Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back From Southern New England

We are back from our trip to the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, none of which I had ever visited, despite having grown up in the state to immediately to the west, save for a tiny slice of the first while hitchhiking to Vermont.

We began our trip in Walden Pond, and then to the homes of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, an appropriately transcendental stop before entering the congestion of Boston.

After getting a taste of what that city has to offer, which, as far as I could tell was for the outsider not much different than what any other big city has to offer, we made camp at Wompatuck State Park, giving us easy access to Plymouth Rock, which everyone said would disappoint but was for me the highlight of the trip, and Cape Cod, which everyone raved about but which was for me a big disappointment.

Next, after a stop in the nifty town of Newport, Rhode Island, in whose house there are many mansions, we made camp at Burlingame State Park, where my kids made friends with some kids from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who, along with the Rochester Red Wings, were the protagonists in Dan Barry's excellent Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball's Longest Game.

And, yes, the kids pronounced the name of their hometown "PuhTUCKit" (/pəˈtʌkɨt/) and not "PAWtuckit" (/ˈpɔːtʌkɨt/) just as Mr. Barry said they would. I was happy during the trip to hear some pronunciations that challenged my comprehension, even if I was unable myself to "park the car in Harvard Yard" due to congestion.

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