Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Peaceful Week in Connecticut

A lot of blue and white clothes were packed for the trip. (click on the photos for larger, clearer versions)
TD and I miss going out to Connecticut where we visited my parents so at the end of the summer we rented a beach house for a week on the Connecticut Shoreline to have a chance to be back in the area. I found a nice beach cottage on the internet at Vrbo.com, where I have in the past found vacation houses on Martha's Vineyard and the Jersey Shore. This one in Connecticut was located on the border of Clinton and Westbrook, not far from Guilford, where my parents lived. The location of the house was nice - across the street was the Long Island Sound for swimming 

and behind the house were peaceful salt marshes where the sun set in the evening and the only sound was the birds singing.

We took the train from Grand Central, as we often did, to the New Haven train station. There we rented a car and stopped in Guilford to visit the farmer that my father regularly frequented. We stocked up on vegetables and fruit and country flowers.

In that beach house we had the most relaxing week. After the cacophony of New York, the quiet was most welcome. The birds sang a lot in the morning at sunrise and again at sunset. It was a nice neighborhood to go running in. On a run I passed sidewalks that led down to the water

and other beautiful vistas out to the Long Island Sound.

TD and I always enjoy being near the water. We went to the beach at Hammonasset Park which was nearby. And we visited Guilford. We bought books at Breakwater Books, Guilford's wonderful independent bookstore, and headed to the town beach where we had spent many afternoons over the years -

At the end of the day we went to Chaffinch Island which is pretty place that my mother favored. She liked to bring drinks there for cocktail hour, and we have a good family black and white portrait which a photographer took of us there. After my mother passed away, I dropped her ashes in the water at Chaffinch Island -

One night we drove to nearby Essex, Connecticut, where we had dinner at the Griswold Inn, founded in 1776. The Tap Room there, its walls covered in paintings, is one of the great bar rooms.

After dinner, we walked around Essex which is such a pretty town and was famously attacked by the English in 1814 during the War of 1812. This is one of my favorite houses on Main Street. It reminded us of Cooperstown -

As dusk fell we walked down toward the water and all was still -

We had been before to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme and we wanted to go back. This museum was originally a boarding house owned by Florence Griswold where American artists, known as the Lyme Art Colony, lived and painted. The original neoclassical mansion is charmingly preserved. Here is Miss Griswold pictured at home painted by William Chadwick circa 1905-1908.

Miss Griswold inherited the house from her father, Captain Robert Harper Griswold, who is here painted by Thomas Coke Ruckle in 1840. In her letters, his wife mentions gazing at his portrait during the Captain's long voyages out at sea.

Towards the rear of the property is a modern gallery where current exhibitions are displayed. TD and I enjoyed it all –

There was also a trip to the Clinton Crossings Premium Outlet mall where we stocked up on clothes!  We had such a nice relaxing week in Connecticut and it was great fun to visit our favorite places and see them again. On our last night there, the sun set dramatically over the salt marshes in the back - 

while in the front over the Sound the most extraordinary rainbow appeared. The last time I saw a rainbow was on the day my mother passed away when we were at the New Haven train station headed back to New York City.
This huge rainbow stretched from one side of the Sound

to the other. Too giant to get in one photograph!

I thought it was my mother saying a big Hello.


Ella said...

What a wonderful week, I really enjoy your photos Bart and I'm sure it was your mother.

Bart Boehlert said...

Thank you Ella!

Unknown said...

Your mom was saying hello - in a most generous way! beautiful!