Thursday, July 1, 2010
Grams and Grandad's Summer Vacation - Plymouth & Cape Cod
From New Orleans we flew to Baltimore where we should have had 50 minutes to make the connecting flight that would bring us to Boston Logan. We arrived at gate B2 and had less than 5 minutes to sprint to gate A11 to catch our flight. We made it with a couple of minutes to spare and were again able to get the exit row seats. Southwest even held the flight long enough to make sure our luggage was on board. The sacrifice we made to the weather and VP Biden was the time we had for dinner. We arrived in Boston around 11:30 p.m. having had no dinner. Needless to say, all the airport food outlets were closed. By the time we claimed our luggage, caught a shuttle to the car rental agency, picked up our car, and drove to the hotel, it was 1:30 a.m.
Our first stop was Plymouth where we stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts to use the bathroom. We split a cake donut and asked for directions to the tourist information center. The young lady at the counter was very helpful and gave us very good directions and the following advice "When you park your car, be sure to put a quarter in the parking meter or they'll give you a ticket."
We enjoyed the lady at the visitor's center. She was extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. I thought for sure she must be a retired history teacher, but she said that she had learned everything she knows about the area just from listening to other people over the years.
Salem is absolutely beautiful. There are blooming flowers everywhere, including the most beautiful hydrangeas I have ever seen. The water is sparkling and I love the Cape Cod architecture. It's amazing to see buildings that were built in the 1600s and 1700s and everywhere you turn there are historical monuments and markers.
We had a delicious late lunch at the Blue Blinds Bakery. We split a Bread and Cheese Plate and a bowl of Potato Soup. They were so nice that they split the soup into two small bowls for us and served each with a generous slice of Sun-Dried Tomato Bread. The entire meal was absolutely delicious and cost about $10. As we were leaving, we bought two macaroons, a ginger snap, and an oatmeal raisin cookie to take with us. The ginger snap was the best I've ever eaten. The cookies were large enough to share. We haven't eaten the oatmeal raisin cookie yet, but I'm sure it will be delicious.
We arrived back at the hotel around 8 o'clock and ordered a pizza from a local place called Blue Jeans Pizza. It arrived quickly and had a hand-tossed thin crust and was topped with pepperoni, meatballs, Italian sausage, onion, green peppers, mushrooms, tomato sauce and blend of cheeses. It was better than our usual chain-store pizza and we enjoyed just relaxing for a while.
A few things I've noticed since we got to Massachusetts. The first thing is how many Dunkin' Donuts they have. They are as ubiquitous here as Starbucks are in other places. Locals tell us they like Dunkin' Donuts coffee better than Starbucks. If it's better, I may never know, because there's a Starbucks right next door to my hotel and, to quote an old cigarette commercial "I'd rather fight than switch." The second thing I've noticed is that drivers actually stop for pedestrians in crosswalks here. Kudos to Massachusetts drivers!
The most amazing thing so far is how good the air smelled everywhere we went on Cape Cod ... think of all things fresh ... flowers, evergreens, salt air, and some other mysterious quality that I can't quite put my finger on. The aroma is enticing, bewitching, and intoxicating. I think I would stay just for that wonderful aroma.
Tomorrow, we're heading to Salem. I would like to visit Concord and Lexington if time allows. I'm pretty sure lobster is on tomorrow's menu, but we'll see what looks interesting as the day goes by.
I heard from a friend that Corpus Christi had six inches of rain today along with significant coastal flooding. Hurricane Alex made landfall tonight in northern Mexico. I hope that damage is minimal and everyone in the path of this storm is safe. I'm not sorry that we're missing all the excitement, but it's odd to be out of the loop. I miss Dale Nelson's "every hour on the hour" updates.