One of the main reasons we wanted to spend the summer in Connecticut this year was to be in the area for niece Cindy and her fiancé Steve’s wedding early June. We made arrangements with our team leaders at Lone Oak to take off that Sunday (weekends are usually a must-work at a busy resort campground). We asked fellow Workamper Carrie to feed and walk Shelley while we were gone – we knew it would be a long day.
After months of anticipation and planning, their wedding day was finally here. We first picked up Larry’s mother Vivian at her home in Cheshire before proceeding to the church in Fairfield, located in southern Connecticut not far from Long Island Sound. The ceremony was held in a Hungarian Orthodox Church and was officiated by two ministers from Steve’s father’s Protestant church and a priest and a deacon from his mother’s Catholic church. Cindy had asked her Uncle Larry to help take pictures that day, so Larry took several photos of the ceremony as well as the beautiful church in which the wedding was performed.
Afterwards, we followed the wedding party to picturesque Twin Brooks Park in Trumbull where photos were taken with a small waterfall as the backdrop. From there, we proceeded to the Fireside Inn, in Newtown, where more pictures were taken at the gazebo outdoors before we joined the rest of the wedding guests for the reception. Out of all the wedding receptions we have attended over the years, this rates up there as one of the most enjoyable. Even the disc jockey had a great time. Cindy told us afterwards that she and Steve wanted everyone to have fun. Larry wore his camera like a necklace--sister-in-law Bonnie captured a picture of him dancing with the bride with his camera swinging from his neck. The party wound down around 10 pm and after bringing Vivian back home to Cheshire, we were back at our own home around midnight – tired but glad we arranged to be here for their special day.
Most of the rest of June went by in a flash with both of us getting more comfortable with our jobs and responsibilities (but not enthused at all with having an alarm wake us up five days out of seven!) We did some sightseeing on our days off, to include taking a ride to nearby Winsted, about 15 miles east of us, to view some of its beautiful old churches.
We walked around Winsted’s postage-stamp sized Green, learning from an historical plaque that ribbon candy was first invented at a nearby candy shop. We’ll have to do more research on that tidbit later. First Church is located on the Green; we were told the interior was beautiful. Sadly, most churches are no longer open to the public during the week. We searched for the office but it was closed that day.
Disappointed, we stopped at another church, taking exterior pictures only (doors were also locked) then made a final stop at the Second Congregational Church with its interesting bell tower. Luckily for us, a nearby crossing guard is on the church’s Ways and Means Committee and showed us which door to enter, introducing us to the church secretary. She gave us permission to wander through the church and take pictures.
We were fascinated by the unusual seating arrangement and learned that it is called the Akron Plan, named after a Methodist church in Akron, Ohio, that in 1870 developed this arrangement. All pews are tiered and set in a semi-circular pattern, similar to an amphitheater. No matter where you sit, you’ll have a good view of the service. To the right of the pews are large sliding doors, from floor to ceiling, that are opened up to provide more room when needed, with temporary seating in what is normally the parlor or reception area. Both the inside and the outside of this church are a beauty to behold.
Another day off found us heading in a different direction, this time to see one of two remaining covered bridges in Connecticut that are still in use. A short drive brought us to West Cornwall, where we drove across the one-lane bridge spanning the Housatonic River. We parked the truck on the other side to take some pictures and check out the construction. West Cornwall is a very small town with several beautiful old buildings. Among those we saw was the former railway station and a former toll house.
Escapee friends Ron and Penny, whom we’d first met at Monte Sano State Park in Alabama last November, were on their way across Connecticut and visited with us for a couple of hours one day. We enjoyed a hot dog cookout and caught up on what’s new since we saw each other last.
Another evening found all 15 of us Workampers plus Katherine (she works in the campground store) and her husband Peter enjoying dinner together at a nearby pizza place. It’s not often any of our schedules coincide that we can get together as a group. Luckily, the restaurant was used to catering to groups our size.
The management here at Lone Oak has occasional gatherings for all the team members (employees). One Wednesday they provided lunch--a hot dog and burger cookout with all the fixings. It was interesting to see the seating. Those of us that work indoors all the time chose to sit outdoors by the pool while the outside crews chose the cool interior of the rec hall. No matter where any of us ended up, we all enjoyed the food and the camaraderie.
Before we knew it, June ended, but with a bang. June 30th was the beginning of the very busy July 4th weekend and over 150 camper families started to arrive in a steady stream from about noon till the office closed at 11 pm that evening. The office was festively decorated and so were those of us working that day – some of us wore silly head pieces to help ease the stress of all those families waiting to check in. You couldn’t help but smile when you first walked in and saw how goofy we looked.
Coming up in July: Staying busy at Lone Oak with some interesting trips planned on our days off. Stay tuned!