Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 9 (10/7/2018) - Back to NYC

We hit the road at 9:30am, heading south on I-91 and making a very brief detour into New Haven to randomly drive around the Yale campus.  After a few minutes of that, we hopped on I-95 and headed toward NYC.  Traffic (surprisingly) wasn't bad until we got into the Bronx; this was after I made the mistake of staying on I-95 after the turn-off for I-278.  We doubled back on I-87 and took the 3rd Avenue Bridge into Manhattan.  We headed south on Park then 5th Avenue, only to find 5th Avenue closed at 57th Street - the plan was simply to drive down 5th Avenue.  I then went in search of parking, then took my mom into the Bloomberg HQ building and then my office building.  After that we drove into Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge to pay a visit to Fran (and her mother) at her new apartment.  After that we took the BQE back to Queens, dropped off our stuff in my apartment, and then I returned the rental car (with 1500+ miles from the trip) around 5:30pm.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 8 (10/6/2018) - Vermont Route 100

The Motel 6 didn't have breakfast, so after checking out we went across the street to the Athens Diner to get breakfast.  After eating we hit the road around 9:45am.  We took I-89 to VT-100, and then began the scenic journey south.  We were pleasantly surprised that the foliage was as colorful as it was, and the hilly terrain added to the scenery just like the day before.  But also like the day before, there wasn't much of a chance to capture it all in picture form.


We got off VT-100 at VT-9, heading west to I-91.  We took that south through Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT, ending up just south of Hartford in Cromwell.  We checked into the Red Lion Hotel there at 4:45pm.  After a little time in the room we went downstairs to get dinner at the on-site restaurant.  But when they informed us that they were out of black bean burgers, we headed out to a Chinese restaurant (Wang Chinese) a few minutes away.  After dinner it was back to the hotel for the remainder of the night.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 7 (10/5/2018) - To Burlington

Following breakfast at the hotel, we checked out and departed around 9:30am.  We made our way westward by some Maine state routes, US-2, I-93, US-2 again, and I-89, finally arriving in the Burlington, VT area.  The drive was pretty scenic, especially in New Hampshire and western Maine.  The reds and yellows of the foliage were picturesque on the hills and mountains as we drove through, though as the driver I did not have much opportunity to take pictures.  The colors turned greener and more muted as we drove though Vermont, though.  We arrived at the Motel 6 in Colchester (just north of Burlington) around 5:30pm.


After checking in and a brief respite in the room, we headed back out to find dinner in Burlington.  We made a stop in Battery Park to check out the view of Lake Champlain before making our way to Istanbul Kebab House, a Turkish & Mediterranean restaurant.  After dinner we drove back to the hotel to call it a night (while dealing with the non-functioning heating system).  As an aside, temperatures had dropped into the low 50s and high 40s (Fahrenheit) over the last day or so.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 6 (10/4/2018) - Mount Desert Island

After breakfast at the hotel, we retreated briefly to the hotel room and then hit the road for a look around Acadia National Park around 10am.  We first headed for the Park Loop Road in the direction of Sand Beach, stopping at interesting viewpoints along the way.  We checked out Sand Beach and the nearby Thunder Hole, and then continued around the loop to Jordan Pond.  After the pond, we turned back south to make a stop at Seal Harbor Beach before taking ME-3 northwest to transition to the western half of Mount Desert Island.


We looped down ME-202 to Southwest Harbor and dropped by Bass Harbor Head Light House.  We then continued around and looped back toward Bar Harbor and headed back to the hotel for a pit stop around 2:30pm.  During the last couple of days, I heard a couple of people say that the Southwest Harbor area is beautiful.  While I do think parts of it are scenic, in my opinion it's nowhere near as nice as driving through the park.

We headed back out to Bar Harbor to find dinner, and settled on an unassuming Chinese restaurant named China Joy.  After dinner we drove back to the hotel, making it there before 5pm.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 5 (10/3/2018) - To Bar Harbor

We missed breakfast at the hotel because we thought (and were told the day before) that it was open until 10am.  But when we showed up to the breakfast room around 9:15am almost everything was put away, and the clerk later told us that it's only open until 9am on weekdays.  So we set off for Maine without eating breakfast.

My Google Maps was still set to avoid tolls, so it took me off I-95 soon after crossing the border, as it was turning into the Maine Turnpike.  I put up with the alternate route on US-1 for about half an hour before switching back to the faster route (I-95 to I-295 to I-95 to I-395 to US-1A to ME-3) in order to save an hour of travel time.  We made it to the Days Inn Bar Harbor around 2:15pm and then checked into our room.


We went back out at 3:30pm to check out Cadillac Mountain.  We didn't drive all the way to the top because a fog was clouding the view there, but did get a chance to see a couple of spectacular views at points fairly high up.  We next drove down and into Bar Harbor in search of some dinner.  We parked and found a restaurant, Geddy's, where my mom could get a lobster dinner with clam chowder (she wasn't impressed with the lobster, but liked the soup) and also had reasonable vegetarian options; I got the margherita pizza, along with a slice of blueberry pie (appaarently Maine's state dessert) a la mode.  After dinner we drove back to the hotel, via the detour because ME-3 was partially closed and one-way for a 2-mile stretch surrounding the hotel.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 4 (10/2/2018) - To Portsmouth

We didn't do much of anything today.  After breakfast at the hotel, we checked out a bit after 10am and then drove north through Boston and toward New Hampshire.  Close to the border, we headed east toward the coast, and then turned back north on Route 1A.  We drove up the coastal road, making a couple of brief stops at Seabrook Beach and Hampton Beach.  We continued on to Portsmouth, turning onto Route 1B and made our way to Fort Constitution State Historic Site.  After a brief stop there, we continued back into town and found the Anchorage Inn and Suites.  We were checked in and settled in the room by 2:30pm.  We lounged around for the rest of the day, doing little besides a quick trip out to pick up dinner at a nearby Thai restaurant.  It didn't help that there was a light rain falling all day.


On a sad note, my mom received news late in the afternoon that a close family friend had died.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A

New England Road Trip 2018 - Day 3 (10/1/2018) - Boston and meeting up with Nishant

We took it pretty easy this morning.  We were up and dressed in time to get some of the continental breakfast at the hotel around 9:15am.  But we didn't have anything planned until a 1:15pm trolley tour of Boston, so we decided to just hang out in the room after breakfast.  We left the hotel a bit after noon and drove into the city.

Our tour left from the City Place building downtown.  One somewhat noteworthy thing happened while parking the car in their underground parking garage...  Upon entry the security guard stopped our car and asked me to show my drivers license, saying that was required for everyone who came in to park.  My mom and I noticed that he didn't seem to ask the car in front of us to do that.  She interpreted the incident more pessimistically than I did, but it's hard not to think (based on the perhaps limited information that we have) that there was a racial component in play.

We checked in early at the Gray Line tour office, and then waited about 30 minutes until boarding for the tour began.  The tour lasted a little more than 3 hours, with extended stops at Trinity Church, Fenway Park, and the USS Constitution (though we only had about 20 minutes at each stop, so we didn't go into any of those places).  It began to drizzle a bit during the tour, but it didn't become too unpleasant (temperatures hovered in the low 60s); this continued on and off for the rest of the day.


After we returned from the tour, we got back into the car and headed to Norfolk to visit Nishant and Shipra.  We made it to their house right at 6pm and visited with them for about 3 hours, including being fed a delicious and bountiful dinner.  My mom and I agreed that it was great to see them, but regretted that we forgot to take a picture with them.  We made it back to the hotel around 10pm.

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Pictures here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6QCPXd5cfTcTrJ7A