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Author Topic: Verily goes to New England
Verily the Younger
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No, this thread isn't about Heartfire. That would have been on the other side, you silly people.

I am 26 years old, and I've only been outside Alaska four times in my life, and every time has been on someone else's schedule and with someone else in control. I've never been able to travel on my own terms and see what I wanted to see. (Don't get me wrong; I have seen many things that I did want to see, especially in Japan when I was there on a study trip. But it was still on someone else's schedule; I arrived when they said I would and left when they said I would.)

I finally got sick enough of being tied down in one place that I've decided to go for it. I got my credit card limit increased (I have a decent job, but I don't have enough money to have done this through my savings) and I am going on a two-week vacation, by myself, later this month. The destination I have chosen is New England, simply because it's the region of the country I have the most fascination with and most want to see. I couldn't explain exactly what fascinates me so much about it, but I have a (no doubt overly-) romanticized notion in my head of what it is like, and I want to know what it is really like. I hear it's a wicked pissah. [Smile]

I will be flying into Portland, Maine, renting a car, and treading a generally S-shaped path through the six states until I reach Hartford, Connecticut, whence I will be flying home.

At least, that's the idea.

See, I've lived in Alaska all my life, and I've never driven anywhere that wasn't Alaska before. So I can't think on an east-coast scale any more than I can think in Celsius. I don't know how long it takes to drive from one place to the next down there. So I'm hoping to find out from the Hatrackers who are used to traveling in that area: Is it reasonable to think I can see all six New England states in a two-week period? Will I be rushed on a schedule like that, or will I find myself with a lot of spare time?

I'm also hoping to get some ideas of what I should see when I'm there. My main interests when I travel are sites of historical significance rather than purely touristy things like "World's Largest Glass of Apple Juice" or whatever.

I assume it won't be hard to find a decent place to get lobster in Maine or clam chowder in Massachusetts or buy a bottle of maple syrup in Vermont. But I need to know what else there is to do. Does the Old Farmer's Almanac (based in Dublin, New Hampshire) have any kind of museum or gift shop open to the public? Are there monuments or museums of any kind that I could check out on Daniel Webster or Sullivan Ballou or John Winthrop?

Any suggestions will be welcome. I have no idea how much can reasonably be fit into a single two-week trip, but it will be a long time before I can afford to travel again, and I want to make the most of this.

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anti_maven
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I did a five day trip to Boston a few years ago to attend a wedding. We managed to see quite a lot, despite not having a car.

I would recommend the Plymouth Plantation, even if it's only to interact with the "settlers". We got the train, but if you have a car it becomes even more simple. In Boston itself I would get yourself on one of the excellent walking tours.

Above all, enjoy yourself!!

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MyrddinFyre
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Boston = History, history, history

Cape Cod = Cute

Maine = Lobster, trees, history

Rhode Island = Clamcakes and chowdah, beach, history (Newport!)

Vermont/NH = Mountains, pretty

Connecticut = Mystic/Stonington Borough

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Paul Goldner
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New england, 6 states in two weeks, no problem.

The scales are small. From portland to hartford is only about 250 miles, 300 at the outside. You can drive it in an afternoon, in otherwords. So you'll have plenty of time to drive around and see the sites.

Take a walking tour of boston. Also take a duck tour (ride around in an old amphibious armored landing vehicle, and splash down into the charles river. lots o fun). See the battlefield at lexington and concord. Definetely go to plymouth plantation. Salem, too. Visit the white mountains region in NH. Visit franconia notch. Willowbrook village in maine is a good place to look in on the 19th century. Sturbridge village in central mass can also be fun.

Are you interested in outdoorsy stuff at all? What are the dates of your trip?

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MyrddinFyre
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Oh yes, and two weeks is plenty time. It's about four/five hour drive from Maine to Rhode Island, one to two hours between Boston and Providence, three hours between Providence and Hartford. Only a couple more from there to NYC.
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SenojRetep
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<- Has lived near Boston for five years

Some of my favorite things in NE [Boston-biased, naturally]:
- Freedom Trail, Boston, MA; 1 day
- Concord, MA literary tour; 1 day
- Lexington/Concord, MA first day of the revolution; 1 day
*NOTE: if you happen to be here for April 16-19 this could be especially interesting because that's when the reenactments occur.
- Portland and Freeport, Maine; 1 day
- York/Ogunquit, Maine; 1 day
- White Mountains <edit>Green Mountains, whoops. White Mountains in NH are supposed to be nice, but I've never done any hiking there, so I can't say first hand </edit>, Vermont; 2 day
- Boston colleges and museums; 1-2 day
- Plymouth, MA and Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard; 1 day
- North Shore, MA; 1 day

Things I might consider doing, but haven't done and so don't know how long they might take:
- Ben & Jerry's tour in Vermont
- Maple Syrup stuff
- Old Sturbridge Village, MA
- Town meeting in NH
*NOTE: With all the politicking going on right now; you could probably meet one of the major presidential candidates if you wanted to
- Amherst, Holyoke and Springfield, MA

As for travel time, it takes me about 1.5 - 3 hrs to drive from Boston to Portland, depending on traffic and 1.5 - 2.5 hrs to drive to Hartford. That's direct, no stopping, but I think you could easily map out a route with about 1-2 hrs drive every couple of days and comfortably see much of NE in 2 weeks.

Good luck, and let me know when you're in the Boston area.

[ April 03, 2007, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Bokonon
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There's a large Hatrack clump in the Boston area (Myr, you in town yet?), so let us know when you are swinging through the Boston area and maybe we all can put a shindig together.

Two weeks ought to be fine. I would take a day's diversion to Acadia National Park north of Portland if you could. There's a bunch of nice hiking trails, Bar Harbor is a fun little town adjacent, and it gives a great feel for the geology and habitat of New England (think lumpy, rocky, with an ocean nearby [Smile] ). It may not be a "Wow" moment for someone from out west, (and north, in your case) but still can be interesting.

Spend some time in Maine, Lake Winnepesaukee (I know I spelled that wrong) in NH, or the White Mountains area. The green mountains/Lake Champlain/Burlington in VT is nice (and so is Ben & Jerry's). Western MA has the Quabbin reservoir, which supplies drinking water to most of the eastern part of the state. It's beautiful, and an engineering marvel. On the North Shore of MA, I'm biased towards my hometown of Newburyport. It's gone ritzy, but it's a beautiful example of an old New England city/town, with the white steeples, the boating, and lots of old graveyards going back to pre-Revolutionary War times. In fact, if you are an HP Lovecraft fan, there's this guide of the north shore and Boston of some sights. I, of course, could give you more interesting points of interest, if you were going to visit it for more than a day.

For Boston, I think 2-3 days are sufficient, if you include Cambridge in the mix. The museums are good (Museum of science, Aquarium, and what will be the newly renovated Children's Museum), the Museum of Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum at Harvard, Isabella Stewart Gardner museum... As well as all the historical stuff like the freedom trail, Paul Revere's house, Old North Church, both the old and the new state houses. The North End is a great place to get some Italian food. Beacon Hill is the super nice part of town (behind the new state house), and the Boston Common and Public Garden are historical and a blast. You can do a Fenway Park tour, or if the Sox are in town, try and get a ticket to one of the best ballparks in existence.

Almost anything you want to do in Boston is walkable or T (our bus/subway system) accessible, and honestly, for an out-of-stater, using them will be much easier on your psyche. Driving in New England, particularly eastern MA, is a shock to most strangers. The roads do go straight, one-way streets abound, you never know when a rotary will appear, and the drivers are all impatient Yankees who feel they have much better things to do than to wait even an extra half-second after a light has turned green.

The trick with the Cape is that almost anything you can do there (aside from Plimouth Plantation, which isn't really one the cape) you can do easier on the North or South Shores of MA. Plus, getting on or off the Cape can eat up the better part of the day, especially if you try on a weekend.

As for the rest of new england, there are others, like Myr, who are better suited to explain them. I mostly go to Connecticut for Foxwoods anyway [Smile]

-Bok

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Verily the Younger
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Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone. So now that I know I'll have time to spare, I'll definitely try to work plenty of these into my trip. No way I'd miss the Boston walking tour, and I am quite intrigued by some of these others as well.

Does anyone know if the Samuel Adams brewery gives tours? I have a friend who would kill me if I went all the way to Boston and didn't stop by there. [Smile]

By the way, are there any White Castle restaurants in New England? Though I am trying to get fast food out of my diet for the most part, I've never been to a White Castle and I've always been curious about it. Those are mostly toward the east, right?

quote:
Are you interested in outdoorsy stuff at all?
Depends what you mean. I enjoy a nice hike through the woods or whatever, but I'm no outdoorsman. I'm not much for camping or mountain climbing or anything like that.

quote:
What are the dates of your trip?
I'll be arriving in Portland on the 14th, and leaving Hartford the 28th. At the moment, it's too soon to know exactly where I'll be at any specific time in between.

quote:
- Town meeting in NH
Do they let outsiders come in to watch? I wouldn't have thought they would, but if they do, I would love to check that out. I am absolutely fascinated by the concept of the town meeting.

quote:
There's a large Hatrack clump in the Boston area (Myr, you in town yet?), so let us know when you are swinging through the Boston area and maybe we all can put a shindig together.
That would be cool. I've never met another Hatracker before. It would be great if I could finally be made real. [Smile]

quote:
Almost anything you want to do in Boston is walkable or T (our bus/subway system) accessible, and honestly, for an out-of-stater, using them will be much easier on your psyche. Driving in New England, particularly eastern MA, is a shock to most strangers. The roads do go straight, one-way streets abound, you never know when a rotary will appear, and the drivers are all impatient Yankees who feel they have much better things to do than to wait even an extra half-second after a light has turned green.
[Eek!] That's what worries me most about this trip; I've never driven in an area where the traffic was truly bad before. I must find a way to leave my rental car outside Boston while I myself go in. I don't know if I could actually handle trying to drive inside the city itself.
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Hank
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You might also want to check out the state websites for the states you're visiting. Most states have a "Come visit us, and you can do the following:"-Style site of some kind. Larger cities, like Boston, would also have them, and might also have maps, sometimes including info about public transport and parking.
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Paul Goldner
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The sam adams brewery does give tours. Supposedly, they are even fun.

If you're going to be here in mid-late april, you'll get to see the leaves come out, especially in southern new england. Its quite a transformation.

I would recomend walden pond, in concord, ma (and just down the street from where I grew up). especially if you can swing it towards the end of the trip, after the leaves are out. Walden pond is about a 2 hour walk if you walk around the whole pond.

You should try to do the re-enactments at lexington and concord battlefields, since you love history (also right down the street from where I grew up). You'll be here at the right time for those.

Drive through the kangamangus highway in new hampshire, between north conway and franconia notch. Its a gorgeous drive through the white mountains of new hampshire. Only takes an hour.

There's no need to actually drive in teh city of boston. You can park at one of the T stations outside the city, and take the subway in. the public transportation website is www.mbta.com

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Aegon
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Ironically, NE is too far east for White Castle.... the nearest is in New York state.

As for Boston.... I would personally suggest Alewife Station in West Cambridge. You can park there for 5 bucks a day, and its the terminus of the T's red line. A word to the wise- beware the Charlie card machines, donít even bother with it, just call over an attendant.

If you are considering going to Newburyport, you should probably just head a few miles north to Portsmouth. Itís a little less glitzy, and has a beautiful area called Strawbery Banke where the settlers first landed- and its directly adjacent to Prescott Park, which is a wonderful place for a picnic... once you shoe off the smooching teens.

If you are heading north of the notches in NH, you might consider the Mount Washington Auto road. Its probably not much of a mountain compared to what you are used to, but on the bright side you can drive up it, and it is the site of the record for worlds fastest recorded wind speed

It makes me shudder to think what you will pay for a decent lobster dinner this time of year. But you wonít have trouble finding a place- as a rule, if you are on route 1 you are no further than 15 miles from a decent place.

And honestly, there is no way you wonít have a wicked good time.

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MyrddinFyre
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Bok - moved up here beginning of November. I'm in love with the area! And a Boston gathering is way overdue, I think.

Edit: I have also heard good things about the Sam Adams brewery tours, though I haven't done it (yet).

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breyerchic04
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I don't think you're missing much not having been to white castle.
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Dragon
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Aww you'll be there before I get back! I've lived in NH my whole life but, as previously mentioned, I'd never seen a White Castle until I came to MN for college. [Razz] If I was going to be there I'd add my suggestion of a stop at King Kone which is the ice cream stand where I work (and it's at exit 11 off of Daniel Webster Hwy if you do want to go). Voted the best soft serve in NH for a few years in a row now. If you're there, the Budweiser brewery is right down the street, and they also give tours (and they have those great horses).

Other than that, I'll second pretty much everything that others have said. For scenic drives between states my personal favorite is route 89 between VT and southern NH, but that might have a lot to do with me driving it a lot. [Smile]

As for town meetings, I've honestly never been to one, but all the towns I've lived in have been large enough that no one would notice that you're an outsider unless you said something about it. And I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't let you in...

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SenojRetep
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So...
The Lexington and Concord reenactments are on April 16 (Monday). I'll be going to the Lexington reenactment, and if you'd like to go with me you are welcome (open to anyone else who might want to go, as well). There are also some reenactments and parades on the 19th (Thursday), but they aren't as big.

I propose having dinner at Jasper White's Summer Shack near Alewife station. I took a big out-of-town group there not too long ago and found it worked well. The food is pretty good, pretty indicative of Boston, and it's not crazy busy or difficult to get to like some of the restaurants in the city. It's also family friendly, which would be important for me if I wanted to bring my wife and kids along (wife's a lurker, kids are too young). Of course, I'm open to other proposals as well.

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SenojRetep
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PS, I should mention the Lexington reenactment starts at 5:45 am. I'll be leaving around 4:45 to get a good vantage point.

The Concord one also starts early, but not as early. However, it's a rememberence ceremony, not a full reenactment, IIRC.

I'll post a link to the reenactment schedule later today, if I remember.

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Farmgirl
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Well, Verily, I'm certainly glad you are not leaving Alaska on the same week I'm ARRIVING there, or I would be very offended at the idea that you left on my account! [Smile] (June 1).

Have a great trip to New England! Always travel when the opportunity presents itself. I think there is no better way in the world to learn.

FG

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SenojRetep
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There's a list of events on or around Patriot's day at www.battleroad.org.

Here's a link for Jasper White's Summer Shack.

Also, April 16 is the day of the Boston Marathon. Personally, I could take it or leave it, but I know a lot of people like to go and see it.

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Bokonon
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PErsonally, I think the Summer Shack is mediocre. I'd rather go to a more local place on the coast (north or south shore). Same food, and probably cheaper [Smile]

But it is only about 10-15 minutes from my apartment...

As far as Patriot's Day, it's a regional holiday, so all the schools and public offices have the day off. Aside from the re-enactments, the Boston Marathon is run that day, and the Red Sox play a game that starts at 11:AM. The reason is that when the game ends, and you walk back to the T, the marathon runners will be running by. It's a cool experience.

Oh, and one thing to try if you have some dead time: candlepin bowling. It's a New England institution.

Portsmouth is nice too, but if you are looking for a day trip, or even just a couple hours to spend, Newburyport is more digestible than Portsmouth (which is a bit bigger).

-Bok

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Bokonon
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BTW, be prepared, particularly in Portland and in Eastern MA, for a major dialect shift. Everything is soda here, unless you want to sound old school, in which case you say tonic. Liquor stores are often called "packies" or "package stores", and another name for a convenience store is a "spa". Subs are subs, or grinders. "Wicked" is an adverb.

-Bok

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SenojRetep
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Bok-

What's your high score for candlepin.

I've never rolled higher than an 80 (in the 3-5 times I've played).

I volunteer to take all my visitors candlepin bowling (not all take me up on it); it's a lot of fun.

If you have a good local restaurant recommendation, I'm open. Like I said, my primary criteria are easy access and family friendly, but I could sacrifice both of those if people want something else.

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Bokonon
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I used to play weekly with a roommate, so now, when warmed up, I can average around a 90. My high is 10x (where x is between 0-9 [Smile] ). A league average is only 100. The best professionals average 125-140.

As for a restaurant, I just didn't want Verily to get the idea that Summer Shack was the best New England/Boston had to offer. Bartley's in Harvard Square has been the traditional gathering spot for the Boston folks, but it is really only accessible by T, and it isn't family-friendly (cramped, no bathrooms).

And dinner is at Summer Shack, it is 2 minutes fro ma big bowling place that has big-ball and candlepin. It's quite as authenticate an environment as Sacco's in Davis Square, but it's more accessible as a result.

Verily: When would the Boston visit be? I don't know that getting into Portland on the 14th and being in Boston on the 16th is advisable. You'll be rushed, and have to trek back out to Vermont or NH after, but you will miss all the Patriot's Day stuff if you don't.BTW, for weather, be prepared for anywhere between low 30s to low 70s, bright sun to torrential rains.

-Bok

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Paul Goldner
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I might be up for joining the boston clump for an activity [Smile] I live up in ipswich now, so cambridge is fairly accessible. There are some good family friendly places on rte 1 between here and boston, but not really boston speciality (kowloon, famous dave's, spring to mind).

Back when I bowled, I managed to hit 115 once, but my scores last time were high 80's.

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sarahdipity
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I'd drive out from Amherst, MA for a gathering if it was on a weekend or maybe just maybe I'd try on a week day. However if you're out this way there's really fantastic beer bar and we have Emily Dickenson's house. Umm other than that western mass has other stuff that is nice. As for hiking, I know that Mount Monadnock is a great hike and only takes a few hours.
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Bokonon
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Eastern MA has some pretty good beer bars too [Smile] But no Emily Dickenson house, 'tis true.

How is Ipswich, Paul? You teaching up there?

-Bok

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Paul Goldner
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Yeah, I'm teaching at next town over. 8 minute commute Much better then the two hours I was spending in the car every day communting from dorchester.

I love ipswich so far. I am truly looking forward to my first summer here, though... the 15 dollar season parking pass for crane beach is definetely a major perk.

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MyrddinFyre
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
Oh, and one thing to try if you have some dead time: candlepin bowling. It's a New England institution.

Yet another thing I had no idea was a NE thing!! It's like that time I found out that "bubblers" don't exist outside of southern NE or that there is an "er" at the end of draw. You live, you learn.

Also, I love bowling! I have a really hard time with candlepin, because I used to throw shot-put and my brain just can't wrap around throwing something roughly the same size and weight underhand [Razz]

Mmmmmm, Bartley's.

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Dragon
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I miss candlepin bowling! [Frown]
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Bokonon
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Bubblers are an all New England thing, not just SE (though at this point, it may only still be in common use in SE New England, you crazy Rhode Islanders [Smile] ).

Oh, and at this point, Crane's is overpopulated and often very mosquito-y. [Smile] There are nicer beaches near the NH/MA border (though they are more of a pain to get to [Smile]

-Bok

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SenojRetep
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We were big fans of Crane's beach when we first got here.

That was before we found Wyngershaek (sp?). That's now become our default "day at the beach" place.

<edit>Oh, and the first time a student in my Sunday School class asked permission to go to the bubbler, I was frozen through incomprehension. One of the other nine-year-olds had to inform me she meant the drinking fountain. I had similar experiences the first time someone asked me if I wanted Jimmies on my ice cream, and when the guy at the deli asked me if I wanted "Shahhp" provolone.</edit>

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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by MyrddinFyre:
It's like that time I found out that "bubblers" don't exist outside of southern NE...

Wait a second. Bubblers exist outside of Wisconsin?! Are we talking about the same bubblers? Water fountains?

If so, my world has officially been rocked. If not, I will continue on my happy delusion. [Smile]

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Bokonon
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You are officially rocked.

Where is Wyngershaek? Is that out in Gloucester/Marblehead/Rockport?

-Bok

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SenojRetep
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Oops. Wingaersheek is the correct spelling. It's in Gloucester.

<edit>Here's a map.</edit>

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mackillian
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quote:
Visit the white mountains region in NH. Visit franconia notch.
Do that.

quote:
White Mountains in NH are supposed to be nice
why yes, they certainly are.

quote:
Town meeting in NH
Why?! They're booooring.

quote:
Winnepesaukee
Close. Winnipesaukee. I second visiting the area, though ice-out might not have happened yet depending on when you're there. A quaint, stereotypical new england town to visit on the lake is Wolfeboro. Also, if you're interested in militaria at all, there's the Wright Museum in town. Though, I'm biased because I used to live there. [Wink]

quote:
I am absolutely fascinated by the concept of the town meeting.
That fascination will abate within five minutes of the start of said town meeting.

quote:
Drive through the kangamangus highway in new hampshire, between north conway and franconia notch. Its a gorgeous drive through the white mountains of new hampshire. Only takes an hour.
do that do that do that. seriously. it's fantastic up there.

quote:
the Mount Washington Auto road
You'd have to check and see if the road has opened up yet if you wanted to do that. But if you can, it'd be fun. [Smile]

quote:
stop at King Kone which is the ice cream stand where I work (and it's at exit 11 off of Daniel Webster Hwy if you do want to go). Voted the best soft serve in NH for a few years in a row now. If you're there, the Budweiser brewery is right down the street, and they also give tours (and they have those great horses)
Dragon is right on all counts. [Smile]

quote:
I miss candlepin bowling!
I royally suck at candlepin.
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SenojRetep
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So, d'you have a plan yet, Verily?
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sweetbaboo
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I just climbed the 297 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument today and I would second the vote to cover things of interest to you on the Freedom Trail. I would also second the suggestion to go on a Duck Tour (you can catch those either at the Prudential Center or at the Museum of Science). They are great fun and nice to get an overview of the historic/touristy things to do in Boston proper.

A beach we love on the South Shore is Nantasket Beach in Hull. You can catch the Harbor Express and get there without a problem. We go more during the summertime but we often find little crab and other assorted marine life in the rocky southern edge of the beach.

I've never been but plan on doing so this summer is the Quincy Adams home in Quincy. People that I've talked to have raved about how interesting it is.

I would also second the Red Sox game and also the Fenway tour. Fun.

Have a great time on your holiday!

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Paul Goldner
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Ooooh. Yeah, the quincy adams and john adams homeses are good.
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Verily the Younger
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Man, am I glad I posted this thread! I have a friend who goes to visit family in Maine every year, and she had some suggestions for what I can do there. And I assumed that it would be pretty easy to find things to interest me in Boston just by following the Freedom Trail. (That's the red line that takes you to all the historical sites, right?) Aside from that, I had no idea what I'd be doing. You guys have given me some great suggestions. [Smile]

Sorry it's been a few days since I've had the chance to get on Hatrack. This will be long, but there are some specific responses I want to make.

quote:
As for Boston.... I would personally suggest Alewife Station in West Cambridge. You can park there for 5 bucks a day, and its the terminus of the T's red line. A word to the wise- beware the Charlie card machines, donít even bother with it, just call over an attendant.
Thank you! That will be very important to know! I am terrified at the prospect of trying to drive in Boston, and I'm glad to know a specific place where it's okay for me to leave the car. I had been told I could ride a train into Boston, but I didn't know if there would be a problem leaving the car behind if I was going to stay in Boston overnight.

quote:
I don't think you're missing much not having been to white castle.
Oh, I'm sure it tastes no better than any other fast food place. I'm just curious about it because, for whatever reason, it seems to have a cult following among its fans. With most fast food places, you either hate it or you think it's okay. White Castle has rabid fans and its own lingo. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I doubt I'll have time to go into New York state, though, so it'll have to wait till some other trip.

quote:
If I was going to be there I'd add my suggestion of a stop at King Kone which is the ice cream stand where I work (and it's at exit 11 off of Daniel Webster Hwy if you do want to go). Voted the best soft serve in NH for a few years in a row now.
I'll try to check that out, then. I'm never one to turn down ice cream. [Smile]

quote:
As for town meetings, I've honestly never been to one, but all the towns I've lived in have been large enough that no one would notice that you're an outsider unless you said something about it. And I can't think of a reason why they wouldn't let you in...
I just figured that outsiders wouldn't be allowed in because they might try to sway opinion or vote on things. Since the town meeting is the ultimate in local democracy, I assumed that only locals could attend.

quote:
The Lexington and Concord reenactments are on April 16 (Monday). I'll be going to the Lexington reenactment, and if you'd like to go with me you are welcome (open to anyone else who might want to go, as well).
Unfortunately, I won't be able to be in Massachusetts by the 16th. [Frown] I'll still be in Maine by that point. It's conceivable I could make the 19th, but I'm not even sure about that yet.

quote:
Well, Verily, I'm certainly glad you are not leaving Alaska on the same week I'm ARRIVING there, or I would be very offended at the idea that you left on my account! [Smile] (June 1).

Oh? What are you coming up here for? If you're going to be in Anchorage or the Mat-Su area, and you have the time, we should meet up. [Smile]

quote:
Oh, and one thing to try if you have some dead time: candlepin bowling. It's a New England institution.
Okay, this sparked quite a conversation, so I guess I'd better ask: What is candlepin bowling?

quote:
BTW, be prepared, particularly in Portland and in Eastern MA, for a major dialect shift. Everything is soda here, unless you want to sound old school, in which case you say tonic. Liquor stores are often called "packies" or "package stores", and another name for a convenience store is a "spa". Subs are subs, or grinders. "Wicked" is an adverb.
Heh heh. We say "soda" up here, too (we never call it "pop"), though I've never heard it called "tonic". That word makes me think of tonic water, which is just foul.

quote:
Verily: When would the Boston visit be? I don't know that getting into Portland on the 14th and being in Boston on the 16th is advisable. You'll be rushed, and have to trek back out to Vermont or NH after, but you will miss all the Patriot's Day stuff if you don't.
I can't be sure yet. I'll definitely have to miss the Patriot's Day stuff, which is a real shame. If I had known about that back when I got my tickets, I'd have scheduled my trip for a week earlier so I could see it. As it is, I would, as you say, be too rushed hurrying down to Boston for that and then back up north to see what I missed.

quote:
BTW, for weather, be prepared for anywhere between low 30s to low 70s, bright sun to torrential rains.
Thanks; I was planning on asking about that tonight. What are the chances I'll be encountering snow? (I'm used to driving in snow, of course; but I will be in an unfamiliar car with all kinds of unfamiliar driving conditions--freeways, yikes! [Angst] --and I do hope I can at least be spared having to deal with all that in the snow. . . .

quote:
Why?! They're booooring [. . .] That fascination will abate within five minutes of the start of said town meeting.
They're democracy in action! It's the citizens gathering together to discuss the issues and effect change! Real civic duty type stuff!

(At least, that's my ignorant romantic outsider's view. [Wink] I have no idea what they're really like, of course. But they're one of the things that make me so fascinated with New England as a region. If I can find and get into one, I will definitely go. I've always wanted to see a real live town meeting.)

quote:
So, d'you have a plan yet, Verily?
A plan? No, not as such. I'm starting to chart my first couple of days, but I've never planned a trip before, let alone driven by myself in completely unknown territory, so I can't be sure how much I'll get to, or how much I'll be able to find. I have a horrible sense of direction, and I've never driven on a freeway before, so I'm still convinced that I'm going to miss my exit trying to get to, say, Newburyport, and wind up in Tijuana.

But, I expect I can probably be sure to reach Boston by the end of my first week. I am assuming that a weekend would be the best time for everyone who wants to get together, so shall we say sometime between Friday the 20th and Sunday the 22nd? I'll be bringing my laptop with me and getting online at every available opportunity, so I'll still be able to check Hatrack periodically while I'm down there. So we can go ahead and start planning for it, and I can keep current as I go. Does that sound good to everyone?

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Paul Goldner
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There shouldn't be any snow by the time you are here, but it COULD happen. Its rare to see snow this late in the year around boston. If you go into the far north in maine, it becomes more likely you encounter snow, but less likely you encounter people [Smile]
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Bokonon
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Of course, Paul saying that, we are getting rain/snow mix this Thursday [Smile] It's been unseasonably cool this April so far, with temps in the 40s as highs. Normally we'd be in the low 50s. April brings those darn showers in New England, so expect more than a little rain and cloudiness.

I'm trying to think of local foods to try. There's the lobster, of course, but also try some fried clams from Paul's neck of the woods. The sweetest clams come from the North Shore of MA. Ice cream is huge in New England (thanks Abigail!), we are one of the highest per capita consumers of it in the country. Anyone else know some good local foods? I know the local microbrew scene is pretty decent, if you can have/like beer.

Candlepin bowling, is the sport evolved into perfection [Smile]

Also, pay attention to the people. Coming from as far away as you are, you may be in a great position to truly note and appreciate the differences of people within the same nation. You'll likely find people a bit more rushed here, and as a result, they may come across as rude. I'd be interested in hearing your perceptions, after the trip.

As for driving, as is always the case, if it is snowy/icy/rainy, go slow. Just because the speed limit is 65, doesn't mean you should go that fast.

As for the weekend, I should be available at least part of that weekend.

-Bok

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Dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Verily the Younger:
quote:
If I was going to be there I'd add my suggestion of a stop at King Kone which is the ice cream stand where I work (and it's at exit 11 off of Daniel Webster Hwy if you do want to go). Voted the best soft serve in NH for a few years in a row now.
I'll try to check that out, then. I'm never one to turn down ice cream. [Smile]
Well, tell them that Jen sent you. And order a large cone.

[Evil]

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SenojRetep
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Who would be able to get together Friday or Saturday night somewhere in Cambridge? I'd be available either evening. I kind of like the idea (still) of Jasper White's and candlepin at Lanes & Games (just up Route 2 in Arlington) although is sounds like Bok and Paul would pretty much dominate me. We could also go someplace near Harvard (like Bartley's) or Tufts and then go to Saccos which as Bok points out, is a less accessible but more authentic candlepin experience.
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Bokonon
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Well, Bartley's, while traditional(*) for the Boston Hatrack Clump, is definitely NOT kid-friendly. It's small, cramped, and they have no bathrooms. So if kids are involved, I'd definitely not recommend going there for the group meeting (though on your own, I recommend it, tasty burgers and big frappes). I know the Davis/Porter/Harvard areas pretty well, since I live there, so if people have a preference, I can investigate. I'm not against Summer Shack, it isn't bad, I just don't want Verily to believe the hype!

BTW, a frappe is a milkshake (milk, ice cream) to you, Verily. A milkshake in Boston is milk and flavoring. [Smile]

-Bok

(*) We New Englanders, despite our liberal bias, like traditional. [Smile]

[ April 11, 2007, 10:55 AM: Message edited by: Bokonon ]

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Verily the Younger
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Great googly moogly! I just found out that Anime Boston is occuring during the weekend that I will happen to be in Boston! [Eek!] So that's at least one day of that weekend spoken for. . . .

As for the Boston clump gathering, anywhere is fine with me. I, for one, won't be bringing any children, so I'll let those of you who know the area decide what place would be best. As long as I can find it, I'll be there.

quote:
BTW, a frappe is a milkshake (milk, ice cream) to you, Verily. A milkshake in Boston is milk and flavoring.
Okay, that's different. Just so I don't sound like a total foreigner, is that pronounced "frap" or "frappay"?
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Bokonon
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The former. You'll find some places still call it a milkshake.

-Bok

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Paul Goldner
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I think friday april 20th would be a great day to do something with the boston clump.

Are we going to treat verily to a boston experience, or a new england experience? The two are different.

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Bokonon
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Since we'll likely stick to being in town... A Boston experience? I nominate Paul to be Verily's spouse! [Wink]

-Bok

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Paul Goldner
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My girlfriend might object [Smile]
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Bokonon
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It's all okay in KA-RAAAZY Massachusetts [Smile]

-Bok

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Verily the Younger
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I think Friday the 20th would work the best for me, as well. I'll leave it to you guys to decide what a true Boston experience is (well, maybe not Bok; I'm a little too red-state to marry a dude [Wink] ), though of course you must show me this candlepin bowling. Of course, I haven't even been regular bowling since I was about four, so. . . .
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