Saturday, June 25, 2016

Down East and Elsewhere

Nubble Lighthouse, Maine Coast

     It was time.  We needed a break from the heat, the cicadas and the routine.  We needed sea air and sea food and to see we saddled up and headed for Portsmouth, NH with stops along the way.  

    I-81 winds through the Pennsylvania mountains past Harrisburg, up to Scranton, where it joins I-84, the real portal to New England.  Conveniently, a good first night's stop was near Hartford, CT, home of the man who wrote:

  --Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

    He would know; Twain began his publishing career with a book called Innocents Abroad in which he made a buck while satisfying an itch to go places he had never seen before.  I like to do it with a camera.  When in Hartford,
his home is a "must stop," unlike anything you've ever seen before.  Some say it's modeled after a steamboat, and that flag-draped balcony is a pilot-house.  It might be that..the office where he wrote Tom Sawyer and  Huckleberry Finn is right behind it.  He would step out there and smoke a cigar when unwanted guests appeared at his front door.  That way, the Butler could honestly say that 
his employer had "stepped out."  Twain's wife, Livvie, would not tolerate lying in her house.

  The house is an extravaganza of Victorian plush.  Go there and take the tour.  Visit "The Master."


  Button, button, who's got the best button?  While we were encamped near Hartford, we discovered that our hotel was hosting a convention.  Button Collectors from all over the region were there to show, see and sell.  We had a ball.

    The two buttons you see above are about the size of grapes.  The gentleman at left is a judge.  Collectors entered their best stuff in frames. And a good time was had by all.


   Next stop, Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts..a little town from the 1800s with all the trimmings.  

   It's a working village. 






And it was quiet.

 We liked it.


  Our friends, Dave and Linda Underhill, live in Portsmouth, NH, a working 
sea port with elegance, sandwiched in the southeastern corner of the state between Maine and Boston. Tourists love it for charm, shopping and food.

   You can get the best clam chowder you have ever tasted in 
personal opinion, of course, but Jane will back me up.  It's creamy, rich and features shrimp along with the clams..the stuff of dreams.

   There's a lot to see thereabouts:

Portsmouth's sumpin' else.

Of course, a trip to the Boston Pops ain't shabby, either.

 Neither is a Red Sox game:

The Sox won.


At the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA

  On the way home, we topped off the trip with a visit at son Jeff's house in 
Downingtown, PA and an afternoon at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA, home of the Wyeth Family collections, among others.  I'm reluctant to publish pictures of the collections inside, but outside..well, ever see a more contented bronze cow?

  Me, neither.

Jim Slade,
June 25th, 2016