May 25, 2020 – Connecticut College Arboretum – Connecticut

Today Wilma and I Adventured to the Connecticut College Arboretum in New London, Connecticut.  The Connecticut College Arboretum is an Arboretum and collection of botanical gardens.  It provides opportunities for research, teaching, conservation, education and recreation.

We had an eccentric Adventure to the Connecticut College Arboretum.  I had heard about the Arboretum back on our last visit to the area and was quite excited to head back to New London.  After some confusion with parking, we eventually arrived on Williams Street and parked at the gate entry.  Soon after heading in there was a map on a kiosk, but it did not have a detailed trail routes so we decided to wander with no specific plan.  We soon arrived at the Azalea garden, finding pink, orange, red, and various other colors.  From there we came upon a pond, hearing the bullfrogs chirping loudly, and birds singing.  We located a dock-like area and of course had to head out to the end.  Wilma seemed slightly uneasy at the shaking of the dock, but overall was quite brave and curious at this floating feature.  There were lily pads throughout, and rocks protruding.  After exploring the pond we headed on to the trails.

I loved the trails at the Arboretum, feeling as though we were transferred into another environment.  Along the trail we found large boulders, views from atop of a ravine, a dock like boardwalk through a bog, and lots of greenery and trees.  Although I found the Trails a bit confusing we always ended up figuring out where we had been and where to go next.  There were numbers on several parts of the trail, but I was not sure what they were indicating, my guess is a self-guided tour.  We walked, walked, and attempted to traverse all the trails we could find.

After enjoying endless walking we found various areas of the Arboretum including the wildflower garden, and the conifer collection.  I actually found myself appreciating not having a map as we never knew what we might find around the corner.  Wilma enjoyed a nice long hike and as always was eager for some exercise and new terrain.  We spent about two and a half hours at this spectacular Arboretum.  Definitely a fun place to explore (Rating:  4).

May 9, 2020 -Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds – Connecticut

Yesterday Wilma, and I Adventured to the Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, Connecticut. As expected Studio 80+Sculpture Grounds is a Studio and outdoor Sculpture Ground, dedicated to arts education and appreciation. The Studio is open by appointment while the Grounds are open 365 days per year. The Sculptures on the Grounds are available for purchase.

We had a colorful Adventure to the Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds on a breezy May day. I was excited to discover a new Sculpture Grounds to explore. We wandered through the woodsy section of the Grounds, appreciating sculptures in many directions. The Grounds were small, but had no shortage of sculptures to admire. The Grounds abutted a “waterfront” which I am guessing was the Lieutenant River. We wandered over to the water’s edge, and Wilma enjoyed posing on a bench, intently watching the fisherman from afar. It was a simple yet beautiful scene. One aspect I appreciated about the grounds were signs pointing to different locations identifying sections of the Sculpture Grounds (example: secret garden, waterfront…). I thought this was a fun, and artsy way to add character to the lovely display of artwork.

Throughout our visit Wilma was thrilled to roll around in the grass, and eager to explore. I had many flashes of our Shadow, as he would have been rolling alongside little Wilma, bittersweet!  Wilma appeared curious about some of the sculptures but had no moments of fear to these unexpected structures. We sauntered throughout the property several times to ensure we did not miss one of these special creations. We really loved our Adventure to the 80 + Sculpture Grounds and thank them for allowing dog-friendly guests (Rating: 4).

May 9, 2020 – Fitzgerald Road/Blackwell Brook Covered Bridge – Connecticut

Yesterday Wilma and I Adventured to the Blackwell Brook/Fitzgerald Covered Bridge in Brooklyn, Connecticut.  This covered bridge was just built in 2010 repairing the original bridge which was was constructed in 1986.  The Bridge crosses the Blackwell Brook, and is said to be the only one in Northeastern Connecticut.

We had a scenic Adventure to the Fitgerald Road/Blackwell Brook Covered Bridge.  We found the Bridge in a gorgeous residential area, the Brook rushing below.  The Bridge was in a quiet location, providing the ability to walk under and check out the views from the windows.  We did see numerous trespassing signs so were not able to take a photograph from the Brook.  However we enjoyed the peaceful oasis and snapped some photographs from the ends, and under the Bridge.  So glad we could visit the Fitzgerald Road/Blackwell Brook Covered Bridge today (Rating:  4).

 

 

May 9, 2020 – Gillette Castle State Park – Connecticut

Today Wilma and I Adventured to Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. This was our third trip to the Gillette Castle as we have been there on two other occasions with Shadow. Gillette Castle was once the estate of William Gillette, a famous Actor in the early 1900’s. It was later bought by the state of Connecticut. The Park includes a visitor center, museum, hiking trails, and picnic area. There are even live theater events and walking tours available to visitors.

We had an extra-green Adventure to Gillette Castle State Park.  I debated blogging about Gillette Castle as I have blogged about it before, however it has been well over a year, we have many new followers, and it really is an exceptional Park.  I had three Adventures planned today but in realizing how close Gillette Castle State Park was I decided to add it to our day.  Upon arrival I was shocked to find the parking lot almost empty, quite different then our past Adventures, as Gillette Castle State Park is a popular destination.

Today we decided to spend some time hiking, and exploring the trails, something we have done some in the past, but not too extensively.  The Trails were labeled by color, however the online map had no color identification.  I soon realized it was too cumbersome to follow the map so we just walked and walked. There were plenty of landmarks nearby, and the Park is not large so I knew we would not become lost.  I absolutely loved seeing green in every direction, so vibrant!  We trotted high above the Connecticut River, wandered through the woods, and later headed toward the River before heading back to the Castle.  There were picturesque bridges throughout, and many choices for trails.  The wind was strong, but refreshing.  It was really pretty, and the hills ensured great exercise on this trail system.  Quite an energizing experience.

After hiking for some time we went over to view every angle of the Gillette Castle.  Unfortunately there has been continued construction over the years, and this time we were not even able to go on the porch or get too close.  However we rested in the grass, Wilma watched and rolled, and I appreciated the views of the Castle, the River, and the soft texture of the bright green grass.  Such a unique and scenic state park, even on the third time visiting.  So, so glad we could visit again, and I am positive that we will be back in the future.  I will include photographs at the bottom from today and our first two Adventures, glad to share our other visits with our sweet Shadow (Rating:  4).

May 2020

October 2018

August 2017

May 9, 2020 – Blackledge Falls Park – Connecticut

Today Wilma and I Adventured to Blackledge Falls Park in Glastonbury, Connecticut.  Blackledge Falls Park is an 80 acre property that contacts trails, streams, and the Blackledge Falls.  Blackledge Falls has 2-3 plunges of approximately 25 feet in height.  The Park is popular for hiking, and mountain biking.

We had a wonderful Adventure to Blackledge Falls Park.  We arrived bright and early to avoid the crowds, and were successful at this endeavor.  We began our hike into the woods, a light coating beautifully framing the trails.  We soon arrived at several small bridges, and streams. We could hear the birds chirping, streams running, and on occasion a car driving down the nearby road.  I had read about the Blackridge Falls so knew we should veer toward the left, and eventually climb a hill, but was very unclear if we were heading the correct direction.  Eventually we did and were just thrilled!!

The Blackredge Falls was gorgeous, and grand!!  I had read some reviews stating there was little water flow, so was quite enthused to see two plunges of a reasonable size.  It was just spectacular.  We covered all areas of ground near the Falls taking photographs.  One special thing about the Falls is that we were able to get up close, under, high to the left, and to the right and up and over the Falls.  We spent a good amount of time at the Falls enjoying the up-close and person experience.  Just stunning!  Wilma love the rocks, and posed for photographs.

After enjoying the Falls we returned to the Trail and turned left on the blue blazed trail.  I had read a map online and noticed the blue blaze did almost a loop through the property.  The Trail was someone confusing, with lots of turns and options, but it appeared though following the blue blaze was the correct decision.  I loved seeing the contrasting colors of the dirt, the snow, and the green grass, a unique variance in color.  Throughout the Trail Wilma enjoyed many rock jumping, and showed no hesitation at crossing the small streams along the Trail.  We did not see any other visitors until we were almost back at the parking lot.  It is so hard to visualize what we might find on our Adventure and Blackredge Falls Park, and Falls, definitely did not disappoint.  If we just had Shadow and Buster by our side…  Such a wonderful visit to the Blackredge Falls Park (Rating:  4).

 

August 31, 2019 – Lyman Allyn Art Museum Sculpture Trail – Connecticut

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum Sculpture Walk in New London, Connecticut. The Sculpture Walk is part of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. The Sculptures include work from: Lyman Allyn, David Smalley, Judy Cotton, and Gilbert Boro. The Sculpture Trail is free, and maps are available in the museum and online.

We had an innovative Adventure to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum Sculpture Trail. We arrived right before the Museum closed so were able to acquire a map. We studied the map and began wandering on the side of the property, heading around the building and down the entrances. I think my favorite sculptures on this end were the “Foo Dog”, a sculpture from the early Qing Dynasty, and one that appeared an abstract heart, which of course I posed with my two best buds!

After checking out the entrance side for sculptures we walked over to the Deshon Allyn House, a historic home. The amble started down a slope leading to a simple, but scenic wooden bridge. The bridge was surrounded with gigantic, beautiful pink hibiscus, definitely some of the largest ones I have ever seen!  It was the perfect entrance leading to the Home, a gorgeous architectural structure. The surrounding landscape was fantastic, highlighted by beautiful features, including elegant benches, and fencing. We snapped many photographs, and appreciated the experience. Shadow relished some cheerful rolls and resting in the grass, while Wilma enjoyed some rock hopping, while monitoring my Mom’s every move. Although you could see and hear the nearby highway, is still managed to be a peaceful oasis.

Our last part of exploring involved finding the rest of the sculptures in the front, and far side of the Museum building. There were several that made me think of hands, while one that I quickly labeled “Noah’s Arc”. We took some selfies, including a family photograph. By this point the Museum was closed leaving the grounds solely to ourselves. We really enjoyed our time exploring the Lyman Allyn Art Museum Trail. I love an Adventure with a map where you are searching for landmarks, in this case creative art sculptures. It is always nice to see art, literally in nature, quite the enriching experience. The Visitor Center was very kind and helpful, which added the perfect touch to our Adventure. A fun day at the Lyman Allyn Museum Sculpture Walk (Rating: 4).

 

August 31, 2019 – Rita’s Italian Ice – Connecticut

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, My Mom and I Adventured to Rita’s Italian Ice in New London, Connecticut. Rita’s is a national restaurant chain that began out of Pennsylvania. It is popular for the custards, italian ice, and specialty deserts. The ice is smoother then the “normal” italian ice and has fresh fruit.

We had a refreshing Adventure to Rita’s Italian Ice. I was sooo incredibly excited to go to Rita’s Italian Ice. I have special memories of Rita’s Italian Ice from my undergraduate years in Pennsylvania. We would go there for a special treat, with the small size being just 75 cents! It was so tasty, a great social time, and perfect for the college wallet. This was my first visit to Rita’s since that time! I was pleased to find that Rita’s provided a small custard cup for the dogs! After ordering our goodies we found a quiet seating area in the back. Both My Mom and I had ordered black cherry Gelato’s, and it did not disappoint. So delicious with custard on the bottom and top, creating the perfect creamy flavor. Shadow and Wilma thoroughly enjoyed their first custard experience and quickly devoured their treat. We were thankful that the temperature had cooled a bit and took our time enjoying every bite. So glad that I FINALLY could reminisce at Rita’s Italian Ice (Rating: Italian Ice and Custard: 5, Location: 4).