Dunkin’ Donuts is Mother, Dunkin’ Donuts is Father….

It’s funny how the need to get the most basic things done when travelling across a very big and (not too) foreign country makes strange bedfellows. Take Dunkin’ Donuts for instance. Under the Chimes of good old Big Ben, Blighty…pip,pip and God save her Majesty it could be perceived by our class-ridden system as a crass exercise in commercialised dumbing-down.

“….Ahh Good Morning Mr Gronk. I would like the Lunchbox special please…Size?….EXTRA LAAAARRRRGGGGEEEEEEE”

On this side of the pond Dunkin’ Donuts has served us the best plastic cup of coffee in the US, served a ham and cheese roll snack when returning to our Hotel from a night’s drinking in ‘Southey’, South Boston, consistently provided immaculately clean restrooms (bogs) for ‘basic field sanitation purposes‘ and provided a uniformly cheery pick me up from Boston, via St Johnsbury, Vermont to Troy, New York State.

So it’s a big Thumbs-up from Pookaverse to Dunkin’ Donut’s – even though, and you might find this difficult to believe judging by how much we both weigh at the moment – not a single donought donut donut has passed our lips…onto our hips…seven tall ships…a bowl of gritsJimmy Smits and Pi-her-is off.

Portland and Portly share a moment together.. (Downtown, Portland, ME)

Fingers on Maps my lovelies..(Wednesday 12/09) From the Working Town of Portland, Maine we drove to St Johnsbury, Vermont yesterday via Interstate 302 through the White Mountain National Park, NH – and what could be best described as our official introduction to the ‘Big Empty’.

The point where a very personal fantasy has become a lived reality…some tears were shed at the wheel yesterday…but I’m not telling who (sniff) Boll*cks! We didn’t take any pictures because (a) the picture will never capture the awe and magnificence of the many sights that we saw (b) the pictures are quite boring for others to look at.

Come yonder…the ‘Big Empty’ and the American Road Trip officially start…the next car is due in ten minutes…

You have to see it for yourself and Pookaverse encourages you to put down whatever device you are holding in those gentle, soulful hands of yours and come and see.

The first entry into St Johnsbury on (lower) Main street was not promising. A faded little lumber town. After some sodding around with cankerous side streets, we passed some ‘folks’ on their porch who gave us ‘a bit of a look’.

In this particular case I can report that both the left eye and the right eye were in the correct sockets. Truth be told,  we did curl our opposing thumbs into our palms.They were probably ‘real friendly’.

‘Upper town’ is neatly trimmed and attractive ‘Smalltown America’. Though I have to say that we passed through a number of small towns equally as evocative from the General Store to the school-children bedecked in full American Football gear training in the warm autumn sunshine. Temperature here has cooled-off at last. Warm in the day – up to 27 oC and cool at nights. Perfect.

A day of First’s for Pookaverse including our first American Motel experience. Not too bad and just about everything in the exact place that you would imagine it would be. From those films we all saw as children. Non-smoking terraced chalet with the faded hum of cigarettes. Clean. A good experience. Price? Finally beaten down to $107.71 including that lovely sales tax that is hardly ever quoted a the check-in desk.

Friendly Receptionist. An auburn Phoebe from ‘Friends’. And then, a trip to the local supermarkert for an in-room tea of Kaiser rolls with egg mayonnaise and coleslaw. Nearly washed down with a Root Beer.

Bought with curiosity – the first sip spat into the sink and the rest of the bottle tipped out to it’s arse. Dirty B*stards. Who thought it up, mixed it, made it, ‘sold it’ to me as a child when I religiously watched  that late lamented 1970’s TV Series Petrocelli. He loved his ‘Root Beer’. Like drinking a very, very sweet Fisherman’s Friend. The Dirty….Filthy… B*stards.

The now familiar early morning ritual (Motel, St Johnsbury, Vermont)

Fingers back on Maps. Today,  Thursday (13/09), was a driving day. as Pookaverse had spent an extra day in Cape Cod then the scales of Ma’at must be brought to balance. This involved a 333 mile drive taking 6hours and 27 minutes from St Johnsbury, VA to Syracuse, NY. Originally, the plan was Albany, NY. But, as we didn’t like the sound of Albany from the information viewed…and also having passed through the North of Albany  to Troy, NY – we pushed on to Syracuse, NY.

The early evening ‘Find Accommodation’  ritual kicked in at 6:37. So we stopped on I-90 Westbound (the New York State Thruway ) into the red glow of the setting sun -at a ‘Travel Plaza’called Chittenango. Alison spotted a local brochure and then the information from Mrs Robinson (Martin Robinson’s wife) suddenly kicked in.

Behold! Three pages of hotel vouchers. Before you can say “Ba-de-Bing’ we had checked into the Ramada Hotel outside Syracuse, NY for our stopover (More of that later) for $79 or £27 quid each (!!!) including breakfast and a gym and free-mildew-odour from the air conditioning system that we have christened ‘Old Thumpy’. The receptionists didn’t seem to like it up ’em either and cut out our voucher. We do have more copies of  the magazine in the car.

So it will be coffee and weights tomorrow morning. Without burly men for a change. Maybe (not).

So a BIG THANKYOU to Mrs Robinson. And to Martin I will say only this. Condoning an offence to another person’s person is just as bad as committing an offence on another person’s person.

Why Syracuse? Well it’s a stopover – like St Johnsbury – a taster – nothing more. But. Tomorrow it means that we only have 143 mile to drive to Niagara (bloody!!!!) Falls. We will both have difficulty sleeping tonight. Have a great day all.

And keep those comments coming. They keep us going. You are here with Pookaverse.  Not over there.


2 Responses to “Dunkin’ Donuts is Mother, Dunkin’ Donuts is Father….”

  1. Anne Says:

    Apologies for the delay – been busy and eagerly watching my e mail account for it to tell me that you had put another comment on for us to read – didn’t happen!!! Still, kept the first e mail you sent and have gone in via that (sorry – did tell you I was rubbish with this stuff!!).

    The pictures are looking great and it sounds as though you are meeting lots of interesting people (please don’t tell me that you will be writing a screen play any day soon now – I will throw up). Glad to hear that you have started to eat doughnuts (got to blend with the locals) – possibly need some photographic evidence on the old diary / blog thingie – preferably the most outlandish one that you can find (and eat!!) If only you had asked about the root beer – I could have told you that one!!! Interestingly, I too loved Petrochelli – great programme – don’t remember him drinking root beer though.

    Not much happening back on the ranch. Still busy at work – sadly. You will be delighted to know that Rumseys is still there – and the tea and chocolate is just as good. (Another task for you – see if you can find the American equivalent – again – photographic evidence will be required plus a full written analysis). Hilary is currently under the weather with a serious head cold (lots of illnesses floating about at the moment – loads of people at work off with tummy upsets etc). Jan’s frozen shoulder is doing well after the manipulation / injection – we had our first game of squash yesterday and have another lined up for tomorrow. Had a training session with Trish last Sunday – only 3 of us there – weird without you!! How are you doing on the fitness front? – 18 mile bicycle ride sounds good.

    TV is about to look up. The Great British Bake Off is turning out to be a cracker – lots of “soggy bottoms” with pastry and bread rolls (top tip – they did American Pie’s this week – the woman who tried chocolate & peanut butter was told it looked fantastic but tasted disgusting – so there’s one to miss if you can). Starting in under an hour is Strictly Come Dancing – whooohooo!!! I am thinking of arranging a girlie night in – a few nibbles and getting Hilary to show us some of her Tango moves!!

    Cake shop is looking good for Halloween this year – gone a bit American though – Debbie has got in some of the rice crispie stuff that they use over there to make the structures that go on their cakes – in this case a great big skull. The cake looks as though it is going to be great but won’t be in the front window for a couple of weeks yet. You will need to post some pictures of the America celebration of Halloween – which no doubt will be completely over the top. I’m probably going to stop at baking a few fairy cakes – don’t want to go too overboard.

    Keep posting and keep having a great time.

    • pookaverse Says:

      Hi Anne,

      great to hear from you with news from home.

      You will have to let me know which celebs are on Strictly this year just so that I can at least have a mental picture of their performances to keep me going.

      Our fitness regime is seriously at risk and we are getting fatter by the day which is no laughing matter. In our defense we have done quite a bit of walking and a bike ride on Nantucket but on the other hand we have eaten far more than we have worked off!

      We are staying in a Hotel tonight that has a small fitness room so the plan has already been put in place for us to get up early and go for a workout before hitting the road. What do you think the chances are of that actually happening? I will let you know ……..

      The cake shop display sounds fab and I am sure that we will see some crazy Halloween stuff out here as lots of stuff has started appearing already, we will keep eyes peeled for the wackiest stuff and post photos.

      Still hot out here with hint of autumn morning and evening, not much chance to work on a tan at the mo as too busy moving on but we are both certainly browner than when we left UK and enjoying the sunshine. Only wet day we have had was in Niagara and that made the falls all the more dramatic – post on that to follow.

      Keep the news coming and please say hello to the girls from us both, hope Hilary better soon and glad that Jan’s shoulder on the mend.

      Chicago here we come!

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