Sunday, June 14, 2009

We woke up to a rainy morning, but a wonderful breakfast. After breakfast Derek and Abby went swimming one last time in the warm salt water pool. I tried to gather all of our stuff and got ready to pack the car. We headed out the front door, regretting that of all the great things this hotel had to offer that an overhang in the front was not one of them. We pulled the van in as close as possible and packed up the car in the pouring rain. It reminded me how lucky we were the day before when walking all through the city of Boston that we had the most beautiful weather. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. No rain. A slight breeze. Perfect. Not so today. At least we didn’t have anything outdoors planned. We headed the car south and east and drove into Connecticut. Before the trip I was looking for things to do between Boston and NYC to help break up the drive. I didn’t come up with much and actually found some comments about how boring the drive was. It was pretty and somewhat scenic, but I didn’t come up with too much to do. I found a carousel museum in Bristol, CT and figured it would be about our best bet. It wasn’t too much out of the way and according to a site I found, there was a carousel in the park next door where the kids could have a ride for just $1. Well, we got off the interstate and drove through the little run down town and drove past the carousel museum looking for some lunch.
We found a McDonald’s and I was so happy to see it. Well, it was an old McDonald’s and not the best one I’ve ever been in, but hey…it is McDonald’s. Cade’s cheeseburger was wrapped in a cheeseburger wrapper, but didn’t have any cheese on it. Okay. Well, Abby ate a good lunch and was ready for some dessert. She decided on a hot fudge sundae. Oma (my mom) wanted one too. Dad went up to get Mom’s and I followed behind to get Abby’s. I almost lost my lunch. There was a man in there that smelled so bad that I gagged. Seriously no shower for weeks, maybe months and my guess is, no toilet paper either. To make matters worse, the ice cream machine was broken. Although, at that point, if it was for me I wouldn’t have been able to eat it anyway! Well, Abby wanted to eat ice cream. She cried. Oma was crying on the inside. So, we left. I promised Abby ice cream another time and found some little cookies in the car. Good enough.
We drove back to The New England Carousel Museum (NECM). It wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Well, maybe it is what I expected, but not what I hoped for. Anyway, my first disappointment was that the park with the carousel was actually 25 minutes away. There went that idea. It was a good thing I didn’t tell Abby she was going to get to ride it. We looked around and one of the workers gave us a personal tour. I prefer to explore on my own, but that didn’t seem to be an option. The tour guide said she had a little carousel Abby and Cade could ride. We went to a back room and it was worse than a little ride outside of KMart. Abby wasn’t too sure and after she turned it on and it was louder than an 18 wheeler, Cade was sure…that he didn’t want to be anywhere near it. We moved on and went upstairs to see fire station museum. That was actually more interesting than the carousels. I will say that I learned 2 interesting bits of information. Now, this is according to the NECM worker, but I think she knew what she was talking about. First, carousels were meant for men. In the beginning all the men would ride and women and children had to watch. Strange. And second, the first ferris wheel was meant to be a carousel and he put it together differently so that they could stack together and take up less room. That one doesn’t sound quite right to me, but that is supposedly true. You can look it up if you want to be sure πŸ™‚ Well, we were there about an hour or so and it was time to go.
We headed south again and drove past ESPN on our way out of town. I had no idea that Bristol was where ESPN started. As we got closer to NYC, I got a little nervous about the traffic. The signs and directions we had were okay and Dad helped me navigate. Miraculously we did not get lost and made it past NYC and to Elizabeth, New Jersey right by Newark Airport. We did miss the turn to the hotel, but drove right past it on the interstate. The roads around the hotel were not easy to navigate. We drove a little further, got turned around and somehow found the hotel. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Newark Airport. I was a little worried about this one. It was a great price at about $75 plus tax and usually that means not the best place. We walked into the lobby and I was pleasantly surprised. It was beautiful. We checked in and made our way up to our adjoining rooms on the top 11th floor. Wow. We lucked out. The hotel had a cafe, gift shop, indoor swimming pool (which turned out to be VERY cold), a fitness center (which we never used), and a computer lounge with free internet access. A lot of crew members from Continental Airlines stay there and other than that it was mostly business men. There weren’t many kids or tourists around. We ordered some supper from the cafe and ate in the room. After supper, Derek and the kids went swimming while Mom and I watched. It was cold, but the kids didn’t seem to mind. I had the best piece of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake from the cafe.After the kids went to sleep for the night, we played cards in Mom and Dad’s room. Adjoining rooms are the best πŸ™‚

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