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Author Topic: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019  (Read 1840 times)

noelbotevera

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Re: Hampton Roads and Montreal: June 14 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2019, 01:33:56 PM »

The traffic on I-64 through the tunnels can be worse than anywhere in Boston.
If so, does the 3MBT serve as a favorable alternate? Heck, even the James River Bridge? I'd like to dodge traffic as best I can, but I know that the bridges and tunnels are the chokepoints in Hampton Roads.
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Re: Hampton Roads and Montreal: June 14 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2019, 01:34:14 PM »

All I know is that almost every time I've been down to Hampton Roads, the traffic jams on I-64 were quite epic.

Not I-95 south of DC epic, but epic nonetheless.
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Re: Hampton Roads and Montreal: June 14 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2019, 01:38:24 PM »

Depending on your origin/destination, the Monitor-Merrimac can be a useful alternative and I would actually suggest that if your O/D is in/near downtown.  When I lived near downtown, I'd often hop the Midtown Tunnel to 164 to the Monitor-Merrimac mainly because I was only a few minutes from the Midtown and it was mostly limited-access, whereas to go from downtown to 64 more directly either requires several miles of city street (as for which one, "pick your poison") or heading out of your way east on 264 to catch 64.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2019, 07:48:31 PM »

As you can tell by yet another thread title change, it's time to head to Boston. I've also decided to post a full itinerary.

June 13th - Driving Day

Chambersburg, PA to Saugus, MA
Leave in the morning
Route: I-81 -> I-78 -> US 22 (-> PA 33 -> local roads -> PA 611 -> Portland-Columbia Bridge) or (Belvidere Road -> CR 519) -> I-80 -> I-287 -> Hutch Pkwy.(yes, I know about Westchester Avenue C/D movement) -> CT 15/Merritt Pkwy. -> CT 8 -> I-84 -> I-90 -> (Boston roads; unsure of how to navigate this)

Comments: No clue if PA 611 is more scenic than Belvidere Road/CR 519. I know PA 611 runs along the Delaware River, and I just barely miss out on the Delaware Water Gap, but I haven't really explored that area of New Jersey. We'll also arrive in Boston in the middle of rush hour, so I'm unsure how to navigate the area. I suppose avoiding I-93 would be a good start.

After Arrival: Visit Walden Pond

June 14th - Lowell and Salem
Tour: Lowell Mill sites and museums, town of Salem and witch trial sites, visit any interesting museums, and clip the New Hampshire state line
Time permits: TBA

June 15th - Greater Boston
Tour: Lexington and Concord (including the battlefield), Walden Pond
Time permits: Plymouth

June 16th - Boston Day 1
Tour: Colonial era sites - Boston Massacre & Old State House, Old North Church, Boston Commons, Boston Harbor, Old South Meetinghouse, Bunker & Breed's Hill, USS Constitution
Time permits: Museum of Fine Arts
Dinner: Food stands...somewhere. Visit Cheers Bar for bragging rights.

June 17th - Boston Day 2
Tour: MIT, Harvard, Boston University (maybe?), JFK's House, Museum of Fine Arts
Time permits: TBA

June 18th - Boston Day 3
Tour: Definitely Museum of Fine Arts, JFK Library, Massachusetts State House?, other museums
Time permits: TBA

June 19th - Martha's Vineyard
Tour: Jaws film sites, something else

Route Home: Woods Hole Ferry -> Woods Hole Road -> MA 28 -> MA 25 -> I-195 -> MA-RI 24 -> RI 114 -> Newport streets -> RI 138 -> RI 4 -> RI 102 -> I-95 -> I-287 -> Hutch Pkwy -> Cross County Pkwy -> Henry Hudson Pkwy -> I-95 -> I-78 -> I-81

June 20th - Chambersburg
Rest and prepare for Montreal

June 21st - In transito

Chambersburg, PA to Longueuil, QC
Route: I-81 -> I-88 -> I-90 -> I-87 -> A-15 -> A-20
Leave in the morning, arrive in the evening
Time permits: TBA

Comments: It's basic, mostly because I have nowhere in mind. It hits all the scenic spots I want; I-88, Northway, etc.

June 22nd - Montreal Day 1
Tour: Biosphere, Phi Centre
Time permits: TBA

June 23rd - Montreal Day 2
Tour: Walk around Montreal, see the sites; Mount Royal, dinner at Au Pie du Cochon

June 24th & 25th - Montreal Days 3 & 4
Tour Montreal

June 26th - Greater Montreal
Tour: Laurentides, First Nations, lunch at La Maison amérindienne (First Nations restaurant + museum), dinner at Sucrerie de la Montagne

June 27th - Ottawa
Tour: Parliament, Gatineau

Evening of June 27th - Afternoon of June 28th (possibly)
Head home, via ON 417 -> ON 416 -> ON 401 -> Thousand Islands Bridge -> I-81
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2019, 11:29:47 PM »

If you want to avoid NYC going up,  stay on NJ/NY 94  to NY 300 to I-84 in Newburgh after the Portland Toll Bridge.  Some nice scenery as you pass along the NW spine of NJ, plus an Appalachian Trail crossing and some hilly terrain in NY state.
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Rothman

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2019, 11:53:47 PM »

Got a reminder of how miserable driving in eastern MA can be today:

Typically takes 3 hours for me to drive to Salem from Albany  Today it took 4, due to an accident in a work zone on the Pike and then other incidents that clogged alternate routes (e.g., people had to rubberneck to see a stoner get arrested and his car searched on I-495).  Couldn't dodge any traffic snarls today.

Still stupefied at cars slowing down on upgrades on the Pike.  I don't remember it being such a problem when I was a kid, but for the last few trips between Boston and Albany, it's reached epidemic levels.

Good luck!
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noelbotevera

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2019, 08:53:23 PM »

If you want to avoid NYC going up,  stay on NJ/NY 94  to NY 300 to I-84 in Newburgh after the Portland Toll Bridge.  Some nice scenery as you pass along the NW spine of NJ, plus an Appalachian Trail crossing and some hilly terrain in NY state.
I've heard glowing reviews for CT 8, however, and I've heard that the Merritt is an interesting ride. I also want to check out the new Tappan Zee bridge for myself. The Goog estimates that this adds an hour to my trip, but based on your experiences (and others, if they choose to chime in) do you think staying on I-287 and encountering any possible traffic could offset that additional hour?

Got a reminder of how miserable driving in eastern MA can be today:

Typically takes 3 hours for me to drive to Salem from Albany  Today it took 4, due to an accident in a work zone on the Pike and then other incidents that clogged alternate routes (e.g., people had to rubberneck to see a stoner get arrested and his car searched on I-495).  Couldn't dodge any traffic snarls today.

Still stupefied at cars slowing down on upgrades on the Pike.  I don't remember it being such a problem when I was a kid, but for the last few trips between Boston and Albany, it's reached epidemic levels.

Good luck!
I did consider the Pike being a possible issue...would it make sense to head up to MA 2 as an alternate? Maybe even US 20, if MA 2 is too far out of the way?

I apologize for the questions, but this is completely unexplored territory for me north of I-78. I've only been to New England once.
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Rothman

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2019, 09:45:55 PM »

At least on Saturday, it didn't matter which way you went on or inside of I-495.  There were slowdowns on every route.

The issue with MA 2 is that it really isn't convenient from the south.  Cutting that far north and over kills your time anyway, if you're caring about time.

That said, from western MA, like Northampton or Amherst, MA 2 becomes a much more attractive option.  My family preferred MA 2 to get to the western suburbs from that area.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2019, 10:24:30 PM »

The issue with MA 2 is that it really isn't convenient from the south.  Cutting that far north and over kills your time anyway, if you're caring about time.
I'm not terribly concerned about time, but I do want to try to minimize time spent in traffic jams. It'd be nice to do something in Boston, but it's not a must.

I should also clarify that the hotel I'm staying in is in Saugus, so I was considering taking MA 2 in and hooking around via I-95 or zig-zagging through Somerville to reach I-93 and make it to Saugus somehow. I thought that it'd be better than trying to chance the Pike and I-93 in the midst of rush hour. Again, I'm no native, so I'm guessing trying to get inside I-495 without traffic during a weekday rush hour is like trying to break a window with a fluffy pillow.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2019, 10:47:29 PM »

Keep in mind MA 16 can be an exciting drive (Alewife Brook Parkway) -- very narrow lanes, bad signage and speeding traffic.

The cloverleaf at I-95/I-93 is a horrible chokepoint.  Development has pretty much ensured it will never be updated.

That all said, just stick to a plan and take the traffic as it comes.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 10:50:15 PM by Rothman »
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2019, 08:32:52 AM »

The Merritt and Wilbur Cross are indeed a nice scenic respite from the Interstate. I believe the tunnel is on the Wilbur Cross—the only highway tunnel in Connecticut, if I recall correctly.

Edited to add: That's not to mean there wouldn't be traffic on the Merritt, of course!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 08:36:40 AM by 1995hoo »
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2019, 09:02:44 AM »

Are you going to post a detailed trip report?
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2019, 11:12:16 AM »

For the Montreal leg, two things to be aware of:

June 24th is Quebec's national holiday.   Things may be impacted by the three-day weekend / start of a vacation week.  There will also be a good sized festival in town that weekend.  (Although, Montreal is a city of festivals all through the summer.)

Also, the northbound span of the new Samuel de Champlain bridge is now scheduled to open the morning of the 24th of June.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2019, 11:35:56 AM »

BTW, noelbotevera, since your Montreal itinerary mentions the Biosphere, you might look into whether the funicular to the top of the Olympic Stadium tower is open. It's been closed the last three times I've been in Montreal, but all of those were in January so I suspect that might have been part of the reason.

Don't forget to factor in the exchange rate when you figure prices for activity in Canada. $1 CAD is currently worth about 75¢ USD, so you can knock 25% off the prices when figuring out how much you're spending. It's still usually worth putting gas in the car in the US prior to crossing the border if possible, though, because US gas is typically cheaper. GasBuddy currently shows prices in Champlain, NY, as ranging between $2.75 and $2.91 a gallon for low-grade, whereas in Montreal it shows between $1.20 and $1.27 per litre for low-grade. Using the $1.20 figure, that's around $4.53 CAD per gallon, which converts to about $3.38 USD. On a 15-gallon fillup, you'd save almost $10 by refuelling in the USA.

One other suggestion I may have made before: Check whether your bank, or a family member's bank, has a fee-free ATM arrangement with a Canadian bank. (Bank of America, for example, has such an arrangement with Scotiabank.) If so, get cash from one of the Canadian bank's ATMs.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2019, 01:34:08 AM »

Okay, trip report time! I've returned from Boston, and have had a rest.

Taking it from the top:

June 13th - I awoke with a start at 7 AM, and used the next hour to prepare (breakfast, hygiene, etc.) My father and I left the house at 8:15 AM, following some picture taking of our new mailbox, and made it to I-81 and I-78 by around 10 AM. Rather than taking I-78 and I-287 into NJ, I opted for a more scenic route: US 22, PA 33, I-80, and PA 611 around the Delaware Water Gap.

By noon, we had reached the halfway point - the PA/NJ state line - and saw we were making good time, so we had a bathroom break. We bolted down I-80 to I-287, and navigated the terrible I-80/I-287 interchange, facing traffic on the exit and having to complete a left merge onto I-287 NB. I surprisingly found I-287 moving during a Thursday afternoon, and saw the new Tappan Zee Bridge (which I prefer over the old one - sorry, not sorry). We made our way into CT at around 1:45 PM, after exiting at the Hutch and traveling north on the Merritt.

After yet another break, then traffic jams, we found our way on CT 8 at 2:20 PM. I can say that CT 15 and CT 8 is definitely a more scenic, traffic free route to I-84, compared to I-91 at least. By 4:30, we made it to the Mass Pike after experiencing traffic jams in Hartford and a cop stopping a speeder on I-84 east of the CT/MA line. I realized that it was rush hour into Boston, and choosing not to brave Mass Pike traffic, we chose to head up to Walden Pond...on a cloudy, dreary day. Yes, it was raining for essentially the entire day.

Not to be deterred, we exit onto I-290, passing through the substandard wonder that is Worcester and I-290 through the city, clinching I-190, and making my way eastward on MA 2. Bypassing Concord, we make a bathroom break at the gift shop and begrudgingly pay $15 for parking. Yes, $15.

With a lighter bank account, we tour the pond for a while - admiring the sights, the birds, the water, and the trees. I'm astounded that Thoreau was so famous, that they preserved an entire pond in his memory. You don't see that with many historical sites; a place so popular and beloved, it is never to be disturbed by humans. While Thoreau's house is long gone, with the cabin being used for wood, luckily a replica of the house is present at the parking lot. However, out of admiration and curiosity (my father, while never Walden, does appreciate Thoreau's prose), we decided to visit the house site. Half a mile, lots of puddle dodging, and picture taking later, we visit the house and leave at 7 PM.

Rather than continuing on the slog that is MA 2, we instead choose to go to downtown Concord, taking Lexington Road and MA 2A and simultaneously viewing the Lexington and Concord battlefields. Reaching I-95, we move south for an exit and take the MA 2 eastern freeway into Boston, utilizing Fresh Pond Parkway and Memorial Drive. Crossing the perpetually in reconstruction Longfellow Bridge (though it wasn't being reconstructed when we visited), we make our way into downtown Boston. Making our way along Cambridge Street, we park at the Boston Public Market and eat dinner at Quincy Market.

Dinner being clam chowder and lobster mac n' cheese, with dessert being a Boston creme pie, we make our way to the Central Artery, heading northward to the Tobin Bridge and US 1 north, and arriving at our hotel in Saugus for the night, around 9:15 PM.

June 14th - Grabbing an early start, somewhere around 8 AM, we disembark for Salem at 9 AM. First, we try to view the Proctor Farm (actually in Danvers) via US 1, MA 128, and several local streets, but then realize that...there's absolutely nothing there, and the trail is obscenely long. Well, too long for the time we had.

No problem. We merge onto the deathtrap that is MA 128, and exit at MA 114. Following that to Salem, my father suddenly has to use the bathroom, giving me an hour all to myself. I toured Salem solo, viewing all the sights and touring one of the judges' houses with my father. I missed the House of Seven Gables and Proctor's Ledge, but that's okay, since the house now has three gables and the Ledge is now a Walgreens. I did however, view Nathaniel Hawthorne's office at the Customs' House, so at least I saw an important place of his (he worked there for a few years in the 1850s, bored out of his mind until he got fired and became an author soon after).

I found it funny how Salem officially promotes its maritime history, but refuses to acknowledge the witch trials. Of course, the townspeople don't seem to think twice about the trials, but it seems the town government or the Massachusetts equivalent seems reluctant to recognize them. For what its worth, Salem Village was so ashamed of being involved with the trials that it was eventually renamed Danvers (the underlying reason is simpler; it was renamed after a settler in 1752, after becoming incorporated into a town).

With Salem out of the way, on to Lowell. Taking MA 128 south to US 3 north, I clinch the Lowell Connector and use the spare time to visit the National Historic Site there - the textile factories, of course. By this time, it's 2 PM, so I make my way to the Heng Lay restaurant and meet with 1. We spend the next hour eating lunch and talking about things, and choose to visit Robert Frost's home in Derry, NH. Via the use of School Street and some out of Lowell, I clinch NH 111A and make one of the last tours of the day before the place closed.

No matter; the three of us in tow, we go picture taking and explore the trails surrounding the property. Of course, picture taking occurs during this time, reaching a crescendo of a photo of me and 1. It was around 5:30 PM by now, so my father and I decide to take 1 home, clinching MA 213 in the process, and conclude our day by going to Manchester-by-the-Sea and recreating a shot of the eponymous film. Oh, and we visited the beach. Turns out you have to kick the sand to make it "sing".

With bellies filled with haddock and onion rings, we once more slept at 9 PM.

June 15th and 16th - We spent both of these days in Boston, repeating the same route: US 1 north to Walnut Street east through Saugus and Lynn, and using Lynn streets to reach the MBTA commuter rail station there. I can't recall all the streets I took, so I'll do this infoblast style, instead using subway lines to represent my movements. As always, I took the Newburyport/Rockport line to North Station, taking advantage of $10 commuter rail weekends.

The 15th, went to:
Granary Burying Ground (via Green Line C/E Branch to Government Center, then walked to the cemetery)
Boston Common
Viewed Massachusetts State House
Orpheum Theater - where the climax of the novel The Bostonians takes place
Viewed Park Street Church
Old South Meeting House
Viewed Old City Hall
Viewed Old State House
Viewed Faneuil Hall
Old North Church
JFK Library (via Orange Line at Haymarket to Downtown Crossing, then Red Line to JFK/UMass)
Bunker Hill Monument (really Breed's Hill)

We mostly walked everywhere on this day; it was rather hot, but not uncomfortable. Dinner was at Kelly's Roast Beef, the Somerville location.

The 16th, went to:
MIT (via Orange Line to Downtown Crossing, Red Line to Kendall - MIT)
Harvard and the Civil War Memorial  (via Red Line to Harvard)
Museum of Fine Arts (via Red Line to Park Street, then Green Line E Branch to Museum of Fine Arts)
USS Constitution (via Green Line E Branch to Haymarket)

Yep, a lot more subway riding. The weather on this day was miserable, so it's why we chose not to walk everywhere. We barely made the Constitution, arriving 15 minutes before it closed.

June 17th - It's not really Boston anymore. We took the opportunity to head up to Maine and eat real lobster rolls. Rolling out of Saugus at 9 AM as usual, we headed up US 1 to I-95. After passing through the Hampton toll plaza, we realized that our E-ZPass was in our other car...which was with my brother. Yes, we purchased a new car just prior to this trip...and forget to transfer the transponder. Whoops.

I used the opportunity to pay the toll online (mobile!), and drove up stressfree to Bayley's Lobster Pound in Pine Point, Maine - a few miles southeast of Scarborough. Consuming the second best lobster roll ever, and savoring the sweet lobster (well, I didn't...I was hungry!), we planned out the rest of our day. We decided to head up to Portland via ME 9, US 1, and I-295, then I realized that there were beaches north of Portland, accessed by ME 88.

We first tried Mackworth Island, but found it full. So, we proceeded north to Cousins Island and also explored part of Littlejohn Island. We parked, and used a short trail to reach a secluded beach on Cousins Island. I used the opportunity to take a swim and relax in the cold water; my father, being improperly dressed, browsed his phone.

By 3 PM, it was time to return to Portland and get dinner. We decided to go to the Clambake Restaurant in Pine Point, stopping by Portland to take photos of an elegant church (the name currently eludes me). Accomplished by clinching ME 88 to I-295 South, and utilizing Portland local streets, we made it to Clambake at 6 PM. To explain this discrepancy, my father had to use the bathroom, we got lost in Portland (somehow managed to cross the Casco Bay Bridge and end up in the southwestern end of the city), and got caught up in traffic somehow.

No problem; we went to the seagull infested Clambake, and had dinner. The fried clams and lobster roll were...okay. Tomorrow, we'd have better seafood. For now though, all we could do was get into the car, and...

realize we were low on gas. Hypermiling to New Hampshire at 8 PM, we utilized the lack of taxes to fill up on cheap gas. Made it home at around 9:15 PM, and slept.

June 18th - This was our free day, and we utilized it by hightailing it down to Plymouth Rock. The route being US 1 to I-93 to MA 3 to the end of US 44, we made it to Plymouth Rock and took a few pictures along with reading up some of the history of the legendary rock. As a farewell to Plymouth, we decided to purchase some salt water taffy, as we had work to do.

That work was to eat better fried clams. The closest place was Evelyn's Drive In in Tiverton, Rhode Island off of RI 77. Rather than clinching MA 3 and MA 25, I opted to clinch I-195 (RI-MA, of course) and later MA 24. I took some road and part of MA 58 to I-495, following it to the end, then taking I-195 to MA 24, which then became RI 24. Exiting at Fish Road, I took that to RI 177 and followed it to its end.

The fried clams were good, but as always, I'd eat better fried clams later that evening at a cheaper price than Evelyn's. I can't quite describe how they tasted, but they were rather crunchy, but the clam flavor was very prevalent. I also tried lobster chow mein, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Okay, next stop was to see the Monet exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, which my father missed (initially, we wanted to see Lexington and Concord in detail, but due to heavy rain we decided on MFA - Boston). We clinched MA 24, taking it to I-93, which we followed to its end, then took I-95 to I-90 and exited at Huntington Avenue/MA 9 (Exit 22). We spent roughly an hour there, viewing Monet's vivid landscapes and parody of European views of Japanese culture, a famous El Greco painting, some Picasso paintings (my favorite painting in the museum was Portrait of a Lady by Picasso, by the way). Again, it's something you have to see for yourself; words can't truly describe it.

It was 4:30 and we had to haul for the supposedly best fried clams at the Clam Box in Ipswich. Boston traffic being it was, it took us two hours to travel thirty miles. Utilizing Boston streets, we crawled our way northward to US 1, which was yet another slog, then enjoyed free flowing traffic north of I-95. We made it to the Clam Box twenty minutes before closing time, and could now indulge.

I'd describe the clams as being sweeter and better quality than Evelyn's. It's definitely worth the $40 we paid for two small boxes of fried clams, as they're oddly filling and definitely a treat for the tongue. To boot, the clams were cheaper than Evelyn's - $20 for a small box compared to $26 at Evelyn's.

As usual, we returned to Saugus via MA 133, I-95, and US 1. It was time to head home.

June 19th - I'll describe this day in a different fashion, describing the stops as I go.

Opening with US 1 -> I-95 -> ME 9

Stop 1: Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine; Arrived at around 10 AM

-Used the time to walk around and take pictures of the town. Clams were definitely on par with Clam Box, but I rate Clam Box being slightly superior. Definitely sweeter lobster rolls than Bayley's which made them better for me personally, as it appealed to my sweet tooth

ME 9 -> I-95 > I-495 I-> I-290 (clinch) -> I-90 -> I-84 -> CT 15 -> I-91 -> New Haven streets

Stop 2: Louis Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut; Arrived at around 3 PM

-We were again in a rush to get here, as the restaurant closed at 3:45. It was the birthplace of the hamburger, and if you haven't tried hamburgers medium-rare, they're definitely a cut above your typical hamburger.

CT 34 -> CT 15 -> Hutch -> Cross County -> Yonkers streets -> NY 9A -> US 9 -> NY 9A -> I-95 -> US 206 -> US 130 -> I-295 -> NJ 73 -> NJ-PA 90 (clinch) -> I-95 -> Philadelphia streets

Stop 3: Brother's temporary home for a Philadelphia internship; Arrived at 8:40 PM, took longer than expected due to New York City traffic

-Chatted here for about an hour, with no real topics at mind. Retrieved the E-ZPass to mount in our car.

PA 3 -> I-476 -> I-76 -> US 11 -> I-81

Stop 4: Home; Arrived at 1:15 AM, June 20th

-Came here to rest and replenish our supplies for Montreal, along with picking up my sister and mother. Leaving for Montreal tomorrow. This concludes my trip report, which took an obscene amount of time to write due to lack of motivation.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #40 on: July 20, 2019, 12:43:20 PM »

Okay, I'm late by an entire month, but I was really lacking in motivation. Typing up a detailed report took a lot out of me. Instead, I'll just note observations that I found interesting, along with new roads traveled. I'll try to be distinct from 1's observations. I also have pictures from this trip on my Instagram account, and so does my father on Facebook. If you find those interesting, feel free to PM me.

New roads:
I-81 (N. of Exit 89 in PA - I-88 junction in NY)
I-84 (I-81 - Exit 16 in NY)
I-87 (Northway)
I-88 (clinch)
I-90 (Exits 25A - B2)
US 11 (I-87 - US 2)
US 2 (US 11 - Alburgh, VT)
Taconic State Parkway (Berkshire Spur - Exit 37)
A-15 (US Border - Sortie 61)
A-20 (Sortie 61 (A-15) - Sortie 312)
A-25 (A-20 - Sortie 8)
A-40 (Sortie 80 - Sortie 313)
A-73 (Sortie 131 - Sortie 313 (A-40))
A-440 (Western Segment)

Notes:
-First Nations culture seems rather lacking in the Montreal area. There's only a few museums and scant restaurants that may or may not serve authentic First Nations food. A real shame, since I haven't really tried First Nations/Native American cuisine.
-Can't really taste a difference between Vermont and Quebec maple syrup.
-Ate at Au Pied de Cochon. The meals were...expensive, but very filling.
-Since my father's a real foodie, we managed to score raw cheese under 60 days. We even managed to bring it back home with us.
-No clue as to what the Congregation of Notre Dame is about. Seems as if it's a sect of Christianity?
-Like 1 and others noted in his Quebec City trip, huge amount of Quebec nationalism; I can see why the Quebecois view themselves as distinct, since the French colonized that part of Canada before the British.
-Due to time constraints and naivety, I missed Montmorency Falls. That'll nag me; but at least I've seen Niagara Falls.
-Poutine is awesome.
-Northway is definitely a beautiful drive. Though, to be fair, perhaps NY 22 or US 9 could make a more scenic alternative.
-The Montreal Metro is definitely the best mass transit system I've been on. It's cleaner than the DC Metro, and the stations have some artistic flair.
-The Biosphere (on Parc Jean Drapeau) oddly reminds me of the Unisphere. Guess it's that Expo/World's Fair influence, for whatever difference it makes.

-Personally, I think Quebec City's old downtown is more beautiful than Montreal. Even the views of the St. Laurence River outshine Montreal's rather utilitarian view of the river.
-Quebec City's mass transit is rather lacking, though. It seems more car oriented if you live in the suburbs, and only has a bus system that I've never seen outside of Quebec City itself.
-Surprised to see that A&W (a root beer company here in the US) manages a fast food chain, selling burgers and the like.
-Ran into hassles regarding the use of US credit cards at gas stations, especially in the Quebec City area. Odd, since we managed to buy goods and services using a US card.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #41 on: July 20, 2019, 12:54:16 PM »

-Ran into hassles regarding the use of US credit cards at gas stations, especially in the Quebec City area. Odd, since we managed to buy goods and services using a US card.
Interesting.  I've been wondering how that is, since they're chip and PIN and we're chip and sign.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #42 on: July 20, 2019, 01:36:33 PM »

I already knew that A&W had stores in Canada.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #43 on: July 20, 2019, 01:43:49 PM »

Quote
-Surprised to see that A&W (a root beer company here in the US) manages a fast food chain, selling burgers and the like.

Surprised in that they have a restaurant?  Or that they were in Canada?

They've had restaurants in the U.S. for decades...especially in the Midwest.  Guessing you just haven't seen them since the closest ones to you are in Orbisonia, near Bedford (on US 30), and Charles Town (WV).
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noelbotevera

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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #44 on: July 20, 2019, 01:53:59 PM »

Quote
-Surprised to see that A&W (a root beer company here in the US) manages a fast food chain, selling burgers and the like.

Surprised in that they have a restaurant?  Or that they were in Canada?

They've had restaurants in the U.S. for decades...especially in the Midwest.  Guessing you just haven't seen them since the closest ones to you are in Orbisonia, near Bedford (on US 30), and Charles Town (WV).
Both, really. I've been to all three of the towns you mention, and have never managed to stumble across them. Only thought of them as a mere root beer brand until I found some restaurants in Montreal.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2019, 10:26:26 AM »

I never knew there was actual A&W restaurants until I discovered the one at Mall of America. Later, I found out there is also one in Cortland, NY.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2019, 10:29:04 AM »

They used to be much more common.
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Re: Boston and Montreal: June 13 - 19, 21 - 27 2019
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2019, 12:32:28 PM »

Last I checked, there's also one in Wilmington, NY.
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