be completely unfounded. Driving through New York was much worse and so much more nerve racking. We parked in a parking garage on Beacon Street and spent the day wandering the city. Oh, how I love Boston. I don't think my sister or my nieces were as impressed with the city. This is very much a pedestrian-friendly city, and I found the people pleasant. Boston is a mix of old and new. Buildings and cemeteries from the 1600's nestled in between very modern buildings. It's an eclectic mix and is so works for this city. We stumbled across the site of the Boston Massacre which is marked by a large circle on a sidewalk on King Street. Boston Common was packed, as I imagine it always is with people enjoying the sunshine and street musicians. Boston smells like legal weed, patchouli oil, and freedom.

The next morning we woke up late, I hate waking up late on vacation but we were all exhausted and apparently slept through the alarms. We were excited for the day, today we were hitting Salem. The site of the witch trials. In towns like this, we try to avoid spending money on any of the touristy things because basically, they are making their money off the pain and suffering of someone else, even if that person did die over 300 years ago. We visited the old customs house, listened to the Park Ranger talk about what the job of a customs agent would have been like at the bustling seaport. Salem is also the birthplace of the US Coast Guard.

After Salem, we ended up having a blowout. We found it nearly impossible to find a place willing to squeeze us in and change the tire. We didn't have a full-size spare in the car, just one of those donut tires. Finally, the place directly across from where we had the blowout agreed to fit us in. To me, I really don't understand why it was such a big deal fitting us in. Here in my corner of Kentucky, someone would have rolled a jack out to the parking lot, jacked up the car and put a new tire on, it would have taken maybe 10 minutes max to change the tire and get us back on the road. After our last stop of the day, a visit with a dear old friend of mine we got back on the road and pushed toward home. We came back home through Pennsylvania because that route allowed us to avoid the state of New Jersey. New Jersey cost us nearly $50 in tolls, I may never step foot back in New Jersey again. Not a fan at all, New Jersey took a toll on me.