Last time (just around a year earlier- yikes! time flies!) I was in Connecticut was at the very start of my van journey, and while I buzzed through after one night, intending to stop again on my way south from New England but it never happened due to traffic and other plans. So this time I was sure to take a day to drive through the more rural, small town areas of the state. I admit, a large part of this was motivated by my Gilmore Girls watching binges over the years. The winding roads took me to the little town of Washington, CT, one of the towns upon which the fictional Stars Hollow was based. I spotted the local hardware store (still filled with tools, no diner stools), a knitting shop, a book store, the main square and church steeple, and Taylor-free market. A few miles down the road I made a quick stop at the legendary Mayflower Inn, basis for the Independence. I peeked inside before dinner time, and did a little lap around the serene grounds then hightailed it out before anyone realized I was neither a guest nor diner.

That night brought me to New Haven for amazing pizza and a morning stroll around the Yale campus to channel my inner Rory. My mother grew up in small semi-rural town outside the city, but I hadn’t been in the area much now that my grandparents aren’t around. Walking through New Haven, though, brought on some vague memories of visiting the Peabody Museum as a child with my grandma and a few other somewhat familiar sights.

Leaving New Haven I passed by Philip Johnson’s glass house in New Canaan, contemplated but declined to stop in the “hat city” of Danbury to see if John Oliver’s mocking was deserved, but instead aimed for the Delaware Water Gap recreation area for a pretty short hike in the fall color glory.

The trail took me into the woods and to a small waterfall, and while the walk was refreshing and it felt good to stretch my legs before a long driving day, just driving along the narrow winding roads in the countryside was like something out of a movie. That night I crashed with a friend so we could yell at the tv during the first presidential debate and eat very good Indian takeout. Much like last time I visited this NJ spot with a Manhattan view, the next day it was back home. Off to Delaware- the van was go.

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