I’m so glad we got up bright and early on a Sunday morning to eat a sad hotel breakfast. But sometimes sad hotel breakfasts are a must because the money you save can often equal A REALLY AWESOME PRESENT for you later on. (Spoiler alert: this never happened. Thanks, Tight Wad Hank.)
Really. This dumb bitch. What grade are you even in, like, 4th? Save the weird spandex ensemble for when you’re 16 working the street, REALLY. She’ll probably be in all of the other street walkers way too! I was about to queue up Ludicris’s seminal hit “Move Bitch” and hold it up to her face while screaming “GET OUT DA WAY.” Bitch was hovering over the toaster like your basic hobo trying to keep warm.
Maybe I wanted a fucking bagel, you don’t know! YOU WEREN’T THERE.
(I didn’t really want a bagel. But mayhaps I’d have wanted to peruse my stale options.)
And then I went over to get some orange juice but some motherfucker in a polo beat me there. He poured himself some orange juice and then was all,” Hey buddy, you want some OJ too?” and then poured some for Chooch. So I held out my cup too, blatantly, and Polo Dick put the pitcher back and walked away.
I was so offended and proceeded to complain about this back at the table.
“He probably didn’t know that you’re not an adult,” Henry mumbled around a hearty mouthful of disgusting biscuits and congealed gravy. Hhhhhrrrrk.
Then we lounged around the Fireside Inn’s kidney-shaped pool after a quick trip to Target because we can’t go more than a week without going to Target.
Later, we picked up Alyson from her house and she gave us some suggestions for New England-y things to do. One was to have lunch at Parker’s Maple Barn, which sounded fine by me because I like maple, barns and Parkers. The drive to Parker’s from Alyson’s house was quite scenic and became more and more rural the longer we drove. Parker’s seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, but Alyson warned us that it usually drew a large crowd from neighboring Massachusetts.
However, we were greeted with a sparsely-populated restaurant and I was extremely happy about this because crowded restaurants make me anxious! I already decided on the way there that I was going to get a grilled cheese, because I’m on vacation and I haven’t had a grilled cheese since right before I started Weight Watchers, in December. Do you know how much this pains me? Grilled cheeses are my favorite foods ever! And I’m glad I chose Parker’s to break my grilled cheese abstinance, because it was delightful! The bread can make or break a grilled cheese, and the whole grain bread that I selected was so whole and grainy!
I also got a side of maple baked beans and maple coffee. WHAT. Maple coffee is fucking incredible and I’m kicking myself for not buying a bag in the gift shop. And you know, since we skimped on breakfast, we could have “afforded” it. Shit, I’m the worst shopper ever.
Chooch is unfortunately still in that age bracket of hating restaurants because being in a restaurant means that we’re not out somewhere playing. So he was pretty much like, “I don’t know. Give me a pancake I guess.” And then proceeded to complain that it was bad-tasting but this was after he drowned it in a tub of (maple) syrup like an unwanted baby*, so maybe he’s just averse to syrup-sogged pancakes? MAYBE HE DOESN’T LIKE MAPLE?
*(Of course, I was sitting next to him so the rising levels of syrup became MY problem, and Henry yelled things across the table at my face, like, “TILT THE PLATE! OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, MOVE!” and then finally handled it himself, thank god.)
Henry asked Alyson questions about a lot of the ads on the placemat. I guess so when he moves to New Hampshire, he knows who to call when he’s ready to have his gutters drained.
I didn’t notice any ads for brothels, though. Sorry big guy.
My maple baked beans, which were very good but I could not finish them. I tried to pass them off on Henry, but he was already full from polishing off his BLT and fries and also Chooch’s syrup sponge.
Henry, deducing that there is “nothing wrong with these pancakes, boy!” I think Chooch even wrote about his dislike of Parker’s pancakes on one of the postcards he sent out. It tasted just like a pancake, I don’t get it!!
Alyson even got Henry to speak of the infamous Ted Nugent concert where he pushed over some broad in a wheelchair but now totally tries to deny it every time someone asks him! Usually if the topic is broached, he will shut down and peace out of the conversation, sometimes even going for hours without speaking. He HATES being asked about Ted Nugent and hates that I supposedly made it into “something more than it ever was.” (His words.) But Alyson asked him questions in a soothing voice which tricked him into answering! And by answering, I mean strumming his fingertips together and saying, “I don’t know, I can’t remember.” But he said it in pleasant tones and that is way different than how he responds to me!
She’s a real Henry whisperer. I wish I had studied this more intensely so that I can know how to trick him into thinking I’m genuinely imterested in his past. (I mean, I am genuinely interested, but for all the wrong reasons.)
Chooch was in such a hurry to get out of there, but had no problem loitering in the cat-laden gift shop while I bought postcards of Parker himself from the 1970s to send to people not aware of how maple-y New Hampshire is. Chooch, meanwhile, did not throw a tantrum or run through the store with a real ax like he did once in Tennessee two years ago.
I really enjoyed Parker’s and can see why it pulls in such a large touristy crowd. I would eat there a lot if I lived nearby (thus making Weight Watchers a real bust).
But that maple coffee…oh man. Even Andrea was like, “THAT SOUNDS AMAZING!” when I texted her about it, so that’s how I knew maple coffee was a thing that is probably enjoyed universally because she is usually like, “That sounds disgusting” when I tell her about all the things I ate and liked, like rambutan and Henry’s pride. (To be fair, I do enjoy weird flavors. I like to think it’s because I have such a sophisticated palate, but probably it’s more like something in there is broke.)
I bet if I told Andrea I drank maple coffee while sitting on a music box*, she would have had a different opinion, though.
*(Andrea is a music box racist.)
We hadn’t actually planned on going to Hampton Beach that day and no one had their bathing suits with them, but I remembered that Alyson mentioned in an email that going to this old-fashioned arcade on the beach could be a possibility of something to do, and that sounded like something fun to do on a 95-degree day while wearing black skinny jeans. So we drove about an hour while Alyson told us stories about the delivery drivers she encounters every day at work in Boston and Chooch was cracking up so bad, totally mesmerized by Alyson’s impressions of the Boston accent and begging her to tell us more. I’m going to venture to say Chooch was pretty smitten. (He likes older chicks!)
Henry von Standsalone. With purses.
When we first got to the beach, Alyson mentioned that her Pep used to bring her here a lot when she was a kid which really took it from “a beach” to something more special. One of the things Alyson and I first bonded over all those years ago on LiveJournal was our unwavering devotion to our grandfathers. I was really happy to get to see one of the places she spent time at as a kid. I know that I would much rather take out-of-town friends to Blue Flame rather than the more obvious Food Network-beloved Primantis, because Primantis doesn’t mean shit to me. And maybe Blue Flame doesn’t have a “claim to fame,” but it’s someplace that has special meaning to me and I like to share that with people. So I really loved when Alyson pointed out the place we needed to get fried dough and where we’d have to stop for salt water taffy and the best place to get t-shirts because her excitement was contagious!
There. I met my “sentimental” quota for the week.
That time Henry and another man caught crabs together on the beach. (It’s always a huge deal when we catch Henry chatting with other men in his demographic. There should be a National Geographic show about him.)
Chooch made friends with some boy who coincidentally is also from Pittsburgh.
And that boy had no fear touching crabs, that’s for sure. Me? I was like, “OMG DON’T TOUCCCCCHHHH IT EWWWWW IT’S GOING TO KILL US ALL!”
What a nice, peaceful afternoon, walking leisurely along the beach, not having anywhere we needed to be, and not being surrounded by assholes! There was literally no one who pissed me off at the beach! OMG I LOVE THE BEACH.
But I love the BOARDWALK even more!
(To be continued, of course.)