Dr. Shifty and I hit eight different states in just 4 1/2 days over the long July 4th holiday. Impressed? You probably shouldn’t be – I spent much of our time in New Jersey tweeting about how much I dislike New Jersey. Here’s why: if you are going to forbid people from pumping their own gas have enough freaking gas station attendants on duty at the NJ Turnpike gas stops! Also, the state smells.
But enough about New Jersey, we spent the bulk of our weekend in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, all of which were lovely. After getting out of work early on Friday, we hightailed it up to Newington, CT where we were able to crash at Dr. Shifty’s mom’s house. And it only took us 8 hours, on a holiday weekend – it’s a 4th of July miracle!
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to grab brunch with some of Dr. Shifty’s former co-workers at the Cosmic Omelet in Manchester, CT. I had a delicious hot dog and cheddar omelet – that’s right, hot dogs in an omelet – truly a gift from a higher power.
Then we hit the road again for East Greenwich, RI to visit with Dr. Shifty’s childhood friend and his wonderful wife. The weather was gorgeous so we headed over to Newport to take a stroll along the Cliff Walk then settle down for a late afternoon picnic at Greenvale Vineyards.
(The dog is a vineyards dog named Maggie May – no wonder she took such a liking to Dr. Shifty – saucy minx, that one).
We headed out for pizza and beers later in the evening in East Greenwich and managed to stay out until closing time (you probably shouldn’t be all that impressed with this either – bars close at 1 a.m.).
Early the next morning (10ish) we headed out to Cape Cod to see Dr. Shifty’s mom and her significant other. Their house is in Sandwich, MA (which when holding your arm out at a right angle to represent the Cape, is on the top of the arm, close to the armpit).
First order of business: a lobster roll. Our first contender: Young’s Fish Market, Orleans, MA (they don’t seem to have a website I can link to).
This lobster roll was delicious, but on the small side (still they were relatively cheap at $10 a pop). I can definitely see stopping here and taking a couple lobster rolls to go for an afternoon snack on the National Seashore. I ate mine right then and there and man, there is nothing like eating a lobster roll while sitting right next to the boats that brought the lobster in that morning!
We headed up to the National Seashore to see Marconi’s radio station and take a quick stroll along the beach. Dr. Shifty just finished reading Thunderstruck, so lots of Marconi factoids were fresh in his brain. I was still salivating over my lobster roll.
What better way to celebrate 4th of July then with a smalltown parade. Sandwich’s parade did not disappoint, we were all actually pretty impressed by how big it was (Fredericksburg, take note, this is how a smalltown 4th of July parade is done).
Tuesday morning we headed down to Falmouth for a quick stroll around the downtown (and into some shops) and a drive along the coast. We could see Martha’s Vineyard, but alas, will have to save that for another trip. Before we headed back to the Commonwealth, we sought out one last lobster roll.
Our second contender: The Raw Bar, Mashpee, MA
This place was recently ranked number 1 for lobster rolls by the Cape Cod Times and it was AH-MAZING. It is so big that it comes with a fork so you can eat gobs of the lobster salad before being able to pick up the bun and eat the rest (it also cost $25). I would go back to this place in a heartbeat. Actually, I’m dreaming about it right now. Sigh . . .
Alas, our traffic miracle from Friday did not hold and we spent a fair amount of time sitting in traffic before ever getting off the Cape. Luckily we fortified ourselves for the drive with a box of Devil Dogs from Drake’s Cakes (I don’t think Dr. Shifty will have any threats to his Devil Dogs supply from me – not really my thing except at midnight while riding through MD).
Also, NJ, don’t think this is over – I have my eyes on you. Trying to lure me in with your fancy fireworks that I could see from the Molly Pitcher rest stop. It didn’t work.