Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in Connecticut

For a week around Christmas, I was in Connecticut with my family.  I got to spend some time with my two younger brothers: Peter, who is a senior in college, and Leland, who just got home from a tour of duty in Iraq.  What a great Christmas gift!

I enjoy being a tourist, even in my hometowns, so my mom and I went on a short field trip back to the town where I grew up: Old Saybrook, CT.  We had lunch at Dock and Dine, a classic location right on the mouth of the Connecticut River, and we stopped by the Acton Public Library, where I used to do volunteer work in the summers, in the children's section.  Earlier in the 2000's, the library was totally redone and it is now probably 4 times the size it was when I was a kid, and it has a gorgeous new mural, probably 25 or more feet long, along the entrance hallway, depicting the history of the town and important buildings/things in the town.  Mom and I spent a good half hour reading all the hand-painted tiles and looking for names of old friends (the mural also listed the names of people and families who had given money for the library rebuild, cutely shown as the titles of books on many shelves).

There was also one tile we found interesting, telling about the re-design of the Main Street medians, which my mom had a hand in, in the late 90's.

I also got my dad to be a tourist with me.  We went to the Mystic Aquarium the last day I was in Mystic.  We enjoyed the Sea Lion show and went on a wild goose-chase to find the penguins.  I liked the penguin's bracelets to tell them apart.  Good craft project!
On our way up to the Providence airport, mom and I stopped off in Newport to tour one of the mansions, The Breakers.  Over the years, we've probably visited every mansion that is open to the public, but this is the first time I can remember going at Christmastime.  I loved seeing The Breakers all decked out for the holidays, but I most enjoyed the fragrant flower arrangements.  More than one room was just filled with the perfume of lilies.  I'll have to get some for my house, now that my Narcissus and Amaryllis have wilted away.
Now I'm back in Chicago and I have a few days off.  I've already started the great new year's closet redesign.  Pictures will be up soon!

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