Exploring New England

Life is proving interesting with frustrating and unsuspecting challenges! “But wait,” I hear you say… “that is life!” Yes, Mark likes a challenge. Me – not so much! Let me tell you more.

Bushranger has been prepared for the winterising process: the Bimini and canvass removed, the cushions and fenders stowed, decks swabbed, internals cleaned, laundry completed.

Mark has been trying for two days to find a rental car to have for a week. To no avail. It seems when Hurricane Ida swept up the east coast, she hovered over Mamaroneck and completely flooded the city and surrounds. This meant the residents of the area had their cars rendered inoperable and hence, through insurance, used about 10,000 rental cars. This meant, none for us. I know… unbelievable!

But wait, there’s more.

Mark finally tracked down a company, not once, but twice receiving written and verbal confirmation of his booking of a car. On a gut feeling he called to double reconfirm, only to be told “Oh no, sir! I don’t know why you were told we had a car when we don’t”. At this point Mark had a major sense of humour failure. To wrap up this saga – we took an Uber to LaGuardia Airport (second attempt, as the first Uber driver said he couldn’t drive all that way) to pick up a car. Almost had another sense of humour failure when told to choose any car in the car spaces from 600 to 610. When we located the area – – – there were no cars in those spaces. Back we went to the office. The god of challenges was smirking. No problem – just had to get a car from the cleaning guys. On checkout, Mark noticed the car was not full of petrol.

But wait, the god of challenges was smirking again.

Typing in our address to get back to Mamaroneck, a 25 minute drive, we wondered why we were heading in the direction of Manhattan. Our 25 minute drive became over an hour as we were directed over the Roosevelt Bridge into Manhattan, through Harlem and out the Bronx. The car was using the ‘deep and hidden’ preferences of the previous driver. It was a real eye-opener of a ride.

We decided to stay Friday night on Bushranger. Now bags are packed, food is in a cooler bag. The day is heating up and we want to hit the road. I wondered what was keeping Mark who went to put the bags in the car. Mark returned, almost a broken man. He had spent the time away trying to figure out how to open the boot (trunk). The god of challenges almost had us, until I thought of googling the answer. I am pretty sure Mark said an expletive!

New England, here we come! Thought we would start by driving to the gorgeous port of Greenwich. Wealth here is on show, big time. Thought we would add to the economy by having a cup of coffee. Big mistake! We drove round and round and round trying to find a car park. Finally, found one only to stand in line for a projected 30 minute wait. Nah – not worth it! Headed out and down the I95 to a not so salubrious part to find coffee. Was that god of challenges grinning?

We learnt our lesson of not deviating from the interstate. We thought the I95 was too congested and slow. We turned on to the Boston Post Road – big mistake! It was going to add 2 hours to our trip, stopping every couple of blocks at traffic lights. So, after 30 minutes we humbly made our way back on the I95.

A lunch stop in Old Saybrook

We finally made it to Providence, Rhode Island, 4 hours after we set out. We had driven in four states: NY, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We were looking forward to the infamous fall colours of the foliage, only to find the colours have not started to change yet. (Bugger!)

Today, we did a road trip to Cape Cod and surrounds. No fall foliage colours, but the scenery was gorgeous. The architecture in these places is stunning and Old England in nature with stone walls and skinny country lanes over hung with green tree tunnels. I saw a deer standing by the side of the road. We kept to the scenic byways.

Our first stop was the Cape Cod Canal, a 7–mile canal joining Buzzards Bay in the Long Island Sound to Cape Cod Bay in the Atlantic Ocean. I was really keen to visit the Visitors Centre to read up on the history (and have a cup of coffee). Should have heard the chuckle! Visitors Centre was closed until further notice. (Bugger, again!)

No problem! Go with the flow… We set our sights for Onset, an historic 1800s Victorian waterfront village, complete with café and ice cream. 

Next stop: Mattapoisett for lunch. This gorgeous stop with its narrow streets, white picket fences, beautiful gardens and weathered shingle homes has a Nantucket feel without the ferry ride. On the advice of the waitress, we drove to the lighthouse.

On the advice of a shopkeeper, we took a truly beautiful route via South Dartmouth and South Westport to New Bedford. We visited the whale museum and the cobblestone district. 

We stumbled across the chapel of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

Today was a lovely day of exploration, even if the chuckles of the god of challenges could be heard.

Such is Life!

4 thoughts on “Exploring New England

  1. Heather & Mark,
    A fine story of a challenging adventure. Voyage on. How does a land-based shower feel as the sea legs take over and you away back and forth?
    Dave DePodwin
    LA and Boyd’s brother-in-law
    Bernardsville, NJ


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