Search This Blog

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Hammonasset Beach State Park - Madison, CT

Connecticut State Park #5 is one I have been to many, many times. It's only 20 minutes away and while many go for the beach, I almost always come for the paved recreation path and more recently, the nature center. 

I always appreciated a good rec path and seek them out while traveling through the state or around New England. Rec paths appeal to everyone of every ability for a few reasons: they are often flat, exist in a super scenic area, and provide a safe place for any non-motorized activity. I've seen people walk, run, hike, bike, scooter, rollerblade, you name it when visiting the park. 

Once I had Whitney, I learned to appreciate these dedicated pedestrian lanes even more as a safe place to run. Exercise is a priority for my physical and mental health and finding the time to fit it into my busy day usually involves bringing Whitney along for the ride. I run around our neighborhood a lot out of pure convenience (right out the door) and safety (quiet roads with cul-de-sacs). The only problem is it's very hilly and sometimes you just need some flat roads and a change of scenery. 

I started upping my mileage to include some long runs and knew I was bringing Whitney. It had been a while since I visited Hammonasset State Park a few towns over in Madison, Connecticut. It's known for its paved rec path through the park, beach access, campground, and nature center. It's all in the details like the rentable pavilions here families host birthday parties, the playground along the path, water stations along the trail (attached dog water stations included), boardwalks, a nature center, and some trails through the park. It's a great family-friendly place. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Farmington Polo Summer Saturdays

It's polo season here in Connecticut. It sounds pretentious but the thing about heading to Farmington for a polo match is it can be anything you want. Bring the kids and the dogs and hang out with the family. Dress up and bring your girlfriends for a picnic. Bring your friends and some wine for cocktail hour before dinner. Bring nothing and grab food and drinks there and relax. I've been a few times and every time we go we plan it picnic style. We bring the dogs, pack a few chairs, bring a picnic-style dinner, and enjoy a sunny summer Saturday here in New England. It's relaxing, social, and a fun way for the kids to blow off some energy and the adults to mingle. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Road Trip with a Toddler

If you read my last post, you already know that we went to Maryland as a trial run for traveling with a toddler. Just when you think you have it all figured out, they are out of one stage and into the other and you have to pivot or even completely change your strategy. Traveling with a newborn vs a 6-month-old vs a 1-year-old is all very different. Gone are the days of sleepy babies happy to nap in the car or at a restaurant. Here are the days of a mobile toddler who hates to be restrained in any type of way and demands all sorts of food at all sorts of times. If you are nervous about traveling with a toddler, I can't stress a trial run enough. This road trip gave me confidence that we can travel with him as he moves through his toddler stages and we had the chance to test out some new gear and new strategies. Today's post is all about some tips and tricks that worked well for us. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Weekender's Guide to: Northern Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Today's Weekender's Guide was a chance to visit Maryland and a trial run of sorts. We are going to Portugal next month and traveling abroad with a 15-month-old (his first flight will be nearly 7 hours) was giving me a boatload of anxiety. Whitney is in that age range where traveling with him is a complete wild card. He is on the move, full of attitude, and on a schedule. Gone are the sleepy, immobile days of traveling.  

I was especially terrified of "naps on the go" as we can't rush back to the Airbnb for 2-3 hours every day while we are out traveling. We traveled a fair amount his first year but he has changed a lot since some of our last trips. I needed the confidence to travel with a toddler out of his element and routine. He is an amazing sleeper at home but he is conditioned to that dark quiet room and his crib in his room. I really needed him to be able to nap in his stroller or in the car on the go. More importantly, I needed to prove to myself that I could do it.

Downtown St Michaels, Maryland

For our "trial run" and weekend getaway, we decided on a road trip to the Northeastern Chesapeake Bay of Maryland. I had never been to the state (besides driving through) and I was excited about spending time on the water with Adam and Whitney to kick off the summer. I'll share a separate guide on a few things that really helped us road trip with a toddler (through temperatures ranging from 60s to 90s). But this is a travel guide. This is a Weekender's Guide, the things worth seeing, the food worth eating, and a few things in-between. It focuses on the northern/central portions of the pay, visiting Chesapeake City, St Michaels, Easton, and Annapolis.