road-trip! (or, a 6-day beer tour)

I recently completed a 6-day voyage across/around/up/down the area known as New England. I don’t really know what was so bad about the old England that they had to make this New England, but she is very beautiful, so I will accept it for what it is. We went in with no real plans, but had so much fun. Things Cara and I learned:

  • no weigh station in north america is open.
  • hidden driveways are always visible.
  • shouting “green means go!” every time the ez-pass light or red light changes to green will never cease to amuse me.
  • hiding under a towel to block reflections on your laptop screen is very effective.
  • Quebec has close to nothing in English.
  • Quebec-type Canadians don’t say “Eh.”
  • Quebec-type Asian-Canadians speak French!
  • driving like you’re from Jersey is fun.
  • Bronx pizza is amazing.
  • Canadian accents > Boston accents > Bronx accents
  • home is nice.
  • beds are nice.

Stories.

Nomnom. Left Newark Monday morning and headed to Connecticut to meet our friend Elizabeth and go to a grocery store. What?

Yes, we were tourists in a grocery store. Stew Leonard‘s is the largest dairy store in the world (arguably). They had lots of animatronics and the whole store was a continuous maze instead of separate aisles. They had delicious free samples everywhere and an incredible variety of any food you could want in the buffet at the end. So exciting ^_^ Got to tour Elizabeth’s beautiful house and meet her parents, then headed northesternly towards the coast. Arrived in Boston, reserved a spot at the open mic at the Cantab Lounge, found a hotel, and headed back to play the open mic. So much fun.

Tuesday we toured the Sam Adams brewery (which was incredible) and ate delicious Irish food and walked wherever we wanted downtown. Then we couched it in Cara’s roommate’s brother Brian’s house next to Boston College yay.

We babysat their son Wednesday morning so that Brian could get some research done and then we headed through Salem (witch hunting) towards Portland, Maine. We set up camp and it looked windy and threateningly rainy, but we headed into town anyway. Played at the Dogfish Bar and Grill open mic (extremely well run and recorded and only one homeless man bothered us) and looked around the city some. Our campsite was on a lake so it was amazing and we cooked s’mores and nommed and there was no rain.

From there we trecked northwest through New Hampshire and Vermont. All the road signs were bilingual, so we expected the transition into French Canada to go smoothly – as soon as we crossed the border, everything was foreign. Completely French. I do not speak or read or care to understand French. Cara knows enough, so we found a bank and converted money and asked Ben to text us a campsite to set up at and we journeyed towards it with a Garmin that pronounces French words about as well as a three year-old Eskimo. Anyway, the deskgirl hostess was really cute and spoke English and we got a campsite, set up, cooked American hot dogs on the fire, and drove into Montreal. I managed to locate the most expensive parking lot in the city, but we didn’t know any better. Walked around the historic areas, through some college campuses, trying to find some Asians speaking French. Success! Then I tried to creepily make us follow college agers so that we could find somewhere to hang out, but they were boring. Most of the bars were fancy and upscale, so we located a sportsbar microbrewery place that looked safe. The hostess said something in French and I said “can we sit at the bar?” Stupid Americans. She understood though and the bartender gave us menus in English ^_^ Their grapefruity seasonal brew was delicious. Cooked more s’mores at camp and slept on Canadian ground.

Friday we packed up and headed towards New York – we crossed at an extremely small border town and got detained, searched, and questioned! That sounds more exciting than it was, but supposedly it was just a normal random inspection. I told them we had no weapons and then the camp hatchet was the first thing they saw in the trunk lols. Anyway, we drove into Vermont eventually, toured Magic Hat (nomnom), and found our friend Kelsey‘s museum. I had neglected to research what this Shelburne Museum was, so I was expecting boring old paintings in a single building. This place was incredible. She got us through the gates with fancy employee guest passes and then she showed us around – there are many many acres of 39 historic buildings, 25 of which had been brought there from far away places. There was a 220-foot steamship chilling in a valley nowhere near water. There was a fully operational printing press, and circus poster exhibits, and old fancy guns, and 3D paper art, and historic merry-go-round horses with original paint…it was amazing. I wish we had had more time there to look around. Kelsey got off work and we drove the scenic route to her apartment in downtown Burlington and unloaded and got changed and walked to Bueno y Sano, which had incredible quesadillas. Then we went to the Champlain Valley Expo and saw The Avett Brothers (the John Oates band opened up). They were so good. I was really happy. Kelsey was much happier. Cara was happy too but not feeling well. Anyway, it was impressive and the Asian cellist was fiddling and it was a ton of fun. Traffic leaving the show wasn’t bad, but I still wish we had a hovercraft. Slept on couches and air mattresses yay.

We woke up and went to the Burlington Farmer’s Market for breakfast and watched the babies play in the fountain and walked around all the vendors. Got some delicious maple “creemies” (soft serve ice cream) and walked down to Lake Champlain (which you can see from Kelsey’s house yay). Fun times. Got on the road by noon and met Denise in the Bronx around 6 for pizza dinner then drove back to Delaware to drop off Cara and then drop off Michael. So much epicness. So much driving. So much memories. So much food. So much awesome.

Beer.

We aren’t alcoholics, but we did want to tour lots of breweries and taste everything yay

 

Sam Adams!
Monday, Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA
Sam Adams Summer Ales
Tuesday, Sam Adams Brewery in Boston, MA (their tour was an hour of amazingness)
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy
Wednesday, Dogfish Bar and Grill in Portland, ME
Smutty Nose Shoals Pale Ales
Thursday, Les 3 Brasseurs in Montreal, QC, CA
Les 3 Brasseurs Summer Ale
Les 3 Brasseurs Amber Passion
Friday, Magic Hat in Burlington, VT
Magic Hat Wacko Summer Ale
Magic Hat #9 Not Quite Pale Ale
Magic Hat Circus Boy Hefeweizen
Saturday
12 hours of driving back to Newark, DE to enjoy my favorite Yuengeling Lager

It was such a fun trip.

Thiles
The real reason that I went to Boston – to pick up one of these very limited edition three color 7″ “Man in the Middle” singles that Chris Thile and Michael Daves released a few days beforehand ^_^

Me and Cara!
Me and Cara with Canada hats!

 

We saw the Avett Brothers in Vermont – they were absolutely amazing. This is during one of the last songs where it was just the two brothers screaming <3

 

success

Geocached, biked, homeworked, read, sang, recorded, and thrift shopped. I beat Monday.

game genie!
the legendary game genie for the original NES

Thanks for the encouraging comments, Jess and Em ^.^

 

Mojo open mic tonight again with Em yay

mojo on main

em mckeever

It is so incredibly relaxing to not be in school for a few weeks. Played at the Mojo on Main open mic night tonight with some friends. Here is Em, being awesome. Got home and stayed awake for 4 more hours than normal to see the creepiest lunar eclipse I have ever observed (this was my third). It was like the moon was on fire. Yay for fun nights.