Trip To Portland, Fredericton, New York & Boston 05.30.2008-06.05.2008

My long awaited trip to the northeast has come and gone. It was loads of fun as I got to hang out with K-Fan on his new home turf.

Day One:

My flight to San Francisco was delayed three times, enough to miss my connecting red-eye flight to Boston later that evening. My first airport experience was not a good one, finally taking an 11:00pm flight (instead of at the original 8:40pm time).

The flight was not an easy one, since I am both afraid of heights and falling. I likened it to riding on roller coasters, which I do not like at all. Knowing that the floor beneath your feet has no floor or foundation underneath it with gravity constantly trying to bring you down to Earth is one of the most disconcerting experiences of my life. The sad irony is that I will have to keep having these experiences if my dreams to visit far away places are to come true.

Stuck at SFO, I resigned to spending a depressing and lonely night waiting (hopefully sleeping) (be)for(e) the morning flight to Boston.

SFO

Day Two:

The morning flight could not happen sooner, and thankfully K-Fan’s mom was able to secure me a better seat on my plane, which more thankfully was a better experience since it’s a bigger plane with a smoother ride.

A physical hour on an airplane feels like three hours, as time goes by slowly, no matter what you try to do to it — sleep, read, talk to someone next to you, daydream… it all happens one second at a time.

I arrived in Boston at around 6:30pm to K-Fan’s loving embrace. We would spend the next two hours driving to his new hometown of Portland, Maine. There we had dinner at a local restaurant, where I enjoyed some Atlantic salmon and Portland beer.

Day Three:

We spent the day driving to Fredericton, Canada. There was an annual festival in Portland, but we didn’t have enough time to spend at it. We made a few stops along the way (the state capitol in Augusta, Maine; East Musquash Lake, Maine; “stinkin” Lincoln, Maine; the U.S.-Canadian border stop at Vanceboro, Maine). The latter was spent delayed with a fallen tree (occurring mere minutes before us). No one around us had an axe, so we were at the mercy of another hopeful driver with an axe or chainsaw and of the hundreds of mosquitoes with an apparent appetite for Vietnamese men. As of this writing, I would estimate I have about 15 bites still on me, including a couple of my forehead and a few infected ones on my left leg. GRRR.

Augusta, Maine – State Capitol

Lincoln, Maine Lincoln, Maine

We finally got to Fredericton where we drove through St. Thomas University and checked into our hotel. We ate at the Blue Door for some local cuisine, and enjoyed some beer at The Capital Bar, which was surprisingly busy for a non-school session. The local musician (whom I can’t remember or find his name) was good and popular to the patrons.

Day Four:

Ate a nice breakfast at Cora’s (local restaurant) and tried to get a coffee at Tim Hortons, but the drive-thru line was at least 15 cars long with that many people inside as well. Canadian coffee would have to wait.

The long drive to New York would be interrupted a few times as we stopped at Saint Croix Island; Bar Harbor, Maine; and Acadia National Park. The entire day I experienced a rather unpleasant pain in two very personal parts of my body. Thankfully we spent much of the day in the car, and the pain only affected me when I was standing.

Saint Croix Island Saint Croix Island

Bar Harbor was really nice, where we dined at a local restaurant Rupununi (very good). There were some cute girls that worked there. Very nice.

It was getting late, and we decided to stay in Portland, Maine for the night to (1) save money and (2) give K-Fan a chance to watch the Stanley Cup Finals. Pittsburgh won in triple overtime.

Day Five:

We struck out for New York, making a couple more stops (local beach; U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus). I cannot be understated how unpleasant driving in Manhattan is at 5:00pm. We spent at least an hour trying to get from around Ground Zero to Yankee Stadium, getting lost a couple of times while trying to find it and nearby parking. K-Fan did not enjoy driving in NY, where drivers don’t signal and drive crazy.

Portland, Maine Portland, Maine

 US Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT US Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT

US Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT

Going to Yankee Stadium was the whole reason for the trip since the team and city are building a new stadium next to the old one. The stadium is definitely visibly aged, but it’s such a huge part of baseball history that seeing it not be a part of meaningful games anymore is sad.

Joba Chamberlain made his long-awaited first start, which went badly. He was only on a 65-pitch count, which he quickly amassed by tossing four walks and three strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Roy Halladay eventually got the win in a lopsided victory with New Yorkers leaving as early as the third inning.

Yankee Stadium – Yankees vs. Blue Jays 5.3.08

After the game, we stopped at a local Best Western for the night, getting incorrect keys three separate times before we were given a new room.

Day Six:

We woke up late (or at least I did), and ate at a local diner. I had a very good Chubby’s special.

We then made the drive to Boston, stopping in Newport, Rhode Island, another city to finally get a Tim Hortons coffee (which is 10x better than Starbucks), and taking a tour of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

International Tennis Hall of Fame International Tennis Hall of Fame

Boston is a different city than New York, and similarly Fenway Park is a different environment than Yankee Stadium. Boston fans actually paid attention to the game, seeing Josh Beckett beat Edwin Jackson.

Fenway Park – Red Sox vs. Rays 5.4.08

Fenway Park – Red Sox vs. Rays 5.4.08

After the game, K-Fan dropped me off at Logan International Airport where I spent another somewhat sleepless night.

Day Seven:

Logan International Airport in Boston

Luckily these flights were on time, however I spent an hour getting my boarding passes (which was my fault since I was in the wrong line) and another hour getting coffee at the terminal Dunkin Donuts (which sucked with only two employees working, one being the cashier).

I managed to get a few hours of a sleep on both flights (also to LAX), and arrived at the Sacramento Airport to get picked up by davistiger. The entire trip was fun, but it’s really good to be home.

Quick K-Fan pitch count: Strike-out

a. Strike 1: While we were trying to pull the fallen tree off the road, I was on the verge of falling when K-Fan ran out of my way instead of trying to prevent me from falling in the wet dirt.
b. Strike 2: Making me look stupid by neglecting to inform me of a shirt tag that is not underneath my shirt while we are eating at a restaurant where a few cute girls happen to be too.
c. Strike 3: Forgetting to grab a pineapple lollipop for me when he got only one for himself.

Unforgiveable.

Although I will say that I sort of failed in my duty of guarding a bathroom door while K-Fan was occupying it. In my defense, the jerk just opened the obviously closed door without noticing that maybe (1) since the door was closed it was being used and (2) since I was standing there I was possibly in line.

*** 12:05 AM November 26, 2008 Update ***

I finally made a Google Maps mash-up for this trip. Enjoy.


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