Sunday, 1 June 2008

New England and a Mojo Rediscovered

So, the first full day of our road trip found us in New Haven, home to Yale University. Urrgghhhh. What a grotbag place. The campus of Yale is very pretty, but the town of New Haven is horrid. And we stayed in what ranks as the joint worst hotel we have stayed in on this entire trip so far. So, imagine how pleased I was having had a hissy fit because we couldn't find anywhere to stay, and then ending up in a total dump in order to stay under hubby's measly $80 budget. You'll all be pleased to hear that hubby has since revised the budget in an upward direction after we didn't get to sleep until 3.30am in the horrid hotel as we were too busy jumping out of bed every 5 minutes to make sure the car hadn't been stolen or vandalised. The following day, after a large coffee to help me stay awake, we spent time being cultured and visiting the Yale Center (such terrible spelling these Americans have!) for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery (we were only this cultured because they were both free to get in to). Then we drove north to the tiny town of Litchfield, all centred round a very pretty, half-mile long village green where we stayed in a lovely little B&B (for just $20 over budget...) The following morning we went to church. Not because we have found religion, but because the First Congregational Church of Litchfield has a second hand bookshop in its basement where books are mostly $1-2! And these are good books too, not nasty old ones. The three ladies running the place were a total hoot; Martha was telling the other two about a bookshop she had been to where all the books were in a long alphabetical run, ie they didn't separate out the mystery or sci-fi or poetry or romance from the general fiction. The other two ladies thought this sounded great and wanted to get started on rearranging the entire bookshop then and there. Martha was a little concerned that this was quite a big job, but was willing to go ahead with it too. She thought they could do with some help though and suggested they find someone with Asperger's Syndrome who would "just get on with it and not stop til they had finished". And there we were thinking Americans were PC! In Litchfield we also tried something for the very first time - please see the separate posting with photos to see if you can guess what it was.

Saturday saw us heading east to the city of Hartford and a visit to the Mark Twain House. We had a fun tour round the house which is beautiful and full of lovely antiques and we learnt all about Samuel Langhorn Clemens who was apparently 5 feet 7inches tall, had red hair and a dislike of institutions; sounds like someone I know. See how cultured we are? And I didn't go to Starbucks once that day. After Hartford we headed across the state line to Amherst, Massachusetts, a pretty college town where we spent the night. It chucked it down with rain so we went to the cinema to see Sex and the City, which is very funny but, if you were a fan of the series, you may find it lacks a little something.

Sunday, we headed north. We were extremely excited (as you can see by hubby's face in the photo) to find the World's Best Christmas Shop and spent quite a while walking around ooohing and ahhhing at all the lovely stuff in there. We then crossed the state line in to Vermont. Vermont is very beautiful and very green and full of the prettiest houses you ever saw. We pass a house we want to live in approximately every 100 yards. We arrived in the tiny village of Newfane and decided to stay at The Four Columns Inn, which is without doubt one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed in. And Newfane itself is one of the friendliest places we have ever stopped in. It felt like the lady at The Four Columns couldn't do enough for us, and I was especially pleased when the chef baked some choc chip cookies just for us and we had them warm from the oven. How fab is that? And we loved the story about Mick Jagger who stayed there for his 40th birthday. See what high circles we can mix in when the Keeper of the Purse loosens his hold on those strings?! And see how a little bit of money goes a long way towards getting wifey's mojo back?

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