Well, Hurricane Cindy ruined our beach plans. Old Orchard Beach in Maine has a great boardwalk, but it was too cold to swim. We had planned on spending several days at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire, and munching double lobster dinners, but ohhh, no, Cindy had to blow freezing cold rain all over New England for THE REST OF THE WEEK. It was gorgeous before we arrived, and it's gorgeous now. Cindy. That bitch.
Oh, and the lobster harvest this year was tiny. The sea temperatures were colder than usual, and the lobsters, rather than crawling around the bottom, were simply sitting still all season. So they didn't crawl into the traps. So there are far fewer lobster dinners out there, and what we could find cost around $30 a lobster. We were disgusted. I can pay $30 for a lobster dinner in New York. So no double lobster dinners this year. Wah.
Monday was Independence Day, and I discovered that it is possible to get good barbeque in New England - a very happy Fourth of July indeed. We were on the road all that morning, and spent most of the day lounging around snoozing and eating. We didn't see fireworks. A lot of them were cancelled. Ominous.
Tuesday was the day spent at Old Orchard Beach. I napped on the sand and finished a really great book. On the boardwalk, G bought me a package of the juciest fried clams I've ever had, and a new outfit from one of those Indian batik-y stores that always have racks up at street fairs. We played air hockey and had cheap moussaka for dinner.
That evening G and I drove to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, located at this Latitude:
Not the Vodka!
Portsmouth is becoming one of my new favorite places, largely because of this restaurant. This place is so incredible. Very gourmet, in all the right ways. They have Remy Martin VSOP Cognac (G's favorite), an incredible wine list, amazing food and decadent desserts. Brick walls, low lights, and plushy seating with fancy pillows to lean against if you get a table against the wall. Antique furniture and waitresses who know all about food/drink pairings. If this place was in New York, it would be secluded on a side street on the Upper West Side. Mmm.
G and I went there for drinks and dessert. I wore the outfit he'd just bought me, and managed to avoid dripping sauce on it:
That's Lindeman's Raspberry Lambic in the bottle, with a mini chocolate mint mousse, a mini flourless fudge cake, and a mini blondie with vanilla ganache in the little cup. A very happy camper was I.
That night, the rain started... and didn't stop until Saturday.
So what else do you do in the rain? Movies and Museums. We visited this museum, which is absolutely fantastic. I was especially thrilled that they hadn't rolled out all the Ferraris before we got there. I got up close and personal with some seriously hot sports cars. Hubba hubba. I also was thrilled by the Jewelry displays from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. I stared forever at the Egyptian beadwork and intricate goldwork from the Romans. I also took notes of the Greek hairdos and chitons. Man, those women knew how to style.
Movies we saw:
The Fantastic Four
Ocean's Twelve on Pay-per-View
Good God, we saw three movies in a week. Batman Begins Kicked Ass. (Phunwin does a great review here.) Best one yet. Virtually nothing like the others. Seriously - go see it. Pretend Katie Holmes is someone else. G was particularly fond of the realistic trial-and-error that Bruce Wayne goes through as he puts together his outfit and gadgets. We felt Batman's pain the first time he jumped off a building without wings. Ouch. In addition to the valiant Christian Bale, Michael Caine plays Alfred perfectly, and Morgan Freeman has an awesome role. My favorite was Gary Oldman as a very young "Officer" Gordon. Any film with Morgan Freeman is good. He's generally fantastic at choosing scripts. And don't get me started on the godlike Oldman. There's nothing that man can't do.
The Fantastic Four is a lot of fun, and that's all it needs to be. Just a fun summer flick. Gratuitous in many areas. I didn't expect much, so I wasn't disappointed. Ocean's Twelve, well, I fell asleep a couple of times. It was good, but I was pooped. And Oceans's Eleven was better.
On Saturday, we went to This Place, which completely freaked me out. I knew I had a problem with bugs, but man, I am certifiable. I thought I would love the butterflies, flying all around me, landing on my shoulder, lazily gliding on their beautiful wings.... nope.
I was afraid of the butterflies. I kid you not. Those things are BIG, and there were way too many of them. They were mostly these huge South American varieties, Blue Morphos and such. Every time one flew too close to me I cringed and shook all over. My heart was pounding in my chest, and I almost screamed several times. Once a toddler saw me cringe, and the look of horror on my face, and the poor kid started crying. I SCARED A CHILD. Worse, I think I made the kid scared of the butterflies. I felt awful. I withdrew, and watched the action from behind the glass:
Who's in the zoo?
I can't tell you how embarrassing this was. They were BUTTERFLIES. Beautiful, harmless, peaceful creatures! But I took one look at those enormous bug abdomens and long pointy legs, and they suddenly were just bugs with pretty wings. I feel like some piece of my childhood has been lost. Afraid of butterflies. Yeesh.
Later that day we went to Canobie Amusement Park, where G snapped this shot:
Look Ma, No Hair!
I kind of hate this picture, because it looks like I have a baby carrot for a nose. My nose seldom photographs well, but christ people, IT'S A BABY CARROT THERE. Yick Yuck Yook.
That's right, I got my haircut. FINALLY. You can sort of tell in the Butterfly window pic. It barely brushes my shoulders, as it's been blown straight. When I wash it and it curls up, it'll swing just above. I absolutely love it. Very similar feelings to the last time I did this... except this time, I knew it was coming. I feel lighter, I feel ready for the world. I feel fantastic.
The best part is that I donated all 15 or so inches of it to Locks of Love. I had been told in the past that they wouldn't take my hair, as it had been color treated, but the salon owner told me that my hair was eligible - it's never been bleached, and it's very healthy, so it's ok. I should really write about that whole experience seperately. Maybe next week.
After I'd spent the morning in fear of harmless creatures, I went on a rollercoaster that twisted me upside down twice, and screamed "YES! YES! YEAH!" all the way through. Then I ate two hot dogs and a waffle cone. Then I went on a Tilt-a-Whirl, and didn't even feel queasy. So I guess I'm not a complete wimp. I guess.
Now, I'm back, and have one day to relax, before I get on the plane early Tuesday morning. I have a week in Illinois with my parents coming up, some Karaoke with this guy, and a long drive back in my new (to me) car.
Some last Gratuitous pics of my baby and his parents at the amusement park:
G's parents - utterly adorable
G and his Dad at Old Orchard Beach
See y'all on the 18th...