Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rhode Island/Connecticut

This past weekend, I crossed off two states with the help of a college friend and his family. They have moved to RI for work, and CT is super-close by, so it was two birds, one stone. Or really many things, one trip. I hadn't seen the friend since 2005 or 2006, and the wife, probably not since their wedding. It was great to see them, to catch up, to reminisce and see the sights as well.

One of the days, we headed to Groton, CT to visit the USS Nautilus - the world's first nuclear-powered submarine. It's been decommissioned and docked since 1982 near the Naval Submarine Base in New London. We can tour a few of the forward compartments and it was really eye-opening visiting the sub. I knew/know the quarters are tight in a submarine, but it is truly miniscule. The hatches are incredibly small and took some effort to get in and out of. The berths are even smaller - I would really love to see exactly how one gets in the berth with 2 1/2 feet of clearance.

USS Nautilus   USS Nautilus

It was really very cool - and so was the museum attached. It had a few periscopes integrated into the building in which you could spy on the HVAC and the parking lot.

Back at "home", we walked down Thames street, which is a Main Street of shops and restaurants, and conveniently by a harbor. Not sure which body of water exactly we were bordering - but it's still pretty and NOT the Mississippi.

Thames Street   Thames Street

We also visited the Cliff Walk - until we got to the point that the rest of it was washed away by Hurricane Sandy, in which you could see the Breakers, a famous Vanderbilt-owned 'summer home'.

The Breakers

Other fun sights:

Cliff Walk/Ochre Point    Cliff Walk/Ochre Point    Cliff Walk/Ochre Point   Cliff Walk/Ochre Point  

As well as a brief walking tour of Salve Regina - at least the part that borders the Cliff Walk, or rather that the Cliff Walk borders it. The whole area has majestic houses, equally majestic gates and tons of history:

Salve Regina     Salve Regina    Salve Regina  

Salve Regina   Salve Regina   Salve Regina   Salve Regina     Salve Regina  

All in all - it was a very fun, very worthwhile trip - despite the winter storm warning that threatened the trip before it began. After the initial day of snow and wind, the weather for the remained of the trip was wonderful. I can see how this area becomes a resort town in the summer - it is stunningly beautiful. I'll have to make a return trip again sometime.

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