Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tales of My Travels

I had a great trip Down East. (Well, technically we didn't get far enough North to be 'down' -- which is the north eastern coast Maine. "Down" referring to down wind. Maine is a maritime sorta place.) Took over a thousand pictures, mostly of rocks and water, but also of people walking (you know, for drawing models).

Detroit Metro - The Journey of a Million Steps

If you're traveling with someone in a wheelchair with at stop over at Detroit Metro, always ask for help even if you have your own chair and a native bearer (me). It's one very long schlep from incoming to outgoing gates, involving multiple levels and hidden elevators and lots and lots of distance. Also, if you are doing it on your own, and you use the "people mover" - a wheelchair will usually roll right off just fine, but if it doesn't, the person behind the chair has to have hands free and be ready to push. Just sayin'.

Flying in To La Guardia

You can see the Statue of Liberty (a little green/blue dot on top of a pedestal), as you fly over Canarsie. Also the Brooklyn Bridge, and those other bridges which look familiar but you don't know what they're called. And the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. And also a funny-looking gothic black building that's a little bit up town from them. (Probably the Radiator Building.)

New Jersey - Fresh Mozz and Some Good Tacos Too.

Great informal Italian food in Joisy, both coming and going. I still think the best meal of the trip was the stuff we grabbed at the deli - incredibly fresh mozzarella (made hourly), sopressatta and bread. Also had some rather good tacos in Hoboken at a little restaurant called The Taco Truck. Almost the real thing like you'd get in L.A., except that they didn't get the concept of salsa on the side.

Manhattan - Hear the Beat of Dancing Feet

Forty-second street isn't as naughty and bawdy as it once was, but it is certainly sporty and gaudy. Theaters sparkling everywhere. And cops everywhere hanging out playing with their iPhones. Had really great Venetian food just around the corner from the theater. (Went to see The Importance of Being Earnest, and will talk a little about it later, since the character of Lady Bracknell is relevant to a post I want to make about bossy characters.)

Connecticut -- Where the Burgers Wear TuTus

Paused briefly in Connecticutt where we had old-fashioned diner food around the corner from where travelling companion grew up. The place was famous for the crisped cheese which skirts the burger. Also hand dipped ice cream. And I wish I had known that they mixed their own pop by hand from syrup and soda at the fountain. If I had known, I wouldn't have ordered a diet cola. (Missed opportunites!)

Boston -- The Land of the Bean and the Cod

...where the Lowells speak only to Cabots and the Cabots speak only to God! (Which little poem brought to me the only bit of work I did on the trip: I have been looking for a properly patrician last name for a character, and realized that there could be no more patrician Amerian name than Cabot. Especially if you need a name which isn't Dutch.)

There are no lines painted on roads in Boston, you make up your own lanes. The highways wind around in tunnels under the city. The curbs are made out of granite. We went shopping at Fanieul Hall, took pictures of the Old State House where the Boston Massacre took place. Ate seafood at the longest continuously running restaurant in America. We also had great dim sum for breakfast, and went to the art museum -- which may deserve it's own post sometime.

We May Ride Forever On The Streets of Boston

The concierge gave us bad directions, and we ended up driving in circles for a bit before we just took fate into our own hands and headed for the road we thought we needed to be on. (In the meantime, I found myself singing the MTA song for much of the next leg of the trip.)

Maine -- and Lobstah Rolls at Last!

After setting foot briefly in New Hampshire at a rest stop, we finally got to Maine and stopped at Bob's Clam Hut where I at last got my first bite of a Lobster Roll. Oy it was good. (And I'm told it was unusually good -- as it was all Lobster. No celery filler, and only enough mayo to moisten.)

From there we proceded to bump around the city of Portland (which is almost handicapper accessable -- though all uphill streets are still very old granite cobblestone.) And we also proceeded to take pictures of rocks and water and more rocks and more water. And food and rocks and water. Also, breakfast and more seafood. Forgot to take pictures of the seafood, but this breakfast was, uh, well let's just say the scale doesn't do it justice. That pancake was larger than most dinner plates. (And here I thought one pancake would not be enough.)

Then we took more pictures of rocks and water, and drove back to Jersey for more great Italian food.

LaGuardia -- The Miracle of the Sausages

Under normal circumstances, frozen raw Italian sausage will make it from New Jersey to Lansing, Michigan still mostly frozen if properly packed in a carry on bag.

Under miraculous conditions, it will make it to the tarmac at LaGuardia where the pilot announces engine trouble and goes back to the gate, and everybody waits on the plane while the engineers do some troubleshooting and then finally give up and have everybody deplane, except if you're the one with the wheelchair, you're last off and can't get a good seat on a remaining flight... but at LaGuardia the employees fight to push wheelchairs, and so we got lots of service and finally got booked on flights the next day, and given a hotel room and inadequate meal vouchers, and a ride to the hotel, where there's a refrigerator with a FREEZER in the room.

Yes, the real Italian sausages made it back to Lansing still semi-frozen even after a particularly long layover the next day.

So now I'm home but still discombobulated. Tomorrow I'll post another Interview about secondary characters -- but I haven't even got the edits to the author yet.

See you in the funny papers.


R. Doug Wicker said...

Nice little travel blog with some really good pictures to go with it. Well done, Daring Novelist.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Doug. I know you do some great travel posting on your blog. (Folks, check it out.)

BTW, that last picture of rocks and water, just above the pancake, has a submarine spotting tower on it. I can help but feel that's my cliffs in Awarshawa. I may have to make use of some of those pictures in the cover I'm working on this summer -- but I'll have to put a castle on the top.

R. Doug Wicker said...

Neat. A remnant of WWII, perhaps? If you ever climb to the top of Diamond Head in Honolulu, you can still see observation bunkers used to spot and grade coastal defense shelling exercises.

Oh, and thank you for the plug on my own travel/photography blogs. Appreciate that.

The Daring Novelist said...

Yeah, there are a ton of remnants of WWII all around the islands by Portland. I think the channels are very deep, so there were fueling stations, etc.

We took the mail boat around the islands -- which is an interesting ride in itself. They give a little tour info as they go, plus the sea and islands are beautiful.