Close Shave In More Than One Way

Trip Start Sep 20, 2013
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Trip End Dec 10, 2013


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What I did
Dunfries
Philladelphia
Scranton
Danvers
Salem
Boston
Bangor
Portland

Flag of United States  , Maine
Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day 70 - 30th November 2013

After spending a great deal of time in Richmond and been looked after and put up by Paul's mum it was now time to make our way to Philadelphia, we picked our new hire car up from the airport and it was a little cracker, everything we needed. As we hit the highway the traffic started picking up quite a bit due to people making there way to Washington DC back from there thanksgiving time away. There was a mental in front of me and he was braking harshly over and over, making me have to pull into the hard shoulder in the fast lane as he was slamming on, unfortunately he did it again and we slammed straight into the back of him, causing us to stop dead and him to clip another car, the car was wrecked, airbags blowing off, filling the car with smoke, I managed to pull the car of the highway even with there been no front. When the dick from in front got out I asked him why he kept braking and he kept saying no, no, no. He didn't speak much English and I just said lets see what the cops say.
I somehow managed to keep my cool but inside I was fuming. The cops turned up and interviewed us all, after a bit the cop told me to get into his car and he had me fill out a statement, somehow I got blamed for it, I was gob smacked, he said the only reason nothing would be happening is that I was from overseas. He then got the Spanish guy and he ended up doing the whole drunk test as he could smell drink on him, the guys car which wasn't in bad shape was towed away as he was obviously drunk, how the hell could I be blamed if he was pissed? I didn't answer back with the cop and he put flares out on the road so no one would hit us again as we had to wait for a replacement car and ours was towed away. We were all a little sore but didn't need to go to the hospital. The brand new hire car saved our arses. I felt guilty after because even though I knew I didn't do anything wrong I could have injured people more seriously, I was in charge of the car.
Recently I've been living my life as much as I can, working in New Zealand on 2 occasions, travelling around South East Asia and also this trip in the states. I will continue to live in the moment because as it almost shown, I was almost done and dusted.
Arrived in a place just outside Washington called Dunfries, Philly will have to wait until tomorrow. Got there to the news about the fella from Fast and Furious had been killed in a car crash. Cant say I was that arsed, didn't know the bloke and his movies were crap. I was more concerned about me and the rest of our group that had been out of harms way until tonight.

Day 71 - 1st December 2013

After having my attempt of a beard throughout November I decided to shave it all off, the second close shave in 2 days. Felt good though, no more beard stroking.
Grabbed some breakfast and headed for Philadelphia, tracked down our hotel and it was under some renovation. We would be staying here 2 nights so we had time to figure out where everything was we wanted to see. After a hectic few days we decided to grab a bite to eat from the Hard Rock café, When we left we passed a homeless shelter which was right next to our hotel, a guy who was tucked up in a sleeping bag started laughing hysterically as we walked past, not sure what all that was about but he seemed happy enough, even though it was in minus degrees. I'm starting to look like a homeless though, my clothes are getting abit worn now. Travelling does that.

Day 72 - 2nd December 2013

We had a busy day lined up today, first off is one of every guys and some girls dreams who have seen the movie Rocky with Sylvester Stallone, he trains for his fight and the movie is set in this city, after a massive run he finishes by legging it up the steps and jumping with his arms aloft, the building and steps themselves are located at the Philadelphia Museum Of Art, there are 73 of them, we didn't see any art but I just had to do the run up the steps and get a replica picture of me doing a Rocky. Felt really good and I wasn't that out of breath, after all this travelling and hardly doing any fitness I didn't feel out of breath. Bodes well for when I get home and start training again.
Back down the steps is the statue of Rocky himself, we got a few pictures of us taken by it. That's another thing ticked of the list.
Been in America we had seen loads of historical things to do with the country, and In Philly was some of the most well known, for starters we had a look and pictures with the Liberty Bell which used to be in the building over the road from where it was sat in Independence Hall, the bell itself looked well old, it had a massive crack in it and I had always wondered how that got there, apparently it was only a small crack at first until some no it all tried to fix it and made it worse, that's the thing sometimes, its better to leave something that is knackered rather than try and patch over it and spruce it up. Just get a new one.
Over the road was the hall where the declaration of independence was signed, it was a really old building but had been well maintained. Our tour would take us all around it and our guide would tell us some of his knowledge. He had the hand of Jeremy Beadle, you know the small one. Beadle used to hide his, this guy though kept flapping it about and that made it hard to concentrate on what he was saying, not just that his voice was a slight bit drab. He shown us lots of old stuff though. We were actually allowed in the room where they signed the declaration. Quite lucky to have been there, this was arguably the most important event in American history and I was in the room.
In another part of the building there was a replica of the declaration, and then next to that a part of the journals, apparently they can only show one of the pages for a few months then have to change it so it doesn't get wrecked.
All this history had us peckish, another place we wanted to visit was Macs bar which is owned by a guy from the show 'Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia' who plays a guy called Mac funnily enough. We are all big fans of the show, it wasn't a bad bar really, a few people in there. This is where I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life, Chris ordered chicken wings called WTF Hot wings. He had one and said they were really spicy, the waiter explained that they are the spices they use are the closest they can get to the ghost pepper, so picture the hottest spice you've ever had and times it by 100. What made me try one I will never know, In my head I was saying you only live once. I finished my wing and that's where it all kicked off, my mouth started drooling, my head started pounding and my lips and tongue were like I lit fire on them, I felt light headed. The worst part was that I knew when all this was over which after a few hours it was I would pay for it again in another way in the morning if you catch my drift. Sheer hell!

Day 73 - 3rd December 2013

 Leaving Philly today and I realised than in just a weeks time my trip will be over and I'll be on the plane home to England.
Today we would be travelling to another place that I've always wanting to visit, Scranton. Not many people will have heard of this place, its an old mining town that was made big by an American TV show based there called The Office, It is the American version of the British comedy The Office written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
I am a massive fan of the show and have been for years, Michael Scott who is played by Steve Carrel is a legend and one of the best characters I've seen. Anyway that is the explanation of the show over with anyone who is still reading.
Arriving there it was proper bleak, we got into the famous steam town Mall and had a wander around. The show finished early in the year so a lot of the hype has gone from the local area. 
There were only a few places that we could visit that were mentioned or shown in the show, as to my disbelief we had been caught out again, most was filmed in bloody LA! I felt a bit conned but made the most of it anyway and at least I could say I've been. We stopped of at a place called Alfredo Pizza Café which was used in the show, the pizza I got tasted like a hot square of garbage. Just around the corner was a pub called Poor Richards which again was used in the show, they had a few props from the show and I managed to get a few pictures and got a t-shirt. All in all Scranton was all for the novelty, something we have done lots of in the trip, but you have to mix it up a bit don't you?
Tonight we would be staying in Sturbridge, Connecticut. It's the coldest place we have been upto now. The hotel had a dodgy lift which was creaking and buzzing, I explained that to the receptionist but she wasn't bothered. 

Day 74 - 4th December 2013

Salem was a place I had studied in English in school so knew a little about it. We were made to read the book called the Crucible out loud in class all playing different parts so cant say it all stuck up there.
This is the town where they held the witch trials back in the 1600's. To cut a long story short there were some young girls who started shit stirring and ended up telling judges and people from the church that other people in the town who were completely innocent that they were witches, they were then tried and then hung, one poor fella was pressed to death, they piled rocks on top of him until his ribcage collapsed, he wouldn't admit to been a witch so they kept piling rocks on him. Good Jesus! And they think people these days are messed up.
Eventually they realised that this was getting out of hand. All the people who were hung have been recently pardoned. 
When we headed back upto the car park there was a girl who was about 17 with her mum, think there was something wrong with her, she was at the top of the steps and looked at me  coming up the stairs and she had a panic attack. Her mum kept telling her to keep walking, not a clue what I'd done, I must have a scary face or something, but she proper shit herself. Couldn't believe it. 
It started raining on our way to Danvers which was about 20 miles from Boston, checked into the room and then went to watch the Everton V Man Utd match in the bar just opposite the motel. The bar tender introduced himself as Larry, a really nice guy. One of the chefs came out and while he was eating his dinner he told Larry to buy the 3 of us a drink and we were a long way from home. After the game the place started filling up and getting a bit sombre, we had the feeling we were in the wrong place. Larry explained to us that a local high school teacher that people knew had been murdered by a pupil who was 14, he had raped her and murdered her and then dumped her behind the school, he then left the scene and went to the movie cinema and watched a movie. Clearly a mental. The people gathering were there to watch the pre trial with the kid, we left before all that kicked off.The thing that struck me though was that if this happened in the UK then it would be everywhere, TV, Newspapers etc. We had been about and hadn't heard a whisper. Not sure whether that frightened me more. No one bats an eyelid. This was the night when I almost shrivelled to a prune, the heating was on all night at about 120 degrees, ridiculous,we couldn't switch it off. Shaky even tried to sleep with is head in the fridge.

Day 75 - 5th December 2013

Something major happened today, we drove into Boston which to mention has the worst parking ever, travelled to the Red Sox Baseball ground called Fenway park, they recently won the world series so I was delighted to finally track down after 75 days on the road the FOAM FINGER!!! It was something I was determined to get since I arrived and what better to get one from the World Series champions. Get in!
After a few snaps at the ground we tracked down a bar called cheers. It was the bar from the old TV series cheers which had Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson, pretty cool little bar. Had a wander across the city park passed some golden ducks and onto a t-shirt stall, after a bit of cheeky bartering I got a new t-shirt. I've still got the cheekiness.
Headed of on a long drive up to Bangor, Maine. Took about 4 hours. We wouldn't be going any further north than this though as we weren't far from Canada. Went to a bar called the Seadog and it had karaoke on, surprisingly they were bloody good. Makes a change.

Day 76 - 6th December 2013

Stephen King wrote numerous books and a lot of films about the story's he writes were based here although in his books he calls Derry. Derry is a fictional town but is really Bangor where Stephen King grew up and now currently lives.
 I wanted to visit here since I have been reading his books since I was about 10 and always wondered what the place would look like. Bangor is a little fishing town and is a little grim, it was exactly how I pictured it
We stopped of at a diner and got chatting to the waitress who directed us to where Stephen King lived also there was a mechanic in there who said he knew him and played bowling with him, he said he is a nice guy but a little odd. He said he might be home when we go visit.
On the way up there Ang got a call of the David Letterman show in New York asking for Chris and myself as we had applied for tickets for his live show, Chris just needed to answer a trivia question, Chris answered correct, problem was the only date they had tickets for was the 10th December. Gutted! I'll be flying home. But good luck to the rest, I'm sure there enjoy it. Supposed to be a good little show. 
Arriving at Stephen Kings house it looked creepy, it was really old, but massive, he had bats and gargoyles on his iron gates, the weirdest thing was though was a black cat tipped up and started rubbing around our legs. Not a clue where it came from. Creeped me out because he kept looking at me.
 His gates were open and his lights were on, didn't get to see him though and didn't want to go and knock on his house. I really enjoyed Bangor though. I can carry on reading his books a happy man. Stppoed off at a statue of Americas most famous lumberjack Paul Bunyan, it was 30 foot tall and weighed about 10 ton. Typical American.
Took the long coastal drive back down to Portland, Maine. Get to check this little place out tomorrow.

 
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