Archive for the ‘day trips’ Category

The Book Barn   Leave a comment

We drove down to Niantic yesterday to visit a bookstore a friend told me about. It’s called The Book Barn. It’s a second-hand book store that will buy your old books (in good condition) and give you cash or store credit. So we bagged up all our old Magic Treehouse and Secrets of Droon books and headed south.

magic treehouse droon

(My 16-year-old son still kept these in the back of his closet, though no one’s looked at them in many a year)

The Book Barn is a really interesting place. It’s set in three different locations, all within a mile or so area along the same road. The Main Barn, the Downtown shop, and Mid-Town. There is a fourth as well, according to the website, but we didn’t see it. Downtown and Mid-Town are within a short walk of each other, maybe a block away.

The entrance to the Main Barn

At the Main Barn, there are smaller buildings set around the area, filled with books, as well as smaller, slightly covered-over outdoor bookshelves.



There’s a lot of country-folk decorations, nice paths, and some silly hand lettered signs.



And one the bigger draws of the place – CATS. There were a few we saw wandering around outside, but we failed to get any pictures of them.

There were two inside that we saw, one sleepy big guy who loved being petted, and purred when you did…

…and the little black one who also loved being petted, but showed it by digging his claws in when you stopped.


Don’t remember taking this picture, but I take a lot of unintended pictures of floors, and the inside of my pocket and such. Must be one of those.


My daughter thought this was funny. They also had an autographed picture of Tony Orlando, and I wanted to take a picture of that, but it was too high up on the wall to get a good angle. (You DO remember Tony Orlando, don’t you? Not really sure why I do….but I do.)



It was a really cute place, and it was a nice drive.

We left and went to Foxwoods to have lunch at the Hard Rock and wander around.

No gambling, daughter is not of the proper age. We sat on a bench outside one of the casino entrances to talk for a while, and they have guards at all the entrances to check ID’s.

We were a good fifty feet away, and she’s 18 but looks younger. Yet the whole time we sat there, about 20 minutes, he never took his eyes off her. We wondered if he thought she would suddenly leap up and bolt past him into the den of evil and corruption.

Oh, and behind our bench was a nice set of statuary…a Native American woman holding a lamb, with 2 sheep walking in front of her, being followed by a faithful dog. The dog was male. How do I know?



Chopper Goes To Newport   Leave a comment

We went to Newport, RI for a two-day trip back in May
(or maybe June…I forget)
and we took a small friend with us.


Crossing the Bridge   Leave a comment

A followup to my last post. I did indeed drive over both those bridges. Twice. Once coming, once going. In addition, there was another bridge, though I don’t recall the name of it. The Newport Bridge went up over 200 feet. I know, because my GPS has a nifty little “feet about sea level” reading, and I watched it. Well, I watched it while watching the road.

Going there last Friday, it was cold and rainy. And as we neared the ocean, that meant FOG. Not fog, mind you, but FOG. You’d think that would make it scarier, but actually it didn’t. Which leads me to believe my fears are more of height than of the thought of driving over NOTHING BUT AIR WITH A DROP INTO FREEZING COLD WATER BENEATH YOU. Or you know, not.



My son rode shotgun, and he took most of the bridge photos. Since it was foggy, we were moving at about 40 miles an hour, and we were pretty damn HIGH IN THE AIR, there’s not much to see.

This is how foggy it was:

Verrazanno Bridge

We had a good time. Toured the Blithewold Mansion. It’s more than a mansion, it’s an Arboretum just north of Newport, in Bristol, Rhode Island. The mansion itself was nice, as old mansions go. I was much more impressed by the grounds, which were magnificent. I took far too many pictures. I’ll put some up in a separate post later. In a side note, I found out my new iPod’s camera has a panorama option, and I was able to play with that. I did get one really nice shot out of that.

And when we went to dinner that night, I ran into …. The Most Interesting Man In The World …. and had my daughter take my picture with him. It’s a tiny size because I don’t like pictures of myself too much, and bear in mind that we’d just come back from a very windy, foggy, all-around MOIST walk and I looked like hell.


Well, yes, okay, it was just a cardboard cutout. But still Interesting.

Facing Your Fears?   Leave a comment

So. The kids are off from school this week. We decided to drive to Newport, Rhode Island today, spend the night, then come back tomorrow. Just the three of us, since my husband couldn’t take time off from work.

So. Last night googled the address of the hotel we wanted to stay at. A small Google map shows up on the side pinpointing the location. So. Zoomed out a little to get a better perspective, and something caught my eye.


See those two red arrows? The one on the left is called the Jamestown Bridge. The one on the right is the Newport Bridge.

Now let me say right here that driving across bridges petrifies me so badly you’d laugh. I can do them, and have, and one day dream of driving along Route 1 in the Florida Keys, hopefully without my heart stopping even once. BUT.

The Jamestown Bridge is a mile and a half long. The Newport Bridge is over two miles.

Will let you know if we survive.


(the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge – could they make it just a little more terrifying?)

Posted April 19, 2013 by Fran LaPlaca in daily, day trips, travel

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