Shoreline Greenway Trail- Madison, CT

I’m backlogged in posts, specifically about hikes from my hike book, but I’m going to take a break to share about the Greenway Trail in Madison, CT. This path and separate parking lot are just outside of Hammonasset Beach in Connecticut. There is a Hammonasset “hike” (super easy) in the AMC hiking book, so it makes sense to lump these walks together and do them back to back. For now I’m sharing just the Greenway trail.

As you can tell from the photos, I did this hike back in March (or whenever our last snowfall was). There was only one other person on the trail while I was walking, and I imagine now that spring has sprung, this trail would be packed with walkers + bikers. It has it’s own free parking lot off route 1 (holds maybe 40 cars? so it’s not tiny), just after the entrance to Hammonasset.

Greenway1

Once you park, you can follow a path that makes you cross the driveway into Hammonasset, but the trail leads away from the entrance and takes you back toward Route 1.. this sounds confusing, but it’s easy to see the trail when you’re there.

Greenway2

Just to note, that parking lot for the Greenway trail is not overflow parking for Hammonasset. So please don’t park in that lot and then hike your way to the beach as a way to use the beach for free (to avoid paying the entrance/parking beach fee). It takes up valuable parking for those people who are there to use the intended trail. Okay, lecture over.

Greenway3

Back to the (snowy) trail! This path was basically paved and I would say is handicap friendly with excellent water views.

Greenway4

The trail goes along the backside of the Hammonasset campground, and you can even see an amphitheater where movies and events would be held in the summer. There is a fence separating the trail from the campground, but the view in made me think I should plan a camping trip there this summer. It was nicer than I had imagined for such a busy park.

Greenway5

As I keep going on the trail, I was able to see beautiful homes in the distance and big birds flying around. I’m sure this is a great birding spot.

Greenway6

So pretty, and flat!

Greenway7

Greenway8

Greenway9

Toward the end the trail follows closely with route 1, but there is a fence divider.

Greenway10

Greenway11

This is the end of the trail. My only complaint about this trail is that it isn’t very long. If you stopped here afterwork and wanted to do an hours worth of exercise, I would suggested doing 2 loops back and forth… maybe even 3.

I was naughty, and don’t recommend it, but I continued on my walk into the private neighborhood beyond the trail. I’m sure the neighbors hate it, but I really needed more exercise.

Greenway12

I didn’t take any photos of the street to respect the neighbors privacy, but at the end of each street there was a pretty beach view. That strip of land on the left side of the photo above (way in the distance) is Hammonasset beach sticking out into the water.

Greenway13

Down another street lead to a “DEP Property”. After this, I made my step count for the day and looped back to the parking lot.

Greenway14

On the walk back, I noticed that a rock had these painted “bug” rocks attached to it. It was a nice little artistic boost to my walk. Now go, do this loop, and see if you can find the painted rock-bugs!

Advertisements

California Dreamin’



Anyone else longing for spring? I love the snow but I’m tired of the cold. I hop on a jet Thursday for some California time back in LA. I’m looking forward to sunshine, warmth and good friends. Im also VERY jazzed about the impending time change. It’s happening people, spring is coming. I’m hoping that when I get back to CT mid March that the change to spring will officially be in motion. Longer daylight hours, warmer temps, and I can explore more of New Haven on foot after work. 

Thinking warm thoughts, 

Life Absorbed 

Is Vacation Really Over?

It’s time to face facts- it’s 2015. Since Ive been on vacation the past few days I haven’t been able to really start my resolutions. Tonight I head back home and tomorrow really brings the start to 2015. As part of my resolution list, Ive decided to add a challenge a friend of mine is also doing: 100 miles by Valentines Day. It’s really a doable goal, and my go at it starts tomorrow. I also get the keys to my apartment tomorrow (woo hoo!) and I become a New Haven resident. I’m so excited to be down there and explore more as a local. And this begins all my 2015 adventures!

Before I move on just yet, I’ll catch you up to speed with the remaining Cape Cod adventures.

10899396_395582480616419_1036888399_n

We had a very cold, but clear day this past week where the Meyer’s got in a car and drove over to Brewster’s Wing’s Island (the John Wing Trail). This is a popular birding spot and a quick 1.5 mi (?) loop. We followed the trail on boards across a marsh land, and then made our way through some woods out to the beach. The tide was extremely low creating some fun tide pools to explore. Off in the distance we could see different clammers and oyster catchers collecting their goods. I highly recommend this path, as it was short (although you could walk the beach and make it a longer walk), had beautiful views and was a fun landscape to explore (even in the winter!). The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is also located by the parking lot of this hike. Make an afternoon of it, and check it out!

10903609_786778231393679_1526742452_n10890630_324989321044744_1270299468_n

Next we headed over to Eagle Point, also in Brewster for a very quick loop in their wooded lands. This loop is wooded, but along Upper Miller Pond so it has so beautiful views. It was also fun walking through the trees around 3:30p, as the sunlight cast a warm light on the trees.

10914321_1598906763662934_48255028_n

This hike is short and interesting because these are Punkhorn Trails. There aren’t any paved roads leading to cabins hidden in these woods, so the people living here look for complete privacy. I wouldn’t go hiking here at night, as this type of hard-to-reach place attracts people and activities that sound more scary than fun. But during the day, it’s an interesting web of trails to explore.

Another night we decided to walk to Neel’s Beach (Harwich Port), walk the beach, and then walk back. We did this right at sunset, so we got some great beach photos and made it home before it was dark.

10899326_436008613222937_337201359_n
10903776_1420018341622586_2132445996_n

It’s time to pack up, and say “see you later” to the cape as we make our way back to Connecticut. Time to go back to real life, and I’m excited to get a start on all the 2015 fun!

Happy Holidays from Cape Cod!

Did you notice I’ve been MIA? Do This Today Posts will be back in full force in 2015, I swear. I’ve been on a Cape Cod winter hiatus.

10895101_362913550555749_1436331666_n

The hiatus started with a nasty cold that thankfully has passed. After a few days of rest I was able to get out and explore. Stop one was an evening Brewster beach walk (photo above) and a stop into some local shops (Chatham Town Center and Brewster General Store). Shop local!

10882044_562878600513830_674197981_n10895101_1600398260183547_1102562115_n

One day we ventured out to Monomoy Nature Preserve (below) and did a fun 3+ mile loop. Winter time on the Cape means very quiet beach walks and thankfully this was a calm 40 degree day so it wasn’t too cold.

10881825_755917084463635_1090955606_n

Yesterday we drove all the way out to Provincetown and did a walk along Herring Cove (below) before shopping in town and catching the sunset. It was so beautiful, but it was around 29/30 degrees and breezy. Yikes it was cold!

10890686_1390580844574962_1290697391_n10899210_745122855564076_1698845808_n
10832183_1404138176545684_97232951_n

10894920_794061720629890_1310244562_n

Look at this gem I found in a shop in P-town! It’s a poster ad for the Rolling Stones doing a pre-tour show at Toad’s Place in New Haven. Ticket price? $3.01! Man that would have been a fun show. What a great find!

After visiting a few shops in P-Town we caught the sunset and drove to Orleans for a yummy seafood dinner at Old Jailhouse Tavern (a family favorite restaurant).

10899558_1418450391779003_1762147566_n

Up next, I recap my 2014 resolutions and then I’ll share my 2015 goals. 2015 will be a big year! 🙂

Africa XXI: Nomad Tours Day 9+10, Northern Zanzibar

I’m very excited to share with you all the details of my Africa (Kenya/Tanzania) trip, and hopefully it helps you plan your own trip, encourages you to visit these places, or at the very least teaches you about another culture in another part of the world. I loved my Africa experience. To catch you up on my trip, check out all my Africa posts:

Africa I: Planning Logistics + Budgets + Immunizations + Clothing/Gear + Getting There
Africa II: Kenya Stop1, Baby Elephants
Africa III: Kenya Giraffes, Karen Blixen and Artcaffe
Africa IV: Arriving in Moshi + The Good Hope School
Africa V: Kilimanjaro Details
Africa VI: Kilimanjaro Machame Route Day 1
Africa VII: Kilimanjaro Machame Route Day 2
Africa VIII: Kilimanjaro Machame Route Day 3
Africa IX: Kilimanjaro Machame Route Day 4
Africa X: Kilimanjaro Machame Route Day 5
Africa XI: Kilimanjaro Machame Route Day 6 and 7
Africa XII: Nomad Tours Day 1, Visit the Snake Park
Africa XIII: Nomad Tours Day 2, Off to the Serengeti
Africa XIV: Nomad Tours, Our First Game Drive
Africa XV: Nomad Tours Day 3, Game Drives
Africa XVI: Nomad Tours Day 4, Game Drives!
Africa XVII: Nomad Tours Day 4, Maasai Warriors
Africa XVIII: Nomad Tours Day 5, The Ngorongoro Crater
Africa XIX: Nomad Tours Day 6 and 7, Overland to Dar es Salaam
Africa XX: Nomad Tours Day 8, Stone Town Zanzibar

____________________________________________________________________

Last I left off, Erica and I were with our Nomad Tours group for our Serengeti & Zanzibar 10 Day Trek South, where we finished exploring Stone Town and headed up to the northern tip of Zanzibar for 2 days of resort bliss!

NorthZanzibarhalf

Our luxurious stay on the island is at the Amaan Bungalows on Nungwi Beach. After finishing our walking tour mid morning, they arranged a bus to take us to the northern part of the island. Mid drive some people on our tour elected to do the extra excursion of a spice tour. I decided I’d rather skip the tour and head directly to the beach!

NorthZanzibar1

Once we dropped half the group off at the spice tour (which Erica went on, so check her blog for details on that), our van continued on north. Since this van was smaller and less conspicuous than our Nomad Truck (Tommy), now was my chance to snap some photos of local life through the window of the van.

NorthZanzibar2

This was typical architecture in Zanzibar and Tanzania.

NorthZanzibar3

This was also common, seeing children collect water from local watering spots. The home in the back is also typical Tanzania architecture with a thatched roof and everything.

NorthZanzibar4NorthZanzibar5

Above is an example of their type of strip-mall shops. Each stall would have a vendor (butcher shop, general store, fruit stand for example) and has big metal doors to close up at night.

NorthZanzibar6

After about 40 minutes we arrived at the Amaan Bungalows. It was like heaven! This time we didn’t have an ocean view, but it was still super adorable and a 3 minute walk from the ocean. This girl can’t complain, especially since I’d been camping so much of the trip and it was nice having a bed and bathroom.

NorthZanzibar7

D19 above was our bungalow for the next couple days.

NorthZanzibar8

This place was really nice. I can see how people would honeymoon here. Our room was very nice, clean, adorable and snake-free. I ended up having some sickness/stomach issues around this time of the trip, so I was in the room more than I expected and it was a comfy place to be when feeling sick.

NorthZanzibar9

Before my sickness set-in, I had one full day here of relaxing by the pool and general awesomness. This resort had many food options, a coffee/ice cream shop, bars, stores etc, so there was no reason to leave. All the resorts are in a line and connected along the beach, and each has different restaurants and shops, so if one doesn’t have what you want, walk 50 ft and you’l be at the next set of shops and restaurants.

NorthZanzibar10

This is the reverse view from the pool. You can swim in the pool while looking out at the ocean. I should note that even the ocean water felt like bath water.

NorthZanzibar11

Above is the view from the resort walkway leading down to the water. At high tide the water comes right up to the steps. It’s incredible. You can walk from the stairs right into the water.

NorthZanzibar12

Above, here are the steps at low tide. This is a great time to walk the beach. On day 2 when I wasn’t feeling well, I couldn’t partake in any of the excursions. I was going to do the all day snorkeling trip (I think it was $15 USD) where they bring you out to the island, provide you with lunch and the snorkeling gear. Some people did it from our tour group and liked it. I was sad to miss it, but hanging around the resort was still awesome. I could be within bathroom distance but still have a relaxing fun time.

NorthZanzibar13

I spent the morning walking the beach, after a lovely complimentary breakfast (they do a nice job). It was fun looking for unique shells and starfish and feeling the super soft sand against my feet.

NorthZanzibar14

The fishing boats are beautiful.

NorthZanzibar15

I just loved watching the water. I could walk this beach all day.

IMG_6557NorthZanzibar16

Red starfish!

NorthZanzibar17

One thing I noticed around 10am was that many local women were in full clothes out in the water with spears. They were catching crabs, as there were many in the water even by my feet as I walked.

NorthZanzibar18

Tide pool fun.

NorthZanzibar19

I have no clue what this sea creature is but it was spiky and cool looking. 3 seconds after I took this photo it burrowed back into the sand and was never seen (by me) again.

NorthZanzibar20

I passed through so many honeymoon type resorts. They were all beautiful and unique.

NorthZanzibar21

There were local fishermen selling what they caught that day along the sand. I decided to stick to fish at the restaurant and not try to DIY dinner.

NorthZanzibar22

Sunset! Another excursion offered was a sunset cruise. This was another case of “I can’t be away from a bathroom for that long”, so I had to pass. But I imagine it was a lot of fun and it was very reasonably priced. But I must say, the sunset from our resorts outdoor bar was pretty excellent 🙂

NorthZanzibar23

Here’s an example of sunset at high tide The water really flows right up to the resort. You have to time your beach walks accordingly. I have to say even with my stomach acting up, I had a fantastic time here.

Up next on Wednesday, I’ll share my last Africa post as I head back to Stone Town, Zanzibar for my last night of the tour and then endure my 4 flights back to US soil (NYC!).

Cape Cod in the Winter

Over the holiday’s I was on the East Coast visiting with friends and family and doing my best to stay warm. A couple days after Christmas I drove from Connecticut to spend the next week with my family in Cape Cod.

CapeCod1

The above photo was taken mid route between Providence and Cape Cod (at Fall River). Don’t worry, I was in the passenger seat.

CapeCod2

This photo was taken going over the Bourne Bridge at Sunset. The drive out to Cape Cod is very beautiful.

CapeCod3

There’s really nothing like an East Coast Christmas. Cape Cod is such a beautiful place, even in the (extreme) cold.

CapeCod4

CapeCod5

CapeCod6

CapeCod7

The above four photos were taken at Harding Beach in Chatham. It was a very cold and windy beach walk, but it makes for a fun adventure.

CapeCod9

CapeCod8

CapeCod10

CapeCod11

The above four photos were taken at the Chatham Fish Pier, which is a great seal/shark lookout place in the summer and is also next to a tasty fish market. It’s a fun place to go and watch the fishing boats come in with their daily take. The fish attract the seals, and the seals attract the sharks.. circle of life.

CapeCod12

CapeCod13

The above two photos are from Chatham Lighthouse and the beach accompanying it.

CapeCod14

CapeCod15

The last stop at sunset was Cold Storage Beach in Dennis. If it weren’t so frigid and windy, this is a great walking beach to explore in the summer time. You can see these beach photos have WAY less snow, since this is the bay-side.

Every year people flock to Cape Cod in the summer time, and yet everything shuts down in the winter. I find the quite and stillness mixed with the snowy landscape just so beautiful in winter. If you have the chance to experience Cape Cod in the winter, it’s worth your time.

Do This Today: The Santa Monica Pier Concert Series

Tonight at 7pm, head to Santa Monica Pier to listen to a FREE live concert sponsored by the Peir’s Twilight Concert Series. Kasey Chambers is the guest performer tonight. It should be a fun night- and it’s free. Get ready to dance on the beach.

Event: The Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series– Australia Rocks Featuring Kasey Chambers
Location: Santa Monica Pier deck and beach, Santa Monica
Time: 7pm
Cost: FREE
FIY: There are some nice parking garages along 2nd Street, which give you 2 hours free parking. And the new Santa Monica Place overs a ton of food options on the top floor of the mall (great views too!).