Saturday, September 10, 2016

New England with the Kiwi Family

Relaxing in NYC
Having been the recipients of many airport pickups worldwide, this was my opportunity to return some of the favors we have received over the years from family, friends and others. I hope I payed back a good portion with my 5 hours of commuting back and forth to New York's JFK airport twice in one evening and making double laps to LBI a week later. After my Saturday evening driving, I had both my parents and the entire Clark family in residence at the Sierpina family household. I might add we arrived only just as the household renovations and decorations had just been finally completed hours earlier.

So a big old NYC family welcome trip on dad's birthday was Sundays activities. A perfect 34 degrees C was a nice welcome to Northern Hemisphere Summer. We planned it Devo-slylz and had a non stressful affair. We saw the main sights of Grand Central Terminal, walked to Bryant Park and the New York Library, and Times Square. We took the subway to the 9/11 Memorial, then walked through Wall Street to South Street Seaport. Unreasonably priced ice creams we had and we found some legit NYC slice pizza for lunch. The Clark children then proceeded to flaunt with the bylaws of NYC and paraded themselves naked through some fountains.  A little bit more walking to Battery Park for a view of the State of Liberty by which time we could see a tantrum coming, so we found a nice bar and got dad a beer to quiet him down.

Newport, RI

I headed to work at 10pm that night, and the next day slept while the adult Clarks headed into NYC for another round, and Amy entertained mum, dad and the Clark children with a trip to a children's science museum. The next day, the Clarks headed off with a rental car to visit some friends and we were off on our mini road trip with mum and dad. Headed for some New England hotspots, we called into Mystic Seaport Connecticut and started the day with a coffee and viewing from afar the Old Port Town. Continuing north to Newport, Rhode Island we set off on foot to view the historic mansions and walk the coastal path. Amy's enthusiasm got the better of us there. As we ended up walking 4.5 miles on a sweltering day. Father was desperately in need of a beer at the end of all that. So much so, that he resorted to drinking a warm oil can of Fosters that I had brought him as a funny gift, which had been baking in the car all day. Other than experiencing dehydration and exhaustion, we enjoyed the early stroll through the old town, saw all the big mansions and had an adventure along the cliff walk. We made it to Boston none the less.
A few coffees a day, keeps these two alive. But ice cream it is right here.
A day on the Freedom Trail it was. Running in reverse from our hotel, the Constitution Inn, it was a quick stop to the USS Constitution Museum, then across the Charlestown Bridge to historic cemeteries, The North Church and Paul Revere's House. Chicken pot pie and Boston go hand in hand for me, so thats what I got at Quincy Market. Coffees for everyone else. Followed by a father-son-off on the free outdoor table tennis. On we went to Faneuil Hall, the Boston Massacre site, more cemeteries and finishing up at the Town Commons by the State House. From that point we knew exactly where we wanted to be, back to the Bell in Hand. Serving beer since 1795, we had a few cold Sam Adams to celebrate the man and his city. Later that night in the urban wasteland of Charlestown, we found a funky little pizza place with a beer list the Urban Hipster would die for.

Not done with New England yet, we headed slightly further north to Salem. Historic for its witch trials and old port. It certainly gave off that vibe, with its streets rowed with big gothic style houses where you know some funky shit went down. Sadly its seems, the lies of a few young school girls set off an unfortunate event of finger pointing which ended in a bunch of people being hung and burnt alive. The historic port customs house building was very interesting and far less depressing. Even more exciting was stopping into Notch Brewing Company, who contract brews at Two Roads. Their beer is exceptional and meeting the brewer and seeing their new little brewery was cool, especially with a couple of big cans to take home.

And with my nerves building, naat, it was just one more night before heading down to LBI. It was fun to have a group of family and Kiwi friends later that night back in Stratford and at the brewery for a couple of beers. Mum, dad, Amy and I, met by Simon who had been vacationing on our couch while we were away, and Gina and Sean who just arrived into town. We gave a tour and had a few beers before squeezing the seven of us into our little one bedroom apartment. Luckily, Simon and Sean took the adventure of sleeping on the beach, freeing up a bit more space inside.

Notch Brewery in Salem


  1. A very condensed version of a busy week!

  2. And a few generic photos, because we didn't take any!!