My next stop on my journey would mean making my way through a few states to get there. Rather than taking the normal highway route, I chose to hop on a morning ferry from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ. I had never driven onto a ferry before and that gives me another thing to check off my list. I made my way through some beautiful views in the Garden State, got my gas pumped for me, then headed towards NYC. I saw the NYC skyline and made my way across the George Washington Bridge, before arriving on the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut. The winding roads through the trees and under the uniquely designed overpasses were a great intro for the rest of my stay.
What many of you are probably aware of is that Connecticut has one of the strictest travel restrictions right now along with NY & NJ. This weighed on me as I entered the state and was figuring out what to do. I had lots of recommendations given to me, but many seemed like it would be pushing too far past what I felt comfortable. I looked for some great outdoor activities and some easy pickup or delivery food options while I got settled into my room for the next couple days. I also had to setup my “office” to get straight to work that afternoon and make sure I could work effectively. I grabbed a delicious white clam pizza from Pepe’s and settled in for the first night.
After a full day of working in my room, I got ready for a drive to what seemed like an easy spot to get a good view of the city and sunset. I arrived at East Rock Park to find out that the driving path was closed because of trees/debris and would need to walk about a mile or so up hill. It was a good thing I wore the right stuff! I hiked my way up through the trails/roads to take in the city, the harbor, and the sunset over the West Rock area. There were a few people here and there, so I was able to keep my distance. It was definitely worth the trip before grabbing some more pizza and heading back to my room to plan out my next day of activities.
I decided to start my day with a walking tour around New Haven and Yale. Found a great map online with descriptions and history of many of the buildings. Got some breakfast and sat in the Cross Campus before walking around the rest of the buildings. The old buildings with their history were really cool and I also enjoyed walking down what Charles Dickens called the most beautiful street in America (Hillhouse Avenue). The campus was mostly empty, so I had plenty of space and time to wander around.
I finished my New Haven & Yale tours by lunchtime and headed north on a drive. I took a detour to drive by the ESPN headquarters in Bristol to get a quick picture at the entrance. They don’t allow tours normally and don’t even like you taking pictures in case you were wondering. I continued my way to Hartford and wasn’t really sure what my plan was still. Went to check out the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses before walking around downtown. There were some great outdoor art exhibits and statues, plus the buildings were beautiful to look at. My random afternoon journey north turned out to be well worth the trip.
My last stop for the day was down the East Shore to enjoy the sunset with a beer and a walk along Lighthouse Point. I found a nice little restaurant on the harbor with a chair on the water and a great view. I finished the night with more pizza before preparing for my next stop.
One of the main things I noticed on my time in Connecticut was finding all these little “havens” in each place. A mostly empty Yale, walking trails/beaches with a view, off the beaten path stops, downtowns without many people, and historical buildings all around. I was able to keep my distance on the walks/drives and settle into my adventure in the Northeast. Soon I will have been outside of states with restrictions (FL/SC) and won’t have to worry anymore about state rules. Until then it is masks on and avoiding busy areas as much as possible. We shall see how that works out in my next stop… Providence, RI.