Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Relaxing In Connecticut

View from my balcony at Inn At Harbor Hill Marina - Niantic, CT
May 11, 2013

As our Summer Trip 2013 details came together, we realized that I would have a few days on my own while Bill returned home to complete his teaching responsibilities and attend graduation.  I wanted to visit somewhere unfamiliar, yet convenient to New London, CT where I had already made reservations on the Cross Sound Ferry to take me to Long Island where I'd pick up Bill at MacArthur Airport in Islip. 

A little research drew me to the village of Niantic, CT and then to the Inn At Harbor Hill Marina.  Niantic appeared charming and I was immediately drawn to the information about a 1.1 mile boardwalk the village had built alongside Long Island Sound.  Finding a beautiful balcony room available and a delightful discussion with the Inn's owner convinced me this was the place I wanted to go.  If there was not enough to keep me busy right there in Niantic, I was well within day tripping distance of both Mystic, CT and Newport, Rhode Island.  These were both places Bill and I had visited previously and I knew I would enjoy returning.  

As it turned out, other than a quick jaunt through the neighboring communities of New London and East Lyme (I was actually looking for the Walmart, but we'll pretend I was sight-seeing), I never left Niantic.  It was a perfect place to spend a few days and since weather refused to cooperate on two of those days, I could not have designed a better place to be than my room at the Inn.  With windows on three sides looking out over the marina and Long Island Sound, plus a cozy electric fireplace to take out the chill, it was just perfect.  I did lots of reading, thinking, meditating, writing and planning and enjoyed every minute.

 The Gull Island Room at Inn At Harbor Hill Marina - Niantic, CT

The second day brought gorgeous, blue skies and warmer temps, so I was off to explore the town by foot and finally, walk this widely acclaimed boardwalk.  I knew where one entrance was, but my first clue that I was about to be disappointed should've been the response of the desk clerk when I asked where the other end was.  She was very vague, so in the end, I just decided to go to the entrance I knew and walk from there.  So imagine my surprise when after dutifully taking this picture......

.......and then walking through the above mentioned "hole in the wall"....................

......I was greeted with THIS!

 It seems hurricane Sandy did a number on the Niantic Boardwalk.  I was later told that part of it (from the other end) is scheduled to reopen on June 24.  No one seems to know when this part will be repaired.  Needless to say, I was quite disappointed, but quickly found another park near this point with a path overlooking the sound and benches along the way.  

But the best part of my days in Niantic was a leisurely morning at Cafe Sol spent with my friend, Karen, who blogs at Karen CL Anderson.   I knew that Karen lived in Connecticut, but she doesn't live in Niantic and I really didn't connect how close I would actually be until the week before I left home.  I hastily sent off an email hoping she'd have some time and received a quick reply that yes, she'd love to meet for a cup of coffee.   After three hours of non-stop talking, we parted ways knowing we'd each made a new friend in real life as well as through our blogs.  As with all the friends I've met through writing this blog, I sincerely hope that isn't the only time I am ever able to spend time with Karen.  

 Sharon and Karen at Cafe SoL - Niantic, CT
May 9-2013

On Saturday morning, I boarded the Mary Ellen, a ferry that would take me from New London, CT to Orient, New York.  Although the Mary Ellen holds 85 cars and 675 passengers, there were only a handful that made the 90-minute crossing with me on Saturday.  Exiting the ferry into the beautiful landscape that is Long Island, I made my way 55 miles east to pick Bill up at Islip.  Picking him up had become quite the adventure in and of itself, but that'll be the topic of the next journal along with our first days here in Greenport.  We are having a wonderful time exploring this beautiful corner of the world.  Who knew??

When was the last time you visited somewhere that took your breath away?


  1. I'm so glad you and Karen were able to meet! Between the two of you, I'm sure you lit up the room!

    So many places--heck,so many moments--take my breath away, but nowhere more than New Mexico. I still think of it as my spiritual home.

    Be safe and stop back soon with more tales of your adventures!

  2. That room looks so cozy. I can just picture the fire going and keeping you warm while the bad weather is safely outside the window :-)

  3. Looks like so much fun, Sharon. Amazing how you two can work out your schedules like this... It's AWESOME... Glad you had a good time in Connecticut --although I'm sorry that the boardwalk was closed. You certainly had a fabulous room with a view...


  4. I am SO glad you contacted me...and that you had a great time in Connecticut. I know your previous visit wasn't as pleasant! And, just an FYI: New London's Ocean Beach (about a five-minute walk from my house) has a wonderful boardwalk and beach! Next time, okay? :-)

  5. Glad your trip is going well and you got to meet one of your blogger friends. The last place that took my breath away was the John Day Painted Hills in Central Oregon. I visited there in April and am frantically editing photos for a blog post about this awesome place.

  6. What a shame about the boardwalk but your room was lovely! You are such the adventurer going so many places on your own. I have never though of traveling solo.

    What a special get together with Karen - fun!