Largest Gathering of the Class of '62 Outside of China
In May this year. Stanley and his wife Meili went to Halifax to visit Yao Qi and Lou Shituo. They drove to Maine and took a ferry boat to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. From there they drove to Halifax.
The ferry left at 9 pm and arrived at Yarmouth the next morning. They then drove to Halifax and stopped on the way a few times to see the scenery. Halifax is a beautiful city, not too many people but everything is clean and fresh.
For three days, we went to the beach and seaside. We went to Peggy's Cove -- the most beautiful cove on the Atlantic Ocean coast. It was sunny, just after a rain so we took pictures of the blue sky, seabirds, and a beautiful light house. We also went to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography which is located along the Bedford Basin, which forms part of the inland water of the Halifax harbour. Yao Qi's office is located there.
We had a great time at Halifax and want to visit again and spend more time. Hu Meishen told Stanley that Cui Shaonong was here visiting her parents.
This time, Yao Qi and Lou Shituo planned to visit Stanley so that is a good time for us to all meet together.
Stanley rented a cottage at Westbrook, Connecticut from 8/23 to 8/30. Yao Qi, Lou Shituo, their son Jay, Cui Shaonon, Stanley and Meili spent a week vacationing together. We talked a lot about everything from college days to current events. We all enjoyed our renewed friendship and times together. We also visited nearby attractions and went to casinos to try out our luck.
Yao Qi, Lou Shituo and their son Jay arrived at 2 pm, and Cui Shaonon, Meili and Stanley Wang arrived later at 4 pm. Meili brought meats, vegetables, fruits, and a lot of cooked Chinese traditional dishes for the first day's dinner which she and Stanley spent one more day to prepare:
After dinner, we discussed our plans for the week, and talked until 2 am the next day.
Our first visit was to Submarine Force Library and Museum. We boarded NAUTILUS. They provided us with free use of an audio wand which explain each compartment we visited on this record-setting submarine. Today's NAUTILUS set numerous records: world's first nuclear-powered vessel; first ship to go to the North Pole; first submarine to journey 20,000 leagues under the sea.
We also visited Mystic Seaport, and had our lunch in the 'Friendly Restaurant'. Then, we went to Mystic Marinelife Aquarium. In Marine Theater which features demonstrations with beluga whales and bottlenose dolphins. It is interesting that we heard high-pitched whistles and clicks. It is thought these animals might produce these sounds to communicate and explore their environment.
In the center of the main Aquarium building, we saw a variety of fishes, lobsters, crabs, flounders, scup and other inhabitants. Sharks may be the ultimate predator, but now, they swim quietly and peacefully. Seal Island, an outdoor exhibit depicting the New England coast and the Pacific Northwest, features harbor seals, gray seals, and sea lions in naturalistic habitats.
Although we think all penguins live in the frozen wastelands of Antarctica in more hospitable conditions, we found the African, blackfooted penguin on display at Penguin Pavilion of the Aquarium.
We had supper at home. After that, we talked about political topics, our family and life, present events, and much more.... Nobody liked to go to bed even though it was very late.
That was a shopping day. There is a large mall at Clinton, a nearby town -- Clinton Premium Outlets. We strolled through the charming village, where we found 70 factory outlets. We bought T-shirts, kitchen wares and gifts. Then, we had a seafood lunch in 'Fish Tale Restaurant'. In the afternoon, we went to the beach which is located only two blocks away from our cottage. Meili is a great swimmer!
We went to the casino -- Mohegan Sun -- in late afternoon, but returned home for supper. Cui roast the rib, Meili cooked Salmon, and Yao Qi made a soup.
Block Island Tour
We caught the last ferry in the morning at 11:30 am from Point Judith. By their very nature, the island-bound ferry left us at the dock without our cars. We had to creatively reach our destination. There were bicycles and mopeds for rent, but we preferred to travel the natural way by walking(The #11 Bus).
Finn's Seafood Restaurant prepared fresh seafood from their fish market next door. After waiting an hour we had our lunch there. Then we walked along the seaside, and beautiful rock path (picture taken by Jay).
We visited Mohegan Bluffs -- 150-foot along the island's southern-most road, which is named for an Indian battle in which the local Manisses pinned down an attacking band of Mohegans at the base of the cliffs. An amazing set of stairs lead down to the beach. Since the gang of five missed their way, they walked two hours more. There were only Lou Shituo and Stanley who went down to the beautiful beach. The other people relaxed near the Southeast lighthouse. We left the island at 7pm, and drove to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Southeastern Connecticut. After a long walking day, we had a big dinner there. The buffet had several choices from Chinese, Italian and American. The three gamblers , Stanley, Shituo, and Jay were eager to play. The others talked and looked around the building, taking pictures in the Casino. You can see the date of Aug. 26 or 27 on them. We left Foxwood at 2:00 in the morning. On August 27,. Jay was a big winner at Foxwood.
We visited Gillette Castle State Park. The park was the former estate of William Gillette, the American actor and playwright who was renowned for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. The castle was built between 1914-1919, and was designed and supervised by its builder-owner. There are 24 rooms and 47 wooden-carved doors in the castle. The main living room is 50 feet long, 30 feet wide and has a 19- foot ceiling, with an enormous fieldstone fireplace. Formosan square mats are set into the hand carved wall paneling. The staircase leads to the balcony and bedroom doors. The upper balcony leads to the library, and art gallery. The living room doors exit to the porch, cocktail room, and the conservatory. From the castle, we could view the Connecticut River.
We also enjoyed sightseeing at Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride during the afternoon. We felt we had returned to our golden time on the old railroad (but it was not in China!). At Deep River Landing, the train met the boat for a one-hour cruise. We saw spectacular vistas of great natural beauty on the Connecticut River which is one of the top 40 places on earth worth saving. We also got a river's eye view of the Gillette Castle and Goodspeed Opera House.
It was good weather for an outdoor barbecue! There was a classic BBQ with a wood-smoking stove in the back yard of the cottage. Meili prepared meats and others cooked some dishes including Stanley's hot TOFU. Everybody like the BBQ plus the Chinese dinner!
Because of the weather we canceled our plans to swim on the beach, and turned to shopping at Old Saybrook. We had a very nice lunch and supper at home. We enjoyed Stanley's 'salt baked chicken' and also the local sweet corn.
The first U. S. warship, Oliver Cromwell was built in Essex -- a small town (pop 5,900) nearby Westbrook. We visited there on the last day of vacation. We took pictures on the Connecticut River, and toured around the town.
In the afternoon, we had a good time in Mohegan Sun, gaming again and again! The time went by too quickly and at 8:30 pm, we went back, and had dinner at home. Almost all dishes were ordered from a Chinese Restaurant in Clinton.
We said GOOD BYE to Westbrook, and SEE YOU LATER to each other. At 10am, two cars left Westbrook Inn B & B. Cui Shaonnon went to Stanley's house, and had lunch. Stanley drove her back to her parents' home in NJ in the afternoon. Lou Shituo, Yao Qi and Jay drove back to Halifax. They arrived at their house at 11:09 pm ET the same day.
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