50 States, Day 167, Newport, RI to Southington, Connecticut 151 Miles
"Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it."
~Jean Antoine Petit-Senn
"What will we do today?" I asked.
"Well, let's go to Connecticut."
We dug out a map and found a route. We would follow route 1 and then turn North... sometime. That's a rather normal plan for our trip. People say, "Do you have a plan for every state?" We barely have a plan for the next couple of hours.
Off we went over a huge bridge that QG hated, with views of water, shorelines and boats, something we didn't see enough of in this state. We wound through 1A, through the small towns and more seaside vistas. Arriving at a Connecticut Tourist Center, we stopped to formulate a plan. However it was a Mystic Chamber of Commerce, so no maps, no brochures, but the friendly lady directed us toward Hartford and the Capitol.
The roads remained rural until arriving at the Big H, then we rode with three or four other lanes of traffic, and i can say the Connecticut leads the nation in rude drivers. A guy paused for a fifth of a second when a light turned green, and the next guy blew his horn. Another honked me when I stopped for a pedestrian, and two jostled NASCAR style for position on an on ramp. Come on, people!
We voted Hartford Capitol the most beautiful on the outside. With spires pointing to the sky around a gold leaf rotunda, it looked like a fairy tale castle. We walked right in the front doors- sort of. Eight doors in the front, all locked, but the side doors, still in the entry, allowed us passage, and no strip search. We arrived too late for a tour (2:15, jeez!) and acquired a brochure. QG read aloud as we followed through the marvelous halls, leaden with testaments to heroes, memories, and gods. Like the Genius of Connecticut, a huge statue with another of the same on the side of the hall. Go figure.
The architecture was different from other Capitols, using silver columns with red, black and gold bands. Red walls were stenciled with floral patterns.
Connecticut, one of the original 13 colonies, has a deep history and the Hall of Flags reflects this. The flags were original and behind UV protective glass, and very cool.
Quilter Girl loved the patterns on the floor and they reminded her of quilts. Of course, a dead spider on the floor would too. Okay, maybe not. She voted this the top five capitol, and I would have voted it Best in Show, except for a few things:
First, we couldn't get into the House and Senate, not even the galleries. Part of the reason was they were being refurbished, but come on! Open up the galleries, people. I would even put up with a strip search for that.
A fascinating statue was of Prudence Crandall and her student, Gabriel Koren. She established he own academy in Canterbury and shocked and appalled the masses by admitting Gabriel as a student, who was black. After immense pressure from all fronts, she opened another academy for 'students of color.' The masses didn't like that either. Now she's a hero, with a statue in the Capitol. We persecute people than deify them after they pass. Plus she had to spend her life being called Prudence.
We noticed an oddity on the front of the building. Do you see anything missing? Three statues! Did they fall off to their death? And if they did fall from seventy- five feet up, whose death would that be? Let's cut them some slack and imagine they took them down for glamour makeovers. However, Iowa and Philadelphia remain in the top spots, but stick CT in a firm third place.
While we dressed for it, today was one cold ride. The temperature barely passed fifty with a biting icy wind all day. Plus an hour of rain. We rode West from town and found another (PP!) Motel 6, not freezing in the tent tonight. Probably should sell it and buy another in the spring! However, we need the storage...
And now, thawed and dry, the girl with the curl, Quilter girl!
When I checked the time on my Nook this morning, I noticed that it was Friday. Somewhere I lost a day! I was sure it was Thursday, not sure how that happened. Today was cold, but sunny in the morning, at least. We stopped in Narragansett on the water and ate cold pizza for breakfast while watching the boats. It clouded up the further West we rode and it did rain early in the afternoon. The Capitol was wonderful as Kevin said though we had to make a couple of passes around it to figure out where to park. The Hartford Marathon is happening tomorrow and there were roads closed all around the capitol building.
We were blessed today when we got off this exit to find a place to eat and gas and there was a Motel 6. We hightailed it in, got a room and walked to Chili's for dinner. I know it is a chain, but there were limited choices within walking distance. The nice thing is the food tasted good with awesome service, thanks to Tiffany.
Tomorrow we may tour a clock museum and a cartoon/comic museum. We'll see. Thanks for following.