Adventures are never perfectPublished 4:02am Monday, November 11, 2013 Updated 6:13am Monday, November 11, 2013
My five-day trip to New England was an adventure, to say the least.
Between Saturday and Wednesday, my family and I visited four states — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island. We took in as much of New England as we could — the history, the seafood, the coastal views, the culture.
It was what I expected, and in some ways, not what I expected.
Rather than a chronological “triptic” I thought I’d point out a few of the more entertaining observations and experiences.
There are fair-weather fans everywhere. We happened to be in downtown Boston on the day the Red Sox held a World Series Championship parade about a mile from our hotel.
Considering my absolute disinterest in a parade for a team that isn’t the Minnesota Twins, we didn’t go. That said, I would say two out of every three people were wearing Red Sox merchandise — T-shirt, cap, red socks, etc.
It was amazing how many Red Sox fans there are when a team actually wins a championship. What a bunch of frauds.
Boston is a great place to take an 8-year-old when it comes to educational experiences.
We visited the Boston Aquarium, the Boston Tea Party exhibit and the Plimoth Plantation (yes, Plimoth is spelled correctly) on the same trip.
My daughter has been spending her days saying “Huzzah!” and “Fie!” after a dramatic recreation at the Boston Tea Party.
Visiting six states in five days while on vacation isn’t worth it. While New England is very compact — we drove less than 500 miles, which is like driving from Fergus Falls to Faribault and back, we easily could have spent four more hours in the car and visited Connecticut, Vermont and even New York, but I made the executive decision and decided to pass.
We were on vacation, after all. Spending time in the car in traffic simply to put one’s feet on another state to cross it off a bucket list wasn’t my idea of fun.
The “Haavad Yaad” Boston accents were hard to find. For some reason, we just didn’t run into a lot of thick Boston accents. There were a couple, for sure, but not as many as you may think. I believe I have heard the same about people visiting the Twin Cities and expecting a lot of “You betchas” and not getting them.
Many Providence, Rhode Island residents sound like they could be in a mafia movie.
Perhaps our most interesting restaurant was in Providence, where the term “authentic Italian” rang true. All the waiters were pure Italian. A portly man in the booth next to us looked like someone the Sopranos writers based Tony Soprano on.
New England residents could care less about the Midwest. Usually when I go on a trip, we run into people from Minnesota, who had connections to Minnesota, etc. I don’t believe I encountered any of that. In fact, at one exhibit, they talked about how fishing has changed in New England, and I said “In Minnesota too.” The woman said, “You can fish in Minnesota?”
When you go on an adventure, there is some inherent stress that comes with it. Other than spending two nights in Boston, deciding not to plan the entire trip out, not booking hotels, not having places to see or restaurants to go to planned out, etc., it sounds romantic.
But the reality is, when it’s 5 p.m., you’re sitting in rush hour traffic in the dark, hungry and tired from driving and activities, and you have to find a spot to park while browsing on one’s iPad to find a hotel nearby that has a pool (daughter), it’s a pain.
We also had experiences where we sought out a restaurant, had Google Maps lead us on a wild goose chase, and then found that the restaurant wasn’t that great to begin with.
Overall, we learned a lot about New England, and maybe more about ourselves. Adventures are not supposed to be perfect. The key is to take chances, and allow for mistakes.
If you want peace and tranquility, sit in front of your TV.
Joel Myhre is The Journal’s publisher. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org