Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Road Trip

Wikipedia defines a "Road Trip" as "any journey taken on roads, regardless of how many stops may be taken on such a trip. Typically, road trips are long distances taken by automobile..."  Yep, that sounds about right...it wasn't a dream about spending a summer weekend trapped in a pickup truck where the air conditioning was on the fritz...it really happened!  I wasn't in Kansas...er, I mean...Blooming Hill anymore!  However, it could have been worse, really, outside of the Friday night rain and rush hour marathons we endured with the other thousands of weekend road trippers trundling down the interstate and across bridges on our way north, dreaming of a sunnier Saturday and Sunday ahead. The road trip definitely improved after that.

We covered a lot of territory in explorer fashion, through Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania onto New Jersey and finally into Connecticut and then back again, in a matter of three days. Honestly, without roadside rest stops, mocha frappes and antique shops along the way, I don't know how our colonial fore-bearers ever survived traveling!

Since stopping is so much a part of the American road trip experience and we have experienced this experience a lot...trust me, I settled back and enjoyed the ride. One of the first stops was an essential one since it involved picking up dancing pigs, leaping frogs, flying birds along with over-sized ladies' colonial slippers and tiny woodland creatures. Sounds kind of  like a Walt Disney Cartoon, I know.  However, it was a matter of business as I needed to stop by one of my suppliers of garden statuary for customer special orders and such. The men assigned to pack our truck with this precious cargo were only too happy to take a moment and smile for the camera before getting back to work and sending us on our merry way and our next leg of the trip.

Peter's grandmother's house on the Niantic River.
Shops in Old Lyme, CT.
By late Friday night, we reached our final destination in Connecticut where we spent a wonderful day with Peter's mother and visiting Peter's childhood summertime family home and haunts in the Connecticut countryside and along the Niantic River. We also visited the towns of Old Lyme--on of my most favorites places on earth--as well as Essex, both quintessential New England towns with their characteristic architectural details displaying tall white church steeples and gabled roofs on austere yet welcoming and simple facades of homes.

An artist's rendition of giant lavender flowers.
Old Lyme, like me, must have lavender always on it's mind as we caught a glimpse of giant, shimmering lavender wands bending in the summer sun at the entrance of the Old Lyme Art Guild Building. As pretty as this site was, I don't think the bees were fooled for even a minute but it certainly caught my eye and turned my thoughts toward Blooming Hill and my fields of lavender.  As we got back into the car, I heard Peter murmuring to himself, "Yeah...that gives me an idea.."   Hmmmm, I wonder what that means?

Peter and his mother, Lynn, a life-long gardener.
We traveled along the Long Island Sound for the day and visited a small community garden where my mother- in-law now has two small garden plots for herbs and cutting flowers where she now lives.  This is just a tiny slice of what encompasses her gardening knowledge and accomplishments, having been a dedicated gardener all of her life.  Herbs were always, and still are, her specialty.

Statuary in front of a store in Essex, CT called "Pocket Full of Posies."
One of the highlights of Saturday was finding a lovely little shop of garden decor and statuary in Essex where I could have stayed the rest of the weekend but home was calling and us back into the pickup truck and off we went with a growing load of cargo to take back to Blooming Hill.

Road trips are great as long as home is at the end of the journey where we arrived safely with lots of good memories, among other things, stored away or on display for another day.  Now let's see...where did I leave my hand clippers?  The weekend break is over and time to hang up the car keys. The lavender bushes here at Blooming Hill are calling me.

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