July 18, 2004

Vacation Post-Mortem

And what terrific sweep though my home turf it was! No time to write it up in detail, but here's the itinerary:

Three days in New York City: the St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central, the Guggenheim, Times Square, the UN, and Empire State Building. Then we rented a car and drove up the back way into Connecticut, stopping at the birthplace of Charles Ives in Danbury and staying a couple of days in Waterbury, the land of my birth. Saw the 4th of July fireworks at Lake Quassapaug (Quassy), the amusement park where I broke my arm in first grade. Wandered through the Immaculate Conception Church where I was an altar boy, sang in the choir, and sold newspapers on Sunday mornings; St. Mary's School, my alma mater; the Timexpo Museum built in the Scovill building across the street from where my apartment house once stood; and the Mattatuck Museum, which does a great job of summarizing Waterbury's three and a half centuries. The high point of the Waterbury segment was sneaking past the barricade of barking nuns and wandering through the ruins of Holyland USA, a handmade replica of Bethlehem that I played in during the 60s and which is now dissolving back into the jungle floor.

Then up through the green hills and 300 year old towns of Northwestern Connecticut and two nights in a B&B in the Berkshires where neither the beds nor the breakfasts could be recommended. Visited the Norman Rockwell Museum and Hancock Shaker Village. Onward to Worcester and a tour around my undergraduate haunts at WPI.

Then Boston. Went to Concord, the site of the shot heard round the world, and to Kimball Farm, a roadside ice cream stand that my friend Joe Doran turned me onto years ago. Then the Salem Witch Museum and lobster in Gloucester. We settled into our hotel in Cambridge and the next morning we walked to Harvard, wandered through MIT, and dined in Quincy Market. I had to fly to Missouri for an advisory board meeting for a day, while June and Alex went to the JFK Library, the MIT Library, and a performance of the Blue Man Group. When I got back, we all went to the Museum of Science, which I think is the best one of its type I've ever seen.

Finally, time to head back toward JFK. We drove down to New London, toured the first nuclear sub Nautilus, and took the ferry across to Long Island.

All in all it was a great vacation. We stayed on Pacific Time for the whole 2 weeks, sleeping late and staying up late. Though we saw a lot, we paced ourselves and made up the itinerary one day at a time. It was just long enough.

And of course, there are pictures.
New York City - July 1-3
Connecticut - July 4-5
Holyland USA, Waterbury CT - July 5
Massachusetts and back - July 6-15



At 5:57 AM, Novelino said...

Dear Dodges,

Pretty nice that old New England where Bernie was borne. I would like to go back, with may family, to my own roots in deep Brazil.

Grande abraço para os três,


At 1:29 AM, Anonymous said...

Hi Bernie,

To read your travel descriptions are somewhat awsome. And after reading this I found some fuel to continue on investigating the family roots. And I think you remembered a phrase "kopustu sriuba" :) while staying in Waterbury.

Best regards to June and Alex


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