Tuesday, 8 July 2008


So far on this trip I’ve been lucky. Many people have said "Watch out for this" or "Watch out for that" and "You won't find a hotel as its July 4th." "Everyone is armed and you will be shot to death for smiling at a stranger"…….OK maybe not that last one.

However, I will admit to being pretty lucky with accommodation for the July 4th weekend. Maybe it's because of our American cousins misfortune with their fuel prices. I know it’s easy to mock the fact that they're now paying just over $4 per gallon (U.S gallons are slightly smaller than Imperial), when we’re paying far more. However, their fuel hike has been 39% in 12 months, so they’re definitely feeling the pinch - not that we aren't in the UK I hasten to add. Due to the fuel increase many Americans decided to stop at home this Independence Day so there were far more places for me to stay without difficulty.

With that in mind after my riotous night in Bangor, I headed down south. I’m now not so very far from my destination for this trip - New York. I’m ticking off the (comparatively), tiny states on the East Coast – Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. Perhaps Connecticut, it’s difficult to follow. So after a gentle driving day, following people heading back home after the holiday through pleasant enough scenery, it was time to find a motel for the night. I headed down to Kennebunkport. It’s a pretty and tiny settlement of wooden houses and a lot of yachts in the harbour. It’s also packed with tourists.

So I dropped the "port" and settled for the "bunk" by driving the mile and a half to Kennebunk. Booked into a motel which, like most on my journey down, had the ‘Vacancy’ signs lit. No worries about accommodation then?

It was time for some food. "Try Mikes Clam Shack," the receptionist said. Mmmm the thought of Maine Lobster was making me slobber. A shortish walk to the restaurant revealed not so much a rustic bar come cafe but a large purpose-built restaurant packed with people shovelling seafood down themselves and, judging by the queue, there was a waiting time for a table of about an hour.

A quick peek up and down the road revealed a steak house which also boasted seafood. When I got there it was also packed. I thought a beer might soothe the savage breast but all they could offer me was a drink in a plastic cup and a seat in a waiting area. Every few minutes an ear splitting PA system would shout "Eagleburger party of eight...your table is ready". Cobblers to this I thought. So, practically within sight of the coast I walked to a petrol station and bought some beer, before trudging to the local McDonalds. Bad Mood!

In previous excursions I’ve had to keep the beer covered with a bag so the label didn't show but on this occasion no-one seemed to bat an eyelid. I opted for what I thought was the healthy chicken option and asked the kid behind the counter, "Am I allowed to carry beer in here?" He grinned goofily at me without replying.

It reminded me of my night in Plattsburg when I went into the liquor store in search of some beer. They didn't have any. "Where’s your beer?" I enquired - "We don't sell it. We’re licensed to sell beverages with an alcohol content of more than 1%" ME: "Erm doesn't that include beer?" THEM: "Yes, it’s just a New York State law". I tried the other liquor store in town just to make sure they weren't goofing me. They said the same thing but added: "You can buy beer at the gas station".

Whilst chowing down on my ‘healthy’ chicken meal I read the nutritional info. It was one of the most calorific and fattiest meals they did! I should have done the burger


Stephen said...

I've noticed you have become increasingly bad mooded as the trip has worn on. Does something tell me you need a fix of the UK?

Dont't panic Alex, don't panic. You have days to go, keep it together man!

I'm sure just one more double quarter pounder with bacon and cheese won't hurt, will it?

Rhi said...

Aye right, you make it to a Bangor across the Atlantic, but you haven't made it to Bangor in Wales??? Humph!

Never mind, as long as you're having a good time lovely!

Rhi x