Saturday, June 11, 2011

 Saturday, June 10 – Kittery Point, Maine  
 Find pictures from the beginning of the trip to this point at
(Sorry for the long delay between posts.  It's been a series of long days on the road with no time to blog. )

On Wednesday, we said, “See ya Friday” to our Chicago Wall-Family: Larry, Lauren, Nolan, and Aiko, the affection-sponge who is otherwise known as a golden retriever, and navigated (with maps, no gps) our way out of Chicago on our way to Gettysburg, PA. (That, in itself, would make a good episode of a reality tv show.)   The “nine hour drive” predicted by the AAA triptik took us about 4 hours longer than that, and even though we woke up the night manager to check-in at our hotel, he was sharp enough to follow us to our room, to bring me the bag that I had left at the front desk, in my bleary-eyed state. 
The Visitors’ Center at Gettysburg was impressive, with its vivid,stirring film presentation, about the battle, the collection of artifacts, and as the 19th-century oil-painting "cyclorama"  that depicted the disaster of Pickett’s Charge.  As we walked the Gettysburg National Cemetery in the steamy mid-day heat, an energetic WWII vet (with his ribbons, medals, and various insignia on his cap, his vest, and shirt), who was also touring Gettysburg, gave the kids a history mini-quiz and was quite pleased with their answers.  We were honored to thank him for his service to America and to listen to his story of being wounded in Germany during the war.  (As usual, we seem to make our “tours” more like visits with people.) After we’d had enough steaming and baking ourselves in Gettysburg, we headed for Connecticut and the enthusiastic welcome of some of my old school friends from Darien High School, gathered at the home of Kris (Clarke) Bruno and her husband, Tom.  My kids were anticipating “just a bunch of old people sitting around” and had been warned to make themselves unobtrusive.  So, naturally, they rushed into Kris’ house, cap-guns blazing, and the raging imaginary gun-battle with a couple of Kris’ adult children lasted several hours, with the help of three large, excited dogs, and lots of yelling and laughing. During a break in the action, Jimmy Leary (one of the “kids” from my old neighborhood who might be called “Jim” or “James” by the other people in his world), took my kids to see some 4-legged kids in Kris’ barn: goats, rabbits, and horses.  I’m hoping that one of the “old people sitting around” will post those silly pictures of our “totally boring” (HA!) time. 
Calvin was invited by Tom to make free use of his BB gun to hunt the elusive aluminum can on their lush 5 acres of ancient Connecticut woods, "if it's Ok with your Mom."  
Of course I consented.  I'm that bad a mom. 

After a morning in the kid-paradise that is the Bruno home: trampoline, zipline, rope-swing, pool, animals to play with, woods to explore, more target-practice with the BB gun, my kids were wondering if Kris’ paralegal expertise might extend to adoption papers… 

A huge THANK YOU and much love to Kris, Tom, Alex, Sara, Cassidy, and Eden for their wonderful hospitality, and to my “old people” friends from back in the day: Matt (and Ray—you are a TREASURE), Debra, Jimmy, and Dagmar, for coming out on a worknight, in the pouring rain, to welcome the Hedrick Herd back to New England.  Calvin asked me, as we drove off, headed for Gramma’s house in Kittery, Maine on Friday afternoon, “Are all your friends this cool?  Are there more like this that we’ll get to meet?”  

My answer was an emphatic “Absolutely!” 

We’re now happily settled here at my Mom’s house in Kittery Point.  Andre has joined us for the week, and the Chicago family is here as well.  The Connecticut branch of the Wall family is due in very soon.  Tomorrow, we’ll all go to Mom’s church and celebrate the baptism/dedication of little Nolan Robert Wall.  

Was it worth the 4,000-something miles of road so far?  Absolutely !

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Valerie! Great stories. Am enjoying your trip vicariously!