On September 25, we left Stonington Harbor bound for Jonny’s home town, New London, CT. It was great to have Addie and Lange aboard to join us on this particular cruise. The trip was a pretty quick one with beautiful weather and fairly calm seas – though there were a few whitecaps. Jonny was very moved by the opportunity to sail into his home town harbor. As a boy, he always dreamed of having a boat and never achieved that dream until our move to Florida. So seeing New London from the water and arriving on Zendo was definitely a special moment for him.
New London is one of the oldest and most historic towns in Connecticut. Founded in 1646, it is located at the mouth of the Thames River which flows into Long Island Sound and has one of the deepest harbors on the Sound. During the Revolutionary War, it became an important base for naval operations. For several decades it was the second busiest whaling port in the world. It is also home to the US Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Submarine Base New London (where many of our nuclear submarines are built) and home port for the classic tall ship, Eagle. It is really a little city with a charming downtown area that has had its share of economic ups and downs over the years. We planned to spend some time here with Jonny’s brother, Andy, to prepare their mom, Janice to move to South Florida.
First thing we needed to do upon arriving was to bring everyone (including Jonny’s mom, Janice) to Captain Scott’s, a great little open air restaurant on the waterfront. There we enjoyed all our favorites: lobster rolls, fried clams, steamers, Rhode Island clam chowder, scallops – yum!
That evening we had another birthday dinner for Lynn at the Recovery Room, our favorite Italian restaurant in town. We had a very jolly time there and as always, a delicious dinner that was enough for lunch the following day. Accompanying Janice anywhere in New London is a big production because wherever we go, someone knows her and they spend time chatting and reminiscing. I guess if you have literally lived somewhere for 90 years, you develop quite a following!
The next morning Addie and Lange left for the airport and the major effort to begin packing Janice’s home began. We had a lot to do in a week’s time – pack much of the house, arrange for an estate sale, meet with the realtor, get a home inspection, etc. Unfortunately, Janice has not been feeling well – her glaucoma is causing her problems. Our trip to New London is being extended because of the need for her to have eye surgery and numerous follow-up appointments. We want to especially recognize Andy for the loving care he is providing to Janice, not only the last few weeks but also for having her move in with him for the next couple of months until we find a more permanent place for her.
A highlight of our time here was the arrival of Stephanie and Andy’s daughter, Samantha for the weekend. Stephanie came in on the train and we got to visit New London’s historic train station to pick her up.
The girls came to see their Grandma Jan one more time before she moved to Florida. They spent time going through the Grandma’s treasures and selecting items to keep. They had quite a haul!
Every time we visit New London, we have to visit all of our favorite haunts which include Captain Scott’s (for lobster rolls and fried clams), Fred’s Shanty (for burgers and hot dogs), and Michael’s Dairy (for ice cream) and of course the Recovery Room (for great Italian food). We got to visit these places more than once due to our protracted visit this time. It’s amazing we don’t weigh more than we do considering all the delicious food we’ve been eating!
We also used this time to visit Lynn’s Aunt Edie and her cousin Sally. Edie, Lynn godmother, is 99 years old! Our family has strong genes on both sides! We met them at a quaint pub in beautiful Essex, CT located on the Connecticut River.
We drove all over the state of Connecticut taking Janice to various doctor’s appointments. What a treat it was for us to see the leaves starting to change!
We also had a chance to visit Janice’s granddaughter, Megan, at the restaurant she manages in Newington.
By Sunday, October 11, we had done all we could to help Andy in New London. We decided to resume our trip aboard Zendo and continue our journey to Miami so we can help Andy get Janice situated in South Florida.