Life’s A Beach

I spent quite a nice weekend up in Massachussetts with Lexcie this weekend, and it was a nice break from New York City and Long Island. It was the first time I traveled up to Boston when I wasn’t the one driving. I had originally planned to take Fung Wah, until Jarid pointed out that Greyhound’s tickets are just as cheap. However, there was an accident on I-84 and we arrived an hour later than we were supposed to. Lexcie then gave me the grand tour of Boston, first stopping in Chinatown to eat at Peach Farm (where I ordered General Tso’s chicken, much to his expectation, haha), then walking up towards the North End to have dessert at Mike’s Pastry (by the way, if you ever go there, try the tiramisu – some of the best I’ve had!). The city is quite an interesting place. I definitely got a kick out of all the “hidden” T stations, especially the one that looked like it was housed in a 1700s court house of sorts. I think I’d like to go back in the day time and check out all of the non-touristy stuff I missed when I used to go to Boston with my cousins. Lexcie is quite a spiffy guide. Afterwards, we took the T commuter train back to Haverhill. I thought LIRR was bad, ending trains around 2 or 3 a.m., but every last T commuter train leaves at 12:10 a.m.

The next day, after stopping for a charity pancake breakfast and checking out buses at Michaud Bus Sales (they had Harran buses, which were strange to see) we went to Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME. Wow, I never expected it to be so big. It’s like a giant playground for transit fans, with random trolleys running about, and at least a hundred detiorating trains, buses and trolleys sitting around the property. Since Lexcie is a member of the museum, we pretty much had full run of the place, so we decided to take a ride on one of the Third Avenue Railway trolleys. It was particularly interesting to me, because it probably ran past Fordham at some point.

We then checked out the Federal Transportation Administration SOAC cars, which were kept in pretty good interior condition (the exterior left a bit to be desired). The inside was sort of like an R-44, but had more comfortable seats (which would have been slashed up the wazoo in NYC) and carpeting (which probably would have smelled like piss a la the LIRR coaches I used to ride in the 80s). There were R9s and Redbirds there, but they weren’t accessible. We then went to a barn chock full o’ trolleys. There were so many in there that you could only walk single-file between the tracks. We found this neat old dining car and went snooping around inside. The kitchen looked like it could have been used just yesterday. We opened the cupboard and found salt and pepper shakers, plates, measuring cups and some other random knick-nacks that hadn’t been removed from the car. If only my camera hadn’t broke midway during the trip, I would have a lot of pictures from the musuem. Oh well, we’ll be back up there again.

We drove back down the coast on the way home, and found many interesting places along the way. We ate lunch at Bull and Claw restaurant, where I finally got my lobster roll (Lexcie was probably sick of hearing about my lobster roll at that point, lol). It wasn’t as good as other lobster rolls I’ve had, but decent. Like all food we ate on the trip, it had to be doggie-bagged, which led to an interesting breakfast on Sunday morning.

The coasts of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachussetts have a lot of neat stops along the way. First, we stopped at York Beach, a seafront town that reminded me much of some of the older towns along the Jersey Shore. The beach wasn’t anything spectactular, so we zonked out for about 20 minutes in the parking lot because we were both very tired.  After walking around town for a bit and stopping for coffee and ice cream at The Goldenrod, we hit the road again. We got a little bit lost trying to look for Route 1A, but found ourselves driving along Hampton Beach, which was absolutely breathtaking.

The next stop was Salisbury, MA, which was another Jersey Shore-like beach town, with pizza places, arcades and other kitschy amusements. One of the more funny aspects was the beach – it looked like the town had trucked in sand to fill the area. However, it wasn’t beach sand, but dark, dirty construction-site sand. We found this little pizza shack that sold fried dough, so I asked Lexcie if he ever had zeppoles before, to which he responded no. So, we ordered some. But, apparently fried dough in Massachussetts is much different that fried dough in New York. We were wondering why it was taking so long to fry a couple of dough balls, but it turned out that “fried dough” is actually a deep-fried pizza crust slathered in butter, powdered sugar and cinnamon. We could have fed the entire U.S. armed forces in Iraq with this thing! We then tried this stupid “Love-O-Meter” at one of the arcades – it was a silly quarter game, where you had to squeeze the handle while light bulbs predicted your love life. Apparently our relationship is a dud, haha.

We drove back to Haverhill via Route 110, where we passed Donna’s Donuts in Merrimac, much to my amusement. It was such a blatant rip-off of Dunkin Donuts, much like New York’s Kennedy Fried Chicken to KFC. It even used the same font and two-color scheme!

Sunday morning, we pretty much emptied out all of our doggie bags from the previous day onto a plate, microwaved it and called it breakfast. Nothing like General Tso’s and cold fried dough to get your morning going! Although, I don’t think we actually got moving until about noon. Lexcie showed me around Haverhill and the surrounding area, and we then checked out the abandoned campus of Bradford College, which, like your basic old-time American college campus, looked like it could have been part of Fordham University or even the Academy of St. Joseph. The campus is open for people to walk around in, so we peeked inside of some of the buildings. It was very strange, because it looked like the school was frozen in time. The cafeteria tables, curtains and salad bar looked like students would shuffle in at any moment and sit down hadn’t it been for the thick layer of dust coating everything. If I had millions of dollars, I’d purchase the nine-building campus and start my own university (that is, of course, after I buy the Islip Triplex movie theater and an R-40).

Afterwards, Lexcie drove my back to Boston so I could catch my Greyhound bus at South Station, sadness. The bus ride back wasn’t as long as the ride in, but I didn’t get a window seat, so it was difficult to sleep (I like being able to rest my head against the window). We pulled into New York around 7:30 because of some leftover traffic from the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Speaking of which, it was a very loud train ride home. I also accidently dropped my Chicken McNugget Value Meal on the floor of the train when the paper bag broke. Although most of it stayed in the box and didn’t hit the train floor, quite a few french fries and a McNugget didn’t make it. I cleaned up as much as I could, which was difficult, considering the amount of foot traffic in the car. Apparently, I missed a container of BBQ  sauce, because some poor soul stepped on it, sending the sauce flying all over the train. It looked like a McDonald’s murder scene by the time I left the train. The BBQ was dripping from the seats, a McNugget burst into pieces and french fries laid in mushy heaps all around. Oops.

So, today was back to the daily grind.  Oh well, it was such a nice, but short weekend. I’m still very tired. But we do have more to look forward to, including exploring the abandoned Rockaway ROW. And I’m dragging him to a bunch of family parties… poor Lexcie, haha :o) By the way, you can see the pictures he took from our weekend here.

One Response to “Life’s A Beach”

  1. Lexcie says:

    Oh, those zeppoles are good! Of course I have had those. They are just not called zeppoles. They’re, I dunno what they are… they’re just fried dough. The Midwestern fried dough I was thinking of is actually called a Funnel Cake. The MA fried dough is weird, I’d never seen that before. And I guess zeppoles are popular in Jersey. I need to get some!

    Hey, also you forgot about the pahtee bus we saw in Government Centre that you thought were a driving distraction. I’m going to let you cover that. Oh and I forgot to mention in my blog how good the tiramisu was. I meant to say how it didn’t look as nice as other tiramisu I have seen, but definitely tasted 100 times bettah!

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