Where the Hell to start?
Planning a trip through New York State and down on through Massachusetts into Rhode Island, can be a great and exciting challenge. Add to it the fact that your desire to see as much new and fresh scenery as possible will mean A LOT of twisty and off the beaten trail two lane blacktop and, the adventure just grows so much larger as it unfolds along the way.
That's right! Eighty Five percent of our 50 hour journey, was made on two lane black top. At one point through the upper half of New Hampshire, I don't even think the road made the map! When awe inspiring scenery meets decreasing radius turns and switchbacks suitable for Formula 1 racing, the singularity of your little red car in the wilderness, can become almost palpable. That alone in the world feeling is disturbed, only at those times as seen fit by mankind. Mankind in the form of a double-bedded and fully loaded logging truck, on it's very fast and highly chaotic way out East.
But I did say "start" right? Well from the start right to the finish, Peb's and I were treated to countless hours of views just like this.
With the winding road, the nearby lakes and streams and always throughout the entire trip, the mountains all to ourselves. There was not one CD, MP3 or even Radio station turned on for the entire drive. It just wasn't needed. As nature and her landscape offered up far more interesting sights & sounds, not to mention the remarks we both made, as we gazed at the beauty of it all every single time we rounded the next bend.
Occasionally we did run across signs of human presence as we did here,
but even then, the peace and tranquility of the scene, made it hard to believe that humans were actually present at all. In a word, breathtaking is the only one that seems to do any kind of justice to the visions from this trip.
We started out on a mission to get to Rhode Island for Lunch on the Saturday. Surprisingly, that was much easier than I ever expected. We were through most of New York State on the Friday night and almost made it right into Massachusetts. It was a little eerie actually, how light the traffic was on a Friday night. The border was practically empty and despite getting pulled over for the red-rubble-racer to be ex-rayed, we were through there in no time as well.
Saturday morning into Mass. was just a breeze and we managed to hit Evelyn's Drive In at the perfect time for some Lunch. With a view of the bay and outside patio seating available, a Margarita & Sangria seemed to be in order.
Evelyn's did not disappoint in the quality of their food at all. Driving that far for a spot of lunch and a beverage, could be considered a pressure point for some. It would have to be perfection, or the trip was a total waste. Well I'm here to tell you, the whole Quahog "stuffies" and crabcakes alone, would have been worth the trip!
As we scarfed down these delicacies in a Tasmanian Devil like fashion, we wondered about and eagerly anticipated the rest of our order.
Whole Belly Clams dry dusted and fried to perfection for me.
Did I mention how big they actually were?
Well that's just one of them there!
Peb's wanted to get started on Lobsterpalooza so when she saw a salad on the menu, she figured it would be a nice light way to start things out.
Well two pounds of Lobster and some greens may be light to some, but it sure looked like one hell of a lot of food to me!
***Special request to anyone who knows!
The dressing for this salad was called Zinfandel by Saratoga. Peb's loved it and we tried to buy it everywhere we could. But two lane blacktop and serenity hardly ever come in contact with grocery stores, so if you can tell me where to get it, I'd be very much appreciative.
There were unfortunately two small downsides to Evelyn's. First off, we had a new server from an Eastern block country. Nothing wrong with her at all, just disappointing after watching two local servers mastering their craft at the other tables around us. Local knowledge of the area, the local brews and the best times to do what where, just weren't going to come from our server at all. In fact, she seemed genuinely disinterested in the view, our meals, us and just about anything else that wasn't going on in her cell phone. Not a crushing blow as I can tip accordingly, but the local talent available at the other tables, would not have been wasted on us for certain.
Then there was the price. It's Evelyn's and it's popular, I get it. The portions are huge and the food is good, I get that too. In fact, I think the price point for everything they served, was almost right on spot. But since this is a review of sorts, one should be aware that a $90 lunch is easily doable at this joint.
After a very enjoyable day on the water with my baby, we left Rhode Island behind and headed up into Mass. for our room for the night. The next day we'd cover Boston, (we thought!) and head up to New Hampshire for a Breakfast/Lunch date, with DrewFours and his lovely Mrs.
We sat on the water most of the afternoon, taking in a few drinks to go with the local scenery.
Local scenery that included warships?
Must be a Waffles thing 'cause I personally, prefer bikinis. Just sayin'.
Next to our Hotel that night, we found this little spot.
Seriously it was just like Cheers, only on steroids!
Looking for a drink or two and maybe a little something to munch on for Dinner, walking into this place was like disturbing the cosmic force that keeps all things New England alive. The buzz, the chatter, the service and every single person in that place froze. All of their attention was pointed directly at the two of us. It was clear we were being measured and it was with even more absolute certainty that I can say, we were the only non-locals in this establishment at the time. Hell! We may just have been the first in there in decades!
After grabbing two spots at the bar, the tension seemed to lift just enough to allow for a breath or two again. Subtle chatter started up and even a server or two started to go back through the motions of their trade.
"Glad you didn't sit thah." Said the bartender who's name tag read Kyle. "Walt-ah probably would have had a fit if you'da chose his chay-ah and all."
We ordered drinks and did the customary chit-chat with Kyle.
"I see what we have here is a Canadian Scotch drinker with some taste." Kyle proclaimed out loud to no one and everyone all at the same time.
With that came this moment of New England Pub clarity.
With the buzz back in the pub and a bottle in front of me that I could choose to give back or not, all was well within the New England force. It seemed that the two apparent vagabonds intruding into their inner sanctum, may just be OK after all.
Once we ordered a cup of Chowd-ah, it was like we'd been there all our lives. So much so in fact that when it came time for the local shot of Stolly-polly, (or something silly like that) mine was on Kyle and the two of us did the shot together.
The next morning I was up a little earlier than usual even for me, because I knew I was headed into Boston. Boston to me only means two things. 1) The Bruins & 2) Fenway Park. I've seen the Bruins several times but somehow, Fenway has always managed to elude me. Not this time I thought! This time, that Green Monster is my bitch and I'm gonna' get all I can out of her while she was still in my arms!
So WHO THE FUCK came up with a highway that goes under Boston? Stoopid city planning dick noses!
Made it to New Hampshire in near record time, thanks to a new and very speedy tunnel under the city of Boston! Saved all kinds of time not enjoying the view of a great and beautiful city. Concrete walls and ceiling encapsulating the asphalt road for me man! Tunnels for tourism FTW! FML. I hadn't been to The Boston area for far too long. Taking a sojourn into the bowels of the city to dig up Fenway, just wasn't going to happen. We journeyed on to New Hampshire and Peb's second D.D.&D's destination, The Red Arrow.
Occasionally as we sit back on the intertubles and meet new or familiar members of our community, a shape of sorts takes form in your head. A shape describing what you know about that friend. A shape that can lead to a presumption about that friend and give you a fairly clear picture about who they really may be, and what you could expect if you manage to come face-to-face with them as well. DrewFours was exactly the 'shape' I expected. An honest and sincere man, with no time to waste looking back or to disappointment. A strong soul, a great smile and an ability to get the most out of the time available, no matter how long or how short that time may end up being. Peb's and I truly look forward to us all getting together again Mr. & Mrs. Fours, as our time together with you for our brunch, was definitely a highlight our our trip.
OH and clearly once again Mrs. Fours is un-arguably more proof that we bloggers as a whole, continue to marry up! ;)
To say The Red Arrow was OK, is like saying Astin knows a thing or two about cooking Elk. Peb's and I walked in and got in line. With about eight tables I think and maybe 18 counter seats available, the line was the length of the Diner. I don't care what anyone else has to say, a busy spot despite that long of a wait can only mean one thing. We were about to indulge in something pretty special!
How special you ask? Well let's just say my all Black Angus Sirloin "Sloppy Moe" was just too damn good looking to actually stop and get a picture of it and as for Peb's,
She at least remembered to take a shot of her Crabcakes Eggs Benidict, before it was all gone from her plate!
Want a happy Bam-Bam? The recipe is simple. Take two parts great people turned great friends, a shot of a friendly atmosphere enjoyed with the love of my life and then just a hint of some truly amazing food to boot! Voila! Happy kid is an da' house!
Mr. & Mrs. Fours, sincerest thanks for taking the time to meet up with us. The pleasure was all ours.
We headed out of New Hampshire that afternoon. Our goal was Belfast Maine, and the Hotel that awaited us. Starting out with this foggy but still spectacular view out of the room when we got there,
was a great way to start out the night.
More on the way.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....