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)

Throwback Adventure – Comstock Covered Bridge – August 2017

In August 2017 Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to the Comstock Covered Bridge in East Hampton, Connecticut. The Comstock Covered Bridge was built in 1840, and is approximately eighty feet in length. It crosses the Salmon River. The Comstock River Bridge is one of only three historical covered bridges in Connecticut. It is open to pedestrian traffic only.

We had a lovely Adventure to the Comstock Covered Bridge. We were especially enthused as it was the first day that Wilma had Adventured to Connecticut! We found parking near the Bridge, and began exploring the area. The Comstock Covered Bridge is on the edge of the Salmon River State Park. (We only briefly explored the park, so I will not blog about the Park specifically.) Our journey began on and through the bridge as we walked back and forth, enjoying the views of the River and the Truss architecture of the Bridge. From there we headed down to the sandy shore to view the Bridge from the side. Shadow and Wilma posed as though they were in awe of the Bridge, and of course I attempted some family selfies.

We then followed the trail along the River for a bit, stopping for some Shadow swims. We quickly found a path down the River edge to hop along the rocks and to sit, relax, taking in the scenery. The area was overall quiet, with a few visitors here and there. We enjoyed our journey to the Comstock Covered Bridge, and may return in the future to thoroughly explore the Salmon River State Park (Rating: 3).


May 27, 2017 – Connecticut – Campbell’s Falls

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.

On May 27, 2017 Shadow and I journeyed to Campbell’s Falls in Norfolk, Connecticut.  (Wilma had not yet joined our world).  Campbell’s Falls is located in the Campbell Falls State Park Reserve.  It cascades nearly 100 feet, and is a part of the Whiting River.  The Whiting River starts in Massachusetts, and the waterfall lands into Connecticut.

We visited the Campbell’s Falls at the end of a full day of adventures (hence the end of the video).  We found a parking lot that led us to a short, but steep walk to the Falls.  The Falls was absolutely breathtaking.  The roar of the water, the mist of the Falls, and the singing of the flowing brook led to a true nature experience.  We sat by the brook for a bit, and relaxed, taking in the sounds, smells, and sights.  We then climbed halfway up the waterfall, taking some photos in the perfect little spot.   I love finding landmarks of nature that provide the full sensory experience, and this definitely was one of those moments.  The Campbell’s Falls was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have seen, and I highly recommend a visit (Rating:  5).








June 16, 2018 – Connecticut – Mansfield Hollow State Park

Today we visited Mansfield Hollow State Park in Mansfield, Connecticut.  The Mansfield Hollow State Park is a State Park in Connecticut, and is considered a “recreation area”. The Mansfield Hollow Lake is approximately 500 acres, and there are 251 acres of recreation area on the western edge of the Lake.  Popular recreational opportunities include:  hiking, dog walking, fishing, boating, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing.  There is no fee to enter the Park, quite the perk for a social work budget.

Immediately on arrival our eyes were drawn to the beautiful blue, sparkling water of the Mansfield Hollow Lake, as a refreshing cool breeze lightened the air.  Gazing over the Lake we viewed many canoes, kayaks, and fisherman.  We found a trail near the boat launch, and began wandering the trails, many parallel to the Lake.  The scenery varied from beautiful lake views, raised trails, footpaths winding throughout the woods, to even fields with bright colored, tiny, wild flowers .  There were many families enjoying an afternoon picnic, and dogs strolling down the trails.  Throughout the day we stopped several times to sit in the shade and relax.  Shadow and Wilma enjoyed rolls, and naps in the bright green grass.  The Park appeared quite immense, providing many quiet, uninterrupted spots to lounge and enjoy.

We spent about three hours exploring the Mansfield Hollow State Park.  The dog rules were not clear, nor stated, but we did our best to observe those around us.  However, on our second stop at the park (which appeared to be the main parking lot), we noted a sign indicating dogs must be leashed.  We then” leashed-up” and continued exploring (so we do apologize for this overlook.)  It was a warm, yet relaxing day at Mansfield Hollow State Park (Rating:  4).


April 23, 2018 – Getaway to Connecticut – Day Two

We started a relaxing Day Two of our getaway in Connecticut waking up at a beautiful, dog-friendly accommodation called Green Acres Bed and Breakfast.  Green Acres is an early eighteenth century farmhouse located in Simsbury, CT.  I felt immediately at home upon arrival, being greeted by the innkeepers’ three rescue dogs.  This property was beautifully landscaped with fountains, and a pool.  We stayed longer than planned chatting with the owners, who were quite hospitable.  Although it is easy to find a place that allows dogs, it is hard to find one that is truly dog friendly.  This was a dream find for a crazy dog mama like myself.  Before we departed I enjoyed an elegant breakfast, and left feeling like a queen.  It is definitely a place we plan to stay at again.  (Rated:  5)


Our first stop on Day Two was the Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury, CT.  Stratton Brook State Park was Connecticut’s first state park to be completely wheelchair accessible, and is a designated “Trout Park”.  This was a very simple park, but had some lovely trails through the woods, over a creek, and even several ponds, popular for fishing.  Shadow enjoyed a swim in the creek, while me and Wilma watched from the little bridge above.  We then discovered another adorable covered bridge, perfect in shape, and bright in color.  I love scouting out covered bridges.  They sometimes make me feel like a professional photographer, stunning in their own solidarity.  (Rated:  3)



For our second stop we briefly visited Collinsville, CT.  Collinsville is considered a small village in the town of Canton, CT.  Collinsville was built around the Collins Company factory.  These factory buildings were powered by the river, and have since been rented out to local businesses.  We traversed the bridge over the Farmington River, taking photos along the way.  Just a quick stop before we headed off to a more dog friendly area, a little too industrial for me.  (Rating:  2)


Next we journeyed to Enders State Forest in Granby, CT.  This was definitely my favorite location of our Connecticut getaway.  The Enders State Forest incorporates nearly 2100 acres of wilderness, including the Salmon River, and approximately five waterfalls abutting the trails.  The sounds of the babbling brooks, numerous hide-outs along the River, and steep, rocky views provide quite the sensory experience.  Some good exercise along the trails, but yet a relaxing retreat.   Definitely a true gem of a park.  (Rating:  4)



Our next stop was one of those spontaneous pit stops, directly along the roadside. This location was the Barkhamsted Reservoir, Saville Dam.  The Saville Dam is on the Farmington River, and forms the Barkhamsted Reservoir, the primary water source of Hartford, CT.   We had driven by this area once before, but this was the first time we had some extra time to wander, and of course shoot some photos.  The sun was beaming on the Reservoir, and the view amazingly picturesque.  One of our humorous moment occurred at this site.  As some of you may know Wilma just turned one, so has many unpredictable moments of joy, and really just utter chaos.  On at least three occasions she began rolling on her back, and started flailing down the hill.  I attempted taking a video, which I will post below.  I am not sure if I captured the moment for my audience, but definitely did capture a memory.  The Barkhamsted Reservoir and Saville Dam may be a place to explore more at a future time.  (Rating:  4)


Our last stop of the day was at Soldier’s Monument in Winsted, CT.  Although I am far from a history buff, I love the gorgeous landmarks that are created to memorize, and honor those who sacrifice their lives for others.    The Soldiers’ Monument and Memorial Park is a Memorial for the American Civil War.  It was initially dedicated on September 11, 1890, while renovations and additions have occurred since.  It is a small area, but very picturesque with the main monument located at the top of a little hill.  (Rating:  3)


So this brings me to the end to our Two Day Connecticut getaway.  We had a wonderful time exploring, and look forward to our next new Adventure.  Evidence of a successful vacation can be seen below, the best travel buddies I know!

April 22 and 23, 2018 – Getaway to Connecticut

My first blog starts as we journey into Connecticut for a two day getaway.  On our drive to Connecticut we broke up the trip with a visit to the Westville Dam Recreation area in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  This Dam was designed and constructed by the US Army Corps of engineers, and was completed in 1962.  We traversed around the Quinebaug Lake on the 1.8 trail loop.  It was a beautiful morning the sun was streaming through the trees, the water sparkling, and the beginning of blooming buds in view.  This trail varied from a feel of natural beauty, to a more commercial feel.  This short trail was a favorable way to stretch our legs.  (Rated:  2)DSC05487






We then arrived at our first stop in Connecticut, the West Cornwall covered Bridge in West Cornwall, Connecticut, spanning the Housatonic River.  Although this bridge was last modernized in 1973 it is estimated that it may have been in this location as early as 1762.  Wilma’s agile frame jumped from rock to rock, while Shadow enjoyed wading in the cool River water.  We stopped to take some photos, and enjoyed a stroll along the river.  (Rated:  4)





Next we journeyed to the Kent Falls State Park in Kent, CT.  Pulling into the parking lot my eyes were promptly drawn to Kent Falls, a massive waterfall, plunging 250 feet in less than a quarter of a mile.  As we wandered toward the Falls we walked beneath the Kent Falls covered bridge, a lattice bridge, spanning just 37 feet across.  We then followed the Housatonic River directly to the bottom of Kent Falls.  The waterfall provided several opportunities to climb, with various cascades streaming down.  Although a beautiful waterfall I found this site to be very touristy, which seemed to dampen my excitement in this brilliant site.  There were several trails in this park, but I decided to keep moving, as we had many appealing sites planned.  (Rating:  3)





Next we journeyed to Bull’s Bridge in Kent, CT, spanning  the Housatonic River.  The first instance of this bridge was in 1760, while the current bridge was built in 1842.  This stop was a nice surprise as in my hasty research I located a bridge, neglecting to see all the other brilliant sites.  Our hike in this area led us to rushing river rapids, a dam, and numerous trails with stunning views.  This was one of those locations that we really could have explored for the day.  (Rating:  3)   DSC05544DSC05559DSC05573DSC05590





Our last stop of the day was at Macedonia Brook State Park in Kent CT.  This park has trails that lead to the mountain peaks, offering views of the Catskills and Taconics.  Our visit to Macedonia Brook Park was short, as dusk was upon us, and we did not traverse the mountain trails.  We wandered briefly, and enjoyed the sounds of the babbling brooks, and an adorable “must-photograph” bridge.  I think this photo of Shadow and Wilma became my favorite picture of the day.  A peaceful and quiet place to wrap up Day One of our getaway.  (Rating:  3)