Old New England

Trip report from my SFF Net newsgroup, dated August 15, 2006:

So I’m back from a few days in New England. Stayed with my sister in North Reading, visited Julie’s sister in North Chelmsford, played tourist on Cape Ann and in Boston, lunched with an old friend, dined with another of Julie’s sisters in Nashua NH, but the actual reason for the trip was a multi-class high school reunion that drew almost 500 people and was fascinating but much too loud.

Lui Lui’s, a pizza-and-pasta place on the Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua, just across the state line from Massachusetts, is highly recommended — we gave them a very hard time (not deliberately), and they remained helpful, cheerful, and competent throughout. And the food was very good.

The food at Captain Carlo’s, on Harbor Loop in downtown Gloucester, was even better — I’m fairly sure my haddock was still swimming in the Atlantic that morning. Best haddock I’ve ever eaten, and not expensive. Climbed on the rocks at Stage Fort Park and at Folly Cove. Alas, Hammond Castle had been rented for a private function, so we didn’t stop there.

The weather was astonishingly good, which made our stroll through the Public Garden a delight. The line for the swan boats was daunting, so we only walked. We walked up as far as Government Center, actually, and decided that City Hall is pretty decent architecture despite being weird and late-modernist. Got ice cream from a little stand in the Downtown Crossing shopping district; I still have a spot of Fenway Fudge on one shoe.

Wouldn’t have recognized most people at the reunion without name-tags; didn’t recognize lots of them even with name-tags. Was startled by how many of them knew that I was Lawrence Watt-Evans. Chatted with Bill Bryan briefly; he’s still working in Hollywood. Don’t think there was anyone else there you might have heard of, though apparently one of Julie’s classmates had a pretty impressive career in the Marines, and recently retired as a full colonel after seeing combat in three different wars.

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