Because of our little detour to Stonington it was quite late by the time we were ready to make our way back to Boston, but it was a pretty drive. We lost count of the number of businesses called "Maine-ly xxxx" and we also noted that what you could Maine-ly purchase in Maine was live lobsters (packed ready for shipping by air or car!) and antiques. It was dificult to see where in Maine the locals bought their groceries (for the days when the kids cry "Oh Mom, not lobster AGAIN) or DIY necessities as there didn't seem to be many supermarkets or Home Depot type stores (we did see where you could buy lobster traps)- or any where to buy a lead to plug Gary's iPod into the car stereo so I could listen to what he had been giggling out loud to, most embarrassingly, on the train -Jane "are they on holiday" Horrocks on the Jonathan Ross Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 that he downloaded from the BBC website. When we reached civilisation again we found a Wal*Mart and bought the requisite item - so that was OK and she really was funny. We also discovered that the Rain in Maine stays Maine-ly on the Howards! (That's us by the way - in case you didn't know!)
It was getting dark by the time we got back on I95, and as we needed to be up at 4:30am for our plane at 7:00am the next morning we didn't stop (except to pay tolls, and after our previous experience, we were very careful to make sure we were in the right non-EZ-pay-only lanes) until we got to New Hampshire where we got gas and then looked for somewhere to eat our last dinner away. We stumbled upon the Bonta Restaurant in Hampton (Have you been there Carolinne?) where we had a very nice dinner, except Gary had to actually say the infamous words "Waiter, Waiter, there is a fly in my water" -Ok it was water not soup, but the funniest thing was it happened TWICE. They were those very tiny annoying flies that flit across your field of vision but then go invisible as soon as you try to catch them.
I have to say it was very strange to be in New Hampshire and Boston and not see my sister and family there. It is all still there though, much as you left it, Carolinne.
We were staying in the Red Roof Hotel in Saugus, a bit north of Boston, but on a straight run to the Enterprise office near the airport where we had to return the car. As we got close the navigation demons attacked again. The problem was we approached Saugus on the wrong side of the road for the hotel and you couldn't turn left because there was a barrier in the middle. We had Google directions but it was dark and they get so confusing when trying to describe a route through on/off ramps - it's all "bear right for 345ft, bear right for 234ft..." why they can't just say "exit at junction x and follow signs to highway whatever". It would be so much simpler. Anyway, despite the fact that we could actually see the hotel, it took us about 30 minutes to find the right way to get to it from across the road.
We arranged for a wake up call, and set the alarm clock and Gary's cell phone alarm for 4:30am and gratefully laid down our heads for a very few hours of much needed rest.
We were woken on time and we managed to drive to the car rental office, check in, go through security, get ourselves Starbucks (being much entertained by the girl in front who ordered a kind of DIY drink- she had coffee, a cup of ice, the whole box of soy milk, and put it together herself, finishing it off with about 6 packets of sugar (I really am not exaggerating here)), board the plane, take off on time, arrive a half hour early, collect our baggage which was just about first onto the carousel, wait for Lucy to pick us up, be greeted very enthusiastically by Charlie ( I am sure Lucy was just as pleased to see us!) and arrive home, all without a hitch.
And here we are again back to reality, having to cook our own food, do laundry, shop for boring stuff, make our own bed, go to work, etc, etc. Though I have to confess I did spend a very lazy day yesterday catching up with all the TV we missed.
Notes from our holiday:
I took some with me but I didn't do a single stitch of knitting the whole time we were away - not even on the plane or train. I don't know whether this is something to be proud or ashamed of!
I managed to add three hotel shower caps to my collection - I used to just pick them up to use at home, but sometimes they come in such pretty packaging that I have just kept them as they are - do you think they will be valuable someday - I will have to post a picture of them one day when I really have nothing else to say.
Having visited them in such quick succession it was interesting to see the contrast in "personalities" of the three major cities we visited.
We will have to go back and spend at least a week in each of the places we stayed to do all the stuff we missed.
Gary sure knows how to put together a fun packed itinerary!