We’ve been back home now for a few days, but before we actually arrived here, on the last day of our anniversary road trip, Karen and I made a little list of stuff as we were driving. Notes about things we saw, stuff we did, people we met, etc. So without further ado, here it is… our notes from the road.
Alright, maybe not just yet… before I unleash the rest of this post I just want to say that having Karen in my life has been a miraculous thing. We are so lucky to have found each other. It’s a beautiful thing to have been together for 10 years and still feel, and in fact feel more strongly, such a huge love for each other. It’s also a lovely thing to be “married” to your best friend. There’s no one either of us would rather hang out with, and amazingly we both feel that way and want to share everything. It’s wonderful and amazing. I am beyond lucky, and I know it.
OK… here we go… some notes from the road…
2795.6 miles travelled.
“I bet this would be really pretty if the trees were leafed out”
Favorite coffee: Comet Coffee in Ann Arbor… Pour over, so good.
Favorite espresso: Jimmy’s, Kensington Market location, in Toronto… Americano… Yum!
Favorite City: Portland, ME with Toronto a close second.
Favorite public transport: the Red Rocket in Toronto.
Favorite fish and chips: Susan’s in Portland. A place that was once a gas station.
Favorite beach: Kennebunkport (heart rock beach).
Favorite countryside: Coast of Maine, Vermont‘s Green Mountains, and New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Favorite meal Tam: Montpelier at the Three Penny Taproom… chicken stew with pastry.
Favorite meal Karen: Hot Suppa! in Portland, Maine… fried chicken and sweet potatoes.
Favorite ice cream: Dot’s Ice cream in Bath, Maine. Second place, for atmosphere, Jumpin’ Jacks near Schenectady, NY
Favorite little town: Bath, Maine.
Favorite B&B : Mayor Lord’s B&B in Meadville, PA.
Most comfy bed: Marriott in Portland Maine.
Best unexpected stop: Williamstown, MA and Williams College… Tunnel City Coffee in the town where Thomas went to school.
Favorite zen moment: marina in Portland, sitting on a bench, chatting, looking at the water, 65 degrees and sunny.
Most interesting historical spot: Fryeburg Academy in Maine and Concord Grape Belt, NY.
Favorite tourist attraction: Herb Brooks Hockey Arena and ski jumping site from 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.
Biggest disappoinent: Niagara Falls… Ghetto. Should’ve gone to the Canadian side.
Most interesting fact: ice wine made from grapes that have gone through first freeze… sold in Canada.
Best breakfast: The Senator in Toronto… both food and atmosphere.
Most authentic eating experience: House of Gourmet in Chinatown, Toronto with it’s all Asian crowd, huge menu in Chinese, and hanging meat.
Bump in the road: rental car malfunction in Albany Ny resulting in car exchange at Albany International Airport.
Best fast food: Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs in Meadville, PA.
Noisiest hotel: The Stockdale Inn, Schenectady, NY due to wedding party.
My honey’s big disappointment: not getting a green rock from Vermont.
Interesting natural wonder: rock by lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth, Maine… it looked like wood (we took some).
Life changing moment during trip: sale of Scappoose house.
Personal family moment: driving by the home in Jackson, Michigan where my great grandparents lived when my grandma was born and driving by the memorial site of the hospital where she was born.
Finding great heart rock.
The accent of toll booth guy in N.H.
Coffee at the Bush compound in Kennebunkport (if driving by while drinking coffee counts).
Conversing with people at bed and breakfast who lived in India for a time.
States and Countries visited: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Michigan
Coffee shops visited: 14.
Number of rude people met along the way: 2. Woman at some gas station in Maine who was terse about bathroom facilities and man at rental car place in Savoy when we picked up the car for the trip.
Favorite souvenirs: raven lunatic t-shirt and huge red lobster.
First drink in three years: strawberry mojito at Hot Suppa! on our anniversary.
Signs for moose, bear, and Amish seen… No actual moose, bear or Amish spotted.
Wildlife spotted: flock of wild turkeys in Maine, sea birds.
Worst weather: Lake Placid… cold and a tad snowy.
“Ride the Red Rocket”
Laughs out loud: too many to count.
Music: 936 songs on shuffle… No repeats… Maine and Back Again Playlist. Awesomeness.
Reminiscing about 10 years together… Priceless.
On routes (Canada’s much nicer version of the rest area).
Nicest person: VIA rail employee in Toronto who walked us a couple of blocks to Union Station and then to where we needed to go inside the station… We told him we wished we could’ve taken him home as souvenir!
Honorable mentions for nicest person: Jimmy’s coffee barista who gave us free croissants, girl at on route stop who talked to us about the toll, red rocket driver, the hotel dude who pointed toward good ice cream in Schenectady, hotel guy in Portland Maine who answered our questions, rental car guy, Steve, at Albany Imternational Airport, also guy in Albany rental car park who let us store our belongings in little locked kiosk while we walked in to get our new rental car. Lots of nice people along the way.
Best hotel location: tie between Bond Place Hotel, Toronto for great access to transit and downtown, and Portland, Maine Marriott for walking proximity to old port and view of the bay.
Biggest panic moment: when my honey thought she lost her wallet in Lake Placid… It was not lost.
Second biggest panic moment: not having any money for toll to get back into U.S. over Ambassador Bridge and first ATM didn’t work. Thought we might have to learn to speak French.
Frozen Lake Erie was amazing.
Largest Globe we’ve ever seen: Eartha at Delorme.