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» Sunday, October 10, 2010To the Seashore One Day and Heading North Another
An eventful couple of days, Saturday which unfortunately opened with me not having slept much. I have been so stressed out planning this trip that I cannot unwind, and the bed was narrow. Debbie made us a hearty breakfast of French toast and English muffins and eggs, and we ate and chatted. Richard hadn't been feeling well the previous night and we were glad to know that he was better.
I had to go 'round to my old house just for the heck of it. I had already seen it on Google: the new owner had the trellis over the front door and window taken down, and had put in a new front door. They also took out Mom's azaleas, which kinda hurt, but after all it isn't my house anymore. They also painted the aluminum sidings gray! Interesting. The house was gray before the sidings went on.
Then we headed for I-95 South to 138, to go to Newport. On the way there James wanted to stop at the Quonset Point Air Museum, so we did. We were pleasantly surprised to see that it has been fixed up from the last time we came, with a coat of paint on the main wall facing the street, and nice new exhibit boards to replace the badly-typed ones, and several of the aircraft we saw last time outside and/or in disrepair had been painted. There was a small exhibit of V-mail, and of a flight to the South Pole, and a few other things. I even found an old Carolyn Hayward book on sale for a dollar in a pile of old books on the counter, and we bought a gift for Jen.
It was lovely outside, an absolutely gorgeous blue sky and a nice breeze off the ocean, chilly enough we could wear open jackets. I spun around outside with the sheer joy of having wonderful cool weather.
We were there about an hour before traveling on to Newport. We went over the new Jamestown Bridge (the old having been reduced to a fishing pier). Boy, they get you coming and going now over the Newport Bridge, a fat $4 each way!
The city part of Newport was crowded; not just the usual folks on a nice Saturday, but folks there for Oktoberfest and also off a cruise ship in the harbor. We just drove through, frustratingly behind a very slow-moving tour bus. We did see the new project at the old "Swiss village," raising heirloom animals. There were also llamas and sheep on the grounds in front of Fort Adams. We discovered they have a new rugby field in there (and guys were playing rugby).
The marina was full of all sorts of sailboats and very close by was the cruise ship, the Norwegian cruise lines ship Norwegian Dawn. You could see the little excursion boats going back and forth to the city dock.
There was a tour at one o'clock, but we would not have gotten out on time to enjoy Brenton Point, get lunch, and get to Sherrye's house by three, so we skipped it; just bought a postcard for Jen and went on to Brenton Point. The kite seller was there with over a dozen multicolor kites, and a Del's Lemonade truck was parked up in the parking area, so we both had a lemonade and walked along the sea wall, then went down to the shingle and near a jetty of rocks to watch the ocean and all the sail- and speedboats, and one big barge being pushed by a tugboat.
It was just bliss.
Sadly, bliss has to end. I took a little film of the scene and then we went on, down Bellevue Avenue where the mansions are and then back to the bridges. We arrived in Exeter about 2:30 and had lunch and then went to visit Sherrye and Walt.
It was so good to see Sherrye again. I hadn't seen her since my mom's funeral. We just gabbed and gabbed, and I showed her the pictures I had brought with me, and we had fun trying to fend off their dogs, two beagles that they adopted when their owner couldn't take care of them anymore. Bridget is nine and Bella is eight; Bella looks "like Eeyore," as Sherrye said, and Bridget is a kisser. And of course with my stupid allergy I can't be "kissed."
We chatted right on till suppertime and finally just ordered pizza which Walt went to pick up, and all the way until nine o'clock, when we really had to be heading back to Debbie's. We got there about ten, and Richard was up watching baseball, so we talked to him for a while before going to bed, and whether it was the cold air last night (it got down to 38°F) or that I was just tired out, I did sleep!
Oh, I have to mention Debbie and Richard's dogs, who greeted us last night with a rousing chorus that woke Debbie. There is Brandy, a mixed-breed shepherd who only has three legs. She is the "pack leader" and lets the other dogs know it. Dolly is the Basset hound who steals food off the kitchen counters. Molly is a sad-eyed beagle. The littlest and newest is Pollyanna, "the instigator." Polly is some sort of chihuahua/maybe rat terrier or MiniPin. One night they were driving down the street in the rain and saw Polly running loose. They stopped and opened the door to check on her and she jumped right in the car. They never found her owner.
Debbie loves animals. She also has a tortoise at her work.
On the way home last night I called my cousin Donna to see if we could meet for breakfast. We were originally supposed to meet at Panera Bread near her house, but I wanted to go to T's on Park Avenue, because I have been dreaming about their chicken soup for five years. Alas, they only serve brunch foods on Sunday, no chicken soup. :-( I had a waffle and an enormous bowl of oatmeal with apples and granola that was so big I had to take half away with me.
Anyway, while we were waiting for Donna to arrive, a woman walked in who looked very familiar to me, but I figured it was just me. Then she turned around and came back, and, oh, my goodness, it was Donna Longo DiMichele, who I went to Hugh B. Bain Junior High with and whom I've been talking to on Facebook! She was there with a friend, Monica, and we were talking as my cousin came in and we all got introduced, and Donna took a picture, and then our name was called.
We had a nice long chat with cousin Donna, and then she was off home to make dinner, and we were ready to go on, except that James couldn't find his sunglasses. He was pretty sure he had shoved them in something to keep them safe, but we couldn't see them in the suitcases. So first we went to mail a postcard to Jen, and then we went back to Debbie and Richard's house to see if we'd left them behind. They were not in the room, and finally someone asked, "Are they in your pouch?" and James looked and there they were! He doesn't usually keep them there. We wouldn't have minded, but they are prescription, not just drugstore sunglasses.
Anyway, we got to see Debbie and Richard's daughter Deanna after all, and her husband, so that worked out. We stopped at Stop'n'Shop for some bottled water and fruit, and also got some coffee syrup (you can take the girl out of Rhode Island, but you can't take the Rhode Island out of the girl!). We had, before breakfast, also stopped at DelFusco's Bakery because James remembered how good their lemon squares are. Let's say we now have dessert for the rest of the week! We got lemon squares, cheesecake squares, brownies, two cannolis, and a marble loaf cake.
Then we headed north to Burlington, MA, and our hotel.
It was another lovely day, not a cloud in the sky, and never got over the mid-60s. We fairly zipped along, listening to Gaelic Storm, until we got to Burlington. I had not plugged the hotel address into the GPS, so we were unsure of what exit, besides it being Burlington. So we got off at the second exit, and found a Borders where we could look it up in the parking lot. Turned out the road next to the Borders led to a back road to the hotel.
This is another Staybridge Suites, like we stayed in last year. But when we got in, the rooms weren't ready, so back we went to the Borders and the L.L. Bean next door. We walked about the L.L. Bean, then went into Borders, and I found two great calendars for next year, a New England one, and a vintage Boston one published by Arcadia, who does the Images of America books. Also found a locally-published book about a boy who travels back in time to Evacuation Day (when George Washington's army escaped the British).
By the time we got back to the hotel, registered and moved in, and got a breath, we realized it was time for supper. We found a Chinese place in Woburn "just down the road apiece" that was in an old mansion. The meal was quite good; we had some pork potstickers as a appetizer and sesame beef with fried rice on the side (unfortunately the fried rice had peas and carrots in it). But the beef was great, and we have enough for another meal.
We were going to stop at A.C. Moore across the street, and the supermarket, but I messed up my supper getting scared as we left the hotel and I realized I hadn't seen my camera all day! I was afraid I had left it at T's and was nearly in panic mode, but it was under my jacket in the back seat. So I had a "sit" while James went to the supermarket. All he came back with was milk for me because he'd forgotten his phone in the charger. We are certifiably hopeless.
So now we are just relaxing and deciding where to go tomorrow.
In other news, I went to start this blog entry, and "the Mouse," my netbook, turned on, got to the Windows menu, and shut off. And kept doing it. It kept shutting down after 30 seconds, whether it got to Windows or not. James just took the back off it, then put it back on and has gotten it to boot up, so we are seeing if it stays on. Too weird.