Saturday, September 19th, 2015
We rolled into downtown Portsmouth, NH, and grabbed two Americanos from a guy wearing a Chewbacca t-shirt at “Breaking New Grounds.” The area seemed a little hoity toity for our liking, so after cruising passed all the closed shops, we took Route 1B to Castle Island so we could get a view of the Fort Stark lighthouse.
The scenery was beautiful! We pushed on Route 1B to 1A to get to Wallis Sands State Park to walk along the beach.
It was a very peaceful start to the morning. There were very few people up at this hour. We sat and watched some people playing with their dogs in the sand, before we got back on US-1 south to Route 111 west to I-95 south into Massachusetts.
We took Route 128 north into Salem, MA. I wasn’t inclined to go into most of the shops in town since they were either too touristy or too mystical. There were psychic parlors, witchcraft emporiums, stores full of cauldrons, vampires, voodoo dolls and spell books. If I came here when I was 12, I’d be in goth girl heaven! However, a little less than two decades later, not so much the case. Nevertheless, it was all very entertaining.
After passing some weirdo in white pantyhose and a white scarf singing to herself (visualize a cross between a pudgy Stevie Nicks, and a pagan-version of Alicia Silverstone from ‘Clueless’), we took in the scenery of the boats by the lighthouse along the pier.
There were red lines all over the sidewalks in town to direct tourists to certain sights and attractions. I was too proud to get a map to know where the hell we were going and we tried following the street signs instead, but it just had us walking around in circles. When in doubt… beer!
We headed to “Brew Works” where we both got the ‘Contender IPA’ and a “wicked good” Huevos Rancheros from the brunch menu, which we ended up dousing with the entire bottle of hot sauce on our table. After fueling up on some hops and guacamole, we walked by some old headstones in the “Burying Point Cemetery” off Charter Street. Then we tried to find the least corny museum of the bunch to engage in. This was a difficult task as all the museums felt more like amusement parks and ‘haunted’ fun houses.
I’m still uncertain if I chose correctly, but we settled on the “Salem Witch Museum,” which seemed to have the least amount of bells and whistles attached to it. We both actually enjoyed ourselves! No matter which museum we selected, we had expected it would come with some ‘cheese.’ However, I felt this one focused more on the historical aspects of the Salem Witch trials instead of just blowing wind up your ass. There was less “bippity boppity boo, I put a hex on you,” and more, “this is why the people of Salem lost their shit and started executing random people.”
We had enough of Salem, so we flew out of there on our broomsticks, heading south along Route 128 to I-95. After dodging some road construction, we managed to make our way to Concord, MA. This was yet another uppity town, but it was very charming, and we made the best of it as we explored all the gift shops and the old cemetery nearby.
Trevor was ready for some football, so we took I-95 to Foxboro, MA so he could visit “Gillette Stadium,” home of the New England Patriots. Even though there wasn’t a game in play, the parking lot was still notably full, and people were having band practice on the field. We visited the gift shop and were amazed to see that the stadium came with its own shopping mall, several bars and restaurants, a hospital, and a hotel all on the premises!
Onward we went across the state line into Rhode Island. Our first stop was made in Pawtucket, RI in search of a welcome center, or at least a sign to get a photo next to. I’ve made it a point to get my photo by every state border crossing at least once, if there is a sign to get one with. On occasions when there isn’t one, this being one of those occasions, I would have to improvise. That would have to wait, and in the meantime, we enjoyed wandering around the pretty, old mill near the exit before getting back on I-95 to get to Providence, RI.
Once we got parked and started exploring, we really enjoyed Providence!
We asked one of the shop owners where to grab a beer nearby, and she directed us to “Trinity Brew Co.” She said she wasn’t a beer person so we set our standards low, but ended up loving the place which ended up being super rad! We headed to the basement since there was more bar room and fewer crowds, and we both got the ‘Captain American Pale Ale.’ We sampled their IPA which ended up being kinda gross. You know a beer is gonna be disgusting when the bartender insists you try a sample before you order a whole one. The other beer wasn’t great either, but the atmosphere and staff were awesome enough to make up for their lack of brewery skills.
We talked music with the bartender for a little before heading back towards the car to grab dinner at “Veggie Fun Pan-Asian Vegan Cuisine.” We both ordered the ‘Malaysian Stew’ which was absolutely amazing! We waddled back to the car, then headed south along I-95 to Route 4 to Route 102 to arrive at a Walmart in North Kingston, RI to crash for the night. There was nothing but a commuter train nearby, and there was a lack of RVs in the lot. We heard it was illegal to sleep in your car in the state of Rhode Island, so we were keeping our fingers crossed that no one would discover us.
Jump Back to Part 7: Old Bay, Foil Art & Angry Derelicts
Jump Ahead to Part 9: Pork n’ Beans, Gillette Castle & Ivy League
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Highway Robbery, Festivals & A Kiddie Pool