7th Inning Stretch 8/2010

Date:                           August 20, 2010


Location:                    Plattekill, NY




            It was Tuesday and it was our day off, so we decided to go for a little ride and search for some new adventures.  Actually we rode for a little more then 4 hours and found ourselves turning into my mother-in-laws driveway.  It was not really an accident that we ended up just north of Boston. My wife had been planning and packing for the last week and this was our scheduled “week end” excursion.  One of the reasons we decided to spend the summer at the Newburgh KOA was its proximity to family and of course the city.


            Our plans for our time off this week were to include a play, a drive along the ocean, a dinner and a lunch at two typical New England eateries and a baseball game at Fenway Park.  It may have been our week end or days off, but, it was not meant to be a time of rest.  The drive was only 4 hours, but it was still 4 hours and through some examples of traffic that tested my ability to contain within some of the language that I have learned over the years in some of the less than pleasant places of my life. We did make the trip without major incidents, and the air did remain somewhat less blue than it has been on some other occasions.  It was, actually, a very pleasant drive through some very beautiful scenery on a rather calm and clear day.


            After our hellos and a bit of news swapping and catch up time we all got dressed for a nice dinner at the Wild Horse Café.  The name hides its gourmet atmosphere and elegant décor.  We were joined by Connie’s brother and his family.  It was somewhat like a mini reunion enjoyed over a delicious offering of seafood.  From here we ventured to the North Shore Theater and my first experience at watching a play produced for a theater in the round.  The play was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and our seats were nearly on the stage.  The ensemble was great and the staging was very intriguing.  Being a stage in the round left very little possibility for props or scenery and yet the cast and crew transported us to a biblical land and told us the story of Joseph and his less than pleasant brothers.   By the end of the play the audience was latterly standing on their feet and clapping to the rhythm and swaying to the music.  Joseph was standing center stage with his very large and colorful Dream Coat which was being fanned by his eleven brothers and we all had to go and find our car.  It was a good evening.


            With a whole morning and nothing to do we decided to explore the coast line of Massachusetts and look for a lobster roll for lunch.  Part of our excursion was a total success.  The coast line is still there and even with a hazy fog it still was as beautiful as ever.  Our favorite little shack near Cape Anne that serves the simplest and most wonderful lobster rolls was, however, closed due to a death in the family.  I guess we can’t complain too much, I am sure their day is a lot worse than ours.  Our second choice was to retrace some of steps and search out the Gloucester House and sit near the iconic statue of the Gloucester Fisherman and enjoy our lunch.  If you have ever had frozen fish from any store in America I am sure you have either purchased or at least seen the old fisherman on the boxes of Gorton’s frozen fish sticks, haddock fillets, or other sea offerings in the freezer section.  We decided to eat our lunch where his boat is docked, when it is in port.  On days when the plant is frying fish the whole town is full of the most delicious aromas.  This day was not one of those days, so we settled for the aroma of sea and salt as the light wind spilled on shore from the low tide in Gloucester Harbor.


            My wife and her mother had the fish and chips lunch.  It was a very standard and logical choice.  I had mac and cheese.  What is wrong with me? My mac and cheese was augmented with bits of lobster, shrimp, scallops and fish which were all mixed in the pleasant cheese sauce that filled the baking dish of macaroni.  It was a lunch to die for.  It was one of those dishes that taste really good on the very first bite and then gets better with each subsequent fork full as you slowly slide into gourmet heaven as your taste buds are attacked with a myriad of tantalizing flavors and explosions of wonder.  It was actually quite good.


            A trip, a play and a gourmet meal or two shoud be enough for anyone on their “day off,” but for us it was just the appetizer.  Our evening was to be spent seated just behind first base in Fenway Park at a Red Sox home game against the Angles.  The Green Monster was just in front of us, the home dugout was just to our left and the evening was beautiful.  Fenway Park is a nearly 100 year old classic baseball park and has the record for the most consecutive home game sell outs.  Tonight we were close enough to watch the players on their level and to smell the grass.  The Sox won, albeit by a gift or two from a relief pitcher that should be looking for a job at the local grocery bagging oranges.  The peanuts were fresh, the Cracker Jacks were tasty and the beer was expensive.  It was a good night at Fenway Park in the center of Boston.


            Connie and I managed to rise early the next morning, have a light breakfast and make it back to Newburgh in time to go to work.  It was a good thing that we had been scheduled to work.  I think we needed the rest.  Boston lost last night; maybe they missed us cheering from the sidelines.  I guess we will just have to work for the next few days so that we can rest up for our next day off.  One never knows what adventure lies ahead until one gets there.  The Red Sox will just have to get over missing us ad get back to playing baseball.  If they don’t my mother-in-law will be very unhappy.