Excuse the somewhat dull format. I've been using my iPhone to write this, and the editing options are limited.
We're in America! Hurrah! The flight was mostly uneventful, although enlivened by the stewardess chatting to the man sitting in the row in front of us.
Stewardess: Gosh, you look like that guy, you know, the one who killed that poor girl in Aruba.
Man: (somewhat taken aback) What? I look like that guy?
Stewardess: (unembarrassed) Yeah...I mean, you look like a good person and all. But you kinda look like him. Older, though, and kinda heavier.
So. She basically told him that he looks like an old, fat, murderer. Mr WithaY got extra ginger biscuits from his stewardess.
We landed at Boston and had a nerve-wracking wait in the queue to have our passports (and visas) examined. The man who checked our documents was small and wiry, with a face that looked as though it never, ever smiled. He asked lots of questions about the purpose of our visit. Mr WithaY said "vacation" and I said "holiday" at the same time. He wanted to know the approximate value of the little gifts we had brought for our friends, he asked us that twice. We were both fingerprinted, I had to tuck my hair behind my ears to be photographed - apparently everyone has unique earlobes - and then we were waved through with a "Well, you folks have a good vacation." I have seldom been so relieved.
Our hotel in Boston was a small, old-fashioned motor inn called The Midtown. It was comparatively inexpensive and very handy for the Christian Science Plaza. The staff were lovely. The Irish concierge gave us lengthy (and helpful) suggestions about which Trolley tours to take, and what day would be best for a harbour trip.
We went all over the city on the Trolley, ticket valid for two days, includes harbour trip, and hopped on and off to look at the sights. We went up to the top of the Prudential building, 50 floors up, and looked at the city from there. We went to the New England Aquarium, and spent ages watching the staff in all their Scuba kit trying to catch an injured parrot fish. As they explained, the sharks were starting to look at it speculatively.
We went to the Imax and watched Avatar on the HUGE screen in 3-D which was captivating.
We ate more clam chowder than I thought humanly possible, lobster rolls, the truly fine eggs Benedict at a little cafe down the street for breakfast, and of course some ice cream.
Now we're in New Hampshire, staying with some wonderful friends. We've been shopping (clothes! Shoes! Weird pictures of ducks!), been to see fireworks and sand sculptures, and eaten lobster and steamers.
Yesterday Mr WithaY and I ventured out to the White Mountains and had a trip on the North Conway railway. We sat in big comfy wicker chairs in an elegant Pullman carriage, and admired the scenery at a sedate pace. I loved it. Then we had ice cream.
My weight loss is going to be severely compromised, but I don't care.
Of course there's been fun and high jinks with the admin. What foreign holiday is complete without the bank putting a lock on your cards for no apparent reason? Mr WithaY tried to use his in a cash machine in Boston and the computer said no. Mine was fine. I withdrew cash, paid for stuff in Barnes and Noble, bought stuff in the shops here in NH. Mr WithaY had to call the bank in England and ask them to unlock his card. Yesterday, almost a week after arriving here, i tried to use it abd discovered that my card was locked. So I have to phone the bank and ask them to unlock it.
We bought dollars from them before we came over. I had a lengthy chat with the manager of our local branch about our forthcoming holiday. Even so, somebody somewhere has decided that our cards have been stolen, and helpfully stopped us from accessing our money.
It'll get sorted, it's just a bit tiresome to have to gaff about when we could be doing more fun stuff.
We have a Jeep! When we went to pick up the car from the desk at the airport, the nice lady looked us up and down and told us that the car we'd booked was no good. And when she asked us how long we were here for, and how much driving we planned on doing, she laughed outright.
She upgraded our car by (I think) 3 sizes, only charged us as if we'd gone up by one size, and told the man who took us out to the car park "Give them something nice." We picked the Jeep. It's great.
Today we head North into Maine for a few days. More trees, more mountains, more lobster. And I hope we see a moose.