Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Oh, New England Winter Vacation

I'm back! I was visiting family in New England—did you miss me? You didn't notice, did you? That's OK. The holiday season is a busy time. That's why I was completely brain damaged going into my trip last week. What with end-of-school preparations, Christmas shopping (I only have one kid—how did shopping become a full-time job?), my cousin's winter winery wedding (that's a wedding in a winery which is a good way to go, I say), I barely had time to get it together. I returned to a house full of Christmas. Remember childhood, when Mom cleaned all that up? Now I'm Mom.

The horrors of Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook school shooting have hit my east-coast relatives very hard. It's been a hell of a time in the Northeast. It was good to reconnect with everyone and to be thankful for the love we share with one another.

Let's review the wonder that is Southeastern Connecticut.

Wait—this is a Groton Goodwill find. My mother-in-law described it as "someone doing badly in sculpture class." Still, I like this viewpoint. There's a lot of shellfish to be caught and eaten along the Connecticut coast, as reflected in this one-of-a-kind artwork.

Let's just stay at the Goodwill for a moment. We usually find some good stuff here. Like on this visit, someone gave up all their 'NSYNC action figures to the Goodwill. There was the whole crew: Joey and Justin and JC and all those guys. Here's Lance Bass. This makes the Groton Goodwill fisherman sculpture look pretty good, doesn't it?

Although the visible pathos on JC's doll face is quite moving. Dude. It'll be OK.

JC Chasez, singer of Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)
It took all my powers of inner restraint not to pay $2.99 for this Justin Timberlake 2000 Holiday Ornament. That's what happens when you're middle-aged—you lose your kitsch edge.

Then, as if to test me further, the Goodwill Gods sent down this Justin Timberlake limited edition rare bear. It's a bear, wearing a Justin T-shirt, in the box, mint condition. Will I regret this road not taken? Naah.

There was also a large collection of Osbourne Family bobble heads and talking dolls. Well, to be clear, the talking dolls no longer talk. When you press Sharon and Kelly's tummies, all that could be heard was the woeful toc toc toc of dying batteries. I admit, had they talked, I would have had a difficult time saying no. After all, it is Sharon and Kelly here. Ozzy's bobblehead with colored hair extensions had been moved down into the toy section of the store, where he looked very out of place, yet so right.

I pressed their tummies hard—I got nothing.
Let's get out of here and head outside—get some fresh air.

OMYGOD! It's snowing. What do you do when it snows continuously until the ground is covered with seven inches in one night? Go sledding, of course. Please sled down the hill 100 billion times until snow melts or vacation is over, whichever comes first.

Just keep sledding...



Just keep sledding...
OK, stop. Time for hot chocolate now.
Stonington is one of the oldest towns in the country. People decorate their homes with fish and fish-related items, and that looks just fine by the sea.

Check out the Mystic Seaport, where whaling ships are restored and buildings and their doorways are tiny, to accommodate once-tiny 17th-century colonists.

I feel a Herman Melville quote coming on...

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.
To balance out the Christmas ham, chowder, pizza, fish & chips, quiche, cupcakes, cookies, pie and chocolate candies, we tried to stay active, but it was hard for us wimpy Californians in the 30-degree weather. The wind-chill—that's the problem. Standing in a North-easterly wind is like saying, "Suffering builds character!" without the character.

It is pretty outside though. I stayed active by hunching my shoulders, shivering, taking a yoga class at the Y, and pulling on a stretchy-band thing once in a while. Now that I'm home, I'll be working on my core. Just thought I'd over-share.

This woman was forced to walk outside due to her dog.
This little bird scoffs at us in our multiple insulating layers and parkas. It's saying, "Ha! This storm is nothing. I didn't even bother to migrate. West coast wimps!"

There were a number of stand-alone window displays showing the industrial nature of Rhode Island at the Providence Airport. This one's motto was "Our Unique Blend," displaying a blender (proudly manufactured in RI), a lobster, a golfer, some sand, seashells and a model Amtrak train, made from wood. That Groton Goodwill fisherman statue just looks better and better, doesn't it?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make a lobster-golfer smoothie and hit the sheets—jetlag, you know. It's a balmy 50 degrees in California and today I wore a T-shirt (with jacket over it) to celebrate. Happy New Year to you and yours!


Jess @ It's Jess! said...

Hello! I'm new to your blog but I am very much in like with it :)

I don't know if I'm the worst person ever, but I would totally spray paint that Goodwill statuette gold and make it my latest greatest tacky desk objet.

Miss Lisa said...

That sounds pretty great. I think the NSYNC action figures would look nice sprayed gold as well. Or maybe bronze. Bronze is due for a come-back and so is NSYNC. Hello and welcome.