Friday, June 7, 2013

A Visit to The Sixth Happiest Seaside Town in America Rowayton Connecticut

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It has been 18 months since Joe passed away.

A part of me feels as though Joe is just only away.  It is, I’m sure, partly an indulged fantasy, but mostly it is a coping mechanism.

Escaping is another coping method, especially when it's the fifth of the month.  Those anniversaries are cold stark reminders.  And no matter how hard I try, I cannot reach into a photo and touch him.

The weather is going to be splendid, a good day to escape to some other place.
The "10 Happiest Seaside" towns were listed in the June issue of Coastal Living magazine.  Listed at number six was Rowayton, Connecticut.  Since that town is the closest one to where we live, a 2-1/2 hour drive, we decided to check out this happy place.

The following is a blurb about Rowayton taken from the magazine's website:
"This picturesque New England village has lured artists for centuries. It's like Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard, say locals (4,000 call it home), but without the swell of tourists."

The print magazine was a little more detailed in its description of the "town" calling it "...straight out of a Norman Rockwell illustration."
I skimmed over the part about it being "sophisticated" and  " of the most expensive spots in the state (as well as in the nation)."

We got an early start.  I think we were out of the house by 9:00.   Unfortunately, the route to get there is not very scenic.  It is highway all the way.

About half way there we stopped for breakfast at a deserted strip mall restaurant called the Bus Stop Cafe in Carteret, NJ.  I was a little hesitant, but it turned out to be a cute place and the food was good.

The drive included a view of the New York City Skyline,

 and a crossing over the George Washington Bridge.

At the crossing over the Henry Hudson Bridge we saw this sign. I didn't understand what this meant. I googled and found out that if you don't have an EZ pass, a picture will be taken of your license plate and you will receive a bill for the toll.   I wonder how many pay those toll bills?

We have arrived

As soon as we entered the "town" we immediately understood the meaning of exclusivity.  It is a small town, but certainly not welcoming.  There were "No Parking" signs on most of the streets.  In fact most of the streets were designated as private, no entry.  I observed the faces of the people walking around. I saw business people, women walk/jogging with baby strollers, dog walkers and constructions workers.  There were no smiles or friendly waves.  I guess I would say the looks we were getting were more of a suspicious nature.  I suppose our Jersey plates may have had something to do with that.

The village of Rowayton sits at the mouth of Connecticut's Five Mile River.
As we drove around we found a park.  The gate was open.  We did not see any signs to indicate that it was not open to the public, so we entered and parked the car.  I must say it was a pretty spot.  As we got out of the car, though, we were hailed down by a woman.  I waited by the car while Ross talked to her.  As it turned out, we were informed by this woman that we were in a members only swim club.   Quick thinking Ross told the woman that we were looking into moving into the community and just wanted to see what the town had to offer.   She agreed to let us walk around a little and I took some pictures.  Funny thing, the woman did not let us out of her sight the whole time.  It was quite uncomfortable.

Darn, and I brought my bikini too.

After I had enough of being monitored, we headed back to the car.  Ross, because that's the way he is, went over to the woman and schmoozed a little with her.  So, it turned out that she didn't live in Rowayton.  In fact she told us that Rowayton wasn't even a town.  It was a section in the town of Norwalk.  She also snidely said that the Rowatonians like to think that they are not living in Norwalk.  When I asked her who was eligible to join the swim club she spouted out that only those living in zip code 06853 could belong.
Now we really did not have a chance to talk to anyone else in the town.  And this woman actually warmed up to us and told us she was a school librarian, living in Norwalk, not in 06853, and that she was just picking up a little extra money by filling in for someone that day.

We also learned that Rowayton was severely hit by hurricane Sandy.  A lot of homes and businesses were affected. With that in mind and the fact that we did not have an opportunity to talk to anyone else in the town,  I will have to hold off judgment as to whether it is a most happy place or not.

Oh, we did stop at the local market, and there was parking on the street in front of the store. We had lunch on the back porch.


I must say that made me quite happy!


  1. Snooty people would turn me off a town, too.

    1. Well that’s the thing. We really didn’t interact with the folks in the town. So I’m not sure that the people were snooty. they certainly wanted to maintain their privacy, that’s for sure. But, perhaps that is an indication of a snooty community.

  2. No thanks to that town! The beach is pretty but exclusivity bugs me.
    And the Golden Gate Bridge has now adopted a new system too - no more toll takers. Instead you have a Fastrack device on your dashboard and the toll is automatically deducted from your prepaid account. If you don't have a Fastrack device, the system takes that photo of your license and sends you a bill. Weird. I miss saying hi to the toll takers.

    1. Yes, our EZpass is probably the equivalent to Fastrack. Two of the major routes in NJ are toll roads. EZ pass has helped somewhat with traffic backups at toll booths.