Beer geek road trip: To Portland, Maine and beyond!

I know what you’re thinking: “Hey Alan, you’re at a beer blogging conference — why are you falling behind in your blogs?” The answer is two-fold.

  1. The wireless data roaming fees charged by Canadian wireless companies when we are down in the States are exorbitant. If we don’t want to have to sell our children into indentured servitude upon our return, Elaine & I have to wait until we are near wireless hot spots in order to post updates.
  2. The conference agenda has had us constantly moving from here to there. Up until now, we just haven’t been near any one WiFi hotspot long enough to post a blog.

However, right now we are actually sitting in a hotel meeting room for a couple of hours, so, keeping one ear open to the presentations, I can finally catch you up.

Here’s how it all started:

After many days of waiting and planning, lo! the day of leave-taking arrived. Our ultimate goal was the Beer Bloggers’ Conference in Boston, but there were several days of travel and events first. Having prepared a list of places to visit, Elaine and I set out down the highway at an early hour. Our plan for the day was to drive over to Montreal, then turn south into Vermont, arrive at Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington VT in time for a tour and sample (Alan: “Yay!”), then head over to nearby Waterbury for a tour of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory and free samples. (Elaine: “Yay!”) Then we would eat supper and sample the local beers at any one of a number of local spots.

But something funny happened. Not exactly “ha ha” funny, but “it’s vaguely possible that we might laugh about this in twenty or thirty years” funny. Three hours down the road, I suddenly realized that somehow my laptop computer had been left behind. We debated whether to continue on or not, but seriously, going to a blogging conference without a way to blog? Yes, friends, with heavy hearts, we turned around, drove back, retrieved the laptop and then, six hours behind schedule, we started out again.

Of course we knew that both Magic Hat and Ben & Jerry’s would be closed by the time we arrived (Alan & Elaine: “Boo!”), but on the plus side, when Sheila the GPS suggested that rather than driving all the way to Montreal, we instead leave the busy Highway 401 much earlier and cross the American border at Ogdensburg, we said, “Why not?”

Elaine and I live reasonably close to the U.S., and have lots of experience with waiting in line at the border for 45 minutes or more, so we were both startled when we were able to simply drive up to the border crossing. Yep, no wait, no cars in front of us. Huh.

Here’s a suggestion: If you have high blood pressure, go for an evening drive along that small rural highway that runs along the south side of the St. Lawrence River. Very calming

Of course, the sun set well before we reached Vermont, so two hours of beautiful scenery passed by unseen in the darkness. Finally,14 hours after initially setting out, we reached our B&B and fell exhausted into bed. So do the gods of chaos make jest with us mere mortals and our plans.

Ooops, leaving hot spot. More later…

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4 Comments on “Beer geek road trip: To Portland, Maine and beyond!”

  1. Tina M Says:

    You must’ve driven right past our house on your way to the bridge. Too bad you didn’t drop by-maybe on your way home. We are only 30 minutes west from the bridge you crossed. Send me an email if you are coming ack this way…love to see you two again for a chat.

  2. Canageek Says:

    Bah! You were less then an HOUR from Lovecraft Country (aka New England around Providence) and didn’t see any of the interesting sites. None of the creepy houses, forlorn beaches, Providence’s architecture, etc. Man, you wasted that opportunity drinking beer.


  3. […] but I really wanted to give it a look-see this year since I missed the inaugural event last year. (We were on to the road to Boston.) It’s just one evening long (6 pm-11 p.m.) but admission is only $20 at the door, and most […]


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