Sunday, September 28, 2014

A New England Surprise!

September 26th started out well, we slept in and then had one of the BEST hotel breakfasts we've ever had! An omelet bar, tons of cereal (delicious granola) beautiful, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, tons of beverage choices, etc. What a wonderful start to the morning!

We were Delighted to be in Boston as it's fall colors were starting to pop!   Gorgeous!!

A pretty leaf I found outside the hotel

Philip had a couple geocaches on the agenda, and it was fun that they lead us on some gorgeous hikes through the woods in the perfect, fall weather!

One of the pretty trails

My man

With some fall foliage

On top of the world!

Just as Philip found the first cache, this beautiful (unaccompanied) dog showed up out of nowhere, sniffed around and then carried on his way

With the cache 

Selfie with the pretty colors

Goofing around while Philip hunted for the second cache 
(You can't really tell in the picture, but I'm standing on the edge of a very old dam, quite high up!)

On top of the dam

Oh, the joys of geocaching... =)

An artsy shot of our rings while I wait

He finally found it!
(The oldest one in Massachusetts!)

More of the gorgeous path

I was delighted to find this awesome lookout spot to see Boston in the distance!

After geocaching, we rushed back to the hotel to shower and change (because we apparently had somewhere to get to).

Philip was pretty vague about what was happening between now and our date that evening, but said that he had got a driving tour route from someone and we needed to start it by a certain time in order to see all the spots before dinner.

We grabbed lunch, and then as we drove, I was putting on my make up, and not really paying attention to where we were going.   When we slowed down to stop, I looked up and realized we were pulling up in front of someone's house.  Weird.   Then, a fraction of a second later I see three Corvettes in the driveway (wait, No One owns three Corvettes!), then I see this...

...and say, "Woah!   What the heck is going on!?  =)  Are we driving a Corvette???"   Philip said, "Yup... for the rest of the day."

AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!   Dream.  Come. True!!!   Seriously!?

I was completely giddy as we got out of the car and met the owner, Mike, (a SUPER nice, Boston native with the best accent ever).

Philip here for a moment...I contacted Mike through his website on August 11th and thought it would be a long shot to manage to get a reservation less than 2 months in advance.  He wrote back shortly after midnight (his "day job" actually involves working nights) and said that not only did they have availability, I could pick which of the three we would drive.  I was so excited that this was actually going to work out that I could barely get to sleep that night without telling Joia.  Operational security was of critical importance so Mike and I were the only ones who knew this was planned.  I told my sister that I had something planned for Joia but didn't give any details.  I almost spilled the beans multiple other times over the next six weeks, but especially when she was prying into why we needed to be at a specific point in the afternoon.   About a mile before the freeway exit we passed a convertible and I mentioned that it was a beautiful day to be driving with the top down.  She agreed but said something about how her hair would get messed up in the wind because she didn't have a hair elastic.  Oh great, I thought, the whole plan ruined by lack of a hair accessory.  I ran through options in my head trying to figure out if there was a way I could get her a hair elastic without blowing the plan...nope, we'll just have to deal with the hair issue after she has been surprised.   Now back to Joia...

Now I vaguely remembered Philip asking questions a month or so before about color preferences for a car (black, red, or white with silver racing stripes, and would convertible top trump color?)   At the time, I thought he was talking about the rental car we'd have in Portugal, and then forgot all about it!    Ha!   Now it made sense!   He made sure to get an automatic one so I could drive too, since it had been Forever since I've driven a manual!

Turns out, Philip had chosen the "Date Night Package".   This included a planned route, with stops at a few historical spots, and a drive through the beautiful fall countryside, which would end at Gibbet Hill Grill, our dinner spot (a gift certificate for dinner was included).   Awe.Some!!

Us in the car just before heading out

This beauty is the 427 60th Anniversary Convertible (this is the part where everyone but Rob will probably tune out).   There were only 354 built to the exact specifications of this one.

It retails for about $80,000, has got 505 horse power, and will go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds (unfortunately, I was not able to test this out for myself) =)

It was completely surreal pulling out and driving away in it.   It rumbled like a dream and having the top down was super cool (I sure didn't care about my hair anymore!)

 Philip at the wheel

 I originally opted for the "old lady scarf" look, but really needed a huge pair of sunglasses to complete the look =)

Our first stop was at the Old North Bridge, where the revolutionary war began with "The Shot Heard 'Round the World".

 This is a little hard to read, but worth it

 The bridge

 Minute Man

Us on the bridge

 A pretty church in Concord

The drive was stunning.  Beautiful, winding, hilly country roads, lined with huge properties and gorgeous old homes decorated to the nines for fall.   (Swoon!)

 My turn to drive

 How I really feel about it =)

 I do love a Corvette's butt (especially before they changed to square tail lights!)

 Happy, happy!

On our way we saw this place, and since we had extra time, we stopped to take some pretty pictures!

 Love this

 Yes, it's really fall!

 Beautiful mums

 With some pretty flowers

Their produce was gorgeous... so gorgeous that we ended up buying a couple tomatoes and four honey crisp apples.   They were half a pound each!


This was a super cool feature of the car... the heads up display that projected onto the windshield for the driver... it looked like it was sitting out on the road in front of the car!

 At a stop near a cool covered bridge

Some detail shots

It was really fun seeing other people's reactions to the car.   Kids getting off the school bus stopped to look and point and a guy crossing the street in front of us at a red light gave us two thumbs up. =)

 I think it looks good on me =)

 Mike, the owner of the car, loved this shot so much he asked if he could use it on facebook and his website! =)

 There is a reason you never see people our age driving these!    No one has that kind of money! =)

 My hot husband with the hot car

 One of my favorite shots of it

Time for dinner!   The Gibbet Hill Grill was amazing!

The outside

A couple shots inside

The cool thing about this place is that they grow all their own produce and all their meat is local.

Doodle on the table

I had veal and Philip had a Ginormous, delicious steak!

After dinner, we decided to walk one of the trails to see the remains of a castle up on the hill..

Us with the restaurant in the background

Sunset view at the top of the hill

With the beautiful castle!

One of my favorites

My only regret about the car experience was that most of our driving took place on 40 mpr (or less) roads.   After leaving the restaurant, we put the top back up and I took to the freeway to at least get in a bit of 65 mpr driving before we dropped it off.   Good stuff. =)

Awesome, awesome day!!!   Philip, you never cease to surprise and amaze me.   


The Woodfords said...

SOOO exciting! What a fun surprise, Philip, that's really special. Glad you had such a great trip - love you!

Rob said...

I would have commented on the post when I first read it this morning but I had just gotten to work and had to "get to work." The only thing more impressive than the Corvette was Philip's steak! That is (was) one good looking steak. Back to the Chevette, is their a reason their planned tour keeps you on moderate speed limit roads rather than on the Massachusets autobahn. Probably a good thing for Philip's blood pressure. What did Mike think of the picture of you base jumping of the roof of his car? Gotta go to work now! Love ya, Rob

Joia said...

Rob, I knew this post was sure to get a comment from you... =)

I think the route was planned on those roads, just because they were so pretty, not necessarily because they were slow... =)

Mike loved the picture and hopefully Doesn't think I was actually jumping Off the car! Ha!

I think you and Ada should vacation in Boston next... just sayin'..

Philip said...

It was a very good tasting steak in addition to good looking...I think the picture makes it look even bigger!

I thought the curvy and hilly roads at 40-45 were much more fun driving than highway at 65, just kind of boring and straight and with the traffic of the on ramp Joia didn't even get to test the acceleration :-)

Since I don't have a blog or Facebook account I will have to use the comments section to point out how awesome my wife is that she would come along on hikes to find the oldest geocaches in Portugal and Massachusetts!

Love you Joia!

Mom W. said...

Wow, I can see that Joia was in Corvette heaven!!! and Philip was in geocache heaven!!!! Nice that you got good weather for you special excursion!!