April 27th- May 6, 2019 State #39 This is our one stop in Connecticut.
We stayed at Nelson’s Family campground. Saturday, when we arrived, we got the rig stuck for the first time. This site was different in that it was on a hill, in the grass, and the only way to get there was to drive over top the septic tank. Yep, that’s right, we were stuck in the mud on top of the septic tank. We tried to get it out ourselves with a few bystanders watching. Our attempts included wood boards under the tires and using the Jeep. Finally, the owner showed up with his John Deere tractor. He pulled us out and into our spot. As he was pulling us out, it started sleeting. Apparently it had been raining for 9 days straight before we arrived.
Mark Twain House
On Sunday, we visited the Mark Twain House and Museum. Samuel Clemens, using the pen name Mark Twain, wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and it’s sequel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, here in Hartford, CT. He grew up on the Mississippi River and was a steamboat pilot. He used “Mark Twain” as a pen name because it means “safe water” in riverboat slang.
His book was the first banned book in America. It was banned because people didn’t want children to get the idea that it was okay to sneak out and disobey their parents. The girls read the book last week preparing for our trip here. We toured his house (free with NARM) with a guide. We all watched the movie this week.
The two most interesting facts I remember from the tour were; 1) Twain was born shortly after an appearance of Halley’s Comet, and he predicted that he would “go out with it” as well; he died the day after the comet returned and 2) after his 70th birthday he wore a white suit everyday.
Harriet B. Stowe’s house is next door but we did not tour it because it was closed when we were through with the Mark Twain house.
Inside the house
Afterward, we ate dinner at Bear’s BBQ Smokehouse. It was so good!
We also went to the movies today to see the much anticipated release of Avengers: End Game.
Monday was my birthday. We were going to the library to do our school work but on the way, the sun came out. We played hooky and headed to the state park for a hike and to check out this cool castle. The Gillette castle was built by William Gillette, the actor famous for his stage character, Sherlock Holmes. We watched Robert Downey Jr.’s movie version that night.
Gillette died having no children, and his will stated that possession of his home should go to a “blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is” so it went to the state and they made a park out of it. It sits on the bank of the Connecticut River in the hills known as the Seven Sisters.
We had fun running around the property playing hide and seek.
The entire house is made of local stone. The inside is undergoing renovations but we looked up pictures online and screen shotted them.
The girls took some pictures of me on this bridge because it was built the same year I was born.
Mexican for dinner, a birthday tradition. The girls put a lot of thought into my birthday gifts. Abby wrote me a story and signed it for the first time with her pen name. Mackenzie picked out a new backpack purse for me because she noticed mine is need of repairs.
The girls and I visited the capitol on Wednesday to see the inside. Sunday we drove by it with Chris to get our ‘capitol usie’.
The grounds were beautifully manicured and the cherry trees were blooming. It is located inside the Bushnell Park.
We received a guided tour of the inside.
They still roll out their liberty bell on non-Monday holidays and ring it.
The Charter Oak Tree was an unusually large white oak tree growing in Hartford, Connecticut from around the 12th or 13th century until it fell during a storm in 1856. According to tradition, Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden within the hollow of the tree. The oak became a symbol of American independence and is commemorated on the Connecticut State Quarter. The timber from the tree was made into a desk of the Governor of Connecticut and the chairs for the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate in the state capitol. We are sitting in one of those chairs. We were told if you make a wish while sitting in it, the wish will come true. Stay tuned.
Bushnell park was designed by the same guy that laid out Central Park. It claims to be the nations oldest public park. We were disappointed that the carousel was closed for a birthday party.
We enjoyed this little local library, especially because there was a Panera Bread and Moe’s across the street.
Chris was out of town Thursday through Sunday so we had to stay at this park all weekend. The girls and I tried to join the Cinco De Mayo party, with free tacos, but when we got to the clubhouse, the line was way too long. We cooked our own tacos in the rig.
Next up, Rhode Island.