At Last the Rest Can Be Revealed

First a quick item. Gene Weingarten (“The Death of English“) is just the best. I don’t know if the hat maker will still insist on the ® after Sunday’s article.

So here’s the rest of  the explanation for all those quick hits, skipped entries, etc. etc. over the past few weeks. I was part of a committee that was planning a retirement party for my sister-in-law, Deb. She’s been teaching for 37 years, so she has now three generations of students who’ve passed through her hands. And as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, the half of northern Middlesex County who isn’t a relative is a friend or acquaintance.

The party was supposed to be a surprise, though her husband and her mom got into a serious dispute about which of them had spilled the beans. The secret mostly held until her youngest sister showed up for a whirlwind four-day visit – from Iraq.

Anyway, I’m adding the party to the list of blog topics, which at this point will take me sometime into the middle of 2012. And just so things don’t get lost, I’ll start with the Newport trip and proceed in chrono order.

We started the voyage on Monday evening after Larry returned Bambino the Chihuahua to his owners. A pleasant surprise followed as we discovered gas was about fifteen cents cheaper in Old Saybrook than it was inland – also cheaper than that in Rhode Island. We stopped again in for dinner at the diner off the highway in Mystic. Larry had a lobster roll, and I had a veggie burger. Both came with way too many fries (his waffle, mine sweet potato). In a nice touch my burger came with avocado, though not with the slaw as advertised. The waitress was all personality and tried to convince us to order dessert even though neither of us finished our food.

Back on the road L. the GPS took us safely over the bridges and through the fog to Newport where we supposedly located our hotel except we didn’t see the name. Drove around the block – actually back down a second one-way street and finally asked at a place down the street. On the second pass we found it and then a spot (handicapped) to park temporarily while  we checked in.

The Newport Bay Club and Hotel, which was built as a textile mill in 1835 and has photos commemorating its early years, is actually very reasonable though there are restrictions on the number of guests and lengths of stay minimums in the high season. There are great amenities – a fold out sofa the size of a king, a shower that’s almost as big as our bathroom, a v. comfortable bed. We discovered in the a.m. that the room faced Thames Street, but it offered a great view of the people wandering up and down America’s Cup Avenue.

Also on the plus side, we discovered after some web surfing (free Wi-Fi included) that the hotel is right down the street from pretty much everything, including the restaurant where we had dinner on our honeymoon. So we made plans to go there on Wednesday. The hotel restaurant offered three courses for $13 on Tuesdays so we decided to walk downstairs on Tuesday. Also they had steamers, which is maybe Larry’s favorite food on the whole planet.

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