The Maniac Collector's Inbox (214)
July 9, 2006
Sherlocking On Holiday
My lovely wife, Joyce, and I took off last week for our second annual Fourth of July holiday in Connecticut with stops in other New England states as well. When one of Joyce's oldest friend's daughters called us back in May and invited us to a surprise anniversary party in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, during the same week, our travel card became extremely full. Part of my mission for this trip was photographing highway "Signs of Four" along our route for a photo collection of mine.
We got up early on Sunday and flew to Newark, New Jersey. From there we drove into New York for lunch at Becco's on West 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth with some of my colleagues who were in town on vacation. We had a great lunch and a delightful afternoon with them before heading up the eastern seaboard to Ivoryton, Connecticut. We arrived without incident and were greeted by our hostess and her menagerie of animals. We ate at a local restaurant and caught up on a year's worth of news.
The next morning, I took Joyce to the Gillette Castle which is but a few miles from Ivoryton. Having been to the castle multiple times previously, our hostess decided not to go with us this time. This was after a quick drive up to Farmington, CT where I was able to photograph my first road sign of a State Highway 4. On the Fourth, it was raining and the local parade was cancelled. Joyce and I found ourselves driving up to Mystic Seaport where we helped out the local economy by visiting most of the shops in town. We got back to Ivoryton in time to attend a cookout along with about 15 other patriotic guests.
Wednesday morning began as another rainy day. We bid our farewell to our hostess and headed out into the storm. Our ultimate destination was Portland, Maine but our trail took us through Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The rain abated and I was able to take photographs of the State Highway 4 signs in all of these states. It also included the one for Maine which runs just outside of Portland.
In Portland, we headed directly to Joyce's favorite spot for lobster rolls and more shopping. By the time I was dragged into the last shop, I was flagging and had had just enough shopping for one day. I was pleasantly surprised when I got in change a 1936 silver quarter. The last time I had a silver quarter in change was in 1980! I guess there was a reason for this trip after all.
The next day we headed west. The rain was long gone as we headed for our next stop, Rutland, Vermont. Ironically, Vermont State Highway 4 also can be found there. We actually traveled on U.S. Highway 4 across New Hampshire and Vermont. In Rutland we did some antique shopping and called in at a few used bookshops but found nothing to buy, except for several different grades of pure maple syrup. I am a card-carrying Maple Syrup Junkie and would never consider a 12-step program for a cure.
Friday morning was a leisurely drive from Rutland to Monmouth Beach, New Jersey. We did stop to photograph the U.S. Highway 4 in New York and the New Jersey State Highway 4 near the George Washington Bridge. We were at our friend's house at the appointed time along with more than 50 guests and surprised the unsuspecting couple as they entered and found all of us crouched behind their kitchen door.
Another great vacation in the books. If it hadn't been for all of the "Signs of Four" and the Gillette Castle it would not have been Sherlockian at all but sometimes a Sherlockian has to do non-Sherlockian things in order to keep Sherlocking in the future (or so I've been told).