I had to wake early on the Wednesday so slept without my earplugs. So not quite enough sleep but I still managed to check out and make my way a block up to Penn train station in time. I had a first class ticket so was allowed into a lounge that had freed drinks and snacks. Nice!
8am and I had 4 seats and a table to myself. Drinks were complimentary so I started with a cup of tea and a breakfast of Special K, Melon and a bagel with 4 spreads. The free drinks kept coming as I switched between resting and playing on my DS. Before I knew it 4 hours had passed and I was in Massachusetts at Boston South Station.
I then had to navigate 2 trains to get to North Station and then wait for another train that took me 90 minutes west to Fitchburg.
It was there I met up with Aly and Jamie who drove me to my hotel in Gardner. After a quick shower I got a lift to their place where I did a whole lot of slouching on the couching and chatting.
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
In the morning I was introduced to Dunkin’ Donuts where I got my breakfast of 3 round lumps of good badness, one which had a Boston cream filling or something like that. Yum!
After that some Rock Band was played to work some of it off. Guitar, drums and vocals were all given a go.
After playing Mario Party 8 for many hours (one of my fave games) it was time for tea.
My first USA beef pot roast with veggies was very nice and I introduced it to UK HP sauce which complimented it well I thought. UK chocolate was brought out for pudding (1/3 of an Areo).
Texas Hold 'Em with Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure on the telly and some more slouching ended my first full day with the lovely couple.
Friday, March 27th, 2009
The past week had finally caught up with me and while spending 90 minutes checking out a superstore I started to feel a bit ill. A McD thick shake, some Jacob’s crackers I bought and a trip to the loo helped me out a bit, but I still felt delicate all day. It didn’t stop me from playing games, eating USA KFC (mashed potato side and what they call a biscuit which was actually some kind of light scone), and watching The Beatles HELP, or most of it as we all seemed to be nodding off in parts due to the busy day.
On the way back to the hotel I saw a possum, or a large mutant rat :o
Saturday, March 28th, 2009
Saturday was spent at Aly’s parents where I was a guest at an 11 hour family birthday niceness for her sister.
I had my first and second burrito and played entertaining games like LCR dice and Apples To Apples card game both which I am trying to find cheaply over here. I’m also going to try and make a burrito as good as the ones I ate.
It was a really nice day with a charming and pleasant family and I bought Twinkies.
Sunday, March 29th, 2009
I woke with that strange feeling of last dayness. Eager to get back home but sad to be leaving the people.
Dinner was at a restaurant chain called Friendly’s. I had a very nice chicken (honey BBQ glaze, mmm), fries and an ice cream sundae to finish it off. All very tasty. The waitress giggled at my accent which she ‘loved’.
A&J are great hosts and very nice people and it was an emotional farewell but I kept it together for a few hours at least until the plane left the ground. I wish I could pop to see them more often.
Monday, March 30th, 2009
I had a long wait at the airport but the flight was on time. It was a small 757 but I still managed to get 3 seats to myself and attempted to sleep across them. It was an odd experience and I might have got 2 or 3 hours sleep.
The Fokker from Amsterdam was fast and I was back in Birmingham in no time and then back home after an hours drive and a packet of hula hoops.
It was all a strange and wonderful experience and the longest holiday I’ve had in a long time. I want to return to New York in order to see things I missed and venture further afield. I also want to go back to Massachusetts to visit my wonderful friends and their family maybe in another year and a half, maybe sooner. Let’s see what the future holds.
Oh, and there’s a small selection of the photos there -> http://pics.livejournal.com/baggy/gallery/00015g42