July 7, 2019 – Elizabeth Park Conservatory – Rose Garden – Connecticut

Yesterday Shadow, Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in West Hartford, Connecticut.   The Rose Garden is one of the biggest Rose Garden’s in the country.  It is managed by the Conservatory, has over 15,000 rose bushes and 800 varieties of new and old roses.  The Park also holds events including summer concerts, and has a cafe on the property.  There are no fees to enter the garden, and it is dog friendly.

We had a colorful Adventure to the Elizabeth Park Conservatory Rose Garden.  I was exhilarated to find a dog friendly garden, a long, but reasonable drive.  Our plan was to visit early evening to avoid the summer heat.  The Park was very populated upon arrival, but we had no trouble finding parking and began on our journey.  There were different gardens with assorted flowers, and landscaping.  We wandered slowly appreciating the diverse variety of flowers, and of course snapping many photographs.

The property’s main attraction was the Rose Garden.  This Garden was centered by a what the Conservatory refers to as a “gazebo” covered by Virginia creeper.  There are rose colored arches leading to this spectacular centerpiece.  We sat and relaxed at this “gazebo” meeting other guests, many whom were quite curious about Wilma and Shadow.  Shadow seemed a bit displeased by the summer weather, while Wilma soaked in every guest she could pull in to her energetic world.  Both enjoyed their normal, cheerful grass roles, celebrating a new Adventure.  And although I brought water I was pleased to see a dog fountain which we stopped at on several occasions to refresh.  It was not too warm, however we still made sure to take many breaks just in case Shadow and Wilma needed an extra summer rest.

After the Rose Garden we walked over to see several fountains displayed in a murky pond.  Shadow was hoping for a dive into the pond, and I felt quite dispirited to let him down.  We therefore did not stay long in this hopeful area, walking around and finding several scenic bridges made of rock and stone.  Nearby we found many guests picnicking, playing games, and catching up with those they knew.  There was lots of life, culture, and smiles throughout the lovely gardens and adjacent fields.

We really did enjoy the gardens at the Rose Conservatory.  I loved how the more you walked, the more you found, enjoying different gardens around every corner.  Even more special for me a dog friendly garden where I can bring my precious bundles of fur (haha).  It was so nice to have My Mom join us, creating yet another wonderful memory.  A unique and special location.  I definitely plan to be back, and highly recommend you visit these lovely gardens (Rating:  4).

 

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June 15, 2019 – Yantic Falls – Connecticut

Today Shadow, Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to Yantic Falls in Norwich, Connecticut.  Yantic Falls is approximately forty feet in height, and is sourced from the Yantic River.  It falls from below a dam, and plunges into a gorge before entering the pool below.  There is a walking bridge above the Falls.  The Falls is famous for its’ history as a battleground of the Mohegan Indians back in the 1600s.

We had a spectacular Adventure to the Yantic Falls, our second stop on an afternoon of Adventures.  I found myself quite frustrated as the Falls was very challenging to locate.  However we persevered and eventually made it to this stunning Falls.  Our journey began with a walk across the bridge above the Falls, viewing a train bridge to the right, and views of the dam and gorge to the left.  We sauntered across the bridge, and down a small trail before climbing up to a small bridge above the railroad tracks.  Finding ourselves on what appeared to be a private yard, we headed back across the walking bridge, taking in the sites and sounds of this spot.

After this little walk we headed over to the Falls, snapping many photos along the way.  We soon found a trail that went down to the rocks, and into the gorge.  Shadow continually hoped to dive into the water, but unfortunately there were no clear paths available for a swim.  However, we enjoyed the view, and attempted many selfies before heading back up for yet another angle of the scenic falls.  We relaxed a bit in the grass, while Shadow and Wilma ended our visit officially with some enthusiastic rolls.  So glad we did not give up on finding this Yantic Falls, a beautiful waterfall (Rating:  4).

 

June 15, 2019 – Quaddick State Park – Connecticut

Today Shadow, Wilma, My Mom, and I Adventured to Quaddick State Park in Thompson, Connecticut.  Quaddick State Park is on the Quaddick Reservoir.  It is popular for swimming, picnicking, and has a trail on the grounds.

We had a relaxing Adventure to the Quaddick State Park on a lovely Spring afternoon.  Disappointed at an unreasonable fee to enter the park, we still decided to visit and explore.  We first drove the loop around the Park checking out the areas from the window, spotting various grassy picnic tables along the Reservoir, a sandy swimming beach, and a pavilion area.  I had read the beach was not dog friendly so we decided to find a picnic area on the water to relax.  Shadow eagerly enjoyed some swims, while My Mom and I took photographs and smiled at Shadow’s swimming joy.  Wilma explored the shoreline, and jumped onto a picnic bench, which for some odd reason was placed in the water.  The water was gorgeously bright blue, and rippling peacefully.  We appreciated great company as were glad to find a tranquil picnic spot away from the other visitors.  We did not visit for long, but were pleased to visit the Quaddick State Park (Rating:  3).

Throwback Adventure – Mystic Seaport Museum – Connecticut

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In April 2015 Shadow, Buster, My brother, My sister-in-law, and my niece Adventured to the Mystic Seaport in Mystic Connecticut, also referred to as The Museum of America and the Sea.  The Museum is located on almost twenty acres of land and is the largest maritime museum in the United States.  It includes:  a redeveloped 19th-century coastal village, formal exhibit halls, artifact storage facilities, and an active shipyard.

We had a unique Adventure to the Mystic Seaport on a dark April day.  It was quite the unusual experience bringing Shadow and Wilma into the main building to purchase tickets.  We then entered into the outdoors to explore the Museum.  There were boats, benches to sit, and scenic posts to pose.  We of course did not venture into any museum building but were able to enjoy the outdoor spots, and partake in some exercise, and family fun.  As you may know I am not a huge history buff but I appreciated site seeing and taking in a new experience.  It was a fun time at Mystic Seaport.

 

 

 

Throwback Adventure – Stonington Harbor Lighthouse – Connecticut

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing. Many of these Throwback Adventures will include our Buster, who was known for his crazy tail, his happy howl, and his zest for life. We miss him dearly…he is forever in our hearts!

In January 2017 Shadow and I Adventured to the Stonington Harbor Lighthouse in Stonington, Connecticut. The Lighthouse was built in 1840. It no longer is a working Lighthouse, but is now open as a museum.

We had a special Adventure to the Stonington Lighthouse, one of our many stops on a fun-filled day of exploring.  My throwback memories are not always as vivid as I hope they would be, however I remember enjoying the visit on a frigid day.  The Lighthouse was in a little harbor neighborhood. It was surprisingly made of stone, quite the charming structure. We posed for some photographs and ambled around for a bit.  We were pleased to have the entire spot to ourselves, definitely an off season perk. Always a special day with my Shadow.

Shadow CT 6032Lighthouse January 2017 CT Stonighton Harbor

October 28, 2018 – Gillette Castle State Park – Connecticut

Today we Adventured to Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. This was our second trip to the Gillette Castle. 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 intriguing Adventure to Gillette Castle State Park. Our first visit was in August 2018, on a warm day, while today was a overcast, almost chilly Fall day. Gillette Castle State Park is a magical experience, transforming visitors back into medieval time, or sensing an escape on a journey abroad. We greatly enjoyed our visit to the Castle, circling the grand structure many times so as not to miss an inch. Shadow enjoyed some rolls in the grass, while Wilma jumped up high to climb along the rock-like fence, posing for photos. Not only is the Castle itself just breathtaking, it is located on the beautiful Connecticut River vast with Fall foliage. Just gorgeous from every direction! Today the Castle was mobbed with visitors, dulling the experience a bit, but really that cannot take away from the brilliant beauty of the Castle.

After visiting the Castle we wandered the trails on the side of the Park, and headed down to the water. Shadow and I were a bit tired from our earlier Adventure so we decided not to engage in any strenuous or lengthy hiking. The trails were not labeled, so we just sauntered around for a bit. We were thrilled to locate three adorable walking bridges along the way, adding some charm to the trails. From the trails we walked around some spots along the main road, finding a gorgeous stone bridge, a leaf filled pond, and several other small features along the way. We of course had to have one last visit to the Castle before finishing up our day. Although I wish we could have had this spot all to ourselves (haha), we still cannot say enough about the spectacular Gillette Castle State Park. I expect we will be back again in the future (Rating: 5).

October 2018

August 2017

October 28, 2018 – Wadsworth State Park – Connecticut

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Wadsworth State Park in the towns of Middlefield and Middletown, Connecticut. The park is a 285 acre park filed with trails, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, and two waterfalls. It is located on the Coginchaug River. Clarence Wadsworth, a well known Colonel, linguist, and scholar developed the land in order to preserve it for all citizens, therefore earning the name.

We had a delightful Fall Adventure to Wadsworth State Park. Although the day was dark from previous rain, and the temperature crisp, it was just perfect for a hike. We were excited to explore a Park in Connecticut, a place we have not frequented as much as the remaining New England states. Upon exiting the car we could immediately hear the roaring of the “Big” Falls. Although I had printed a map, we quickly found a large map which we viewed before heading straight to the “Big” Falls. The “Big” Falls was thunderous, and quite spectacular. It is hard to know what to expect when you plan a visit to a waterfall as sometimes they can be practically non-existent, especially in off season. The “Big” Falls, however did not disappoint, as it was heavy flowing, and music to our ears. The ground was covered with gorgeous Fall leaves adding the perfect touch to the lovely scene.

After viewing the “Big” Falls we searched for the trailhead. It took us awhile to finally find this location as we had to walk down the main street before eventually coming to the sign. A brief moment of frustration, but we soon were off on our way. We hiked all over this magnificent Park, the leaves yellow, red, and brightly patterned. There were numerous trails and turns, requiring constant peaks at the map. So lucky I had printed the map so we did not miss any highlights, and could not worry about getting lost. So with this map we headed to the “Little” Falls, which was less then a mile down the orange trail, and off onto the blue trail. Another marvelous waterfall this one had less flow, and more rocks, yet gorgeous in its own way. We spent a bit exploring the “Little” Falls, while the pups enjoyed some fresh flowing water.

From there we followed different colored trails attempting to find the various highlights on the map. There were shallow streams, a pond from afar, and even a “Giant Laurel” tree. I was humored by even locating a “Purple” trail, which might have been a first on our many Adventures. We spent about three hours hiking, seeing other friendly visitors here and there along the way. Definitely an enjoyable afternoon at the Wadsworth State Park (Rating: 4)