>Compiled with help from the “Review Academy,” a.k.a. Husband and Amigo
Best rest stops: New York (with one exception, see below) and Maine. Lots of choices for eating, food court style. Clean tables and rest rooms.
Worst rest stops: Ohio. Grungy buildings, high prices, few choices. I didn’t even buy postcards.
Best bumper sticker: “What would Scooby Do?”
Best personalized license plate: BA HA BA (hint: think of a location in Maine)
Most confusing roadside sign: “Balloon parking next right.” Huh?
Most random roadside sign: Programmable flashing sign on Massachusetts Turnpike: “Test 1,2,3. Blah. Test 1,2,3. Blah.”
Worst surprise: flat tire outside of Yarmouth.
Best moment within worst surprise: Strangers stopped to help; service staff gave us a ride to McD’s while they worked on tire.
Highest gas prices: Canada. It took me a while to figure out the price per gallon, since Canadian stations measure in liters (Yes, it’s we in the U.S. who are backwards and insist on using the old-fashioned system). But all in all, filling the minivan tank in Canada definitely induced sticker shock.
Lowest gas prices: Back home in Wisconsin! $3.86 when we arrived home. The low cost of living is one great reason to live here.
Best hotel wi-fi: Portland, Maine, at the Eastland Park Hotel. Easy password, reliable service.
Worst hotel wi-fi: La Quinta. First night, we spent twenty minutes on the phone with the tech line. They rebooted the entire system, then we had to wait another half hour to get service. Next night? No wi-fi at all. Tech folks blamed the problem on my brand new laptop computer.
Best breakfast: toss-up between tea biscuits at Tim Horton’s and the breakfast on board the Cat ferry. Both had good coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts and their munchkins made a pretty good opening to the day, too. No, I didn’t eat (and drink) all of those on the same day!
Worst tollway: New Hampshire — the only state that couldn’t get our I-Pass online. Our tolls cleared later, but it was a bit nervewracking going through the booth and see it not function.
Worst highway conditions: Michigan I-69. The highway in Ontario was so much smoother; I-69 was like a collection of poorly-made patches.
Prettiest stretch of highway: It’s a toss-up between New York State and Massachusetts. My inner science geek kept saying, “Look at those rock layers!” The drive along the coast from Lockeport to Lunenberg was very picturesque, too. The farms reminded me of home, but with more hills.
Best meal: Grilled salmon in Portland, Maine. Or was it the seafood chowder at the Stone Soup Cafe in Ipswich, Mass.? Then there was that fish cake in Shelburne, Nova Scotia…and their chowder was delicious, too.
Worst meal: Ohio rest stop. See above. Overpriced, poor quality, and I’ll stop there. We skipped Ohio on the trip home in favor of going through Ontario.
Best seafood? Come on, we were on the Atlantic coast. Every bit of fish we had was delicious.
Best customer service: Pontiac dealer in Yarmouth. Those people were wonderful. I wish we lived there so we could give them more business.
Worst customer service: Rest stop restaurant in New York where the teenage staff were so busy on the phone talking about their lottery tickets that they made customers wait and then realized they were out of wings and had to make more before they could serve the aforementioned customers.
Best coffee: Sorry, that’s another whole post.