Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happiness is Myrtle Beach in my Rear View Mirror

In the past six weeks, there is no place I have wanted to leave faster than Myrtle Beach.  And we had a week booked there in our time share.  Yikes!!  Where do I begin??  Shall I start with the fact that the timeshare - a Gold Star resort - had no internet access!!  So it wasn't like I could spend time catching up on my blog.  I did spend a couple of hours at Starbucks (the one bright spot!! Well actually there were two bright spots....there was also a Margaritaville!) taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi. 

The other thing was that our hotel was right on the beach, however, in was also on the main drag for all the kiddies to cruise and walk the streets at all hours of night.  All we could hear until three in the morning was screaming, horns honking, and engines revving!!  Until three in the morning!  This was the view from our room every night. 

Bumper to bumper traffic!!

The next thing was the weather.  It was 95 degrees and, like, 70 percent humidity.  Not good for people who are normally desert dwellers.  Also, not good when you are trying to shake a cold as Russell was (It was the one gift I gave him on our vacation!).  Every day, the weather forecast included the temperature and the heat index.  Meaning....the temperature is 95 but it really feels like 105.  I am so looking forward to the fact that 110 degrees IS 110 degrees!  

The beach was okay but its really difficult to sit out on the beach when sweat is pouring from every crevice of your body :-(  Sorry I know that sounds a little graphic but I don't know how else to describe it!  Also, I had visions of ordering drinks with little umbrellas from beach bars.  Hmmm.....there were no beach bars!!!  At one point I was sitting on the beach finding myself longing for a week in Hawaii instead of a road trip vacation.  It's bad when, near the end of such a vacation, you find yourself wondering if the whole thing was worth it and your thought process is just based upon where you are at that moment. 

So, now we are on our way home.  We were planning on heading down to Georgia and Louisiana but our "beach" week made us homesick.  I do have a lot to catch up on.   In between Boston and Myrtle Beach there has been many good moments in places like New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Williamsburg.  So as we head west I will continue to catch up and share photos.... 

Friday, June 18, 2010


Or for those of us from the west coast and any place outside of New England...Concord. 

We stayed in Concord for a few days rather than right in Boston for one big reason....driving in Boston.  The last time we were there we remembered what a nightmare it was....and I just didn't want to see Russell head explode!! 

Anyways, if it wasn't for the fact that I know how cold it gets there....I could probably live in Concord.  Very historic, very quaint, and very pretty.  And just a train ride away from Boston! 

There were a few places I wanted to visit in Concord.  One of them I feared I would have to literally drag Russell to but he came with me without I fight.....and I think he kind of enjoyed it. 

The first place we went was the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Author's Row.  This is where many famous authors are buried.  Let's see if you can recognize any of these names. 

Next, we went to the North Bridge.  The last time we visited Concord we made it only as far as the bridge.  This time we took a walk through the park and went to the visitor's center.  I get so much more our of a national monument when I actually go to the visitor's center and listen to the park rangers' talks! 
I did get much better photos at the bridge since we were there early and there weren't as many people there :)

The last sight we visited in Concord was the one I thought I would have to drag Russell to:  Orchard House.  Or for the non-literary...Louisa May Alcott's home.  We took the tour which was quite interesting.  The tour guide was excellent.  Of course, it was mostly girls visiting so Russell was in a minority group!!!  This was one tour that we took where most of the structure was original (not a re-creation). 

Made me want to read Little Women again!!!

Awesome Maine....

While we were staying in Boston we took a little day trip to Maine.  Wow!!  If I'd know how beautiful it would be I'd have booked a week there!  It was Memorial Day weekend and quite crowded.  But the weather was beautiful and so were the sights.  Our first stop along the way was in York.  We found probably one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen.  I wish I had brought my suit but unfortunately when I think of Maine I don't think of sun bathing.  But then what do I know!!!  This was as far as we were able to get into the water. 

After York, we drove up the coast through the various towns like Olgunquit and Kennebunk.  We finally stopped in Freeport.  There was a very special reason I wanted to stop in Freeport.  Can anyone guess??  Here I'll give you a hint.....

The LL Bean outlet store.  Very cool!!  Only picked up a couple of tank tops there but I had to see it.  I did get a very cute pair of shoes at the nearby Clark's outlet (there is a story behind that one....for another time).  Oh, and Russell threatened to buy a kayak.  Yeah, I would have liked to see how he got that bad boy back to Arizona.....

The next stop was lunch.  And keeping with our goal of sticking with the local cuisine we went looking for the nearest lobster shack.  And we found this place in Freeport.....

Where I got to meet this guy....

Before he was dropped into a pan of boiling water and became my lunch.

It was somewhat disturbing.  I've come to the conclusion that I never again want to see my food alive just moments before I'm going to eat it. 

As for the cuisine....well, I tried it but my opinion about lobster didn't change.  Still don't like it much.  And it didn't help that 1) Russell and I looked like dorks trying to crack the shell (we totally looked like we didn't know what we were doing)... 2) Seeing the guts of the lobster just was not appetizing at all and 3) Beer was not served!!  Not much of a beer drinker but maybe it would have eased the pain of thinking about what the poor little guy had to go through  :(

Well that was up Concord!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The "Drinking" Trail

Eight years ago when we visited Boston for the first time, we walked the Freedom Trail.  I decided that I wanted to do it again and pay more attention this time.  Did I pay attention?  Well, yes.....I now know where the oldest tavern in the country is located ;)  Really, I didn't know that before!! 

So, we decided to take this little walk on, like, the hottest day of the year in Boston.  With the heat, it pretty much sucked.  We stopped every couple of blocks for liquid refreshment.  We went and saw the grave of Sam Adams.......

Then we went here and had a Sam Adams......

Of course, after a few more blocks of walking we had to stop at the oldest tavern because when you're a beer afficiado (sp?) like my husband you have got to have a beer at the oldest tavern in America!!! 

Of course, we did manage to see some sights.  We walked through the North End.  I'm still sad that I didn't think to get a picture of my favorite place there (think Italian Pastry!).   We came back a couple of days later and had some yummy Italian food.

We visited Paul Revere's house.

We went to Bunker Hill....

We even climbed to the top of the monument where I got this crappy photo and some wicked painful leg cramps

We also went to the Old North Church.....

Where we saw this t-shirt hanging in an adjacent souvenir ...

Note: The Lakers were still playing the Suns at the time.  I really wish the Suns could have made this shirt irrelevant. GRRRRRR.......

Well....that was the Freedom Trail.  When we were done we and thirsty :)  You can only guess what happened next!

The Cape

Before setting out on our cross country trip a new piece of legislation was passed in Arizona.  Judging from all the press coverage of how everyone was MAD at our state I was expecting some ire.  In fact, I was wondering if there was a way to change our license plate lest someone ever felt the need to take their anger out on our vehicle.'s amazing how absence can make you forget about things.  Didn't hear a word nor got any comments from anyone when we told them we were from AZ.  That is, until we got to Massachusetts.  And, actually, it was not the response I expected. 

The first night we were at Cape Cod (or "The Cape") we met a gentleman in a restaurant who had a few words about it.  He and Russell engaged in a conversation at the bar about the price of his meal (he felt he was undercharged for his prime rib!).  As he turned to leave, he asked us where we were from.  "Arizona", we told him.  "Arizona! Is that where all the mean people are from?"  All I could do was laugh because really what else can you do.  He then said "Wait a minute....let me finish."  The gentleman then went on to say that every state should adopt our new law.  He also had a few select words for our President which I will refrain from sharing....I'll just say he doesn't like him. 

So that was a shock.  Did not expect that from someone living in Massachusetts. Of course, a few days later, Russell wore his Arizona t-shirt into the same restaurant and got a total look of distain from the bartender.  LOL!!  Glad I didn't feel sick after eating there :) 

Anyways, we spent a whole week in and around The Cape.  We went to The Vineyard, to Plymouth, and drove all the way to the tip of the Cape.  Very pretty and very relaxing!!  We were there the week before Memorial Day which we learned is the start of The Season at which time all things get crazy!! 

Here are a few photos of our Cape adventure.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So I have a lot of catching up to I'm going backwards!!  Right now I am in Williamsburg, VA but I am going to type about Philly....of course I will be doing this under duress since my husband sits four feet from me yearning to steel the computer to play poker.  I really can't wait until Saturday...maybe when the World Cup starts he will be less interested in poker.  He did offer to provide his "observations" ....hmmm, yeah....his observations would be far more colorful (and X-rated!!) than mine are.  MEN!! 

Anyways, since I am going backwards....we will start with Philly.  A lot different than I expected.  Crowded...but clean (although it has been rated in the top five of dirtiest cities....I didn't see it).  Of course we visited all the historical stuff like the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, and the Betsy Ross house.  And visited a bit of pop culture history....the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  For those of you not in tune with pop is the place where Rocky runs up the steps to the music of "gonna fly now" in the movie.  Yes, I did run up the steps and yes (much to my surprise) Russell took photos of this momentous occasion......

And yes...I made it to the prob.  :}

I even struck my best "Rocky" pose...

At the end of the day it was all pretty good.  I will say that weather wise, it was much different from the previous three days in PA.  It was a hot one....not a cloud in the sky which was a complete 180 from Gettysburg where it was cold and rainy.  Go figure!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010


There is really nothing worse than getting sick while on vacation.   Well, I suppose there are worse things.  But when you are sick it really feels like there is nothing that could be as bad.  

So I have been sick.  Sick = no blog.  I've continue to be a "trooper" but by the end of the day I just feel like I've been trampled on by a troop!!  All I  have felt like doing is going straight to bed.  In the mean time.....Boston, Maine, and New York have all occured.   Today is the first day in a week that I have felt human.  Today, I'm in Washington D.C.  I have A LOT to catch up on.  But I can feel the eyes of my husband burning in my back  (that means he wants to get on the computer) so this is going to be a quick post. 

So I am going to leave with my favorite photo from the last week hopefully with more tomorrow.   Straight from Maine....which BTW....I love!!!  Me and a friend....I don't think he liked me very much ;-)

You can see he is half gone!!!  The other half was in my belly.