When one of your best friends invites you to her wedding in Boston, surely it is only right to gratefully accept and use it as an excuse to spend two weeks travelling down the East Coast of the United States. So that’s exactly what I did.
The wedding was held in Manchester-On-Sea, Massachusetts, a small town that lies on the coast. It was very ‘Dawson’s Creek’; vast wood panelled houses, white picket fences, long luscious lawns and stars and stripes flying proudly in most gardens. We spent the morning of the wedding hanging out on ‘Singing Beach’ which was given its name because the sand squeaks when walked upon. The sun shone all day and needless to say the wedding was picture perfect.
After five days with the extended wedding party, my friend Alice and I hired a car and hit the road. Next stop Cape Cod. The drive from Boston to Cape Cod takes about an hour but we had heard that the best spot was the furthest tip, an even smaller coastal village called Province Town (P-Town) which takes about two hours. P-town has a colourful history that includes pilgrims, Portuguese sailors, hippies and more recently the gay community. It remains a popular destination for families and holds a number of festivals during the summer months.
We stayed in a cute B&B called Moffet House which offered free bike hire to all its guests. What a deal! The coastline is gorgeous, two thirds of the seashore is preserved after being designated a National Park. We cycled along the coastal paths through dunes and small ponds to an isolated beach called Race Point. It was bliss; lying in the sunshine reading our books before cycling back to a beach bar for a freshly caught lobster and beer followed by an evening spent in our cosy room watching DVDs!
Three days later we left the sleepy seaside behind us and headed for the city that never sleeps; New York. We dropped the car off in Boston and headed to the bus station to grab a seat for a mere $15 on the Bolt Bus which did literally bolt to New York. Alice and I were a little frazzled by the time we arrived but headed straight to our friends apartment on 34th St; where miracles are made!
I have never been to New York before but I would certainly return. We were lucky to be staying with friends who know the city and could show us a few hidden gems off the typical tourist trail. A few of our favourites were The Turkey’s Nest in Brooklyn where you get a half litre of Margharita in a polystyrene cup; Amy Ruth’s in Harlem where you can eat fried chicken and waffles and Iggys bar on the Lower Eastside with its awesome juke box and arcade shooting game!
After five nights in New York we headed back to Boston for our flight home. I spent most of the journey back gazing out the window at the legendary foliage that characterises ‘fall’. The first day of autumn had officially passed and the leaves were on the turn; rich hues of orange, bright red and deep burgundy weaved a rich tapestry of colour along with the greens and greys. After two weeks of brilliant weather, our last night was masked by a torrential downpour, somewhat reflecting our mood as we were both miserable that our American adventure had come to an end.