7 Things: Random Travel Posts #5 – New Places

The most life-enhancing aspect of travel, of course, is the constant onslaught of new experiences. Which are largely discovered in new places.

This trip took us to several.

Our trip to Williamstown, Massachusetts for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, aka WTF – not my acronym, and, yes, they are in on the joke – was our first time in the town and our first time stopping in the Berkshires. While there, we made the short drive to Brattleboro, Vermont, stopping off at a covered bridge and a sweet overlook on the way back. Cute town. Bad coffee. Though it was apparently voted the best coffee in Vermont. Which leads to my total understanding of why Vermont isn’t known for coffee.

Then, it was off to Ottawa. But first, a stop-off for coffee in Saratoga Springs. A place in which we had no thoughts of stopping before we were passing by it, but that I’m totally glad we did, because it is about the cutest little damn town ever crafted, I’m pretty sure. The drive took us right through the Adirondacks, where we stopped off in a random little town for food before reaching the border.

It was our first time in Ottawa, so everything was new. Which demanded a long, exploratory walk, and delivered with a host of fun finds. We actually stayed across the river in Gatineau, so the view when we started walking was primo. Despite the 90-something degree temps. We dined at a touristy diner, went to the Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery, went to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, which had a totally wicked Mayan exhibit, tried a “beaver tail” with maple butter, saw the locks on the canal, heard a snippet of John Mellencamp singing “Jack & Diane” as we crossed back over the bridge the first night (but it was a good snippet – “Oh yeah, life goes on”) and bought me a wrist cuff from a street vendor.

After Ottawa, it was back to old places – Montreal and New York. But, while in New York, we did take the subway way the fuck up to a part of Harlem we’d never been in before on the quest for… fried chicken. No lie.

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