Visiting Home 4: The Joys of Home

To catch you up on my Connecticut trip check out Visiting Home: Getting There, Exploration and Touring Wallingford. This is the last installment of my week long trip home. It’s a hodge-podge of some of my favorite parts.

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I got to paint Grandma Gertrude’s nails one day. Gosh she’s so cute. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it was a sparkling light pink (on of grandma’s favorite colors).

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I got in a game night with my parents. I (we) LOVE board games. Love them. We have so many because it’s one of our favorite past times. The above photo is of my favorite game (and my father’s least favorite game), Masterpiece. This board game is all about collecting and selling paintings (based off the Chicago Institutes Collection of classics).

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Another day I got to layout in the sun in our backyard (notice David Sedaris’ new book? Amazing).

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While laying out side I was being watched by a curious cat.

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My mom brought me to a place in Hamden CT called Urban Miners. I want to own a store like this. It’s filled with recycled architectural materials. Just walking around this place the creative part of my brain was freaking out. So many ideas!

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I could use this whole stack of wood. Badly.

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Another day I met up with friends and went to Hubbard Park in Meriden.

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We just laid out on the lawn like bums. It was awesome.

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Such excellent weather in the park.

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On my last night I got to see my good friends Alex and Jess play hockey (they are in a coed league). They didn’t win, but they played well and we tailgated under the stars afterword.

It was hard to say goodbye, but it was time to get back to normal life. This was a special trip home and I hope to sneak another one in before we approach 2014.

Hubbard Park + Castle Craig

Despite the extremely cold day, me and my good friends Jess and Mike ventured out on a hike. It was fun but coooold (I’m still regaining feelings in my fingers). I didn’t really know about Castle Craig’s existence until I went to Hubbard Park on Christmas day to see their Christmas light display (which I blogged about HERE). Get ready for a ton of pics!

After doing a little online sleuthing, I found this MAP to the trail that I took. So we met in Hubbard park and followed the white path (as we only had 2 hours to spend here) on a pretty low-key hike. Only a 700 foot stretch up to the castle was steep, the rest was a pretty graceful incline. No hiking boots necessary and great for the family.

We began by watching the ducks in Mirror Lake. I love the mini-Castle Craig model in the middle of the lake (it’s a duck palace!)

A lot of the hike is woodsy like this image. It’s a fun change for me, especially since you can tell by the photos that it’s frigid out there. The white trail is also heavily marked, so no need to worry about going off on the wrong path.

CASTLE CRAIG! It’s a CASTLE?!

I loved this shot of Jess close to the edge over looking Meriden.

Views from the top. I hope to come back and do this trail again in the summer. This would be a great hike to pack a lunch and eat overlooking CT.

This is the steep hike back down to meet up with the white path. A little rocky, but nothing too tricky.

Continuing on the hike, there are some great views up to the castle.

“Halfway House”

Eventually the hike loops up with Merimere Reservoir (with Mine Island in the middle).

There’s nothing like celebrating a hike well done with a veggie pizza from Modern Apizza in New Haven with my cousin 🙂

Christmas Day 2011

Christmas day began as it traditionally does, opening gifts around 10am with me in pjs and my family fully dressed in nice clothes. I got my parents dog a santa outfit, which we forced her into.

Instead of the usual “everyone opens one gift at a time, then we all look at the gift” (aka 24hr gift giving) we tried to mix it up by having everyone open a gift at once. Thankfully this saved us a lot of time and we all still got to see what everyone was opening. One highlight from the gift giving was grandma receiving a little purse (for an ID + cell phone) and her response of “this is so when Im at the bar and pass out, they can identify the body?” hahaaa.. she’s 93 and hilarious! It gives me hope for 93 year old Bethany. Around 1p we finished opening gifts and my mom prepared a delicious brunch. After that it was nap time!

Later in the night we went to see the Hubbard Park lights, which was a great activity to do with Grandma, so we could all enjoy it from the car. They had a ton of lights, my favorite being the globe of lights.

After dinner we (minus Grandma) went into the center of town to walk. I’m from a charming Connecticut town with historically old homes all dressed for the holidays. It was a beautiful walk and thankfully the temperature was bearable.

We made it an early night, seeing as Erica and I had a train to catch to NYC the next morning.