Monday, July 14, 2008

Road Trippin' In the Northeast, Part 1

So, as intimated in my last post, my Mom, my dog and myself all went up to our place in New Hampshire for the weekend. Our trip didn't start off under the most auspicious circumstances, as one way or another we had managed to lose all of our keys to our house up there since the previous summer. We decided not to freak out about that, as our caretaker had spares and we could therefore get in as long as we called ahead of time.

I was supposed to drive the first segment of our 7-8 hour trip due to my theoretically getting a decent amount of sleep the night before while my mom did her usual freaking out about packing the car. Unfortunately I had spent some time watching Hellboy (good movie by the way) and the remainder of my night was spent alternately trying to get my awake body asleep and fighting off nose bleeds. So, come the next morning at 6, we were both fairly exhausted and groggy. Fortunately Dunkin Donuts coffee is one of God's miraculous gifts to the world, and we were soon off.

We drove across New York and had almost reached the Vermont border when we decided to stop in Hoosick, New York to get lunch. The place that we stopped at was called the Big Moose Deli and Gift Shop, and true to its name the place was completely and utterly moose themed. Outside there were huge chainsaw log and plaster sculptures of moose. Inside there were little meese swinging on tires, moose brand beer bread, moose alarm clocks, moose magically expanding boxers ("Just add water!"), and more moose themed candies than you could shake a stick at. We purchased a few moose-knacks as well as an amazing wrap filled with all manner of chipotle goodness... not exactly moose related, but still good.

We next crossed the Vermont border into Bennington. We didn't do this on the way up, but on the way back we stopped at the Vermont Confectionary, which is located just outside of Bennington on Route 9. This place is pretty amazing- I don't think that I've seen that much candy in one place except at the world's longest candy counter, and even that might not have been as much. The people who owned the confectionary were really friendly and surprised us by knowing not only about Carleton (where their best friends had apparently gone to school), but also about Haverford, Hamilton and Muhlenberg (the schools my siblings are going/went to). We had a nice long conversation about Minnesota and Wisconsin winters as well as the pros and cons of liberal arts schools for the sciences, and I had the best mocha milk shake I think I've ever had.

We continued to meander through Vermont on Route 9, which took us through plenty of back country. The views were quite gorgeous, but unfortunately the stress of driving a suburban through narrow, twisting and often steeply inclined roads with really slow drivers kind of took away some of the beauty. Fortunately this stopped when we got onto I-91 to drive halfway up Vermont. (Fun fact: there are only two rest stops on the entirely length of I-91 north, and they are within half an hour of one another! I-91 south only has one!)

We finally entered into New Hampshire and drove into Littleton, a cute little town in west-central NH. In this town they have the World's Longest candy counter as well as what is probably the best local book store that I have ever seen. We stopped at a local Lowes to see if they had any sheds that we could use to store our sickle bar mower in. This is a really big deal for us, as otherwise we have no way of cutting the tall grass around our NH property, and currently the 42 inch wide mower is behind a 37 inch wide door- not exactly the easiest prospect of getting in and out. Unfortunately the sales people weren't terribly timely or helpful, so we simply left more tired than before.

We drove on to our home base in Lancaster, NH and were greeted by our closest neighbor, Randy, and his dog Lady. Apparently the first time my mom and sister tried to get to our property after he moved in, his dog almost scared my sister to death. She's a bit lively to be sure, but she's also really sweet and had a great time playing with Orio. Randy talked with us for a while and eventually gave us a dozen eggs his chickens had laid, as apparently they lay more than he knows what to do with. Oh well, great for us...

So we finally got into our house and moved all of our stuff in. For dinner, we decided to stick with New England fare and had lobster dipped in butter pared with local brews, both of which were good and one of which restored my faith in hops (though I'll get to that later). Before heading off to bed, I broke out our scythe and started whacking away at some of the tall grass surrounding our house. Finally, tired and exhausted, we prepared for our hike for the next day and went to bed.

Well, that was day one. Seeing as this post is already huge enough, I think I'm going to leave off day two for another post, either later today or tomorrow. I'll put pics up on Facebook pretty soon.

Until then,

"The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass. If the case be otherwise, I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and call him brother."
- Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain

p.s. Consolation prizes! Ms. Roberts: 5 xp. Lurie: forgiveness for not returning my key ring. Teagle: The right to name one of my Heroscape squads.


Ben said...

I still have the key ring; I just hadn't been sure whether you were in Minneapolis already or were home for the summer (and apparently the thought of asking did not occur to me). And then I forgot.

I'll mail it to you in NY tomorrow. Apologies.

Rachel Teagle said...

You will totally regret that prize. Totally.