Connecticut

20150704_214545smJoe’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!

Oh how he LOVED the moped!
Oh how he LOVED the moped!

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.

Our urban camping spot.
Our urban camping spot.

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.

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Aunt Jen gave her a Kindle, and there was a lot of this going on this week.
Aunt Jen gave her a Kindle, and there was a lot of this going on this week.

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.

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Party cat.

20150704_192659smThe 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!

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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.

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Yale Library
Yale Library. I got the feeling that they may have a little bit of money.
Any my personal favorite, Hogwarts!  Okay just a dining hall, but close!
Any my personal favorite, Hogwarts! Okay just a dining hall, but close!

Another day we went to the museum in Hartford, CT.  It was 6 full floors of AWESOME!

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She’s been so into building dams lately!
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He was just unstoppable while we were there. Go! Go! Go!
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And Beanie made a friend.

20150707_152012sm 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!

20150705_161402smYet 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.

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The View

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20150705_140857smAnd there was lots more fun too; eating Thai food, pizza, and being shown around David’s sound prop room!

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They really seemed to like the drums; this worries me.

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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.

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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!

Oh glorious friends!!!
Oh glorious friends!!!

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!

Our driveway spot!
Our driveway spot!  Not bad, eh?
We had clam dinners on the porch.
We had clam dinners on the porch.

 

And laughed and talked.
And laughed and talked.

And just before Tim’s flight back to Austin with the girls, we fit in a trip to the beach!

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Where the shellin' was GOOD!
Where the shellin’ was GOOD! As a matter of fact, I got so lost in finding shells that my brand new saddles were swept away by the incoming tide. Whoops! We all searched for them and gave up. Then, just as we were driving away, I saw them and ran into the water to retrieve them! And now they are my favorite, lucky sandals!
So many treasures discovered!
So many treasures discovered!
Darby had a blast playing with Sue's little dog!
Darby had a blast playing with Sue’s little dog!
And I'd say this little guy had fun too!
And I’d say this little guy had fun too!

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.

Sleepy faces.
I’m a sucker for sleepy faces.
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