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United States

United States

Curious what backpackers do in the USA? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
  • Day238

    We were relieved that we both found the house both beautiful and very livable looking. We didn't take many photos as they just did not do it justice. We're looking forward to final closing Monday. Crossing our fingers that our stuff will arrive on Tuesday. But what the hey ... we have a mattress and 2 small cooking pots in the trailer. Also a very large refrigerator to fill and a GIANT washer for Gordon to start training.Read more

  • Day16

    Well......TA's no. 1 in Windsor, right next door to the hotel was an experience!
    All the great and the good of the backwoods, including ourselves, were there. A queue of 10 minimum throughout our visit. It's a popular place. And it's easy to see why!
    We opted for the 2-meat combo for me: chicken, pulled pork with sides of beans and broccoli salad. MTC went for the half-chicken. Both with sweet sauce. A Sea Hag IPA for me and water for MTC. In case I wouldn't have enough,
    I ignored the no-starters rule and had the wings. There were other sauces on the table, e.g. Kansas Sweet, Texas hot pepper and two others. The plastic cutlery and the kitchen roll of paper were also handily set out on the table.
    The photos tell it all. Words fail me as I try to describe the food. The chicken was dry but plentiful. The pulled pork was juicy. The beans were not vegetarian. I found a slice of Texas sausage in mine. There was a sauce on the beans but it seemed to have an undercurrent of sugar or maybe molasses. An exquisite challenge to my sheltered tastebuds. The wings were juicer than my previous attempt, at the Puritan Backroom, but the sauce was not as nice.
    We did our best. The dryness of the chicken defeated us in the end. I ate all my wings, all my pulled pork and my broccoli salad, most of the chicken and about a third of the beans. The IPA was delicious. Fittingly, Sea Hag is brewed by the New England Brewery in Woodbridge CT about 50 miles south of here, just north of New Haven where our tour began two weeks ago.
    Having missed out on the Big Pig Rig on the way out, in nearby Meriden, we have at last ticked the barbecue box. Once and done, y'all. Maybe we didn't miss out after all.
    After scraping off the prison-canteen tin trays, on which the food is served, into the waste bins we departed exhausted and sadly the wiser. Another VLL.
    And an extra month's deferral of my medical checkup after I get back.
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  • Day15

    I am writing this sitting on my Adirondack chair outside my New England homestead. The chair awaiting MTC is visible on the left of the three red photo, the one of the blue house. Our front door is at the side.
    We have done half of Old Sturbridge Village and we will complete the visit tomorrow morning. The weather is bright sunshine with a warm breeze. Perfect for strolling around 18th century New England.
    The old village folk-park is excellent and very relaxing. They do not appear to have any pigs. None that we saw anyway. Postcards with pigs on them are very hard to find throughout America. We have a bear postcard. We have a puffin one. But no pigs. MTC needs to get her act together. Fast.
    We had an interesting stop at the bank where the costumed guide told us how banks issued loans by way of banknotes. They would give you a loan of say $50 in the form of 10 X $5 bills. Banks would often print their bills on flimsy paper with bad ink on the basis that not all notes would survive as they circulated. That way banks would not have to redeem 100% of their notes. They made more money from that than from the interest they charged.
    Banks would not accept land as collateral for loans because of the difficulties attaching to foreclosure and the impact on their reputation locally.
    I had a brief discussion with the lady making a quilt. I thought she was making a coaster. I said this out loud before I thought about it. Being polite, she accepted that this could indeed have been an option. (Hardly, though, in 1750s New England. She was only humouring me. Even I could see that.).
    Quilt making is all very fine, but cold hard cash arouses my interest far more. Though, in the cold, maybe a quilt might be a good idea. Now that I've had time to think about it. A little. I still preferred the guy at the bank.
    I am still annoyed with revolut. So-called Support tells me that the card is not accepted in unmanned petrol stations. That is fair enough. I agree with that. They shouldn't be.
    But both my declinatures took place in manned stations. With the man, or woman, standing there as my card was declined. Three times. It was declined twice at the first station. I only went for a single declinature at the second place. Total three. Wait till all my Twitter followers hear about this!
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  • Day14

    Overnight stop. The D in D Hotel stands for Delaney.
    Apart from the photo of the map, the other photos here were all taken at the Yankee Candle shop in Deerfield.
    The receptionist said that the owner likes guests to put a pin in the map, in the hallway, to show where they are from.

  • Day17

    Fortified by our BBQ excesses the previous evening, we enjoyed a light breakfast of mostly fruit before setting out west in search of Rory and Lorelei. I did my research on the Gilmore Girls and identified three towns in the Lichfield Hills of western CT which are linked with the series and from which the author drew inspiration.
    Our first stop was Litchfield. We visited the historical society's museum and saw the site of the first ever law school in the US. We also saw The West Street Diner, which is supposed to be the prototype for Luke's Cafe. One summer, a college student got a sign made for Luke's Cafe and got a series of cafe owners to hang it outside their place for a few days. He got a share of the increased profits when throngs of Gilmore Girls fans flocked to each cafe. All different places in different local towns. Litchfield holds an annual 10k run.
    We finally secured a postcard for Tom, having held out in the vain hope that we might see one with a pig on it. We had to give up that quest or we would have been at home before the cards arrived in Ireland. We posted all three cards in Litchfield. I'm sure it was the same post office which appeared in Series 2 Episode 8.
    Next to Washington and Washington Depot which is where the railway station for Washington was. All the business moved down the hill to the depot leaving the village itself frozen in time. We met the pastor of the church. She let us in the side door to admire the newly restored interior. She pointed out that there is no stained glass or any religious imagery. There is a cross on the pulpit. It was put there in recent times after a parishioner who is a former Catholic insisted there should be some symbol. But it is on hooks, so it can be removed at any time. The church recently revived an old tradition of distributing oranges to children at Christmas services, in particular throwing oranges up to children in the balconies which run the length of the church on both sides.
    Washington was where the Gilmore Girls' author got the idea for the series, sitting in Marty's cafe. The Hickory Stick bookshop was the basis for the series' bookshop.
    The final leg of our Gilmore Girls' tour took us to New Milford. The gazebo on the town green was the inspiration for the one in the series. The photo MTC took of the band-stand / gazebo will be an inspiration in itself!
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  • Day17

    Just over two weeks ago we stayed in this Hampton after picking up the car at New Haven train station. My TA review mentioned the AC as loud. This time the room's AC unit is humming along nicely. It looks like a newer unit. They hardly replaced every unit after my review, though they did acknowledge that the first unit might need a service.
    I had also mentioned the inter-room lack of soundproofing, last time. This time there were earplugs in the room. Didn't need them. Having spent a fortune on doctors over the years to syringe compacted ear wax, I am loath to use earplugs. But I will bring them for the flight, just in case.
    Last time we went to the Colony Diner for a race-against-time dinner with the fastest waitress this side of the Mississippi. This time we stayed closer to the hotel and went to Lido's Italian. After our Bear Smokehouse experience last night, I was looking forward to a vegetarian pizza.
    The server listed a long series of specials so we went with two. Best meal this trip, pipping Sturbridge Seafood. I had surf & turf and MTC had seafood fettuccine with scollops, shrimp and lobster. Proving yet again that the tastiness of a seafood meal in New England is equal to the distance from the coast squared.
    Even the bread was delicious, almost European.
    A girl's team arrived while we were eating. The coach asked MTC what her dish was, as many of the girls wanted it. That was before they had even sat down!
    Before dinner, I cleaned out the car to minimise the risk of being charged a cleaning fee by Budget. I haven't rented from them before, so I don't know their form.
    Back at the hotel, the priority is packing for the train to NYC and getting our timings right. I have to get petrol to fill the tank. The car return is at the station.
    The following morning were are all set by 09:15even though our latest departure time is 10:30.
    I have come to the conclusion that shares in US handkerchief companies are a bad investment. Nobody seems to use handkerchiefs here.
    Below are some random photos from the road trip, which may not have appeared in earlier footprints.....or indeed, may have.
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  • Day71

    Had a peaceful run early this morning up a quiet township road. Passed only 1 Amish buggy, 1 bike rider and one car on a road that wound its way up and down and around by old barns and farmhouses, barking dogs and crowing roosters. A run can't really get any better than that!
    We headed out to take in the local attractions. Stopping first at a large market to browse the aisles of fresh produce, locally made jams and preserves, fresh baking, yum. Shopping Amish intermingling with the many tourists, buggies and horses hitched at special stands beside the cars. Very busy Saturday highways shared with hundreds of black horse drawn carriages plodding along. Seems otherworldly.
    Also took in the Yoder Amish farm which was a real Amish farm operation turned into a kind of tourist museum where they explained aspects of the Amish farm life. And even took us out for a ride in what was a surprisingly comfortable buggy!
    We also went to the Amish/Mennonite cultural centre where we learned about the 17th century origins of the Anabaptists and their offshoots - the present day Amish, Hutterite and Mennonites.
    And a road trip out to Lehman' s hardware - a kind of huge home depot for the Amish filled with old school hardware including wood cooking stoves, kerosene lanterns and horse drawn ploughs. Really interesting to explore.
    Finally, a huge buffet dinner of fried chicken, pulled pork, meatloaf, corn, potatoes and blueberry pie at Mrs Yoder's Kitchen. Had to take a walk afterwards to help digest that!
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  • Day18

    Car Rental
    1. Check out car rental site.
    2. Collect car at a train station rather than an airport, or maybe in the city where we land.
    3. Budget were good.
    4. The boot of the Nissan Altima is plenty big.

    1. Don't obsess about filling tank fully while in transit. This avoids overpaying on revolut and then having to wait for a credit back on the card. I am awaiting a credit for $2 from a net $33 fill in Hartford, where I prepaid $35.
    2. If the tank is three-quarters full on the final day, keep $20 in cash for a smooth fill-up, without the credit card (may need a valid zip code) or debit card (over-prepaying and waiting for a refund) hassle.
    3. Revolut is choosy about petrol stations so use a big brand like Shell. Even though I went to small-brand manned stations, revolut was declined at both. Revolut's support says they don't work at unmanned gas stations.

    1. Forget Barbecue, no matter how high they are ranked on TA. Our one experience, Bear's Smokehouse, was rated No. 1 in Windsor.
    2. Appetisers are not required, no matter how hungry you are or even if they have wings.
    3. Ask the mailman for recommendations!
    4. Seafood is not necessarily better by the sea. In fact, it is often worse.

    1. Keep hydrated!
    2. Buy a slab of 500ml bottles of water and refill at water fountains which are found in some hotels and some attractions.
    3. Hotel gyms are good potential sources of drinking water to top up supplies.

    Outlet Malls
    1. Premium Outlets only.

    1. Always check the wifi first thing at the room. If it is slow (HoJo Middletown RI), go back to reception for a better room.
    2. When booking, make sure each room has a fridge. The D Hotel in Holyoke (non-chain) didn't have one.

    Clothes Washing
    1. Buy powder rather than liquid. The machines in hotels prefer powder.
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  • Day18

    After a shower and a look at the tenth floor balcony, we hit the streets. First stop pizza at Uncle Paul's. Tasty, with a good base. La Guinitas to wash it down. We agreed to return but next time to do as the locals do - have two large slices each of different types of pizza. It's a busy place and open 24 hours.
    After pizza we went in to Grand Central Station. We found a plaque to Jackie Kennedy who, apparently, was a leading figure in the campaign to prevent Grand Central from being demolished.
    Our next destination was the Chrysler building. We followed the map but could not find the building. We pondered this mystery standing underneath the ubiquitous NY scaffolding - which, it turned out, surrounded none other than the Chrysler building. A few quick snaps in the foyer and we were off to Bryant Park.
    The building which was under construction, on the corner across the street from the park, the last time we were here is now the Bank of America Tower. It is visible from our hotel room window. Quite shard-shaped, but without the shard pizzazz. The Grace building, which has been standing for quite a while across from Bryant Park still looks pretty amazing, as it sweeps down, front and back, to street level.
    Then back to the hotel to snaffle water and an apple from the gym, as advised by Felicia when she checked us in.
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  • Day31

    Went to all the places from our trip in 2014 today: Times Square, Central Park and added an incredible Steak house, too bad they did not accept our 150$ gift card and we had to pay the 200$ bill total, that means a lot of pasta in the next days 😉 also planned the next trip: Boston, Montreal and Chicago here we come

You might also know this place by the following names:

United States, USA, U.S., Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika, Verenigde State van Amerika, Amɛrika, አሜሪካ, الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية, যুক্তৰাষ্ট্ৰ, Amerika Birləşmiş Ştatları, Злучаныя Штаты Амерыкі, Съединени щати, Ameriki, মার্কিন যুক্তরাষ্ট্র, ཨ་མེ་རི་ཀ་, Stadoù-Unanet, Sjedinjene Američke Države, Estats Units, Spojené státy americké, Yr Unol Daleithiau, Amerikas Forenede Stater, ཡུ་ནའིཊེཊ་སི་ཊེསི, USA nutome, Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες της Αμερικής, Usono, Estados Unidos, Ameerika Ühendriigid, Estatu Batuak, ایالات متحده, Dowlaaji Dentuɗi Amerik, Yhdysvallat, Sambandsríki Amerika, États-Unis, Feriene Steaten, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá, Estados Unidos de América, સંયુકત રાજ્ય/ અમેરિકા, Amurka, ארצות הברית, संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका, Amerika, Egyesült Államok, Միացյալ Նահանգներ, Statos Unite, Amerika Serikat, ꂰꇩ, Bandaríki Norður-Ameríku, Stati Uniti, アメリカ合衆国, ამერიკის შეერთებული შტატები, АҚШ, Naalagaaffeqatigiit, សហរដ្ឋអាមេរិក, ಅಮೇರಿಕಾ ಸಂಯುಕ್ತ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾನ, 미국, وڵاتە یەکگرتووەکان, Statys Unys, ສະຫະລັດອາເມລິກາ, Jungtinės Valstijos, Amerikas Savienotās Valstis, Etazonia, Соединети Американски Држави, അമേരിക്കന്‍ ഐക്യനാടുകള്‍, Америкийн Нэгдсэн Улс, संयुक्त राज्ये /अमेरिका, Amerika Syarikat, ယူနိုက်တက်စတိတ်, Amerikas forente stater, Amelika, संयुक्त राज्य, Verenigde Staten, Sambandsstatane, ଯୁକ୍ତ ରାଷ୍ଟ୍ର ଆମେରିକା, Stany Zjednoczone, Stadis Unids da l'America, Leta Zunze Ubumwe za Amerika, Statele Unite, США, Amerihká Ovttastuvvan Stáhtat, ÂLeaa-Ôko tî Amerika, එක්සත් ජනපදය, Spojené štáty americké, ZDA, Maraykanka, Shtetet e Bashkuara të Amerikës, Сједињене Државе, Amerikas Förenta Stater, Marekani, ஐக்கிய அமெரிக்க குடியரசு, సంయుక్త రాజ్య అమెరికా, สหรัฐอเมริกา, Puleʻanga fakatahataha ʻAmelika, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri, Сполучені Штати Америки, ریاستہائے متحدہ, Қўшма Штатлар, Hoa Kỳ, Orílẹ́ède Orilẹede Amerika, 美国, i-United States

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