It’s that time of year again when I get to blow this pop stand and head north. YAY!! I’ll be up in CT/RI on vacation the beginning of October and have started my list of things to do and places to see. HOWEVER, my list is incomplete.
Read to the VERY BOTTOM for things I need help/suggestions for.
Visit Randall & Lois Wells’ graves in Hopkinton, RI. My annual pilgrimage to my 4th great grandparent’s graves back in the woods. Let’s face it, not too many of us still can even find them. I usually visit John Rogers grave on the grounds of Connecticut College as well.
Take my favorite hike. There’s a great Nature Conservancy trail up to Long Pond in Hopkinton. Super scenic, like something out of Lord of the Rings. There’s a timelessness to the landscape there that seems untouched, like some native American tribe from long ago could come strolling around a boulder.
Visit Mystic Pizza in Mystic, CT. I know, the cheesiest and most wonderful of the chic flicks of the 80’s. Not only that, the pizza is like … totally awesome (to quote the 80’s) Not sure how well it will fare now that I’ve had gastric bypass, but I’m willing to give it a shot. It’s worth a visit if for nothing but to inhale deeply and take in the scent of wonderful food. Plus it’s a location I used a few times in my novels so it’s fun to visit. I ever wrote some of my books sitting at the table in the bay windows up front.
Speaking of food …. I’m also planning meals at Abbots in Noank, CT and Ford’s Lobsters in Noank. I plan on being so tired of lobster by the time I drive out of New England that it will hold me for a long time!
Visit the Lighthouse Museum in Stonington. Yes, the infamous lighthouse that is the setting for my third novel. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and knew I had to feature it in a book. I’ll also spend time roaming the streets of picturesque Stonington.
Visit B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill in Mystic. Again, after my gastric bypass surgery, this should be an interesting experience. I love their apple baked goods and plan on sampling quite a bit.
Visit Oak Grove Cemetery in Ashaway. Not only my future resting place, but also the current resting place for a good portion of my mom’s side of the family. I always stop in to pay my respects but also to inspect the condition of our stones and do any necessary cleaning of them that may need to be done.
Fulfilling any Findagrave.com photo requests that are online for the area. Need any photos taken of a headstone in the area? I’ll be checking them out while I’m up there to see who I can help out. I also plan on updating FAG.com on new burials in Oak Grove and finishing adding photos of all the stones.
Visiting Kenyon’s Grist Mill in West Kingston, RI. I’ve never been to a grist mill before so I’m looking forward to learning something new. I’m also in the market for some corn meal to make me some Johnny Cakes upon my return to FL.
Popping over to Stonington Vineyards to buy a case of my favorite wine of theirs. Sadly, I can’t get it here in Orlando. Also sadly, gastric bypass severely limits how much alcohol I can drink, so that case will last me a couple of year!
Shop Craigslist.com for cool stuff in people’s basements! Sounds odd, but I bought a cool old trunk off of Craigslist last time I was up there from some couple in Ashaway. I’m on the hunt for cool antiques. I’m also looking for some good antique stores to visit if you know of any you can suggest. Not the shiny, all cleaned up kind of antiques, but the paint chipping off, just pulled out of the barn kind. Will also be looking for yard sales and estate sales as well.
If time permits, I’d like to visit Mystic Aquarium. Haven’t been there since I was a kid.
Pop into the Mystic Seaport Gift Shop. I’ll be honest and say I’ve been to the Seaport enough that I don’t need to go again …. for a long time, but the gift shop is awesome! I love the book section up stairs too. Always worth a visit.
Get out on the water. No plans finalized for this yet, but I will get out on the water for a few hours, if not longer. I did a sunset sail out of Mystic a few years back that I could do again, but ideally I’d love to take sailing lessons. I’m just having a hard time finding a place to do that so late in the year. Seems sailing season ends the week before I arrive!!!
A day at the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol, RI. I can’t wait to spend some time here so I can do some research on farm life in the late 1700s. Valuable info I can weave into my stories of the vampire, Randall Wells!!
St. Edmund’s Severed Arm. Yes, you read me right. This one just has to be seen to be believed, at least by me. It’s in Mystic and apparently on display.
CAN YOU HELP ME?
I’m looking for:
- Good antique stores/malls. Ones that sell reasonably priced items of local origin. Items that are not all spit and polished, but need love and have chipped paint.
- Scenic hiking trails (other than my favorite up to Long Pond in Hopkinton.)
- Restaurants that serve good local cuisine. Rhode Island Clam Chowder? Johnny Cakes?
- How can I get out on the water? Boat tours you can suggest. I’d even be up for whale watching. Ideally I’d love to take a sailing lesson or two.
- Know of any places of local history interest like Kenyon’s Grist Mill? I love to learn about local history.
- If you know where I can buy a courting candle, you’re my new best friend!!!
From Bruce: “Know you are connected to the Crandall family. Think about a trip north of Mystic to Canterbury, CT (Windham Co.) to the Prudence Crandall museum. Check their hours – I don’t think they are open every day.” Thanks, Bruce. I’ll add the museum to my list of possibles. I’m sure a trip there would make a nice subject for a blog post.
From Wayne: “Hi Jennifer – I too am a direct descendant of Samuel Hubbard (my mother is a Burdick), living now in southern RI. We are distant cousins. If you haven’t been, you might consider seeing the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace in Saunderstown, and maybe taking the Francis Fleet Whale Watch out of Galillee. BTW, white corn meal is ubiquitous here! Wayne” Thanks Wayne. I’ve added the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace to my list. Looks really cool. Sadly, Frances Fleet Whale Watching closes in September so they won’t be open. Too bad, they looked ideal.