Childhood memories and tow trucks
Larry and I wanted to recap our adventures in Massachusetts. I spent several years of my childhood here, ages 1 to 6 or so. Since Larry and I had been in Boston several years ago, we felt no need to join the others in exploring that area.
We chose a campground in Brimfield, MA. This town is about 3 miles west of Sturbridge and 20 east of Springfield.
When we left Maine that early Tuesday morning, Larry and I took our time since we were not following the group to Boston. We left the campground about a half an hour behind the group. We headed south and down through the coast of New Hampshire and into Massachusetts. We stopped at the first rest area we saw to pick up informational brochures. We spent about a half an hour in there gathering up what we could find. When we finally exited the building, low and behold, here comes the rest of the group into the rest area. After much laughing, it was discovered that their leader for the day (we won't disclose the identity) got them lost getting out of Maine! Everyone needs to take their turn in the barrel to see how it feels to get lost with all those rigs behind you.
We arrived at the campground around noon and found out that if we checked in before two in the afternoon we had to pay an extra $5! First time we ran into this, but instead of sitting in their parking lot for two hours, we forked over the extra 5 bucks. This campground was a lot like some of the others we have ran into on the east coast. It seems like most of these campgrounds here are mainly for seasonal campers. These families rent the site for the season, about May to October. The sites are full of older rigs that have attached buildings or porches to them. Several of the people we talked to are from the city and have been coming to these campgrounds for years. The parks leave a few sites (20-40) for overnighters like us.
Our first full day there, we decided to venture back into Chicopee Falls, near Springfield to see my childhood home. Off with the GPS loaded with the address and after a few wrong turns, finally found it. We spoke to the young man working outside and found out that the couple who purchased it from my folks still owned the house over 40 years later! They were there and we got a chance to visit with them. They said they still thought they got a good deal!
On the way home from there, our truck just died! Well, actually it sputtered and then died. We got it over to the side of the road, kind of in a parking lot of a billiards parlor. After several tries to get it started and looking under the hood, we made a phone call to Dodge roadside service. I do have to say they were great and kept in touch with us by phone to let us know the status of the tow truck. We did have a little wait about 2 hours in the sun, but knowing someone was on their way was good. The young man, who finally arrived, towed our truck into Springfield and made sure we were at a place that could actually help us!
Our poor old truck, actually it has very few miles on it, had to stay at the garage for several days. The diagnosis was a fuel pump failure. We had to rent a car for two days. Believe it or not, our rental choices were a SUV or a pickup! We choose the SUV, a RAV 4. At least it got much better mileage than our truck.
The following day we headed off for Old Sturbridge village. This is a re-creation of rural New England during the 1790's to 1840's. I have fond memories of visiting this place when we lived here. They have actually set up a small town with a village green and all the stores and buildings around it, several farms, different exhibits, and working mills and shops.
The nice thing is that they have costumed volunteers that actually work there and you can talk to them and they explain what they are doing and what life was like back then. During the summer they have a summer camp for children and the children go there everyday and dress and live life as they did back then. They looked like they were having fun. Sure wish they had that when I lived there. We spent most of the day there exploring.
The next few days were spent driving down to Rhode Island and Connecticut and back to Springfield to pick up our truck, which was now fixed.
Don and Bonnie joined us on Saturday afternoon and we spent the rest of the day catching up on all they had done while we were apart.
On Sunday, the four of us headed down to Foxwoods casino in Connecticut. It was about an hours drive south of us, but felt that since it was one of the largest in the US and Juliann couldn't get there, we should at least see it. It was a pretty impressive place and we both lost about a dollar. We then headed south to Mystic Seaport. We had thought we would tour the old ships they had there, but when we arrived we discovered that the admission price was too high for us so we just shot a few pictures and headed back to the camp. On the way back to camp we stopped at a farmers market that Don fancied and bought some corn and tomatoes. We watched one man eat 8 ears of corn raw right in the parking lot!
Monday was another chore day and then we took off on Tuesday morning for a return trip to New York and to meet up with the rest of the group.