A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: OwenGadflies

Falling into New England

View The Big Wide North of America on OwenGadflies's travel map.

Yes it's been a while!

And Yes we're back home in Melbourne, and have been for about 4 weeks!

And No I haven't had time to upload these posts I had written, or prep the photos!

So there are a couple more posts to come and I'll try and get them up as soon as possible.

In the meantime you can pick up the journey as we cross over the Canada/US border ...


Once we had decided we were going to do an Alaskan cruise and go see the Canadian Rockies, it became inevitable that NYC would hit the itinerary. One way to get there was to also visit the famous New England, and what better time than in “Fall”? All those gorgeous colours!

Hence our next stop. But this one was going to take quite a journey. Despite what we imagined, there were few options to get us from French Canada to New England directly, even though it’s not that far if crows were flapping about. There were problems for Aussies wanting to take a Canadian car across the US border, so in the end we chose to train it from Montreal to Plattsburgh. That is on Lake Champlain and is the first reasonable-sized place over the border on the Montreal - NYC Adirondack Train journey.

So that was our first step. With visions of using a car to drive around various New England locations best known for their fall colours, we booked a car and picked it up from Plattsburgh – a GINORMOUS airport which they are busy expanding with construction everywhere and that we saw not one plane arrive or depart from, and a vast empty car park!

We got “upgraded”. (Mainly because they had a car with Illinois plates that they wanted to get closer to its home base.) But it meant we weren’t penalised for dropping off at a different location so we weren’t complaining and even less so when we slid into a VERY comfy Chevy 300. (I think, but I wouldn’t know an American car if I fell over it!) You know me, I do like my creature comforts and the sunroof was lovely as were the seat warmers and voluminous space for both us and our luggage!

What with the train being late and the ENDLESS time it took to get the car it was at least an hour later than we’d intended and we were facing a long drive of 430km/270miles.

But first we had to cross lake Champlain by ferry from Cumberland Head to Grand Isle and then via a causeway on Roosevelt Highway heading to Burlington. As we drove on and on through 3 states (New York, Vermont and Massachusetts) it got dark much earlier than we had been used to. So now things were getting more complicated. We’re in the dark, we’re tired and we still had 2 hours driving to go. And what could be worse? Well we moved onto yet another cross-state freeway and the traffic got noticeably heavier and even more noticeably aggressive, maniacal and speed-obsessed. We were doing the speed limit at 65mph which is about 110kph I think! And the whole freeway was passing us!!

It seems we hadn’t reckoned with the notorious Boston drivers. This was the “road back from the Cape”. Cape Cod of course!! And it was Sunday night. Now I’m not a girl who is known to drive slow. And Phil likes to put his foot down given half a chance but we were tense and terrified. In the dark, on an unknown road, in unfamiliar country, on the other side of the road, and with maniacs racing past us and honking and cutting in. I became artificially bright and upbeat, while trying to help Phil in all ways, except doing the driving, while also navigating our way. Phil just held on hard to that wheel and dropped occasional expletives.

Eventually we could turn off the highway and relax a little, but the stress was still there and the tiredness was seeping into our bones. Having left our hotel at 9am that morning, we arrived at our holiday house in Gloucester at just before 9pm. Wine was poured, a few bickies (crackers) and cheese crossed the lips, and then we crawled into bed.

But I don’t think it was only that drive. We’d had few “days off” from touristing in about 4 weeks and it had all caught up with us. The next 2 days saw us do the essentials for survival, ie buy booze and chocolate! Oh alright yes we bought other stuff and in fact ate “in” for about 3 nights. But we also did a lot of sitting on the balcony looking out at the rivers that weaved their way through Cape Ann, a very old part of Massachusetts.


And we had good reason not to go hunting high and low through New England. They’d had a hot late summer and there was not a sign of trees of any colour but green. We were kind of relieved really. It gave us an excuse to prop and dole out a bit of self-care.

We did drive up to Portland in Maine which was pleasant and I insisted Phil try the famous “lobster roll” which looked pretty ordinary to me! It was a reasonable drive of 170 km/100 miles in 3 states. But again exhaustion that night. The next day was limited to local touristing, checking out a nice little art enclave (Rocky Neck Art Colony) in Rockport, thankfully just up the road. Then we dined out at a fabulous restaurant called Duckworth's Bistrot that we wished we’d eaten at earlier . Phil reckoned the lobster stew was the best meal of the trip. It certainly tasted like it had been made by someone with skill and had plenty of layers of flavour and texture. What was more amazing was that the chef and his wife had had their 4th child the night before. They live above the restaurant. But he was back working that next night. His wife, who normally makes divine desserts, was missing of course but we were so impressed by his dedication and his great staff. A fabulous night!

But sadly it was time to go to Boston. Back on “that” road – the scene of our hellish drive the previous Sunday night – and amongst “those” drivers! But we were better prepared and in daylight so it proved to be fairly uneventful They were all still aggressive and speedsters and maniacs, but heh what the heck! We stopped off in Salem on the way and had a bit of a look at the "witch trials" historical area, which is really just tourist crap. We only went into the cemetery which was really interesting. So glad we hadn't made a trip into Salem just for that!


Sadly it was in Boston that the inevitable bad choice of accommodation unfolded. We’d stayed in hotels and cabins and apartments and suites and a holiday house fairly uneventfully. But this was just awful.

The photos on Airbnb had been ordinary but I remember I was having trouble booking, and it was late at night so I just booked it. BAD MOVE. It was old dark dingy and smelly. The steps up the front of the building were all different heights – all of them far too big in height and shallow in depth so your foot didn’t fit on the step. Bad enough for anyone but with a klutz like me in the mix it was a recipe for disaster. We returned the car to the airport (a few minutes away) and sat at the airport with ipad in hand until we had got ourselves a hotel room. We grabbed a cab went back and collected our cases from the hellhole and departed!!

In the days and weeks before our arrival a new art installation had slowly been growing on the John Hopkins Tower in Boston and causing much discussion as people tried to work out what it was all about. So we did get a bit of art culture in Boston, just not as much as we might have!!


Boston began to improve then. But the tiredness was still persisting so we didn’t push it too hard. For a bit of a change from our usual touristing, we visited the Boston Library, a beautiful old building sadly and badly in need of restoration. Even though I thought it must be lovely to work there, I’d reckon the staff probably hate working in such conditions. And it had a beautiful courtyard where we sat to eat lunch!


Afterwards we visited the Boston Aquarium. It’s multi-storeys deep and holds a massive tank that recreates a deep ocean environment around which one circles upwards from the bottom of the tank seeing different animals of the sea, beautiful coral, and amazing activity. Would never have pictured myself going there but it was a wonderful and fascinating balm for two tired tourists. We did wish we'd had the grandkids with us though, because they'd have adored it!


Yes I feel a little guilty that I didn't go and do the traditional tourist stuff like visiting Harvard, The Freedom Trail, Boston Common, or even Fenway Park for a baseball match! We always believe that wherever we go we will have an experience we remember so the world didn't end because we didn't go see the Freedom Trail. I'd read about all of them which is better than lots of people do. So ppphh who cares?

And anyway New York was calling …

Posted by OwenGadflies 23:16 Archived in USA Tagged art massachusetts library aquarium boston portland gloucester new_england maine salem cape_ann Comments (0)

Is Quebec City Worth Visiting?

So having tasted a bit of winter weather in the Rockies, it was nice to head to Quebec City for a bit of sun.

Like every journey we’ve taken on this trip, moving from one place to another has taken long days with long stopovers in airports or stations. For QC, it was up at 4 for arrival at the airport at 5.30, for a 7am flight. Add in a couple of time zones and a long wait in Montreal for our last flight and Voila! The whole day is gone and we are looking like warmed up slop!!

But we were very happy with our accommodation in Les Lofts St Joseph in Saint Roch, a gentrifying suburb just outside the ramparts and the old town. The apartment was large and lofty and very comfortable. It even had a little roof garden with a panoramic view of the city which was lovely for a late afternoon drink after a warm day’s touristing. The supermarket was at the end of the street, restaurants down the road, and the Vieux Port and Old City not far, as the crow flies. But HOLY MOLY was it a hefty hike up those ramparts!


Originally the city was a fort/citadel high above the St Lawrence river. It’s the old town that is of most interest. Overall though we found Quebec City a little too staid and conservative for our tastes. While clearly I knew this was French Canada, I didn’t know that Quebec City only speaks French. Many of the people have little English unlike in Montreal which is far more of a dual language city. All signs are in French, no secondary English or concessions. This is the epicentre of French Canada in so many ways.


There was nothing wrong with it just nothing very exciting about it. It certainly didn’t have the interesting vibe that Montreal or Vancouver has, or even the vibe in some provincial French towns.

But the foooooood was gooooood!

Our first night after the torrid journeys of the day, it was great to eat about 400 metres down the road at Les Sale Gosses. Staff who knew their food well and had enough English to cope with tired Aussies. The next night ended up with us sharing our yummy French cheeses and pates (bought that morning at the market) with a couple from the same apartment building whom we met on the roof garden.

Our best meal of the trip so far was at a VERY nice little place called Le Saint Amour. We shared a platter of foie gras served 5 different ways, and was like a journey through styles of innovation in serving this yummy dish. Tiny delicate aspic cubes and sweetish and sourish accompaniments! Even a foie gras brulee! Phil had steak and I had Red deer as our main courses, both of which were sublime. Just a fabulous night! And at least there, they didn’t call the first course “appetisers” and the main course “entrée”! That’s driving me crazy, everywhere we go! And makes NO SENSE. And if you say main course they look blank until you tell them that’s what you want for “entrée”, or even correct you with “you mean entrée”! How on earth did that get into the language?? Quite farcical.

Interestingly despite the conservatism, we found some interesting public art, a terrific trompe l’oeil depicting some of the historical scenes of the city and a few bits of street art around. So all was not totally lost. We also stumbled upon a game of petanque being played on a piece of dusty ground on the street. Very French moment! However Phil was deeply disillusioned at the fact that there were no door knockers on these old buildings. I was a bit sad about that too, because I like them, but seeing there were also no gargoyles I was truly grateful! Note to self, must check Dr Google to see if these obsessions of his qualify for treatment!


Montreal on the other hand was a short overnight visit, so we could be in time for the train the next morning. However, we had enough time after our arrival to go and see an exhibition of Canon International Press Photography winning photos. It was both beautiful and intensely saddening a lot of the time with so many press photographs focusing on disasters, poverty, and other seemingly unchangeable situations.

Despite that we were able to go and have another good meal and sleep in another sweet hotel at confirming for ourselves that we had boo-booed badly by putting the time into Quebec City and not Montreal.


Next we're in New England!

Posted by OwenGadflies 00:53 Archived in Canada Tagged montreal quebec_city canada Comments (0)


Tourist Mecca or Aussie Haven in the Snow?

View The Big Wide North of America on OwenGadflies's travel map.

Everyone assumed that if we were going to see the Canadian Rockies that we must be intending to take the Rocky Mountaineer with its amazing views through rooftop windows in the carriages, etc. But have you seen how much that costs???

So we took the more budget-friendly method and got a car. But it’s a big drive. So firstly we drove NorthEast into the Okanagan valley to a town called Vernon, lying nestled between two lakes. Our hotel was above Swan Lake and was actually really quite a nice place with helpful staff and a nice big apartment-like room. This is Canadian wine country, and it had been our plan to go winery exploring on our day’s break, after this 450km leg towards the Rockies. But with the sun shining in through the blinds, and peace and quiet, we decided to just prop and rest instead!

To do our bit towards the Okanagan wine industry, we did however return both nights to a tiny quirky little Italian family-run bistro. Here the food was great and we busily introduced ourselves to good Okanagan wines and smelt the smell of good coffee. (Even I can tell that filtered crap, they call coffee, is watery and abysmal). It’s amazing where you find people devoted to producing good food. Very unprepossessing outside, in a weird side street, in the middle of run down houses, and beside a train line, and still it was worth two visits!

After our day of rest, it was another big drive to Banff, 430 kms this time but much more winding and mountainous – funnily enough!

And My God can they DO MOUNTAINS in Canada!

To drive surrounded by awe-inspiring mountains all around you is a gift. It required frequent stops to get photos of the amazing views that kept blowing our tiny little minds.


Banff, famous or infamous – I’m not sure which, is a funny place!

Most of all I was reminded of Noosa. Yes I know, one is hot and sunny and in the tropics, and the other cold and snowy! But somehow, even without the endless Hastings Street bars and restaurants (all with chairs facing the roadway) of Noosa, it’s about the people Noosa attracts. The seriously wealthy all mixed up with the hobos, and the ordinary people, who’ve come to have a sticky beak at how the other half lives. And perhaps even pretend to themselves they were living it too, for the day, or a few days!


We’d only come across occasional Aussies thus far in our travels, but in Banff, it was Aussie city! More than half of the staff in bars and restaurants, retail shops, working the many hotels and buses, and tourist sites, were young Aussies. All here to make money over summer and stay for the skiing, or more to the point snowboarding, in winter. Along with that, as you walked down the streets, with yet more endless souvenir shops, a good proportion of the visitors were Aussie too!

The kids were happy to talk about their plans and clearly get seduced by that winter ecstasy in the snow!

But we weren’t here for Aussies, we were after these amazing mountains. Despite a fair bit of rain, we headed off to Lake Louise and the Moraine Lake both coloured by the glacial melt that leaves them an incredible aquamarine/green colour. A walk around Lake Louise had us still using the knowledge instilled in us by Steve the naturalist in Denali. Peaceful, beautiful, breathtaking, intriguing, and just a little bit scary, if you thought about the grizzlies that live there too! Another special walk to add to the many we were accruing in this amazing region.


Our other big adventure was the Icefields Parkway. This is the road from Banff through Lake Louise and onto Jasper. Weaving its way directly north through the Rockies, this iconic journey is a 290 km trek from Banff and we were doing it in one day. So going as far as Jasper was probably not the best idea, because that meant nearly 600km in one day PLUS seeing and photographing etc! It’s not only stunning scenery, but also renowned for the wildlife opportunities. And as I’ve written before, we’d been pretty short on, in the wildlife stakes thus far!

As we climbed further up these mountains we began to get some snow. How romantic heh? Probably not, when you’ve never driven in snow, have no winter tyres on (it wasn’t anywhere near time for that yet), and didn’t know if snow chains should be happening! But it cleared up and we pressed on. And oh the mountains!! I’m more of an appreciator of water views than mountains normally. But Oh! These ones are gobsmacking! Alaska does the glaciers brilliantly, Canada has mountain scenery to brag about. And unlike European alps (as far as I know) these are glacial formed and many are still glaciers.

Which was how we came to be taking an expensive ($118USD) trip for two onto the actual Athabsca Glacier, seeing those amazing blue striations up close, and trying to keep on our feet on very slippery ice! The snow coaches that are used to get you onto the glacier have enormous tyres but go up and down these 30 degree REALLY REALLY STEEP slopes /moraines to get you on there. Moraines are these enormous hillocks of stone that are pushed into shape by the glacier’s constant movement. They provide markers as to where the glacier reaches in its forward movements. The staff can tell you which moraine was formed in which year. Quite amazing stuff.


And then it was time to hit the road and return so we’d be in Banff before dark. Hmmm. You know that snow on the drive up? Well by God did it snow on the way back! Heavier and heavier. Poor visibility. Fear and stress. Exhaustion PLUS, by the end. And then we hit Lake Louise and Banff and no sign of snow. 2CB3C24F96DD1E36271F2E760FD4CC62.jpg

But later that evening (as we went out to #putoutyouronions for Tony Abbott) the snow had started. The concierge did seem just a little confused, when I asked if we could borrow some onions. But, used to Aussies, he just went off and did it!

The next morning we opened our curtains (we were staying up the road from the famous Fairmont Banff Springs at the Rimrock) to a mountain in front of us covered with snow and trees heavy with the classic winter wonderland. It was lovely, (from inside).


But by then it was time to leave the Rockies, and head on to French Canada. But that’s for next time.

Oh I nearly forgot. Figuring this was probably our last chance to improve our wildlife sightings rate, I made it my business to take us to places that might give us the best chances. On our way back from Lake Louise, I spied from the FREEWAY (doing 110kmh) a cluster of elk crossing a waterway. Fortunately, we were close to an exit and could see a small road to take and get a better view. There was of course the predictable “animal jam” as cars and people tried to get a look but Phil got some photos.


Another time we were creeping down the Bow Parkway (Banff is in the Bow Valley) an area renowned for wildlife sightings. We were doing about 40kmh for quite a few kilometres. My eyes are scanning the woodland beside me and suddenly Phil is yelling “there’s a bear”. Thinking he was looking at the other side of the road, I’m screaming “where, where?” Eventually I got an answer that it was crossing the road about 200 metres further on. Well I saw the last couple of inches of the bear’s arse fur, but Phil saw it crossing the road!

Finally in our last hour in Banff, driving down the same road as the Elk Animal Jam, I spied a beautiful doe eating in a clearing. By the time I’d got Phil to stop and reverse, she was very wary. She looked at me and then moved off into the woodland. Phil got a brief look and I got a photo of her rear haunches, but that’s our only proof. But I won’t forget that moment of “communication” for a very long time. It felt like a blessing, but I also felt guilty that we’d frightened her.

At last wildlife came true!

Lots of love in the meantime

Posted by OwenGadflies 10:00 Archived in Canada Tagged mountains alberta rockies glaciers elk canadian_rockies okanagan_valley Comments (0)

And So To Canada

semi-overcast 22 °C
View The Big Wide North of America on OwenGadflies's travel map.

Ohmigawd!!! Am I BEHIND on keeping you up to date?!

It’s been just over 2 weeks since we left the ship in Vancouver and that’s 2 weeks of catching up to do.

Vancouver was a lovely place. It’s climate was like Melbourne’s, mainly temperate with a bit of this and that thrown in. It’s British Columbia, so it is British Canada not French. It is very multicultural, it is near the water, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. They seemed very comfortable with Aussies, like they ‘get’ us! That felt reassuring. It kinda felt like home a bit, which was just what we needed after the cruise.

Because we had decided by that point that cruising is not our scene! The only kind of cruising I would consider, at this stage, would be river cruising or perhaps Mediterranean cruising. However, it is the IDEAL way to see the vast expanses of Alaska and the beauty that everyone raves about. So we’re glad we did it. But we were also glad not to be herded anywhere!

We stayed in a hotel in the city, which allowed us to walk around a lot and we all know that’s the best way to get a sense of a place. We were high up on the 16th floor which gave us some nice views of the city, but the separate lounge was an internal room with low ceilings and gave me claustrophobia. I HATED sitting there! So we were out a lot!

One of the most delightful times was a walk through Stanley Park and around the sea wall on the perimeter of the park. It was a gorgeous warm sunny day. Just bliss after glaciers, snow and jackets! It was a long weekend Monday and lots of people were out walking their dogs or kids, inline skating or riding bikes (really big in Vancouver!) We also walked through a more wooded and peaceful part of the park and enjoyed the solitude and the quiet immensely! Stanley Park sits at the end of Downtown Vancouver and its 1000 acres, bordered practically entirely by Vancouver Harbour and English Bay, has fabulous views over the bays and the city from various spots in it. They are very spoilt with that beautiful park. It’s a definite don’t miss spot in Vancouver!


Of course being in a hotel we had to eat out and get some relief from the tedium of the fairly repetitive and ordinary food on the cruise. Oh and what blessings we got! Trafalgars Bistro was a little place about 15 mins out of town that would hold its head very high amongst any good restaurant in Melbs for its use of good fresh produce, well prepared, and served by staff who know their product and like being skilled at their job. We got the last table on a Monday night. Does that tell you how popular it is with the locals?

We’d been told that Granville Island Public markets was a great little spot for foods and arty-farty stuff and so on a quieter day we headed out there on the bus. It was a pleasant meander and Phil got some good photos, so he was happy. And then we ate fish and chips on the dock and looked at the water and the city and chilled some more!


One adventure we took on in Vancouver was a day trip to Vancouver Island. While we would have preferred to stay there a few days and really explore, like so many options for this trip, we just couldn’t fit it in. So we took a ferry across to Victoria, or actually it only goes to to the eastern side of the Island at Swartz Bay and then took a cab to Butchart Gardens.

These gardens along with Stanley Park and Granville Island were the high-agenda items for Vancouver. In National Geographic’s Top 10 Gardens in the World, they are justifiably famous. While I think they could never hold a candle to Monet’s Garden in Giverny, I know I am biased. However they did remind me of the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens in Co Wicklow in Ireland. It has different spaces in its 50 acres with different styles eg a large Japanese garden, a typically ornate structured Italianate garden, a Sunken garden like a beautiful dell, and a Rose garden that would have sent my mother into spasms of delight.


It also reminded me a little of Wendy Whiteley’s garden in Lavendar Bay in Sydney. Butchart’s too was reclaimed, like Wendy’s magic garden, by the wife of the Pioneer Quarry’s owner who turned the scarred landscape into amazing beauty back in the early 20th century and while the family still own it, it has become a highlight for Canada.

Another fabulous meal at a great little spot called Lupo – an Italian place fully 50 metres from our hotel!

The next morning it was time to collect our car, a very cute little Fiat 500 with a bit more oomph than it looked like it might have, and we were ready to head towards the Rockies.

More on that next time!

Love Chris

Posted by OwenGadflies 20:32 Archived in USA Tagged canada vancouver vancouver_island stanley_park granville_island butchart_gardens trafalgars_bistro luno Comments (1)

The Princess and The Pee

A Fairy Tale and an Observation

snow 0 °C
View The Big Wide North of America on OwenGadflies's travel map.

One of the least engaging groups of fellow passengers on our Princess tour have been the Texans. We began to get a hint of the fact that our Texan brethren were not desperately liked by their fellow Americans when we were in Alaska, well before we’d got anywhere near the ship!

Even in Oz, we have heard the term ‘as big as Texas’, and get the message that Texans brag about a lot (including the size of their state!)

So Alaskans take a regular pleasure in pricking the Texans’ balloon, by emphasising how big Alaska is, and how MUCH bigger than Texas. The Alaskans glee, and the smug smiles from other geographically located Americans, began to show itself quite early.

But it takes personal experience to understand the Americans dislike of Texans. It can be tempting to think it overdone, until you have seen first hand the sheer audacity of a Texan’s sense of entitlement. Texan Entitlement is so deeply entrenched that I doubt they have any idea. Privilege, be it given or taken, is often invisible to those who have it! And that’s the way they can fail to see how bad their behaviour can be. And so on it goes.

The list of Entitlements is broad and difficult to capture here, dear reader! There is entitlement: to be first in or out of anything and God help anyone who gets in the way of the stampede; to have the best of everything; to brush others aside like flies; to talk so loud (in that loathsome drawl – alright that bit is my bias!) that everyone within a 2 mile radius is forced to hear some pretty self-absorbed conversations; to take priority without a thank you or an apology or an excuse me; to be absolved from participating in society’s norms (like sharing a dining table with others while wearing the eponymous 10-gallon hat (oh yes believe me they do!) etc etc

So we had pretty soon worked out the world according to Texans, and were not overly impressed.

However, I promised you a story about a Princess and so you shall have one!

You see dear reader, it was at this point that we came across the Princess. She was on our first bus tour with all participants from the same cruise we were on. Previous tours had been a mix of different groups coming and going from cruises.

She sat behind us and eventually so did her husband. The bus was nearly full, but somehow The Princess and her Consort availed themselves of 2 seats each forcing others further back in the bus! This also meant they had both sides of the bus covered for wildlife spotting and scenery enjoyment which is of course the purpose of the exercise. (Entitlement anyone?)

This was the tour where we saw the moose. And so, there was much fuss about getting photos. Now the Princess was squealing with excitement cos the moose was on her side of the bus. Prince Consort was desperately trying to take photos with his inordinately long-lensed whizz-bang camera and failing abysmally. And boy was he shitty, just like a thwarted 2 year old!

The Princess on the other hand was getting photos with her phone. This was when we really started taking notice of these two as he “cussed” at her and she took exception to his use of “damn”! (Imagine how I could have blown her away, with just a few swift choice epithets?)

After overhearing this little spat, they were on our radar! Yes I am an incorrigible eavesdropper, and this had all the signs of fine entertainment!

Seeing this was going to be entertainment, I had to check her out. Blond hair, carefully coiffed, make-up, jewellery, and clothes that she clearly uses for her regular skiing activities. What else would one wear on a bus tour (in an old American school bus) in the middle of the back of beyond ie Northern Alaska? This woman shrieked the stereotypical Southern Belle, with that loud languid drawl appearing every time she opened her mouth. And she had a lot to say!!

At our next stop, there was the usual question about whether everyone was back in the bus. I thought I heard The Princess mention that the missing gentleman was potty. I thought that was a bit harsh, but gave it no more thought except frustration at the failure of my eavesdropping skills!

Next stop was really just a toilet stop as their aren't many toilets in Denali National Park (and the cruise party tended to a high average age –rolls eyes). It was then the Consort stood up and the Princess says to her Consort, in her best Southern Belle, “are you going potty?” (aka “gaw’in parrrty” if you’re a Southern Belle)

Consort agreed by taking exception equally loudly to her sharing this with the whole bus! We were FAR more aghast that ANYONE (even a Texan) would speak amongst adults about people going to a toilet (bathroom/restroom if you prefer) as “going potty”! And as my brain connected this with the previous stop, how bizarre that she would use the term about a stranger!

From that moment on, She became Princess Go-Potty (always in our minds with the relevant drawl), and the consort obviously the Prince. We made it our business to be as far away from them as possible whenever possible. And were horrified when, for a moment, we thought we might have to share a table with them on the 5 hour train trip to Whittier, prior to joining the boat!

And as all Fairy stories have to have a good ending, we lived happily ever after, avoiding them both like the plague. We prefer to connect with grown-ups when we travel. Not women who can’t cope with “damn” or “toilet” and men who can’t cope when their wife takes a better photo. Nor Texans, for that matter!

Talk soon! And no we weren’t going to blight the lives of our cameras with photos of the Princess or Consort so you will just have to rely on the imagery in the writing!

Love Chris

Posted by OwenGadflies 11:15 Archived in USA Tagged alaska texas princess_tours Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 11) Page [1] 2 3 »