2011 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem in Seaport RV, Old Mystic, CT
An almost empty campground awaited...

New York State—Our 40th

Approaching the Tappan Zee Bridge

Tappan Zee Bridge span
Our toll was a hefty $24.75—we only wanted to...

The Hudson River from the Tappan Zee Bridge

The Constitution State makes #41

Lunch stop in a Connecticut Service Plaza
Not exactly our most scenic stop

Old Mystic, CT Post Office
Celebrated its bicentennial last year

Mystic, CT Church

Waterfront scene, Mystic, CT
We dined at the restaurant on the right (with...

Mystic, CT Drawbridge
Built in 1922, it is a classic design and an...

Mystic, CT Drawbridge Counterweights

US Navy Submarine Museum, Groton, CT
Rings compare Ohio class with first sub...

Sub Museum—Bob "angles" for "artsy" shot.

Bob poses in front of USS Nautilus

USS Nautilus

USS Nautilus—Welcome Aboard

USS Nautilus crew berthing

USS Nautilus forward torpedo room

Mon, 23 May: After more than two weeks of visiting family in northern New Jersey it was finally time to "roll wheels". We had a nice breakfast, cleaned up and got ready to hit the road. Everything went well and we logged our departure from FlaNet RV Park at 0915.

We headed east on I 80 and, having missed the morning rush, made good time to I 287, which we took north to Mahwah, NJ—just south of the New York state line. We topped off our diesel tank at a Pilot Truck Stop. Fuel in New Jersey is comparatively inexpensive. We took 33.45 gallons at "only" $3.939/gallon.

Then, back on I 287 into New York (our fortieth state visited in Carpe), where we transitioned to I 87 north (which really headed east) across the Tappan Zee Bridge. The toll for Carpe Diem with Carpe Dinkum in tow was a whopping $24.75! Heck, we only wanted to cross the bridge, not buy it! We took some pix of the bridge and our crossing to share with you (and a certain Gephyrophobiac acquaintance).

Did we mention that the weather was not exactly the most pleasant? It was drizzly most of the trip, with outright rain in many places. For the first time since we've owned the coach we had to use the mirror heaters to dissipate the accumulated mist. Not the prettiest day for travel...

Regardless, we pressed on and soon found ourselves in The Constitution State. Connecticut is the forty-first state visited in the RV. We stopped for lunch at a service plaza along I 95. It was very crowded but we managed to find a spot sandwiched between two semis.

Then through the cities of Bridgeport, Milford, New Haven, New London and then off at exit 90 to Seaport RV (which is nowhere near the water—rain puddles not included). We arrived about two and got a site all alone. This is a Passport America park so we got our first nite at half price. We'll stay a few days to sightsee in the Mystic/Groton area.

We drove into town and had a late snack (early dinner) at Sea Swirl, a little roadside place that served the absolute best fried clam bellies we've ever eaten. It was in the Stern's book, 500 Things You Must Eat Before You Die. They've rarely led us astray, and this was no exception.

Tomorrow we're hoping to visit the US Submarine Museum in Groton. They have the USS Nautilus there.

Wed, 25 May: Have we mentioned that it has been rainy in these parts? Well, we were considering growing gills the first night here. After a drizzly and rainy drive from New Jersey, we arrived in Old Mystic Monday afternoon to leaden skies. It didn't rain while we got settled, and even held off while we made a trip into Mystic for orientation and some good seafood.

That didn't last, however, as it started drizzling around sunset. For most of the night and morning the rains continued, sometimes drumming on our fiberglass roof to the point that it woke us. But, by midday the skies lightened and we looked forward to getting outside. Meanwhile, our only midday excursion was Sandi's visit to the local Post Office. It was a scene from our childhood (see image), still the wooden trim, single window, and original boxes.

We had planned to visit the U.S. Navy Submarine Museum at Groton, but lo and behold it is closed on Tuesdays. Rather, we stayed home until dinnertime when we drove to Mystic to enjoy a good sit down seafood dinner at the S&P Oyster House. The service was fine and the food well prepared and presented. Was it inexpensive??? No way!

While we were dining the sun came out so we walked around town after dinner and snapped some pix with our phone's camera. They're not the highest quality, but better than no pix.

This morning (Wednesday) we stayed in bed until almost nine. This retirement life is pretty rough, but we're working on mastering it. Over breakfast we decided to stay another day and see the sub museum. Sandi walked to the office and signed us up at the full rate for another day.

About ten we left for the U.S. Navy Submarine Museum, which was only a ten mile drive from the RV park. It was a very interesting museum, well laid out and very informative. Our favorite was, of course, touring the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear powered submarine. She was launched in the mid fifties (Mamie Eisenhower christened her), and certainly had a major role in winning the cold war.

If all goes as planned, tomorrow we will attempt a longish drive to just southwest of Bangor, Maine. We hope to boondock at a Christmas Tree Farm owned by an Escapee. Then Friday morning we'll drive from there to Bar Harbor, Maine where we hope to get into a very highly rated RV park that does not take reservations. The park opens for the season on Friday, so we hope to be one of the first. We'll probably stay in Bar Harbor till mid week—but then again???

That's about it for now. We wish you and yours the very best.

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