When I first applied to the Nottingham Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship I imagined that I would have some interesting experiences. Well, kayaking down a river in Massachusetts with the grandson of President Franklin Roosevelt is done and in the bag...
I'm staying with Haven Roosevelt and his wife, Bunny in their holiday home in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. It's a beautiful part of the world with a pristine beach and fantastic scenery for miles around. The neighbours are all pretty much just summer residents with the exception of one couple who live here year round. I would live here forever if I had the chance!
Haven is a very keen kayaker (makes his own boats) and I asked if he would be able to take me out for a trip. Based on having been kayaking once about 15 years ago I was a little nervous but it went ok. We did about an hour on the Slocum River which is tidal and opens out into the Atlantic quickly enough - we didn't go that far! The houses that line the riverbank are enormous - a real ostentatious display of wealth in some cases I'm sure. We also saw lots of great wildlife - kingfishers, herons, turkey buzzard and ospreys amongst others.
Other things of note is the huge number of Scott Brown vs Elizabeth Warren lawn-signs, TV adverts and radio spots advocating one side or another in a very competitive Senate race here in MA. Warren has pulled ahead of Brown in the latest polling so fingers crossed that that continues through to Polling Day. I'm loving be in the middle of the election campaign (and pleased that Obama looks like he's pulling ahead) - it's so much better experiencing it live, first-hand and reading papers like the New York Times to see how it's being covered.