Saturday, September 18, 2004

New England Travels

I think I saw most of it last week! The point of going in the first place was that my friends who live in Connecticut had a beach house reserved for a whole week. Five bedrooms. "Come and stay with us", they said. And so we did. The weather was lovely. What you'd expect for Fall in New England. It was a tad chilly for the pool and the beach, though. My daughter didn't care...little kids are oblivious to that stuff. We were in the pool at the house and my daughter's lips were blue and her teeth were chattering. Only THEN did she decide she was ready to go inside.

Our first day trip was to Boston. My friend couldn't fully peel herself away from work since she owns her own company. So while she was at a meeting in Boston, my daughter & I went to the Boston Aquarium http://www.neaq.org/index.flash4.html. The high point was the jellyfish exhibit. Very cool. They also had these things called Sea Dragons. Sort of like Sea Horses only bigger & much more elaborate. They looked like big clumps of floating leaves with eyes & tails.

When my friend picked us up from the aquarium to head back to the beach, she was suckered by a con man to the tune of $20, right on the street. I just sat there speechless while she was foolishly giving her money away. We then saw the guy hit somebody else up (successfully) for money with his b.s. story. That allowed me to make jokes about bringing a country bumpkin into the "big city".

My friend's nanny watched the kids one night so the grown-ups could go out. We went to the Mohegan Casino http://www.mohegansun.com/index.jsp, which is apparently the second largest casino in the world. It's American Indian owned. It was AMAZING! It made most Vegas casinos look like shacks. We had dinner at an overpriced steak house and then had time to gamble for about half an hour. My husband and I both won about $60 each at blackjack. Winning is fun! Our friends didn't gamble much, but on the way out to the valet, my friend got sidetracked by a roulette table. She'd never played before. It was a $15 minimum table, so she plopped down a $20. (ANOTHER twenty down the drain?!?!) As she was spreading her tokens around, my eyes scanned the table. For some reason, I said "be sure you put some on black 33". She put a couple dollars on it. One spin. Black 33. I kid you not. How bizarre is that? I should have run right out & bought a lottery ticket! I won her $90 in about 30 seconds. Can't beat that! I've been told before that I'm charmed. Perhaps it's true. Too bad I can't control where & when that stuff happens.

On our last full day there we went to Newport, RI. I've been there before. I really think it embodies New England, as an area. It's so picturesque & quaint. A real flavor of early America. The bad news (other than the constant rain) was that a giant boat show was in town that weekend & parking was next to impossible. After we toured the Vanderbilt's summer "cottage" called The Breakers, http://www.newportmansions.org/page3544.cfm we went into town, searched for a parking place for 30 minutes & finally had lunch at a place called the Black Pearl, after which we went to the Ben & Jerry's shop. Amazing. Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, I think it was called. Amazing. Sad, when that's one of your vacation's high points, huh?

All in all it was a very nice trip. Time to do fun things & time to relax. Perfect combo. It's good to be home though, too.

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