Long Island to Boston

It’s been a great visit with our Brooklyn kids, but we needed them to get back to work so they can take care of us when we get old. We did more in NYC in three days than most New Yorkers do their whole lives (we know that to be true is because Jim met a local bartender on the Long Island Ferry who had never walked the Brooklyn Bridge or even been up the Empire State Building!). But it was time to move even further north toward Boston.

Our destination today is Boston, via Long Island. We’ve never been to either place before and really had no idea what to expect. We got out of Brooklyn relatively easily, catching the end of morning rush hour traffic, passing through the largest cemetery we’ve ever seen with very old, very closely-placed tombstones. We popped out of Queens and we were on Long Island (although we believe Gwen told us to say “we are at Long Island”? or is it “in Long Island”? We gotta get our prepositions straight!). We took a detour to Jones Beach. We’ve never heard of it but it is actually the busiest beach in the northeast and sees nearly 6 million visitors a year! Big concerts are done there in a strange-looking amphitheater (Adam Sandler is playing there on June). There’s a lighthouse (of course), but more distinctly, there are two hugh watertowers that are shaped like the clocktower in Spokane’s Riverfront park. Of course it’s off-season now and a cold wind was blowing, but it was neat to travel through.

Long Island may be long, but we seemed to have traveled across it quickly. We stopped for breakfast and cawfee (aka coffee) at a little diner in Babylon then off toward the very northeast end (not the southeast end where the ritzy Hamptons are) so that we could take the ferry to Connecticut. The density of housing and people definitely changed and even petered out toward the end, only to change again into a very cute New England style by the time we got to Greenport and Orient. There were cute farms, old shingled houses, and new vineyards popping up throughout this end of Long Island. Again, it was off-season and the trees have not even started to bud yet, but we are definitely not in the City anymore.

The fun part of the trip was taking the Long Island Ferry from Point Orient across the sound to New London, CT. The ferry runs once an hour and has a snack bar and even a bar (of course we get the ferry with the bar). Lisa had some blogging to catch up on and Jim had fun roaming the vessel and taking pictures for his now-famous blog. The total ride is about 1.5 hours and the seas were pretty choppy. Lisa even got a little queasy. And yes, there were several lighthouses of various shapes and sizes along the way.

Once we were in New England, it was time to get moving towards Boston. Our day was going by too quickly! Again, we seemed to be going in the right direction of traffic as we were always leaving a city after morning rush hour and going into one as people were heading out. One of the things that struck Lisa were the rock walls that were in the woods. We passed miles and miles of forests (still without leaves) and inside you can clearly see old rock walls in various states of repair. As we guessed, they were from the colonial times when people took out all the trees for farming, built walls out of the rocks (this land is LITTERED with rocks!) and built the walls to define property boundaries. The forest eventually reclaimed the land and trees grew around the walls. Lisa tried to get pictures, but difficult to do at 70mph.

We finally made it to our Airbnb in Brookline, a suburb of Boston. We didn’t have Gwen around to dish out all the gossip on these neighborhoods, but this one is very nice with Victorian brick homes and brownstones, clean streets, and college-age kids everywhere. We spotted our Greenline stop for tomorrow’s launch into Boston and our Airbnb host, Phil, got us reservations at the “hottest restaurant in town” (Lisa was afraid that meant spicy!).

Can we stop for a minute to talk about Phil? He’s a local Boston guy who had the full accent that required much translating. He remodeled a big old house in the Brookline neighborhood with five rooms that he rents out through Aitbnb. He had just remodeled our room and bathroom which was roomy and comfortable. So comfortable that Phil took a seat at the desk and hung out with us for awhile, making phone calls and talking about the importance of walking. During the slow season he drives for Lyft. A true gig economy worker. When we checked out, we told him his place was perfect. “No, YOU’RE perfect!”

We walked to Barcelona down the street and checked Spain off our list of culinary countries (can you say tapas?). Tomorrow we’ll leave the cah at the house, grab some Dunkie’s, hop on the T, and head down to the Hub to do some sightseeing.

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