Joe’s sister, Jen, and her boyfriend, David, live in an adorable blue house just outside of Downtown New Haven, CT. It had been too long since we’d gotten to hang with Aunt Jen for any real amount of time, so we were all really excited about spending the better part of a week with her and David!
David was kind enough to actually measure the curb length out front of their house to make sure we would fit. We did! Barely! And it was our first experience camping on a neighborhood street. I actually liked it! It was kind of exciting and extremely convenient for getting to spend as much time as possible with Aunt Jen and hang in their cool basement as much as possible.
Jen and David graciously let me catch up on the endless loads of laundry I had been avoiding for weeks before arriving. That kept me busy for days and gave me an excuse to regularly check on the kids. The kids were so in love with the idea of a basement that I could hardly get them out of it! They were usually having a tea party, watching Netflix shows, or reading in a nook under the stairs lit with twinkle lights. Loralai tried to sleepover in that adorable little nook that was just her size several nights, but alas sleeping with a whole floor level between her and any adults, along with her inability to fall asleep in under 2 hours time EVER, made this an impossible task. I had to come get her every time.
We were there over July 4th and so we got to enjoy Jen and David’s annual 4th of July party! Their house is set it seems directly under where the fireworks are lit on East Rock every year. It was such a great location that the streets around their house were blocked off for the event! I kept chatting with the police officer that was standing at the road block in front of our RV as I walked in and out all night.
The kids played with sidewalk chalk and bikes in the driveway, watched movies in the basement, held sparklers, and watched fireworks while Joe and I had a great time meeting and talking with new people. It was nice to be at a party; especially one as well planned and organized as one of David’s parties! The second you thought of a need like “I need to throw this napkin away” there a trash can would appear, practically at your feet. Thristy? Just go help yourself to the FULL BAR downstairs. Where’s a bottle opener for this beer I want to drink? Oh, right here, hanging from this string with a laminated sign attached that says: “Best Bottle Opener Ever!” on it. If I lived my whole life trying to have my shit together as much as David, I would die a failure. So I won’t. But it’s a thing of wonder to be in his world for a week and a wee bit intimidating, especially with 3 loud, messy kids (if I don’t say so myself). However, he was nothing but gracious and accommodating. We hope it didn’t take too long to get the place back in order after we left!
Luckily Jen is a teacher and OFF for the summer, so the kids and I got to spend lots and lots of time with her!
One day she took us on a tour of Yale (Where she graduated with her PHD). Somehow it made me feel like a GREAT mother to have my kids walking on Yale grounds.
Another day we went to the museum in Hartford, CT. It was 6 full floors of AWESOME!
We also took the kids to play at some parks, met the family that Jen used to nanny for, and hit up a teacher store on the way home where I spent 3 hours reading everything, getting totally overwhelmed, and leaving with only one workbook. Arg!
Yet another day when Joe and David were able to tag along we hiked East Rock to the very tippy top with Darby barking at other dogs the entire way up. One the way down she was too tired to give a crap anymore and that part went much better.
It was a great time spent with family and made me realize again how this trip is turning out to be so much more about the people we see and meet than the places we visit. And now, after spending this time together, maybe Loralai will stop thinking that every redheaded 20-something woman she sees is Aunt Jen.
And just when we thought the week couldn’t get any better our friend from back home, Tim, calls me and says he’s staying at his mom’s house with his girls, who are some of Lou’s besties, just 25 mins away. And so we went!
We had so much fun visiting with them and meeting his rad mom and her husband that we came back the next day and spent the night in their driveway! This is one of my favorite things about RV’ing: Home is where you park it!
And just before Tim’s flight back to Austin with the girls, we fit in a trip to the beach!
One of these days I’ll get better at remembering to get photos of new friends before leaving! I would have loved to have had one of Sue and Charlie! They were such wonderful people with lots of adventurous stories of their own to tell. Thank you for the wonderful time at your home on the salt marsh!
And with that it was time to pack up and head to our next destination, recommended by Tim: Ithaca, NY. Our next adventure awaits.