To celebrate, we tossed the kids at our parents for an extended weekend and headed up to Connecticut to take in the scenery. It was a random choice, but I am very glad we did it because I loved the area. We drove up Thursday (4th) and returned to reality on Sunday (7th).
We stayed in the Hyatt Place in Milford, just west of New Haven Connecticut. The hotel was awesome. It's only 5 years old and has updated decor that is several steps above the generic flowery decor that I really despise in most hotels. Below are a few pictures from the room. I guess you would say that it's retro? Modern? The screen divider reminds me of something Asian, though, so I really loved it. Oh, and EVERY room is a suite room, with either king-size bed or two doubles.
the king suite, with divider
the office/bar area (and huge flat screen tv)
loved the sectional couch
it was slightly odd to have the bathroom outside the sink but didn't mind it
comfy king-sized bed
Bonus! The hotel has an oversized spa tub (no pool)
this is the cute breakfast nook where breakfast was served complimentary each morning (not a huge selection but enough to make me happy, and it was darn tasty)
this is just outside the breakfast nook, with more seating (and functions as a bar at night)
I loved the leaf print on the overhead lights
Our first day, we went walking around downtown Milford to take in the sights. There were various monuments, statues, bridges, and waterfalls. I loved the area around the waterfall the most. And there was an awesome restaurant we ate at, called The Rainbow Garden. I definitely recommend the chocolate cake desert.
(loved this waterfall)
Our second day in Connecticut, we drove into New Haven to check out the Natural History Museum and see more sights. This is the statue outside the museum.
This is the museum's entrance
I loved the architecture of the stairwell
I mainly took this picture for Liam, since he loves krakens and this is close
This was a colony of leaf cutter ants. They were amazing to watch.
They carried the pieces up the branch...
and through the tube (notice the condensation starting to collect)
they break down the leaves and build colonies of fungus
they apparently also have a "landfill" where they take all the waste and dead ants
I had to take a picture of one of the dioramas...can YOU tell where the painted background begins?
I wonder if most teens know where Abercombie & Fitch got their start
We were on our way to lunch, trying to find Anna Liffey's Irish Pub/Bar, when I happened to look across the street. And there it was!
Knit New Haven
Naturally I had to stop in after lunch to check it out. I bought stitch markers and Matt bought me an awesome book.
We spent the afternoon walking around New Haven, taking in scenery and taking pictures of architecture, etc.
This was in an art museum...had to take a picture since this is my zodiac sign and username
Our third day in Connecticut, we went over to Madison for an art festival, which was very nice. There were a lot of different artisans there, though jewelry made out of sea glass seems to have been the most popular choice of the artists. There were also a lot of prints of paintings and photographs. We actually meet the photographer that took the picture of his dog jumping in mid-air (for a pig's ear), that was featured in National Geographic and used on the front of a Weezer album (Raditude). Matt shook his hand. He was pretty cool to talk to. (sadly, there was only one artist with actual yarn, though someone else had felted hats and another had woven items)
While there, I had the best grilled cheese ever in my life (cheddar and bacon on rye, with caramelized onions)
After we had looked at all the vendors, we took a walk to check out what Long Island Sound looked like, since we were so close to the water. Along the way we passed a really huge hydrangea (didn't realize they could grow into trees) and REALLY rich houses!
There was quite a view of the sound from where we encountered it. There were small little islands just out in the water. The first was only large enough for birds to land on. The second was larger and looked like it might have a light post on it?
Couples shot before we left
We ate dinner at an awesome hibachi grill called Tengda. We recommend it.
This was my all-time favorite presentation of coleslaw
After dinner we just had to stop by a bakery recommended by a friend, since it was only right down the road. I was pretty please with the chocolate cake/brownie I got.
I have no pictures from Sunday, when we returned home, though we did stop a few places. I was tired and feeling crappy, and it was rainy and cold. We had a few false stops at places that weren't what we thought (or they were closed), and really only managed to look at a small art gallery on a college campus before we gave up and just ate at a nearby diner.
It was a very awesome trip. I would love to go back up there again. I definitely would stay at the same place. There were so many other places we could have seen, so there wouldn't be a lack of things to do. Maybe next year.