Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Long and Expensive

As we returned from our two-week trip to New England and Canada we were asked, "How was your trip?" We replied, "Long and expensive". And so it was.

Paul had another meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and this time it was in Providence, Rhode Island. Since he had two papers to present, we thought we should go. We had an early flight the morning of Saturday, May 3rd, so we decided to go to Salt Lake Monday evening and stay at the Belmont Inn by the airport in Salt Lake. That gave us a shuttle to and from the airport and two weeks of free parking.

May 3 (Sat)
We were up early for an 8:30 flight to Providence, Rhode Island with a brief stop in Philadelphia. We were randomly selected pre-checked so we didn't have to wait in a long security line. We arrived about 5 pm and took a taxi to the Omni right downtown which has a walkway to the conference center (where the conference is being held) and another one to a mall. The downtown area was really crowded. There was a circus going on next door and a lot of little girls running around in cheerleader costumes. Apparently we weren't the only show in town. As we walked over to the mall we saw an add for the Book of Mormon Musical which meant we literally were not the only show in town.
View of the State House from our window
The "other" show in town
May 4 (Sun)
We found out that the church was only about 4 blocks from our hotel with meetings starting at 10 am so we were able to walk to church. It was an inner-city branch with all ages of people from all over (including a couple from Cape Verde Islands who spoke Portuguese). Everyone was very friendly and we really enjoyed the meetings. Diane played the piano for the first two hymns since the regular pianist got caught in traffic (a marathon going on in town) and also for Relief Society. Sister Wheeler (a missionary) led the music in Relief Society. She lives in the same ward in Idaho Falls as the Sister Wheeler we knew in Canada (though no relation).
After church (the couple is from Cape Verde)
We took an afternoon walk to Federal Hill, the Italian section of town. There were many nice restaurants, but it was Fast Sunday. We saw a Mexican group dancing; probably getting ready for Cinco de Mayo which was the next day.
Federal Hill 
The Mexicans have invaded the Italian area of town
May 5 (Mon)
Breakfasts were light at the conference. Paul lived on gluten-free granola bars that Andrea sent with him while Diane went to the accompanying persons room for a light breakfast. Paul attended some morning technical sessions on architectural acoustics. After a couple of hours we decided to walk around town a little. Providence is a nice, clean, small city. We stopped for "bibimbop" at a local Korean restaurant. 
The Omni Hotel 
The river that runs through the city
 We found out that yesterday there was an accident at the circus. A rigging came loose and injured many of the performers. There were news people all around town covering the story.
Local news broadcast
 Paul represented the Musical Acoustics Technical Committee to present information to students who were new to the conference. It was a lot of fun. Several of the presenters from other committees gave portions of technical papers that completely lost the students. The student representative for Musical Acoustics got some good comments about the presentation. For dinner we decided to return to Federal Hill for some Italian food. We ate at the Mediterraneo who had gluten-free pasta for Paul and delicious food for Diane.
Good for gluten-free pasta
May 6 (Tue)
Paul's main presentation wasn't until  Tuesday afternoon so we decided to go to the Rhode Island Design Museum (art museum) in the morning. We walked there, of course. They had a combination of graphic design, paintings, sculpture, porcelain figurines, and decorated historic rooms. 
A Game of Charades - Edward Matthew Ward
Don't worry! It's not what it seems
 On the way back we stopped at the Roger Williams National Memorial in honor of the founder of Rhode island.
The sign says it all
 We then stopped at the mall for some Indian food for lunch
Not too spicy
The afternoon technical session was on the acoustics of the organ. Paul took a different slant with his paper "MIDI: The digital organ for organists and non-organists". He showed how new organ stops can be created using an electronic keyboard for sounds. He also used software to play a fugue for organ he  composed many years ago. 

May 7 (Wed)
Wednesday was designated as our tour day so we took an organized tour of Newport Bay. Two ladies, Anne from England and Jamuna from India, were also on the tour. 

We first went to Jamestown on an island where we passed some interesting brownish black cattle with a white stripe around the belly.
Oreo cattle
We then went to Beavertail State Park to see a lighthouse and beautiful coastline.
How is this nice looking couple?
Coastal resort in Jamestown
 We then went to Newport on another island. This is where the rich and the famous had summer homes (really mansions). We stopped by the house where Dwight D. Eisenhower lived. We noticed how they planted some pretty yellow flowers (dandelions) to match the color of the house.
Eisenhower house
More coastline
We stopped at the church where President John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Her family lived in Newport.
The wedding church
 We then had a tour of The Breakers, one of the mansions built by the Vanderbilts. There were about 70 rooms and 20 bathrooms (unusual for the age) and a good view of the ocean. they had many servants to do housekeeping and only lived there during the summer.

The Breakers
 On the way back we stopped at a farm market where they have the "best ice cream in New England". It doesn't beat Aggie ice cream in Logan.
Best ice cream in New England?
After the tour we went to an organ concert at St. Peter and Paul church. It was a very nice concert performed on a mechanical organ. We were able to find a restaurant with gluten-free pizza for dinner. We have a nice night view of the city from our room.
St. Peter and Paul Church
The mechanical organ
Providence at night
May 8 (Thu)
We were going to take a tour of Providence in the morning, but it was completely booked by a private group. We decided to walk the Freedom Trail. There is a green line pained on the sidewalks which zigzagged all over town with stops where you can dial up a narrative on your cell phone. The problem is, they haven't maintained the trail and many of the sites are not working. that didn't matter to us, because we were able to have a nice walk around town. It took about 2 1/2 hours. We had lunch at the Luxe Burger Bar where Paul had a gluten-free hamburger.
Monument to Roger Williams
The actual First Baptist Church in America
Brown University
Along the river
We attended more technical sessions in the afternoon, including Automatic Musical Accompaniment Systems where a piano (or violin or trumpet) can play a solo part and the computer can play the accompaniment (piano or full orchestra), keeping track of how fast you play and find where you are if you stop, repeat a section, or jump to a new section. This was followed by a concert demonstrating the capability. Of course creative researchers have to have creative music so some of the music was really strange. We had another dinner at the conference followed by a technical committee meeting (for Paul) after the dinner.

May 9 (Fri)
Travel day. We rented a car and headed toward Canada today. We went as far as Old Sturbridge Village, a living history park in Massachusetts.  We had visited the village many years ago and were very impressed with it. 
Red trim for an old house
Red house
The cooper shop 
Two wheelers
After lunch at the village we headed for Syracuse, New York where we intended to spend the night. When we got there we couldn't find a vacancy within miles of the city because of Syracuse University graduation. We continued on as far as Watertown where we found a place for the night.

May 10 (Sat)
Today we crossed the border into Canada. On the way to Campbellford we stopped at the mall in Belleview to have some "poutine" (cheese, meat, and gravy on french fries) for old times sake. When we arrived in Campbellford we decided to take a walk through Ferris Park, one of our favorite activities when we lived there. At one point we crossed a marshy spot just to find out they had built a new boardwalk a little farther up the trail. The hillsides were covered with Trillium in bloom. They had a heavy winter this year and more water over the falls than we have ever seen.
Trail through Ferris Park
New boardwalk
Trillium in bloom
Lots of water over the falls
Suspension bridge
In the afternoon we visited Tim and Debbie Holt and Mary Longmuir. We found out that Barb Hobart's choir was performing this evening. We sang with the choir when we lived in Campbellford and were excited about being able to attend. It was hit tunes from the 1950s and 1960s (a lot of fun).
Tim Holt under his mower
Songs from the 50s and 60s
May 11 (Sun)
This morning we went to church again at the Trent Hills Branch. It was good to see all the members we knew from our mission. It was almost like being back home (except we were in a motel room instead of our apartment). Paul led the opening hymn then Diane gave the opening prayer and Paul the closing for Sacrament Meeting. Everyone had an opportunity to get up and talk about their mothers, being Mother's Day. they gave out carnations for each of the women. Diane's lasted the rest of our trip. 
Motel by the river
After church on Sunday
The picture we donated for the Relief Society room 
Diane's carnation
We returned to the motel room for a rest then went to Ken and Debbie Holt's in Havelock for a wonderful dinner. Mary joined us. It was really good to be able to visit with the branch again.

May 12 (Mon)
We were planning on going into Toronto today, but we had not been able to contact anyone we knew there and were not looking forward to the traffic so we headed back east. We had wanted to see the Upper Canada Village (a living history museum we had visited may years before), but it wouldn't open until after Memorial Day. We decided to pass by anyway. Next to the village was a memorial of the Battle of Chrysler's Farm where the Canadians defeated the Americans in the American War (War of 1812). It was nice to walk around the memorial.
Battle of Chrysler's Farm
Are the soldiers still there?
We passed by the Upper Canada Village and found out they had opened two weeks early this year so we were able to visit the village. There were several mills, old buildings, and people dressed for the period. 
Old mill
Miller with his steam engine
Village pond
Horse travel
Old time music
We spent the night in Cornwall, on the Canadian side of the border where Paul was able to find some gluten-free pasta at East Side Marios for dinner. 

May 13 (Tue)
Today was a long travel day through New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, ending up in Massachusetts. We crossed the Canadian border, just to be informed that our car rental agreement didn't allow us to take the car into Canada (even though we told them that we were going to Canada). We saw a lot of Amish buggies as we crossed the northern part of New York. We then took the ferry across Lake Champlain from Plattsburgh, NY into Vermont.
Ferry to Vermont
 We stopped at Joseph Smith's Birthplace as we passed through Sharon, Vermont. The house where he was born was actually on the border of Sharon and Royalton townships so no one actually knows where he was born.
I wonder in which room Joseph Smith was born?
We then went to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock where we would visit while on Sabbatical (the park didn't exist back then).
Mansion at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP
We then went to Hanover (driving through Dartmouth College) to the house we rented while on sabbatical. There were a few changes in the house, like the room over the garage.

Our Hanover house
We continued on to Lowell, Massachusetts where we spent the night. 

May 14 (Wed)
This morning we went to Lowell National Historic Park, highlighting the textile industry of the early American Industrial Revolution. We saw a movie about the cotton mills then walked over to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum to see the weaving machines at work. 
A streetcar named Lowell
Engineer in training
Now there's a bobbin
The museum
"Modern" looms
We next went to Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site to see 17th century iron making. There were a lot of waterwheels running the bellows.
Saugus Iron Works
Last time we were in this part of the country we bypassed Plimoth Plantation so we decided to see it this time. It actually has two villages, a Wampanoag Indian village and a 1627 English Village (the Pilgrims). The Indian village had interpreters telling about how their ancestors used to live.
Two Wampanoag women cooking fish
Home sweet home
We then went on to the Plimoth Colony where actors role-played living in the 17th century. They each had their old-English accents and stories to tell. It was fun to visit.
The fort
Pilgrim gardner
A modern pilgrim
The deacon and his wife
We had time to walk around Plymouth (the modern town) in the evening.
Solar calendar 
Along the creek
Seafood dinner at the Lobster Hut
May 15 (Thu)
We finished seeing the Plymouth sights this morning. We started at Plimoth Mill (which was called Jenny Mill until about 2 years ago). We took a tour of the mill. 
Plimoth Mill (aka Jenny's Mill)
Mill stones in the mill
We then went to see the Mayflower II, a reconstruction of the original Mayflower. We tried to imagine what it would be like to cross the ocean.
Mayflower II
They like their rum
How does this thing work?
We stopped by the Plimoth Plantation again to get some gifts. Diane really like their snowball bush.
Why doesn't our snowball bush grow like this?
We continued on south to New Bedford, known for its whaling industry. We visited the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the New Bedford Whaling Museum before getting some lunch on the pier.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
We continued on and stopped at three mills in southern Rhode Island. Stewart Mill and Hammond Mill were side-by-side. The site was closing so we missed the tour, but we got some pictures from the outside.
Hammond Mill
Gilbert Stewart Mill
We then found Exeter Mill which was on a private road.
Exeter Mill
We went on to Mystic, CN where we stayed the night. We went to eat in a small shopping area called Mystic Village where they have a store with a waterwheel.
Mystic Village waterwheel
May 16 (Fri)
We spent the morning at Mystic Seaport Museum which portrayed life in a shipping village. They had a restored whaling ship that was scheduled to sail the next morning as a traveling museum. Everyone at the seaport was excited after waiting for years. We saw all kinds of boats and tools used in the 1800's sea life. There were people in some of the buildings to demonstrate what life was like.
Anchors away
Village houses
Don't you need water to sail a boat?
"I wonder what I would look like as a figure head"
We finally headed back to Providence. We decided to pass by Pawtucket (just north of Providence) to see Slater and Wilkensen Mills. They have a tour that takes 1 1/2 hours and we didn't have that much time so we took some pictures and went back to turn in our rental car.
Slater Mill historic area
Slater Mill
After turning in the car we took a taxi to the airport (the airport shuttle got stuck in traffic and never arrived). We flew to Charlotte, NC and then on to Salt Lake City, arriving about 10:30 pm. We returned to the Baymont Inn for some sleep before returning to Logan tomorrow. 

May 17 (Sat)
Today we returned to Logan with a stop at Tai Pan Trading in Layton. We had to take a detour in Ogden because of a marathon. It is always good to get back home. This was a fun trip, but it was long and expensive.

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