The Best Laid Plans

Welcome to our official adventure – our first post from the road.

As our road trip is destined to take us all the way to the Pacific Ocean we thought it fitting to begin our trip at the Atlantic. Living in the Boston area left us many choices for where we could “start.” We contemplated heading to Maine and beginning our journey at Acadia National Park (or ARcadia as Bostonians like to call it – we love to put those R’s where they don’t belong after dropping them from everywhere they DO belong). While we love Acadia, it seemed a bit silly to drive 5 hours out of our way just to “start” our trip. We also contemplated Plymouth, MA for historical reasons, and a handful of other locations.

In the end, it came down to what was relatively close to us, with a good view of the ocean. Wollaston Beach in Quincy ended up the winner, due to the addition of a nice view of the Boston Skyline (a great suggestion from my friend Sharon). In the morning we loaded up the last items for the car and headed to the beach. After a quick “starter” photo, we filled the gas tank, zeroed out our trip meter and set out on the highway, with Born to be Wild playing on the old iPod.

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We made a few pit stops on our way out of town (including a trip to Dunkin Donuts for a Boston Crème Donut for the road), and therefore didn’t truly get going until around noon. Our destination? Glimmerglass State Park in upstate New York, where we had a reservation for the night.

We arrived at camp around 4pm. We’d lucked out with the traffic and it was mostly smooth sailing to the site. Still, it had been a long day of travel. We were hungry and a little tired, but we decided to set up camp before heading out for the night. Our well-thought-out packing system was already in shambles (many things had already spilled over into the back seat), so we’ll definitely need to make strategic changes as we go, but for the time being we’d have to leave well enough alone.

The campsite we were assigned was good – big enough, close to the bathrooms without being too close, and a good space away from other campers. My only complaint was that the campsite was all gravel. A glance at some of the other sites indicated the same. I have no idea who thought of that, but if there’s one thing I have proven over time it’s that if there is a sharp piece of gravel standing straight up, my foot is 100% sure to find it. This campsite would prove to be no exception. Didn’t matter what shoes I had on, it still wasn’t fun.

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Setting up our tent went pretty smoothly. We were glad to have traded out the wooden stakes that came with our tent for metal spikes from REI. We passed on buying the mallet to pound them in with, but might grab that yet (maybe two so we can both work at the same time). Since we were only planning to spend the night we inflated the air mattress, put the pillows, sleeping bags and blankets into the tent and considered camp done. Here’s a shot of our “tent.” Instead of a traditional tent we went with a canvas tee pee from the Sheridan Tent and Awning Company.

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With camp finalized, we headed out to the Glimmerglass Opera Festival a few miles down the road. It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. We thought the grounds were more expansive and that we’d be able to explore for a bit, so we arrived early. That mostly wasn’t the case. The grounds were lovely, but small, and the dining options amounted to a concession stand (albeit it one with some of the best concession sandwiches I’ve ever had – I had turkey with avocado, cranberries, walnuts and sprouts).

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After eating, there wasn’t much to do until show time. A chill had set in, but we were warned that it would get really hot inside the theater. I was looking forward to it. That also turned out to not be the case. Despite the promise of the theater being hot, it was extremely cold inside (unusually so, I was told by regulars). We retreated to the car at intermission to add some extra layers to try to warm up and were much more comfortable for Act 2.

The evening’s performance was that of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Despite being a big fan of theater, I had very limited knowledge of the show going into it. I assumed I’d know some of the music, but was actually surprised at just how little I did know. June is Busting out All Over almost doesn’t count, as I’ve typically heard it in parody form; which left only You’ll Never Walk Alone. The show was wonderfully acted and beautifully sung (and the ballet in Act 2 was fantastic). But, I’ll admit it, I didn’t like it. I typically like Rodgers and Hammerstein productions. I love Oklahoma, and think Cinderella is magnificent. The Sound of Music practically goes without saying (though for those most familiar with the movie, the stage production can seem a bit disjointed). I was fully expecting to love the show. I just didn’t. It wasn’t the dark content that turned me off, I was just…bored. I found it slow, and the plot not nearly deep enough. Despite the content, I found it superficial (the show, not the performance). Still, as mentioned the singing was beautiful, and despite not really loving the show, the finale moved me to tears. So, well done to the cast of Carousel.

We returned to the camp site to retire after a long day. It was a cold night. We started with just blankets, then spread out sleeping bags, and then finally relented to full sleeping bag use for comfort. I was still a little chilly so it didn’t make for the easiest night. However, it rained quite heavily through the night and we stayed dry. It was nice to get the waterproof test out of the way so early.

We’re off to Cooperstown next to take in the Baseball Hall of Fame – stay tuned.

We welcome comments and questions.