We crossed the border with much less fanfare than the last time, and then had to pull over and manually unclench our buttcheeks. I’m pretty sure that border crossings are on that list of the most stressful events in life, like moving and living with a teenager. From the border we drove about an hour into Maine, to a small town called Millinocket. We had intended to go to a much-lauded restaurant for dinner, but after driving way, way out into the boonies (getting lost several times), we arrived to discover that the restaurant had moved, neglecting to mention this on their website or Facebook page. WHY HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE IF IT’S NOT UP TO DATE. We then wandered around a grocery store with increasing hunger and couldn’t find anything except some crudités (I used that word just to be obnoxious), and then ordered a terribly mediocre pizza. I miss cooking so much.
The next morning we headed to Acadia National Park. It was incredibly windy, but dry and clear, and the views were pretty spectacular.
That night we made it to Bar Harbor, also known as Bar Harbour to people who can spell correctly, or Bah Hah-bah, according to Mark’s Bostonian impression. The only word I can use to describe this town is “quaint”. It fulfilled all of my preconceived notions of small New England towns (which, let’s face it, were mostly formed from Stars Hollow). We did some window shopping, had a quick dinner and then called it an early night.
The next morning we drove to Portland, which was sort of like a cross between Victoria and Bar Harbour – a little bigger, but still incredibly charming. Cobblestone streets, brick buildings, the most amazing bakery I have ever been in. Our hotel was about five or six miles from downtown, so we took cabs in and out that night so that we could “go out on the town”, AKA stay out past 9 p.m. On the way in, our cab driver was a mayoral candidate, and on the way out, our cab driver commiserated with us over how much cell phones suck. We also ate at a restaurant called Duckfat, so two thumbs up for Portland!
We headed into Boston early the next day, found a very expensive parking lot for Django and then schlepped our bags across Boston Commons to our hotel. Have I mentioned how much I love Hotwire? We stayed at a four star hotel (!) with turndown service (!!) that invented the Boston cream pie (!!!). It was nicer than the hotel we stayed in during our honeymoon and half as expensive (but only because of Hotwire. How many times do you think I have to write “Hotwire” to get some sort of advertising present from them?). It was also in a fantastic location, right downtown and near a subway station, straight across from a cemetery with a bunch of famous historical people (can you tell that history is not my strong suit?).
On our first night in Boston, we had tickets to see Cyndi Lauper. I don’t know if I can adequately describe how much I love her, but it’s slightly more than Nutella and a little less than hot water bottles. At almost 58, she is still totally badass and her voice is incredible. How is it that Madonna became so much more famous than her? Anyway, Mark was incredibly sweet to accompany me when I knew he didn’t want to, and he didn’t utter a single complaint – unlike the total d-bag standing next to us with his wife who was clearly miserable being there. He dealt with this by getting slammed and then loudly bitching about how many ballads Cyndi Lauper was singing. His wife looked mortified and I felt so bad for her. I love nice boys.
Boston was a fantastic city in which to just wander, and we did plenty of that.
We also visited the aquarium, where we got to touch cownose rays and small sharks, saw penguins (who mate for life!) engage in some questionable behavior, and took in all manner of jellyfish and other sealife.
We went to the top of Prudential Center and took in the sunset.
We also visited Harvard, and observed lots of terribly intelligent people. I used to tell people that my dad went to Harvard (he actually went to the University of Kansas) and in grade 12 I also seriously considered applying to Harvard just so I could frame the rejection letter. Cleary, I have problems.
Boston treated us well and we’re already looking forward to returning some day. Next up: Cape Cod, Rhode Island and NYC!