State #17: ConneCTicut: Like Massachusetts but the Kennedy's Don't Own It Yet
The smaller, squarer, sort-of-afterthought redheaded step-child of Massachusetts and New York, Connecticut is known as the "Land of Steady Habits". Obviously (?). I'm not even quite sure what that means. According to the state's library website, apparently it's an allusion to the "strict morals habits of its inhabitants". Yeah, tell that to the crazies driving along 95.
The fact is, there really isn't much that I can say about Connecticut. It was mostly a transitional state on our way to Massachusetts to visit Danielle's ginormous family. We did manage to stop at a couple small towns and explore this little wonder of New England. Emphasis on little. Just as you'd imagine any small town in the northeastern part of the US, they ALL remind me of the "Blair Witch Project." Somehow I can see why witchcraft was feared around here.
We stopped to eat at a small town called New London. It was the epitome of "dainty". But, the people seemed a little slower than normal - especially for East Coast standards. I couldn't really complain about the food though. I think Danielle wanted to find the place where they filmed Mystic Pizza, but that just wasn't in the cards.
I don't know if I actually care to return to Connecticut - it just didn't seem like there was a lot going on. If we do manage to return, we will need the help of a local Connecticotian... or Connecticutensian... or Steady Habit Person - or whatever the heck they call themselves - to point us in the right direction! See ya later "Nutmeg State".
Continuing on our road trip to Massachusetts, the next stop: Connecticut. While not quite as small as Rhode Island, it came in a close second. I was actually a bit nervous that we’d drive straight to the end of the state without hitting something picture worthy (kinda like Delaware). However, iPhone in hand, Jacek made sure that wasn’t the case. Thank god he’s a skilled navigator! Before him, I was in a rather tumultuous relationship with Tom-Tom. Enough said.
Only a half hour into the state, he announced that we weren’t actually that far away from the ocean. Moreover, his most favorite thing on the internet (google earth) was telling him that there were quite a few lighthouses dotting the shore.
Jacek: 1, Connecticut: 0
We pulled off the highway to the first public park-ish area where we knew for sure we’d hit a lighthouse along the water. Driving a couple miles south, we eventually saw the ocean and knew we were getting close. We quickly spotted the lighthouse off in the distance to the right. I went to make a right turn and was abruptly greeted with a frozen sign stating “Park Closed for Winter”.
Jacek: 1, Connecticut: 1
A half-dozen U-turns later, we were back on the highway and continuing on towards our next attempt. I’m guessing that Connecticut doesn’t have too many major cities, so the next civilized area we hit, we pulled off again. This time, things looked promising. We drove only slightly out of town towards the southern suburbs where google assured us there was another lighthouse to be found. As the city shrunk and the farms grew, we knew we must be headed in the right direction. Pretty soon we spotted it again in the distance. I hung a right and off we went. The lighthouse quickly popped up on the left hand side of the car overlooking the ocean: it was going to be the perfect photo opp. Turn signal on, I was ready to go. Until we were met with another frozen sign: “Private Property, Keep Off”. Seriously?
Jacek: 1, Connecticut: 2
Aren’t these things national parks or something? Who lives in a lighthouse besides the purple dragon in that weird kid’s movie. Screw it! I’m going in anyway. That is until I saw that the sign was firmly attached to a metal chain that blocked off the entire entrance. Fail.
So we drove down the street a bit until we hit the next farm and had the lighthouse (as well as the ocean and snowy scenery) in the background. I pulled off the side of the road and Jacek balanced the camera perfectly on the post of a wooden fence so that it would capture everything behind us so we could finally get our state pic!
Jacek: 2, Connecticut: 2
One take and we were golden. That and the fact that it was about 40 degrees below what Jacek is used to! :) Sprinting back to the car, we pulled another U-turn and headed back towards the city. On the way, though, we found the cutest mom-and-pop diner and popped in to have lunch. While the service was a bit slow, the sandwiches were definitely worth the stop.
And since this competition can’t end in a tie, I’m going to award Jacek another point simply for being awesome (but mostly for having an awesome girlfriend). You know, because I can.
Jacek: 3, Connecticut: 2. We win!!!