Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Winding our way through Connecticut
OK...so the ride from Putnam/Woodstock Hill Inn to Willimantic was pleasant but hilly. I kept hearing Joel singing that song called Spinning Wheel...you know, what goes up, must come down, behind me:) The good news is that we were on trails for a good majority of the trip and it was peaceful and pretty. Willimantic is not so pretty, but we did have a delicious lunch there before we headed to our hotel a few miles away in Mansfield Center. We met Mom and Dad there and enjoyed dinner and a movie at a local Mall...Inception...really good! On Tuesday we headed out in a humid fog that turned into a scorching heat as we made our way to Hartford. On the way we saw this huge sunflower and just had to take a photo to see if our friend Adam's plant has grown this big yet!! Our destination in Hartford was Joel's college roommate's home...Dan Mara and his wife Leslie (their two children, Ben and Kate, were at camp so we missed them). We haven't seen them in over 15 years and boy was it wonderful to pull into their driveway just as Dan was coming home from work...he offered us both a cold Sam Adams. Nothing ever tasted so good! We so enjoyed spending the evening with them catching up on all those lost years and dining on a fine, healthy meal...especially Dan's grilled veggie tart with goat cheese and feta...gourmet group beware:) We must not let so much time elapse between visits in the future! We added another 50 miles each for these two days as well as an additional 50 from Hartford to New Haven. Today's ride was pristine. We had a couple of decent hills, but for the most part we were on a Greenway trail called the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail...over 15 miles of paved, off road riding. Now that's what we have been waiting for! So many people were enjoying the path on bikes or roller blades or on foot. We were able to get into the city of New Haven, right through the Yale University campus on a trail! Our hotel is perfect, and we enjoyed a terrific dinner on the waterfront at a place called Leon's. I would like to leave you all with an observation...we have witnessed that patriotism is alive and well in Northeast America. So many of the towns and villages that we have cycled through are celebrating the birth of America...there are flags on the street lights, bunting on the porches of old colonial homes, dogs with flag bandannas on their necks and even painted middle street lines of red, white, and blue! It is a good feeling to be an American!