Coming home, I don’t have any one particular place to see, so I’m just stopping when the mood strikes, boredom from the interstate hits, or one of the attraction signs takes my fancy.
I stopped for lunch in Southing, Connecticut at a local place called the Pepper Pot. A hot veggie sandwich and apple pie with whip cream hits the spot. I try to drive into the heart of a town and if they have a historic section, that’s the way I head. I’ve learned that’s where the best restaurants are located and the locals can answer any question I have. It’s also the most interesting to ease drop on the conversations since I don’t have anyone to talk with, I listen, and then if I’m close enough, I can sometimes join their conversation.
It’s amazing how many people in a restaurant you can talk too. I never do that at home when I’m eating by myself. I may have to try it. My favorite place is to sit is at the bar if they have one (not an alcohol bar). One thing I like about New England, if it’s called a ‘diner’ it has those quaint, round bar stools where a single person can sit. It’s like having a floor show and it’s fun to talk with the servers and other people, and watch the cooks behind their open window if they have one.
I picked Southing because interstate 84 around Hartford had used every nerve I had with the continually merging with other roads and interstates. My fingers were wrapped so tightly around the steering wheel, I almost had to pry them off. At the end of lunch, a call from Darlene made my stop even nicer; wonderful to hear a friendly voice from home.
Back on the interstate when a few exits down, I see a sign for a Carousel Museum. I follow the signs forever and I’m ready to give it up when I find it. The museum is teeming with beautiful, antique, and historic carousel animals of all sorts, but mostly horses are inside. As you can expect, it’s not very busy and best yet, they give personal tours. I never thought carousel history would be so in-depth and I was overwhelmed with all the information about types of horses and the immigrant carvers who plied their skills. After my carousel lesson, I’m left to roam and explore. They are works of art with the intricate carving and painting. I’m glad I stopped.
My most unusual surprise was to see a bear on the side of interstate 84 in New York. I was watching for a rest stop that was coming up, when I spot what I think from a distance is a huge black dog, but closer… it is a bear! I start honking because I don’t want to hit it. After lots of honks, it finally turns and runs. WOW! At the rest stop about a quarter of a mile away, I ask a person from NY if that was common? He says, “Yes, they have bears, but it’s unusual to see them on interstates, but it does happen.” Score!!!!
About six, I stop from boredom because the name of the town sounded interesting. Port Jervis, New York. I knew I was getting close to the state line because of mile markers and anything with Port in a name means river nearby.
I stopped at ‘Arlene & Tom’s Diner’ and wasn’t disappointed. Beautiful wood bar stools greeted me at the door and blue gingham tablecloths covered tables. So pretty! I ordered a grilled cheese with bacon sandwich and coffee to eat there and a cinnamon roll to go. (She called it a sweet roll). I visited and since it was a small historic town I asked what there was to see. I hit the jackpot!
She told me to go through the cemetery to find where the Delaware River met with another one (can’t remember its name). After dinner, I headed out. I went to the wrong cemetery, met a nice lady from NJ, who sent me in the right direction. It was pretty easy to find so I changed shoes and climbed down. Not only did they meet, but there was a Tri-State marker and monument. I was in three states at once, or symbolically I was because I’d have to be in the Delaware River to stand in the exact spot.
Decided to follow signs for the historic Erie Turntable. Sadly, it should be better taken care of. I don’t think many are still in existence. While I was there two Amtrak trains came in and I thought how ironic that so close to relatively modern trains, sat a piece of glorious train past.
A beautiful church summoned me to take a picture and I met the pastor who said it took work to keep it up, but was worth it. He was moving the ‘soup kitchen’ sign from the church front. The town did seem rundown. Then explored the park and found more history. Walked around reading all the historic markers in town…amazing the historic trivia we never think about until we read a sign.
Ended the day in Scranton, PA. Home of the famed ‘Office’ and Dunder Mifflin. No, I can’t possible pass through Scranton without a picture. I found a police officer willing to let me take his picture, but he acted like he wasn’t posing. Funny!