Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Infection Trifecta: The New England Tales

First off, allow me to offer my apologies for being so lax in blogging over the last few days. Jon and I were, to put it politely, fucking exhausted and so we chose sleep over your entertainment.

Whatever, you were on vacation anyway for Labor Day. And I didn’t see any of you blogging. So shut up!

Anyway, Jon and I are both home in LA, safe and sound now. I spent the better part of the day completely unconscious yesterday, and today was kind of the same... but I wanted to give you the last few episodes of the road trip in one handy, dandy post. And so, without further adieu--here is The East Infection Trifecta!

Part One:

The Maine Event

On Friday morning, Jon and I took the train out of New York City and picked up a car in Connecticut. By Friday evening, we were in Portland, Maine. After a (way-too-brief) nap, Jon and I asked a helpful Holiday-Inn-By-The-Bay employee for a decent seafood place, which is how we wound up at J’s Oyster House.

J's is a local hangout that overlooks the water, and it's full of wacky Portland characters. Sandy, a bigger gal with a gruff no-nonsense attitude, took our name down and told us to wait outside until she screamed it. After a while, it seemed that they had stopped calling names altogether, although tables were opening up left and right. As people began seating themselves, I asked the (much more meek) waitress if it was ok to take one of the empty tables. She replied, with a look of fear, “You have to ask Sandy at the bar.” Clearly, Sandy was not to be fucked with.

We asked Sandy who told us the table was ours (although she did glare at us for a bit). Jon and I were starving (as usual) and we were ready to order immediately.

When the food arrived, it was kind of the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. I got a seafood casserole, which featured crab, lobster, mussels and other assorted delicious fish. I don't know if it was the exhaustion or the wine or the night sea air, but I swear the food was so good, I almost started to cry.


As I tried to pull myself together, some of the locals began to argue. The main culprit wasn't exactly someone I'd want to meet in a dark alley: He a dead ringer in size and hair to Hurley from Lost. He seemed to be arguing with some other customers as well as a busboy I think. I’m not really sure what the fight was about, or many of the details during it, as I was too busy devouring the most delicious meal of my life. But I knew one thing: If they started throwing punches (or each other), I was to save my food at ALL COST.

Eventually, Sandy came out and everyone ran. Like I said, she is just not to be fucked with. I love that woman. Seriously. We had to eventually track down our (frightened) waitress for the check, at which point Jon and I meandered over to a floating restaurant for dessert.

The ancient woman at the front of this boat (who's name, coincidentally, was Jay) told us they were closed, but then had a change of heart and sat us down for some delicious Maine blueberry pie and Irish Coffee.
Not a camera effect--this is Jeff's actual view of Jon during exhaustion.

The next morning, Saturday, Jon and I woke up after only about 4 hours of sleep (Bringing the trip's total hours of slumber to approximately 10.) We asked a trainee at the front desk of the hotel for a breakfast recommendation. She explained to us that there was a diner down the street, but that we couldn't drive there because, it's a one-way street.

We were so tired, that we accepted this as fact and started the ten minute walk to the diner, which, for the record, was easily accessible by a thousand other roads that we very easily could have driven down. By this point, I was limping like a crippled person due to some unnamed foot injury from the New York era of the trip... so it took us five times as long to get anywhere.

While in there, we were treated to more Maine Notes--which apparently aren't just for the highways:

Those do NOT go in there!

On the way back, Jon cursed out the Hotel Trainee, because we were now walking (or limping) up hill to the hotel to get the car. I was still full of seafood casserole of love from the night before, however, so I was fine, although a little limpy.


Conquering Concord

Jon and I then drove to Concord, New Hampshire, where we met up with my former co-worker, Katya. Katya and I worked at a radio station together for years at my first job out of college. My co-workers and I always felt bad about being dirty around her, because she was a mom and always seemed so proper! In fact, when people found out I was a homo, they were scared to tell her. Once she found out, she rolled her eyes and said, "I know. For Christ's sakes, I grew up in the Village!"
Aww, Katya!

Of course, the first thing Katya the Innocent Mom wants to show me when we get to Concord was the Main Street/Downtown area--specifically, the adult store called Thorne's.

Afterward, she took us on a tour of the rest of the downtown, where we ran into a fella that worked with her daughter at the Candy Shop (he also works at Thorne's, although Katya swears she's never been in there) as well as a man Katya refers to as "No-Nose." There was also a guy who was a dead ringer for her dog Charlie:

In addition to its colorful locals, Katya showed off some of Concord's other features, such as a fake Liberty Bell...
The crack is fucking painted on.

Un. Acceptable.
...a giant cement turtle....


...and a trap designed to ensnare and kill visitors to their lovely city.
Perish Station
We met up with Katya's daughter Morgan and ate delicious Bison Burgers for lunch while Katya & I caught up on old times as Morgan and Jon pretended to be entertained. It was way too short of a visit to KatyaLand, but Jon and I had to say goodbye and head on out to Boston....which brings us to:

Part Three:

The Boston Uncommons

Jon's college roommate Mollie, who was kind enough to let us stay with her and her fiance Jonathan during our time in Boston, booked us into a wacky "Duck Tour" for Sunday afternoon.

The Duck Tour vehicle takes you around the city's streets for a while before turning into a boat and bringing you into the Charles River for a look at the city from the water.

Jon and I were pretty much the walking dead by Sunday afternoon, and the thought of climbing aboard a crazy land-boat with a loud guy yelling at us for 80 minutes didn't seem like something I could handle without being at full capacity, so I will admit to being a little terrified.

At the beginning of our tour, our guide, Hawaiian Howie...

...instructed us on how to quack at passersby while on the tour. Anytime he said the phrase "How are ya?" we were to reply back with: "Quack! Quack! How Are Ya!"

OK, maybe I was a lot terrified.

Howie began to unravel the tale of Boston for us, in a pretty entertaining way. Well, I was in a daze for most of it, but it seemed to be fun at the time. I imagine this is how old-age will be, and I welcome it.

Anyway, Howie was totally awesome and let us drive the boat while it was on the water...
To the left, to the left.

Everyone Out of the Water!

We took in some of the spectacular views of Boston from the water...

...and from the land.
The wind beneath his wings...

For all your tooth-painting needs.
After the tour, as Jon reported, we all went over to his friend Andrew Chang's House of Pasta...

...and enjoyed a home-cooked meal before we had to get up at FOUR AM to make it to the airport for our flights home.

And even though I was exhausted from the rest of the awesome trip, I loved Boston--thanks in no small part to Mollie, Jonathan and Andrew...who all perfectly captured the Spirit of Massachusetts.

Thanks to everyone who played with us during this crazy adventure! I can't believe it's already over... and I can't believe it only lasted a week!

Now go clean your infection up. You're grossing everyone out.

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