October 20, 2011

A Connecticut Yankee

It was sunny and windy when we left Mystic this morning to continue our exploration of Connecticut.  Two of my favorite areas in Connecticut are the Connecticut River Valley and the Litchfield Hills.  I wanted Tim to see both of them.

We Didn't Need Our Duck Shoes Today, But They Sure Have Come In Handy
The small towns in the lower Connecticut River Valley are charming, and we visited several of them.  Essex is one of the best-known, and we made a loop through the town before driving some of the pretty back roads in the area. 

We stopped in Chester, one of my favorite towns, for lunch.  This may be a tiny town in the middle of a rural area, but you would never know it from what it has to offer.  Chester boasts that it is a “historic New England mill town that celebrates its heritage while offering the culture and sophisticaled amenities of the 21st century."  Simon's Marketplace, a gourmet general store where we ate, seems to be the local gathering place, and the food is indeed sophisticated, and delicious.

Charming Chester

Wonderful Architecture In Chester
On our way to the Litchfield Hills, we detoured to Hartford to visit the Mark Twain House and Museum.  This was Twain’s home for much of his married life, and it’s an amazing Victorian house.  The interior public spaces were created by the design firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the stenciling and wallpapers are beautiful.  Our tour guide filled us in on Twain’s life and his family, and we left with a better understanding of one of America’s most beloved authors.

Mark Twain House
Decorative Brickwork

Could That Be Tim?
Mark Twain Fought Against Prejudice For Most of His Life

It was late afternoon when we left Hartford, and we fought the traffic almost all the way to Litchfield.  Tim’s biggest complaint is the lack of left turn lanes in New England, which creates even more traffic congestion.  Maybe that’s one reason we live in the West.

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