I’ve traveled a fair amount. Not like my brother who travels to the far reaches of the world on business, but a fair amount, nonetheless. I’ve always felt money spent on travel was so much more worthwhile than a new sofa. When the kids were small, we took them everywhere. I’ll have to remember to ask them about their recollections. Hopefully, they’ll have some.
We used to always go to Manhattan for at least a long weekend every year, no matter where else we went during the year. One year my daughter responded to our inquiry as to what she did. Her response? She saw a bum pee in the trash can. WTH?? It is what it is folks!
Prior to going to Paris, New York was always my favorite city. Seattle and Vancouver are up there too. One year my husband, a CPA, was loaned to the New York office for a huge audit. That was great! We stayed in a place in the Murray Hill section for three months — daily maid service. What a deal! The kids were three and two at the time. After about two months we drove up into Connecticut. Oh my gosh! Look at all the grass! It was beautiful! But this was just the little bit away from NY. Well, I’ve wanted to go up into the New England area ever since then .. about 40 years.
This year my son did not have his kids for Thanksgiving, so we celebrated it the weekend before. So I went to Connecticut with my boyfriend to celebrate with his family in the Hartford area. What a great family he has! We stayed with his oldest daughter and son-in-law. They were so much fun. I can’t wait until we get together again. We actually spent Thanksgiving Day with his son and his family.
I don’t think younger people realize the importance of family interactions when choosing a partner. Jim and I are in our 70’s, so we aren’t talking marriage. Why bother? It just creates a lot of legal issues. Better to just leave well enough alone. But you need the same values. And that includes the relationships within family members. His children clearly love him. And he them. Just like my children and I.
Two things were of note during this visit. One — his daughter had a fra-gee-lay lamp in her front window. For any of you Christmas Story fans, you’ll know what it’s about. If you don’t, here’s what I’m talking about. This is clearly someone with a sense of humor!
I never got around to asking her where she got it. Suffice it to say, she made a point to get it. How much more fun that just some lights, balls and other standard Christmas decorations is this? The only thing to top this would have been if she had made her college age son wear a bunny suit.
The second was on the night when his daughter’s family and son’s family got together for dinner one last time before we headed out. As we were eating dinner, someone happened to notice bears walking across the cul-de-sac in front of the house. Of course, everyone ran for their phones and cameras.
Unfortunately, by the time we got to snapping, they were ambling past the neighbors back yard. But, it did make for some interesting conversation after we resumed our dinner. It seems they are regular visitors to the neighborhood.
Before we headed back home, we took a trip to Boston. What a nice city! And great people besides. Anytime we had questions about anything, people were so willing to go into great detail to help.
Case in point — we stayed in a hotel near a transit station. In reading my AAA book, there are buses, trains and the subway as options for getting around town. The desk clerk instructed us on how to get to the station (marked with a big T). We arrived after some concern we didn’t listen to the directions enough, as I’m likely to do. Ahhh … now the real issue. How to buy our tickets at the machine? After several tries, a nice guy came by and worked the machine for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We arrived at our stop and were able to successfully get off and get ourselves out of the station. We’re building some confidence here now. With maps in hand, we set off to explore.
After a very expensive dinner in the North End, we made our way back to the station. Okay, we can do this. Now which way did the waiter tell us to turn? Left. No, he said, right. Well, suffice it to say, we arrived at a station. Oh no! We’re going to have to change trains at another station. Can we handle this? We most certainly can. Bear in mind, we had consumed a bottle of wine.
We walked up to that ticket machine fully confident in being able to achieve a purchase. WTH?? Why won’t it work? Try again. Still no luck. I looked around for a victim I could get to help, but no such luck. No one was around. Ah, there’s a help box. I pushed the help button explained where we were and where we wanted to go. How do we purchase our ticket? She rattled off some directions, only half of which I remembered when I walked back to the machine. Try again. Still no luck. Not to be deterred, I walked myself over to that box again, and repeated what I had told the last lady. She gave me instructions again. Back to the ticket machine. Okay, I got the first two steps, but how much did she say I needed to put in as the fare? You’re seeing a pattern here now, aren’t you? I determinedly marched over to that box again! I can get this. I know I can. So, once again, I explained to the lady who answered, where I was and where I wanted to go and how do I purchase my ticket. She explained to me what I needed to do. Hoorah! This time it was working! I knew we could do this. As I was exulting in success, a woman appeared wearing a transit uniform and asked if we needed help. Feeling like I was local, I responded, “No thanks, we’ve got it.”
She walked away. We gathered our wits and once again, checked the map to be sure we knew what station to get off and what train we needed to get. As we walked through the station, a woman came out of this little office — the same one who had come over to help. She directed us as to which stairs we needed to take to get down to the tracks. As we were going down the stairs, I realized that woman was the one I had been talking to every time I hit that help button. She never acted like we were idiots — she never acted exasperated.
From the Kingston Trio song, MTA.
Well, let me tell you of the story of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the MTA
Well, did he ever return?
No he never returned and his fate is still unlearned
He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston
And he’s the man who never returned
This is what we were worried about. If we got lost or on the wrong train, would they ever find us? But surprise, surprise. We made it. We walked out of the station and then immediately couldn’t figure out where we were. After navigating almost the entire outside perimeter of the station we spied the Dunkin Donut store. Okay, we’re good. We go this way. Oops. Do we take the left fork or the right fork? After taking the left fork instead of the right fork, we finally managed to get back to our hotel. We really need an iPhone so we can GPS where we need to walk. Our feet were killing us and I don’t think we had three more steps between us we could have taken.
It was a good trip. Connecticut? Done.