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Day 22

Location: Norwalk, CT

Miles Driven: 119

Total Miles: 3,872

Woke up to a humid day in NYC, but it certainly beat waking up to a jarring cell phone alarm going off.  Got to mosey around a bit in the morning, hung out with Mike for a bit, then made moves to get my stuff together.  I wanted to arrive in Roselle, NJ between 11AM-noon, so around 10:30 I got in the car, said adios to Mike, and headed in a SW direction.  Thanks again to Mike and Sarah for letting me crash at their place.  I had a great time.  (Also, an added note of thanks to Mike, for helping make the “Joe tracker” application on the right-hand side more accurate than it had been.)

Crossing the Verrazano Bridge

I was heading to Roselle to meet up with my great uncle, Bernard.  Uncle Bernard is a retired Marist Brother (Catholic religious order), and served as a missionary in The Phillippines for 25 years.  Today he lives with some other brothers, and just celebrated his 90th birthday last week.

We watched the remainder of the Italy/New Zealand soccer game (good job, NZ) while chatting and I got to hear some of Uncle Bernard’s great life stories – his independence as a kid, waiting outside Yankee stadium to see the stars of the 1920s exit (Babe Ruth included), and how his older brothers taught him not to take any crap from anybody.

Uncle Bernard kindly had got together a lot of photos of extended family throughout the country, and provided their contact info, as well.  Look out, Curtin relatives – I may be seeking a place to crash.  He also made sure I raided the brothers’ freezer for ice cream. What a great visit.

Oh speaking of photos, my parents, sister, brother, sister-in-law, and newborn newphew had just visited Uncle Bernard right before his birthday.  Among all the photos taken, there was one that especially stood out to to me – four generations in one shot.  Here’s the picture from my sister’s photo page:

My brother Jon, his son Nico, Uncle Bernard, and my Dad

So late last night, I was able to make contact with my friend Ya-Wen, whose number I had lost when my last cell phone went missing.  All I knew was that she lived in Connecticut, and that was the path my journey was taking me.  She said she was free to meet up, so she gave me her address and I got on the road from Roselle, NJ towards CT (you’ll note the map takes me on a circuitious route, but that was intended – trying to avoid Yankee game traffic near the city).

Met up with Ya-Wen at her place around 3PM, and she took me out for a tour of Norwalk – it’s a quaint area with a lot of charm.  We ate a tasty lunch at a restaurant called ‘The Brewhouse”, she took me out to the beach area, and then we headed to the movie theatre to catch Toy Story 3 in 3D – amazing film, by the way.  You would think quality of a franchise would decline by the third film – but no way.  And this edition of the series was expecially touching.  Pixar succeeds once again.

Here’s some photos from our time in Norwalk:

At the Brewhouse

View of the Long Island Sound

I initially wasn’t planning on it, but Ya-Wen kindly offered me a couch to crash on, and since she’s the only friend I have in Connecticut, I gladly took her up on that.  I’ll be heading east on Monday, as I work my way towards nearby Rhode Island, where I will be meeting up with relatives I haven’t seen in who knows how long.  Great start to the New England portion of the trip!


  1. Matt Sobieski
    June 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Joe! My grandmother lives in Cranford, NJ and two of my uncles were firefighters in Linden, NJ. Looks like you drove right through downtown Linden on Wood Avenue, past all of their houses (without knowing it of course). Funny that you stopped in Roselle which is right between those two cities. Literally all of my mom’s side of the family that is still in Jersey lives right in that area. Hope the trip is going well!

    • June 24, 2010 at 1:46 am

      Ha! Small world. I’ve been in that area at least a half dozen times or so (always when visiting my uncle). Trip is going great so far, glad you are still interested in all of this.

  2. June 21, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    The good ol Verrazano bridge — one of my favorites (after the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel)….just a bit pricey, if I recall, $9 each way!?!

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