The Dog Days are Over: AsianPersuasion

The Secret Service at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Unlike Ring Nation, who only seems to be able to complain about summer, mine has gone by too quickly. And I’m amazed by how much I did and how much fun I had. First, The Boyfriend moved in back in May, so a good part of the summer was spent adjusting, and unpacking. But, that was hardly the only thing going on with this Asian’s summer. With mini trips and random adventures, I think this may have been one of my fullest summers yet. Probably because I no longer work in a job that requires me to be at events on nights and weekends all summer long.

Maine for Memorial Day: It was a last minute whim and only for one night, but well worth it. The Boyfriend and I threw the dog in the back of the car and drove up to a pet-friendly motel in Maine where the accommodations were definitely outdated and the cleanliness questionable. But, we were able to walk to a dog-friendly beach and introduce her to the ocean–which she proceeded to freak out on. She alternated between trying bite/eat it (which made for some lovely cleanup on the walk back) and running away/crying. We also checked out Ongunquit (say it 10 times fast) which was very cute and touristy, and did a quick driveby of the Bush compound in Kennebunkport where we saw Secret Service in boats and Ford Explorers.

Just one of the many beautiful bits of Montreal.

Montreal for Independence Day: Yep, like true patriots, The Boyfriend and I went for north of the border. We stayed in a little B&B called L’Étoile Verte (the green star) where our hostess reminded us of Cheri Oteri and the bathroom was the smallest I had ever seen. Our first night, we came across a giant gay pride festival or something like that…whatever it was, I’m sure The Gay Guru would have appreciated the eye candy, while I just kept cooing, “It’s so cute!”–because gay men are adorable when they’re not bitching.  We ate so much good food–including late night poutine, tourtière, Greek, Tibetan, Vietnamese, and Indian–that I’m surprised I fit in the car for the drive back. With such a vast multicultural culinary landscape to choose from, I could have spent weeks there just eating my way through town. We also hoofed it to the top of Mont Royal for an incredible view of the city and checked out Old Montreal, as well as the Asian section (of course). Having not been there since spring break in college (remember, the drinking age is 18 and it’s a good cheap alternative to a plane ticket to some island), I forgot how much the city has to offer–from lots of strip clubs to tons of more “traditional” culture like gorgeous architecture, colorful neighborhoods and the jazz festival we happened upon.

NYC from flying over the Hudson

NYC and Provincetown: The Boyfriend happens to hold a private pilot’s license, so I’m lucky enough to accompany him on all sorts of aviation adventures, along with our friend, Doctor (who is not an actual doctor of any sort, but may play one on TV and is also a private pilot). We flew what’s known as “The Hudson Corridor”, over the Hudson River, through Manhattan, one day–one of the most amazing flights we’ve taken. At low altitude, of course, because you don’t want to come across a jetliner. This one caused me a little angst since the tragic accident in the area a while back. But, since then, more safety precautions are in place and we enjoyed the incredible flight with no incident.

Cape Cod's hook...

We also flew up to one of my favorite places–Provincetown and did our own airborne whale watching by stalking down the whale watching boats and hanging out at low altitude. Lucky us: we saw almost half a dozen whales doing their thing. We also checked out the amazing beach at Race Point right by the airport and headed into town on the bus. Our driver was one of those who drove slower when he was conversing–and he was quite the conversationalist, so it took almost forever to get into town. Once there, though, we were treated to the wonder that is P-town–hot men dressed as less-hot women, adverts for naughty shows and a whole mess of “color.” Of course I kept my eye out for a souvenir for the Gay Guru, but the one I liked best would not acquiesce to being kidnapped and whisked off to CT.

Cliff dwellings...where I plan to move soon

New Mexico for Labor Day: A friend of mine from high school and college was getting married in New Mexico over Labor Day, and as I love him dearly, actually really like his now wife, and had never been to the Southwest, The Boyfriend and I headed there for our last summer holiday. We stayed in Albuquerque and visited Santa Fe, which had a lot of artists and tourist crap, but was very cute. (Although I overheard an old woman saying that it was the third most visited city in the U.S., and I just couldn’t figure out why.) We also went to see and (climb into) Pueblo cliff dwellings in Bandelier National Monument, which is located in Los Alamos where there are tons of secret government labs. From there we drove through the park to the Jemez Mountain area where we hiked to Spence Springs–natural hot springs that we relaxed in amongst some hippies. It was so beautiful, I would have happily pitched a tent and lived there for ages. Old Historic Albuquerque was not that impressive–except for the rattlesnake museum, which was well worth the $5 entrance fee. We also spent some time on Sandia Mountain–driving up to the top during the day (over 10,000 feet altitude), and then taking the tram up at sunset. That was one of the most beautiful

Natural hot springs where the hippies hang.

views I’ve ever seen and if you’re ever in Albuquerque, you must do that.

The food was also a treat–I fell in love with sopaipilla–a fried bread that you put cinnamon and sugar or honey on (or really, whatever you want). If you ever come across it, I hope that you, too, will fall in love.

While my main adventures this summer were many, I was lucky enough to have time to check out my usual favorite summer doings: breakfast at Rose’s Berry Farm in Gbury, Hammonassett State Park for the beach, a trip to the Bohemian Hall beer garden in Astoria, a winery or two, some baseball games and just some good quality time with the dog and good friends…and probably one or two people I don’t really like, but pretend to. So overall, a good summer and I don’t think I’d trade it in for another.

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