Day 25 – Massachusetts via Rhode Island to Connecticut

Majella had been tired yesterday and thought she had an inkling of a sore throat. That would be a disaster for her plan to attend the Sweet Adeline’s rehearsal tonight with her singing friend from Lafayette, Joyce Eichenseer, so she insisted on setting no alarm for this morning. Despite that I was awake just after 7:00 am but we did not hurry over the hotel breakfast of bagels with cream cheese and coffee and it was just after 9:00 am when we left Provincetown. It was a grey day and there were a few spots of rain as we set off.

I drove east, south and then west to the base of the Cape Cod peninsula. I didn’t bother with the GPS for the first legs east and south but stopped briefly near Brewster toward the eastern end of the base of Cape Cod to allow some impatient vehicles to pass and set the GPS so that we would have directions once we crossed to the mainland. Its estimate then for the drive to Waterbury CT was about 4 hours, making an ETA of 2:00 pm, so we thought we should keep stops to a minimum so as not to arrive too late after allowing for a break at lunch time.

We pushed on into Rhode Island with the grey skies continuing to suggest that it might rain but not delivering on that promise. Soon after we skirted Providence Majella spotted a sign for an exit to two malls. It was time for coffee at least and a change of drivers so we headed off. When the road split I headed left for Rhode Island Mall where we parked near the entrance to Kohls expecting to be able to access the mall shops from there. We did look in Kohls for Elf on the Shelf, Hannah’s most recent shopping request, but had no luck with that or with escaping to the ‘mall’ and more stores. We stepped outside, saw Sears at the other end of the building and nothing between, and concluded this was not a mall as we knew it. We switched drivers and Majella drove around the other side where we did find Walmart and, once she had found an associate and the associate had found batteries for the pricing device, Majella managed to buy more fabric while I hunted unsuccessfully for elves.

As we headed out toward the interstate we spotted Warwick Mall which had a Target store where Hannah had suggested we might find the elf she wanted. We parked, entered, and discovered that it was a seasonal item that would be available after Thanksgiving. I agree that’s soon enough for Christmas. This mall did have specialty shops and we were able to exit to those from Target. By this time it was past coffee time so we looked for the food court where we bought egg flat whites (a poached egg with cheese between two pieces of what seemed like pita bread) with coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. We would ordinarily not have tried Dunkin’ Donuts but they had been such a feature of our Boston tour, sprinkled on every other corner it seemed, and had such a promotion from Kerry, who assured us that her first stop after leaving the airport in the USA was always at Dunkin’ Donuts. Lunch was OK but I don’t think I’ll add Dunkin’ Donuts to my list of things I must do every time I’m in the USA.

From the mall we headed back to the I-95 and our south westerly track toward Connecticut. Our various attempts at shopping had used an hour so our ETA was now about 3:00 pm which seemed about right to allow time for getting to chorus. We pressed on with accompaniment from Michael Buble, Majella’s choice of music. We made a brief stop at Rocky Neck State Park when the sign on the interstate piqued Majella’s interest. It is a large park, offering camping and picnic facilities with access to a beach that faces onto Long Island Sound. This late in the season and mid-week there was not much happening and some parts of the park were closed off for the cooler months.

Soon after returning from our excursion we left the I-95 and headed north west toward Hartford and Waterbury. We paused at Essex to buy fuel and were surprised by the 10c per gallon surcharge for credit card purchases. That made it easily the most expensive fuel we had bought to this point. I found out later from Joyce that the taxes in Connecticut are high and account for the higher price on fuel and other things. The rest of the way into Waterbury went smoothly and the GPS brought us to Joyce’s home without any problems. The drive was mostly through wooded country and some of it had a fair bit of autumn colour developing though other parts still had summer colours.

Joyce greeted us warmly and we talked for a bit about our travels, her family, and other things. The evening meal was quick and simple – savory mince on toasted rolls with sweet potato crisps and dill pickles accompanied by red wine. We were on a tight schedule to get to the Sweet Adelines practice which it turned out was at Trumbull, about 40 minutes of highway driving to the south west. I was not sure until the last minute that I’d be going along but I’m here, the only male in sight, enjoying the music, and hooked in to an open WiFi network that I just happened to find so that I could write and post this though I don’t seem to be able to send myself the file I need from my iPhone to produce my map. That may have to wait until later.

Our distance today was about 400 km. We didn’t have much opportunity for sightseeing along the way but we are enjoying the musical entertainment this evening and hope to see some of the local area tomorrow when we have no travel to a new destination.

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