I recently came across a CD of photos we took on our vacation to New England in 2006 and loaded them onto my computer. Then I remembered I'd written out an account of that memorable trip. Our youngest son had just gone off to college and we treated ourselves to a 10-day trip--the longest we'd ever been away from home at that point. I thought I'd resurrect those memories here on Morning Musings for the next 8 days. Days 1 and 10 were travel days, so I will include them with Days 2 and 9. We traveled from Maryland, through Pennsylvania, spent the night in Connecticut then started our tour in Massachusetts, worked our way north through Vermont, and ended in New York before finally heading home.
Day 1 – Saturday, October 7, 2006
We left Frederick in a light rain that we soon drove out of. After a bit I put the Walden cassettes in the tape player, and we listened to Henry David Thoreau discuss such things as economy, reading and solitude. Thoreau began his book, "I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up." Ken and I both thought perhaps he had too much time on his hands because he wrote about anything that came into his mind it seemed to us.
We got off the Interstate at the Delaware Water Gap and came upon a church yard sale in Milford, PA where we stopped for a while. I found two children’s books. Then we continued back on the Interstate to Hartford, CT where we spent the night at a Holiday Inn. We ate supper at a Boston Market in a nearby shopping district. I began reading Thoreau’s biography, wanting to understand what made him who he was.
Day 2 – Sunday, October 8, 2006
We had less than an hour’s drive to Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. The sun was shining and the temperature was in the 70’s—perfect weather for walking around the re-created colonial village. We were there when they opened before the crowds began so we strolled leisurely along the dirt paths between the buildings. I enjoyed the red farm house with the two women preparing the noon meal while the chickens were running around in the side yard and in and out of the kitchen—perhaps checking on one of their missing kin....
At the sawmill we saw how they powered a large saw that cut boards out of logs using the harnessed river....
Later we were entertained by Jeff Warner, a renown folklorist, playing such instruments as a homemade banjo, an English concertina, spoons, jews harp, guitar, and a toy dancing man on a board....
You can hear Jeff's music HERE.
There was much to see in the Village. Here are a few more photos....
|Newly-dyed wool being dried|
|The Village Church|
You can read about the history of Sturbridge Village HERE.
We were plenty tired when we arrived at the Vienna Restaurant & Historic Inn in Southbridge, MA. It was billed as "A sanctuary for extraordinary individuals who have a habit of treating themselves well" on their brochure. So I was not prepared to be told upon our arrival that we had a choice of one of two rooms, neither of which was the one I had reserved--a more expensive suite on the second floor. The Innkeeper/Owner did not seem concerned about my disappointment and since there wasn't anything we could do about it we chose the smaller two-room suite on the main floor at the back of the Inn rather than lug our luggage to the larger third floor suite. Our dinner reservation at the Inn's restaurant was in less than an hour so we got settled in and awaited our appointed time. Once seated we waited 20 minutes to have our order taken and another 15 to receive our salad. I ordered the Trout with Almonds so when it arrived without the almonds I had to ask our waitress twice about the whereabouts of the almonds before she asked the cook who claimed that when he opened the can the almonds were "bad". I guess I was just supposed to not notice they were missing. So much for being an "extraordinary individual who has a habit of treating myself well"! But my tale isn't done. I was up at 6:00 the next morning so that I could shower and wash my hair since we were having breakfast at 7:30 so we could be on our way to Walden's Pond. I ran the water a long time to get some hot water and finally thought it was getting warm so I stepped in the shower to bathe, but when it never got hot enough for me to want to put my head under the water, I dressed and went looking for someone in the Inn, only to find the place dark still at 6:45. Finally at 7:00 the chef was in the kitchen and had discovered the hot water heater switch had been turned off. By then it was too late for us to take showers. We ate our breakfast in our room (at least that was good) and packed the car. It turns out the chef was also one of the owners and he was quite embarrassed by our less-than-desirable stay at his Inn and gave us our evening's meal free.
We headed for Walden's Pond, hoping this first night's disappointment was not a harbinger of what was to come.