The Fletchemobile 2013 & Nellie Neverlost...

Trip Start Sep 18, 2013
Trip End Oct 04, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, September 21, 2013

Our bodies are slowly starting to adjust to US time, and 6:30am is practically a lie-in. We test the feet…hmmm, still blistered but at least we're able to put our weight on them.  Which means we’re ready to walk the five blocks to Penn station.  Bye bye NYC, it’s been a blast…and so much we didn’t do!

At Penn station, we take the advice of those on the TripAdvisor forums and utilise the Red Cap Service.  Yes it means we have to sit in the 'Special Assistance’ area til boarding, but we get priority boarding and an old age pensioner in a red cap to carry our luggage for us (Disclaimer: they do have trollies...).  All for a $20 tip…well worth the dollars. 

The 4 hour Amtrak service from NYC to Boston takes us through Connecticut and Rhode Island before we arrive in Massachusetts.  What a relaxing way to traverse the country (apart from the musty toilet smell that put me in mind of the final morning at V festival…).  Before long (well – 4 hours) we are pulling into Back Bay station for a fleeting visit to Boston.  Don’t worry Boston, we will be back soon! 

We walk the 10 minutes from Back Bay station to Hertz at Park Plaza, and there we meet our newest travel companion for the next 10 days.  The Fletchemobile 2013 (henceforth known as the FM2013) – a gleaming white Chevrolet Cruse.  And our travel nemesis…the Hertz NeverLost GPS.  Henceforth known as Nellie Neverlost.  Tiff the Teflon Tom Tom which accompanied us on our last US sojourn has been usurped by a newer, younger model.  Who then fails to calculate our route successfully out of Boston and leaves us to make our own detour onto the correct road.  Come back Teflon Tiff, all is forgiven…

As in Vegas, Mr Fletche is comfortable driving the FM2013 within minutes.  I however hold my breath until we have safely exited Boston and are on the interstate.  Maybe being driver rather than passenger makes it easier to adjust to driving on the right (wrong?) side of the road.  We’ve paid the extra this time for me to be the additional driver, and I politely nod and offer my assent whenever Mr Fletche offers me useful driving tips.  Fat chance Buster.  Driving in a strange car, on the right (wrong) side of the road, in a strange country?  Not on your nelly.  I’m there for emergency purposes only.  I decide that if I drink beer for breakfast everyday then I will be unable to drive.  Good plan.

I-95 takes us from Massachusetts into New Hampshire (briefly) and on into Maine.  This is the sixth state we’ve been in in 8 hours!  Eventually our destination for tonight is reached…the Kings Port Inn in  Kennebunkport (holiday home destination of George W Bush.  Kennebunkport that is.  Not the Kings Port Inn).  Our room has  a strange chemical smell which suggests that the carpets have been cleaned very recently…  Whilst we still have a little sunlight left, we dump our suitcases in our room and drive down to the beach.  There is a moment’s anxiety when Mr Fletche forgets we are in the US and drives on the wrong (left) side of the road.  No harm done, but the oncoming cyclist looked a little alarmed…

We take a stroll down the windswept promenade, watching dogs frolic playfully on the sand, before returning to the town.  Quick freshen-up and we’re back out; this time on foot heading over the bridge to Dock Square.  This town is SOOOO pretty; gorgeous little pastel building, shops filled with curios – there is even a shop called "The Whimsy Store" selling curios that you never knew you needed, but now cannot live without – and restaurants all advertising “the best seafood/lobster/shrimp/clams in Maine”.  We can’t try them all, but opt for the bustling Alissons Restaurant.  We’ve eaten nothing since a ‘hot dog’ made of an indeterminable substance on the train so our fried clam/shrimp dishes is most welcome.  As is the glass of Sauvignon Blanc (for me) and pint of ‘Pumpkinhead’ ale (for Mr Pumpkinhead)

We decide to contribute to the upkeep of our hotel and have a nightcap there; however our plans are thwarted as the bar has “closed early”.  It is 8:30pm.  Therefore, we decide to contribute to the coffers of the deli/general store over the road instead and purchase 6 bottles of Bud Light.  And a Maine "bear claw" bottle opener on a keyring.  We like things that are multi-purpose. 

Our stay in Kennebunkport will be all too short.  Tomorrow morning we head up the coast to Bar Harbor.  We have had wall-to-wall sunshine so far; however the forecast tomorrow predicts rain, rain and more rain.  Let’s hope Mr Fletche can figure out where the windscreen wipers are on the FM2013…
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