Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Years

Falkner Island Lighthouse
We left Maine with a deadline, we wanted to be in Philadelphia for New Years.  We left with five days to get there and a motivated driver can make it in a day, so that should have meant we had plenty of time.  The way we've been traveling on this trip so far, it might have been close.  Our first day out we had the expected late start, but still managed to make it through Maine, New Hampshire, around Boston and through Massachusetts, and on into Rhode Island where we stopped for the night.  For folks used to driving across Montana or Texas this sounds like a lot, but in New England the states are bunched together and you can blow through a whole bunch in an afternoon.
Linda and Madeline
The next day we crossed into Connecticut, and since we were going right by, we stopped in to Guilford where I spent a few summers when I was working for U.S. Fish and Wildlife.  The work I did with USF&W was research on an endangered shorebird that nests on a lighthouse island in Long Island Sound.  We couldn't go out to the island without a boat but drove to a nearby shoreside park, had a nice but chilly walk and took a couple pictures of the island from shore.  We kept going down the coast and then turned off Interstate 95 and headed for Danbury, CT where we stayed the night.
The next day we wound our way through New York and New Jersey, trying to stay away from the major cities as much as possible, and finally made it to Philadelphia.  My aunt Linda lives right downtown Philly, so with our high clearance van and parking at a premium we were lucky she had made arrangements beforehand for parking during our visit.
Madeline loves it when we stay with anyone that has pets, and hit it off with Linda's cat Claude right away. Claude was smart enough to come out and visit when he wanted, then go hide somewhere to get away from Madeline when he got enough attention.  Madeline would go find him hiding under the bed and then was nice enough to leave him alone once she knew where he was.
The first day of our stay we walked the two blocks from the condo to see the liberty bell and Independence Hall.  The next day we took the bus to the Academy of Natural Sciences where my aunt works and saw their animatronic dinosaur display and the live butterfly room, both of which were hits with all three of us.
Linda lives in a condo in a high rise right in downtown Philadelphia, but is on one of the lower floors, so for the New Years Eve fireworks we took the elevator up to the 30th floor to her friends condo and watched from the balcony, rather than fight the crowds and cold outside.  On New Years Day we walked down the street and watched the Mummers Parade for a while.  Because the parade lasts for most of the day, once the cold started getting to us we moved back to the condo and watched the rest of the parade on TV.  The whole visits was interspersed with good food, good conversation, and a lot of relaxing.

No comments:

Post a Comment