Today was one of those days I never want to forget… not for the big stuff, but for the little important stuff. Before we left, Dad wrote our family history down for me, and we stuck it inside the National Geographic Our Fifty States book he bought for us. As we’ve gone through the states, we read about the state we’re going into, and I’ve referred to it to see where my ancestors lived. Very cool.
So today we left Cape Cod early in the morning, and drove to Norwich, CT. in 1659, Thomas Waterman and 34 other families founded Norwich. Waterman was 9 generations back on my Dad’s mom’s side. I wanted to see what they had started! Time has not been kind to this little town, but that doesn’t matter. Dan was able to find a place to park our big rig, and we’d only gone a few fee when a man driving by rolled down his window to see if we needed any help. Wow, nice! Then we walked down to the town museum… which was closed. Which I knew, but we were still going to get that picture for Dad!
We took a picture in front of the museum, and then walked over to the town sign for another. The kids were mortified that I would stand there for a picture at this major intersection, but when I said it was for Poppy, they understood. Still, we were all a little embarrassed.
I posted the above picture on Facebook later and Dan’s cousin quickly replied that Waterman’s Aunt Sarah was 10 generations back for the Jacobsons. What?! Gross!!! We are distantly related?! Even more glad we didn’t have biological children!
Then we hopped back in the rig for our next adventure. Whatever you do, don’t drive through Hartford, CT! Everyone we talked to later said, “oh yes, well it’s Hartford.” We didn’t read that warning anywhere! It took us 4/12 hours to do a 90 minute drive. We took the strangest detours, not ones that made sense at all. We did see things we never would have ever seen otherwise, and I was glad that there was a heavy lock on the RV door. And this was broad daylight! I was joking about Chevy Chase and the wrong turn he took in one of the Vacation movies… The saddest part was going from slums to mansions in less than a mile.
We barely made it to the campground, and it was another rodeo to get parked, as Dan would say. Really, they advertise that they are for big rigs. They say they have wifi. Clean restrooms. Occasionally, they lie! I didn’t even want to take the tow vehicle down the road, it was so bad. Dan got it in, of course, then the staff person who led us there made us pull up into the next site, against a tent and trailer there for the season. He said they might need it in case another big rig came in, because it was the only other spot. Beautiful little valley and we’re smack dab against others. Luckily, they weren’t there! We Jacobsons really like our space and some RV parks just don’t have it. Yes, I know we’re on the adventure of a lifetime and we are grateful for everyday, but we would still like a little breathing room!
The chargers in the rig weren’t working, so my phone was dead for the day. Strange not to listen to music as we drove and I couldn’t use the map function. The onboard map was still working, telling us where to go, but sometimes we don’t like where it says to drive. And I couldn’t call Maureen to tell her I’d be coming to see her later because I didn’t have her number written down anywhere. Ah, technology.
After getting the rig settled, I jumped in the tow and raced into New Milford to see Maureen. I got lost, of course, because I was in a hurry. Finally made it about 430 p.m. and she closes at 5! Argh! SO GREAT to see her. I just love this woman. I met her my junior year at University of Delaware. She was in charge of our dorm area, and was so kind that she took Linda and I home for Thanksgiving. (The next day she reminded me that we left her home at 4 a.m. to get back to school, and Linda and I slept in the back seat the whole time! How grateful were we?!)
Maureen had a 30 year career in banking, before recently retiring and starting up a store – Nutmeg Olive Oil Co. You can go online and she will ship to you! It tastes so much better than what we buy in the store and all the different flavors are neat to cook with. We bought the hot ones, of course! The vinegars have their own unique taste and again, are so much better than from the grocery store. We’ll never go back. The pasta is made in Richland, Wa, as was the garlic sauce and both were excellent.
So Maureen and I had a short, fun chat and I headed back to the rig in the pouring rain. We had picked up right where we left off 31 years before and oh, how I wish she could live in my neighborhood, too. Why can’t I have everyone I love in one place?!
The next day her sister Kathy had most of their extended family and ours over to her beautiful home in Newtown for dinner. It was fun to see them again, and not all of them thought we were crazy for our adventure, so that was nice. Maureen’s mom was a little surprised I didn’t still have brown hair, but Maureen pointed out that it had been a few years! Our kids had fun playing kickball and dodge ball with the cousins in the yard, while Dan and I enjoyed talking to the adults. We ate too much, of course, and left grateful for the friendship of the evening.