Saturday, August 21, 2010

From the Back Seat

The thing about traveling by sailboat is that once you get somewhere, like a town, you don’t have a way to explore easily. There’s always going by foot, which is great because we don’t get too much exercise sitting on our butts on a sailboat anyway. At one point we bought some foldable motor scooters, but we never really managed to get them to work right. (Secretly, I knew they’d be more of a pain in the ass than they were worth. Now they are sitting against the wall on my side of the garage at home.) We’ve rented a moped in the past, just so we could cover more miles when we got to port, but no matter where we go there’s usually a taxi.

There was the time in Newport when we felt like dorks taking a taxi to the Walmart. But overall we find them handy. For a few bucks we can go to the supermarket and stock up on provisions. For a few bucks we can go just about anywhere and learn something about the local area from a local character. (There was the time we got a ride with a cabbie who was also a rabbi AND a minister. Figure that one out. If you can, let me know because I still haven’t. I think his business card said something to the effect of “Rabbi John Smith, Baptist Minister. “ What?)

On Tuesday night we took a cab around Plattsburgh just to check things out. Our cabbie was a bit of a dud. We like to get restaurant recommendations from cabbies, because they are always in the know about those sorts of things. We’ve eaten in really terrific restaurants that we never would have found otherwise. The Tuesday night dude said that he typically eats fast food because it’s cheaper. Then he pointed out the McDonald’s with the lake view from the back parking lot. We ended up eating dinner at Irises, which was wonderful.

The driver that took us to Ausable Chasm on Wednesday was a bit better, because he knew the local area. He told us about the history, and the fear the locals felt at the start of the Gulf War in 1991 when, seemingly, hundreds of jets deployed from the now defunct Plattsburgh Air Force Base. I could imagine it as we drove by the base.

The one we had on the way back from the chasm was fabulous. He was originally from Burlington, and he talked about local restaurants as if he were a human Zagat guide. We ended up at the local Mexican joint anyway, but knew it would be good because he’d said so.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sean said...

Ah, taking a virtual vacation with BJ's blog, love it.

August 22, 2010 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Beej said...

Sean, a virtual vacation is almost as good as the real thing. Almost.

September 1, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

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