I didn't plan it. The person who planned it didn't really plan it either. There was no research. There was no itinerary. There was no, "maybe we should bring a map." I didn't even have to drive.
I used to do this all the time, but since my first travel article was published four and a half (!) years ago, I have hardly done it at all. With a few exceptions (so few I can't remember them right now) every trip I take now is either because I'm writing about the place, because I'd like to write about the place, or because I have to go there for some reason unrelated to writing, in which case I make sure to pay attention in case I happen to find something to write about the place. And every time I go anywhere in Connecticut, of course, I'm thinking of this blog, and what I might see that's interesting enough to write about here.
The more I see of Connecticut, and the more I write about Connecticut, the more I like Connecticut. Also, the more I want to get out of Connecticut. (That's not really as paradoxical as it sounds. Also, that would be a good little writing exercise to get kids to learn how to spell Connecticut.) So when the invitation to go to Newburyport, Massachusetts came up, I happily accepted. And I wandered the predictably cute streets of Newburyport without paying attention to where I was going. I didn't think about how I'd advise anyone else to structure their day here. I didn't search for profound connections between the town's history and its current atmosphere. I didn't think about city planning and why this place works so well in some ways, and not as well in others, and how it compares to other similar coastal towns. I didn't write down the names of the people who owned the house George Washington slept in. I just...walked.
I did think about this blog, though. But only because it gave me a reason to take pictures: