Day 1: We take the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else. – RK

Hello to my lucky 39 followers! For the first time in almost 5 years, I’m sitting in a cheap no-tell motel trying to highlight my days journey for you! I forgot how badly my brain works after a days drive and how hard it is to come up with these posts. It’s also a pain in the ass to post pictures on WordPress without using up all of my allotted memory. But anyway, here goes my journey into Connecticut.

I’m tired and have an early morning, so let’s jump into this. If I put enough pictures in you won’t notice I’ve written very little. Our first stop was obviously a cemetery. That’s good luck right? Especially when you’re seeing Midnight Mary’s grave that promises doom to anyone brave enough to visit at midnight! “The people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away.” I’ll leave that for you.

You know that crazy Winchester House in California that has doors and stairs leading to nowhere? Sarah Winchester was the heiress of the Winchester firearms company. She built a crazy house to confuse the ghosts of all the people killed by her family’s fortune. Of course she would be buried in the same hallowed grounds as Midnight Mary.

The main stone is surrounded by Sarah, her husband, infant child, and other various family members. They also placed this bench next to them should you need to take a break. That was pretty polite!

After visiting some dead folk, we moved to New Haven for lunch. We had two stops in mind. First was Frank Pepe for some apizza. New Haven has their own style of pizza that they’ve dubbed “apizza.” As Dr. Jen’s family members are all pizza connoisseurs, we had to check it out.

The NEPA (North East Pennsylvania) pizza snob said it might be one of the best pizzas ever. I guess a 4 hour drive isn’t too horrible for a great pizza Friday.

Not far away was Louis’ Lunch. The place claims to be the inventor of the “Hamburger Sandwich” and has been run by four generations of a family. The place is tiny, there was a line to get in, and the operation is run by only two people.

The white bread gets toasted by some sort of Ferris Wheel device (not the standard conveyor belt toaster I’m familiar with). The thick patties get put into a kind of vertical panini press and put directly into some flames. It’s served with cheese, onions, and tomato. NO KETCHUP! There are signs and t-shirts that explicitly say so.

It was very greasy and I couldn’t taste the onion. I don’t like tomatoes so I left that option behind. Ultimately I am not the target audience of that burger sandwich. But I have no ill-will toward them and am happy to have patronized those fine inventors.

Our next stop was good…it wasn’t great. Tiny Soda Factory? Yes please! Sadly that’s not really what we found. It is a tiny soda factory in image but I’m not so certain it’s a working factory. They sometimes give tours to groups but for us they just kind of stared at us when we walked in. They were nice but there really isn’t anywhere to go as it’s floor to ceiling crates. There was a small cooler as you walk in with some of the sodas but that’s about it. We bought CBD soda…don’t do it, man. Especially the lavender-lemon. That’s some nasty stuff.

Because I can’t take a trip without seeing some sort of large animal, I had to stop by a local dairy to see Super Cow. It was not a comfortable picture for Dr. Jen. There were factory workers all over and there wasn’t really a photo op kind of vibe going on. But we got the shot and I regret nothing.

Being super Polish, Dr. Jen was excited to see that we were near a certain ethnic district…

I was more than happy to pull in for some pierogi to wash the taste of “hamburger sandwich” out of my mouth. We stopped at Roly Poly Bakery and loaded up on some treats. Namely two potato and cheese pierogi, a blueberry pierogi, and a black currant paczki (ethnic donut). The donut was good but I wouldn’t say the shopping trip was a total win. I’ll leave it at that. Also there was this uncomfortable chair looking at the toilet in the men’s room and a dark room that I was a bit too scared to investigate. Yes this was a single stall bathroom. Yes it was the first time I wished there were more people in the bathroom with me…or maybe not…I don’t know.

A short drive down the road and we found ourselves at the World’s Most Depressing Children’s Museum! Note: not the official name. It had mold on the HVAC unit, the parking lot must have had a landmine issue at some point, and it just breathed soul slaughtering pain. But they had a cool sperm whale and educational graphic. I did not know they had the largest brain-to-body size. Did I mention you could walk through Conny the whale?

The inside smelled of ambergris and neglect.

The place wasn’t all bad though. They had some dinosaurs!

They said you can’t ride the dinosaurs but I say to heck with that! I can’t wait to get a pet dinosaur I can drive to work.

Museum of Natural and Other Curiosities boasting two different two faced animals? Dude, I’m there. Inside the Old State House with the original Connecticut Senate and House of Representatives rooms? Dude, Dr. Jen is there. It had everything we needed including a little desk for the yearly Hartford Connecticut Kid Governor and an exhibit on the Amistad trial. We laughed, we cried, we saw an upside down alligator hanging from a ceiling.

There was a mummified hand. I’m not sure who’s it was but you can see it here:

Didn’t I promise some two headed animals? No, I didn’t say promise anywhere in this blog. But here you go. Pig(s):

Calf/Calves:

Me riding a penny farthing:

Finally we got some air and walking around. There’s a great river walk along the semi-frozen Connecticut River with several statues along the way. The first being Jack Turkey, the first bird pardoned by a President (Lincoln). Around that same time though, Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. So technically he saved one turkey but then he turned around and doomed thousands of others for centuries to come!

The sculpture walk was funded by Lincoln Financial so there was a big Lincoln theme to the walk. Dr. Jen is a stately 5’10. Look how crazy she looks with this mini-Lincoln cabin!

The sculpture that really led me to the walk was “mini-Lincoln” with “mini-Harriet Beecher Stowe.” After seeing the little cabin, I was ready to squish the head of a miniature 16th President. Look at my disappointment when we found the sculpture. He was small, I guess. Not what I would call mini.

Eventually we found our way to the Best Stay Inn, a little motel off the highway halfway from home to our next night’s destination. It’s not the greatest but it’s clean and has a bed and shower. Also they give traditional keys with diamond tags, a personal preference I’ve talked about before.

It also has an escape window in the back through the bathroom. Dr. J thinks I can fit through it so this place gets a big thumbs up.

After unpacking we headed out for dinner and our biggest success of the night! Shady Glen Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor 10 minutes from our room. Jen’s parents had eaten here many years before so we had to go! Their burgers come with “wings” of cheese off the sides that they burn/crisp and are amazing. I got this amazing concoction with a side of crinkle cut fries (my favorite):

Lastly before heading back to write this post and sleep, we asked our waitress for a sundae. An amazing sundae. One perfectly ripe banana, one scoop of black cherry chocolate chip covered in hot fudge, one scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough smothered in caramel sauce, and one scoop of creamy vanilla drenched in hot blueberry sauce. All covered with whip cream and a cherry on top. Why only one cherry? So Jen could not share…

Alright I need to crash and hopefully dream of Reynold the dog who is being safely watched by Dr. J’s sisters. Talk to you fine people tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Day 1: We take the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else. – RK

  1. Pingback: Day 2: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. – CS – The Yuppie Hobo

  2. Pingback: Day 8: I don’t get it. The trail looked so flat on the map. – Anon – The Yuppie Hobo

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