Tag Archives: Connecticut

A visit to Connecticut before the storm hits

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Weekend of 31-Jan-15 through 01-Feb-15

Ben Hutt Jan 2015

As we’ve established, I enjoy visiting my Aunt.  Her house in Connecticut is amazing; she just creates this perfect atmosphere of warmth and serenity, no matter what season it is, or what’s happening in my life.  This winter has been rough for me, as most winters are… I dislike being trapped, and the longer commuting times due to the snow, combined with a lack of sunlight and general “you can’t do that, because it’s zero degrees out and there’s a billion feet of snow on the ground” makes me more than a bit blue.

So, I drove down to CT to visit and recharge my batteries.

The drive wasn’t too bad – it had snowed pretty hard earlier in the week, but there had been enough time and snow and plows to clear the roads out pretty nicely.  Of course there were a few spots that I had to slow down and be careful at the wheel, but for the most part the drive was the usual relaxing.  It did help that I’d stopped in Cambridge for a bite of breakfast before hitting the highway – that way I was able to just drive straight, and had a belly nicely full of pancakes and coffee to keep me going.

Once I got into Connecticut, there was a short bit of hanging out and catching up – chatting about my job, her writing, my lack of writing… the usual stuff that my Aunt and I chat about.  Eating kumquats, and playing with Einstein (pictured above, with me).

The main goals of the weekend were to eat delicious pizza, do a bit of shoveling, get grain for the goats, and get hay for the goats.  The pizza part we killed off that first night, along with picking up the grain (if I remember correctly).  However, the shoveling and hay had to wait for the next morning…

My Aunt, as we’ve established, is amazing.  So her goats are, obviously, amazing as well.  But that means that they need amazing food, and amazing hay can be hard to find.  So, we went to a small farm, with a large barn.  And an owner who scours the nearby farms (and some not so nearby farms) for bales of hay, and then organizes them all up into the huge barn.

And from the huge barn?  Tetris skills man.  Tetris skills to get six huge bales of hay into one small Volvo.  I mean, not a tiny car by any means, but definitely not a monster van or anything… or even the usual pickup that you’d expect.  But it can be done, and it was be done, because it done got done.  Yes.

And then – we belted up to do battle.  See, the path down to the goat’s barn was all well and good for walking, but not for trucking bales of hay down from the car.  So we shoveled it out.  Nice and light and fluffy snow, and the job was made easier by the fact that somehow Boston’s been a magnet for snow this season – meaning that there was only ~8 inches of snow on the ground, vs. Boston’s 16-30 inches.

So it was a simple job.  Moving the hay was a bit tougher, but definitely fun due to the wicked hook that we used to haul it from the car into the wheelbarrow… Seriously, that thing reminded me of Captain Hook…. but scarier.  I loved it.

Once the hay loft was stocked, we played a bit with Violet and SweetPea, helped them do their nails (Trimming their hooves, really only Violet, since SweetPea was too big for me to hold onto), and ran around the pen like crazy people.  Sometimes I chased the goaties, sometimes they chased me.  Usually we just ran around crazy, enjoying the outdoors and the winter as only Swiss goats can.

 

 

Blog Link for my Aunt!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Plantswise-by-Tovah-Martin/188220037885906?fref=photo

Another adventure in Connecticut

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Weekend of Friday, 02-May-14 & Saturday, 03-May-14

This weekend was a bit of an ecclectic one – lots of little adventures.  Let’s start out with driving down to Connecticut again…

 

Friday, 02-May-14

  • Bike to and from work, have a nice ride each way, especially since I get to leave work a bit early
  • Relax at home for a spell, have a snack, it’s all good
  • Pack the car up and RIDE!
  • Long and relaxing drive, somehow missing like 90% of the traffic
  • Link up with Big T in Danbury, and we head out for mexican down the street from him
  • Eat, drink, and be merry… though i also forget my credit card at the restaurant.  Damn.  But on the upside, they have some extremely good nachos, and really solid chicken tacos.  So it’s sort of a wash, in the long run.
  • Head back to his place, and tear through a few episoded of “The Angry Videogame Nerd”, followed by Avatar, the Legend of Korra, followed by beers and chatting.  I always forget how quickly one’s alcohol tolerance goes down though – we only have four or so drinks each, but they hit me pretty hard.  In my defense, they were really good / strong beers, but still.  No excuses, I need to brush on on my drink-workouts before I head to France…

 

Saturday, 03-May-14

  • I’ve got a hair appointment this morning at 9:00, and I’ve been a bit late each time I have an appt. there.  So I make sure to set a lot of alarms before going to bed, and even crash a bit earlier than originally planned…
  • Nope, it doesn’t help.
  • I finally wake up in one of those horrid, semi-hungover states… shit I’m late!  Again!  GUN IT!  Get donuts first!  Try to get my card back first!  Ahh shit get on the highway!
  • Finally make it in about an hour late, but thankfully I shot her an email before leaving, and she sort of expects it of me by now, so we’re all good.  Get everything done and then head back into Mass to have a relaxing afternoon with my folks before heading home to the city…

 

A New York-style Deli roadtrip: Driving down to Pennsylvania

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25-Apr-2014 through 27-Apr-14

 

My friend Emma and I wanted to see Fallingwater – a very famous Frank Lloyd Wright house.  Unfortunately, it’s very far away.  But we still wanted to do a roadtrip… so let’s go toward there anyways!

*Note: A danger to driving a standard transmission is that I’m really the only one who can drive it easily.  So I did all the driving for this adventure – Emma knitted literally 50% of a sweater though… half the time with the top down and the wind howling.  Impressive.

Friday, 25-Apr-14

  • Emma meets me at the office, mid afternoon.  Throw her gear in the can, and we roll out onto the probably-gridlocked road.
  • Turns out, Emma’s a good luck charm when it comes to traffic… somehow we make the run to our rendezvous with my Aunt Tovah in barely 2.5 hours.
  • We all have dinner at Julio’s pizza; dinner takes forever to arrive, but it’s delicious once it does.  Ahh pizza… it’s nice; we eat slow, hang out and chat for a while after eating
  • After dinner we head back to my Aunt’s house.  She gives a quick tour, then we go out back to the barn to visit the goats!  Emma get’s to feed baby Violet, who’s only a few months old yet has an amazing mohawk.  And I got to see Sweetpea again – she grew!
  • Chat some more, then finally head to sleep

 

Saturday, 26-Apr-14

  • Wake up early… why can I always wake up on the weekends, but not weekdays?  Excited for the upcoming day, I suppose…
  • Get dressed, Chat with my aunt while chowing down on an excellent breakfast, and then we head out to feed the goats again and poke around the garden for a bit
  • Hang out and chat, playing with Einstein for a while.  I get to read through a few of her articles, and we roll out ~10:30
  • Emma’s luck has failed us, and we start hitting more and more traffic
  • Late lunch at Harolds, a very ‘murican new York style diner.  I mean… all I wanted was a Reuben, ok?  I couldn’t have one.  Why, you may ask?  Why could you not have a reuben at a New York style deli, the one place that should always have a Reuben?  Because their Reuben is huge.  It costs $60, and feeds 4-6 people.  Wtf America.  This is not necessary.
  • Whew… too much food.  We split a bacon cheeseburger (that had literally 12 slices of bacon on it) and french toast.  It was amazing, but we could barely move afterward.  Sitting in the car and reading, for the win!
  • Keep driving; it’s actually quite nice out, so we cruise well… even when theirs traffic.  See a Maybach on the road… yep, we’re near New York City.
  • Once we arrive at Emma’s folks place, we’re ready for a bit of relaxing.  Chill, chat, and wait for her dad to finish making roast.  It.  Is.  Amazing.
  • Eat, relax, and play card games that are a bit confusing.  But it’s a very fun night, an immense change from the insanity of living in the city.
  • Crash at a mostly-normal time, if not a bit early.  Driving takes more out of you than you’d think – the constant awareness and focus is tiring, I guess. So I could use the rest, and sleep like a log.

Sunday, 27-Apr-14

  •  As per the correct nature of a Sunday, we start out slow.  Head out to dinner in town, where Emma’s folks keep her up to date with all the family adventure, and I get to hear a bit about how her dad’s business has been doing – it’s actually pretty interesting, since he works with a lot of similar companies to those I work with.
  • Hang out around the house for a bit more, before having a light snack and then getting back on the road.
  • Driving driving driving driving… I actually really enjoy these long rides.  Even when we hit a lot of traffic in Amish Country.  <shrug>
  • Let Emma choose the music… It’s actually not so bad.  I’m definitely not that used to MIA and such.  Makes for fast driving tunes though.
  • Stop in at Rein’s Deli for an early dinner – ohh man.  See, THIS is a good Deli.  No massive portions, just really good food.  And sane, human-sized reubens for sane, human-sized prices!
  • Keep pushing through, driving along the long and not-too-full highway
  • Ohh man, is that a street-racer?  IT IS!  I chase the street racers for a while.  Three of us tearing down I-84; it’s really fun.  Not going crazy-fast, but just fast enough that it’s interesting and just slightly challenging.  The two others take turns leading, and there’s just enough traffic that you can’t just stay in one lane the whole way.  Safe Merging is cool, kids!  We make a 40min drive in maybe 25min though, so that’s nice.
  • As we pull up to the toll, each driver goes their separate ways.  We pull up next to each other one last time.  Look left, *nod*.  Look right *thumbs up*.  A moment between driver-bros is exchanged, and then in an instant it’s gone.
  • The rest of the drive is relaxed, and we find out way back into the city before midnight even strikes.