Friday, June 10, 2005

roadtrippin': the headless horseman is after my stomach

Newark, NJ - Bedford, MA - 502.2 km

One last look at the hotel in Newark. I expected even at 10 am to be caught in bad traffic jams while departing New Jersey. Turned out to be smooth sailing as I passed through swamps and the Meadowlands to work my way up to the Palisades Parkway. The latter was a pretty, tree-lined route, with occasional scenic outlooks onto the Hudson.

...or else you'll fall into the Hudson. The clouds had rolled in to stay, so shots of the northern tip of Manhattan/south Bronx weren't so hot. Little did I know that overcast skies would remain until I returned to the Great White North.

At the end of the Tappan Zee bridge was an exit for Broadway, leading to Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Decided to hop off the freeway and take the scenic drive up to the setting of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Typical street sign in Sleepy Hollow. The village is scenic, with few tourist traps (unless I missed them), where it looks like residents don't have to worry about cash.

The Headless Horseman Bridge. No pumpkin remnants to be found.

The Old Dutch Church, next to the cemetery. Scary place to drive through - narrow, steep, full of hairpin turns. I'd wager the Horseman was a design consultant.

I hopped back onto I-87/287 and headed east towards Connecticut. Traffic picked up and my stomach began to growl. I wound up in Greenwich, whose main street was mildly congested. It was difficult finding a place for a quick bite - wasn't in the mood for a sit-down meal and most restaurants appeared to be out of my price range. I finally settled on a chain I'd never been to before, Boston Market, for a mediocre chicken meal with corn.

I drove along the Merritt Parkway, an old, scenic route not built to modern standards - some of the tighest ramps I've ever seen. Construction and downpours led to backups, which made me curse the entire state. A variety of routes led me towards Massachusetts, none pleasurable. Heavy rain in Waterbury and Hartford, on-and-off traffic jams, poor lane closure markings...couldn't get to Boston soon enough.

As it was rush hour and visibility on the Mass Turnpike worsened, I used a back route to reach my hotel, via Concord. If the rain hadn't been so intense, I would have stopped at one site I stumbled upon...Walden Pond. Thoreau will have to wait for another trip.

After checking in at the Best Western in Bedford, headed over to Burlington to check out Legal Sea Foods for dinner. Looked busy, but decided to check how long the wait was.

An hour-and-a-half. At 7:30pm. On a Tuesday night.

Checked out the rest of Burlington Mall (which was near the hotel I stayed at last time I was in Boston), but nothing sounded appetizing - wasn't super-hungry, as lunch had lingered awhile. I ended up at a Chili's across the road for a large grilled chicken salad, then browsed in the Barnes & Noble next door.

Something didn't feel right as I got back to the hotel. My meal wasn't fading fast. Just after midnight came the first sulphuric belch.

Oh no, not again... - JB

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