Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Trip Through New England

Chaffinch Island in Guilford, Ct. 
TD and I have been sheltering-in-place since March the 12th, and desired a much-need trip out of the house so we planned a recent getaway, being careful and using precautions while we were traveling. Our first stop was in Guilford, Ct., where my parents lived for approximately 35 years. We always enjoyed taking the train to Guilford and visiting them there, and we have missed it. Also, we have not been back since my father passed away in Colorado two years ago. Chaffinch Island in Guilford was always a favorite spot for my family to visit. After my mother passed away in 2012, my father and I brought some of her ashes down to Chaffinch Island and dispersed them in the water.
TD took took this picture then of my father and I --

So when we visited Guilford recently we took some of my father's ashes down to Chaffinch (picture at the top of this post).  It was a poignant trip. I'm glad we had the chance to do it.
We visited out favorite spots in Guilford, including the town beach --

I love the quiet, serene quality of the Connecticut Shoreline. TD sketched the scene --

That night we had a delicious dinner at Quattro's in town, which was a new discovery for us.
The next day we drove from Guilford, Ct., to Little Compton, RI, to visit the beach house of my great and long-time friend Abby. We enjoyed staying in the beautiful house for a couple nights, and then she and her family arrived for the weekend. Glorious summer days.
During the week TD and I went to an ocean beach called South Shore Beach in the town of Little Compton Beach. It was a delight to be in the ocean. The waves were rough!

It was great fun to spend time with Abby and family - husband John, daughters Lila and Mary, son Stephen plus niece Sophia. It's what relaxed summer days are for.
The family belongs to the Elephant Rock Beach Club in Westport, MA, so that's where we headed on Saturday. There, Sophia, Lila and Mary sported TD's tee shirts. You can buy TD's popular tee shirts in his Etsy shop!

It was a glorious day at Elephant Rock Beach --

The water was very warm. It was so nice to be all together swimming in the ocean --

After we left the beach John and Abby gave us a car tour around. We drove along country roads to Sakonnet Point, and John and Abby bought lobsters for a delicious dinner. I loved the grey shingle Cape Cod cottages with white trim along the water --

On Sunday we said our farewells to the Carrs and drove up to Keene, NH, to visit our great friends the Healy family from Jane Street in New York City. The Healys own a unique property called Lake Falls Lodge, which consists of an Adirondack-style lodge and several other houses on a large piece of land. It can be rented for weddings and corporate retreats. We have been to two spectacular Healy family weddings at Lake Falls Lodge. It's a special place.
Many of the Healy clan have been sheltering-in-place there, including our beloved friend Peggy Healy, who hosted a book party for TD when he illustrated a children's book. It was a full house with a large group and we enjoyed a grilled steak dinner in the yard at a big table near the pond --

The next day Don took us on a tour of the properties which are impressive indeed. He is building a large structure called the Barn outfitted with every modern convenience so that weddings and corporate retreats can be hosted year 'round. We had a swim in the pond and gathered together for a lobster salad lunch. 

After lunch TD and I were off, traveling over country roads through the Berkshires in western Massachusetts to Williamstown, MA, the home of Williams College, which opened in 1791. In Williamstown, we stayed at the Williams Inn, which was lovely. We were surprised that the town seemed more closed up than the other places we had been, in Connecticut for example. The trip to Williamstown was determined by the news that The Clark Art Institute had opened -- I think the only art museum open in the Northeast. We'd always wanted to go so we thought it was a good time for a visit. It was slightly raining when we went at 10am as the doors opened. I was so happy to be back in a museum!

The Clark was founded in 1952 upon the art collection of Robert Sterling Clark, who was a Singer sewing machine heir. Other Singer sewing machine heirs were important arts and culture patrons in Cooperstown, NY, which is a beautiful town we love. The Clark has a lovely array of art and Impressionist paintings. Here is a jolly Madame Escudier by John Singer Sargent from 1883 --

and a charming self portrait of Renior from 1899 --

Outside TD enjoyed the tranquil scenery as cows roamed over the hills beyond --

At that point we got in the car to head home. We had heard a little about a storm. It turned out to be Tropical Storm Isaisas. Or Hurricane Isaisas, depending what you read. Not the day to be driving from the Berkshires to New York City. Let me just say I was driving and it was hairy. The wind was so strong that I had to hold on to the steering wheel tightly to keep control of the car. On the highway we drove around several huge trees which had crashed on to the road. Thank God they didn't land on cars. We did make it home safely to Manhattan thankfully.
It was a wonderful trip with lots of different parts and all went well. It felt like we were being looked after. I hope you are having a nice summer dear reader despite these strange times.