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Tag Archives: Connecticut

New England Air Museum

Plane Fun

Had a recent visit to the New England Air Museum at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. I have to say that I enjoyed my visit very much. There are plenty of aircraft with their history to check out.

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The staff was very friendly and full of information when ever I had a question about something. One thing that I thought was very interesting, throughout the museum there were speakers that had the tower chatter from Bradley International playing through them.

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I am a solo traveler and found the history of air travel to be an interesting visit, but for the folks that are traveling with younger children there are some things about to give them some interest. While I was visiting, there was a paper airplane folding instructor for the younger ones in your group. There is also a section with some other child directed entertainment as well.

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During my visit I spent a couple of hours going about, reading plaques about different planes and taking photos as well. I found the whole visit to be entertaining, interesting and educational as well. If you have an interest in air craft, air travel or the history of air travel the New England Air Museum is a great place to visit.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2018 in Attraction Review, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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March Weekend Trip To New England Air Museum

March has brought me to Hartford Connecticut for a visit to the New England Air Museum. I started my weekend on Friday a little earlier than I had expected due to a rather smooth work day. Headed out from my last job and onto the highway for what was just over a two hour drive. Arrived at the Hampton Inn Hartford around 3:30. I had done online check-in the night before so checking in was quick and easy. I was in my room less than ten minutes after parking.


My room was a 1 King Bed Studio Suite. The room was good sized and made me feel comfortable all weekend. I like having a minifridge and microwave so that I can have a snack when I like. My weekends are about me getting away and having a bit of me time.

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Friday night found me at the local Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. After about a fifteen minute wait for a table I was seated and perusing the menu. Started off with a blackberry iced tea and a bowl of Potato Soup. Dinner was a Flatiron Steak with the Spaghetti Squash, something that I remember enjoying as a kid but have not seen in a restaurant until now. It was a nice bit of comfort food for me.


Saturday adventure started at the New England Air Museum, a museum of flight including space flight. I had a great time waking around reading about the different planes and seeing the reconditioned planes. I found the visit to be entertaining, interesting and educational.

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Finding out recently that Teavana Stores have been closed, and being a fan of loose teas, I needed to find another source of said teas. Oddly enough I was making the discovery of the closing of Teavana whilst talking with a friend of mine who lives in Calgary Alberta Canada who told me about a tea store that are in Canada called DAVIDsTea. A quick search in the area that I was visiting for DAVIDsTea located one that was not out of the way. I was glad that I stopped by the store, it was enjoyable to shop there and I made a good sized purchase.


Not planning anything else for the day I went searching around for something else to do. Unfortunately all I did was some more shopping, including a stop at an adult toy store where I had a rather enjoyable conversation with the staff.


After another nights rest and a good breakfast at the inn, I was off for my drive home. Not much to say about that. It was a nice sunny day and the roads were not full of idiots. Made a single stop on the way for some lunch at a Wendy’s. Got home at a reasonable time.


 
 

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Mystic Aquarium Half The Fish, Just As Much Fun

Had a recent visit to the Mystic Aquarium on a weekend trip. As this was a planned trip, I purchased my entrance ticket in advance, online. When I arrived, I found the parking lot to be quite full, and a long line of people waiting to get in. A quick check at the ticket booth to ask if I needed to wait in the line, I was told that because I had pre-purchased I could bypass the ticket line and go right in.

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At the main entrance I was informed that some of the areas of the aquarium were closed for winter maintenance and renovations. An understandable inconvenience for the time of the year. I may plan a future trip in warmer weather.

My first stop was the 4D theater. The movie was Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the 4D Experience. The movie was an animated short with the 3D glasses as well as some other little surprises along the way. If I were to have a complaint about the movie, it would be that it was a little too short for the extra cost.

4-D Theater

From there I went out to the large main tank with the beluga whales. The two of them seemed very playful and liked to put on a show for the people. The tank is outdoors and has not inside viewing areas and the day was a bit overcast, but for mid-February it was a rather nice day to spend outside.


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Next up I went inside the main building to enjoy the different exhibits. The one I was most looking forward to seeing was the Weird & Wonderful exhibit. First up was a section devoted to the different breeds of jelly fish, each in their own individual tanks with plenty of information about each variety. After the jelly fish was another area of tanks filled with some of the strangest fish I have ever seen. I do not want to get to specific and spoil the fun, but I will say that it was very interesting, entertaining and educational all wrapped up in one strange package.

Around the inside area of the aquarium were loads more tanks and displays of all manner of fish and other water creatures. Sadly, one of the closed off areas was the Shark Lagoon. There was an open pool of small sharks that visitors could pet if they were so inclined, I did. One of the rules for the petting of these sharks is that you could not touch them as they swam by, you had to wait till one stopped to rest within your reach. As I was reaching in and petting a resting shark, another swam up just out of my vision and scared the daylights out of me, not knowing what it was going to do. Other than swim by, it did nothing else.

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Back out doors to walk around the outside areas. The seal tanks were interesting to watch, but winter time has no shows to see. The penguins seemed at home and were being playful for people watching them. A walk around the boardwalk past the dormant monarch butterfly area and through the open frozen march. I imagine these two areas are brimming with life during warmer weather, winter time not so much. Back around to another of the seasonal exhibits, the birds of the outback.

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The last area, and unfortunately closed for renovations, was the Foxwoods Marine Theater that when open features a sea lion show. A quick walk through the gift shop to see if there was anything I wanted, all I got was my usual attraction keychain to add to my collection.

I had a good time during my visit. I do recommend visiting during warmer weather as a large amount or the aquarium is outdoors and subject to the seasons. Purchasing tickets in advance is also a good idea if you know exactly when you are going to visit, the prepurchased tickets are dated. I would also recommend that you plan on at least three hours to fully enjoy this attraction.

 
 

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Weekend To The Past

 

Wallingford/Meridian Hilton Gardens Inn

Not the Best of Starts

After a long drive from work to the inn I was looking forward to a nice weekend. Check in with Chrissi was smooth and effortless and she informed me of all the amenities available to me. A cheery smile for the start of my weekend.

My room was inviting, clean and the air conditioning was running and the temperature was comfortable. I was looking forward to a nice weekend, then I used the microwave. Unfortunately, this caused a problem in my room, I think it may have popped a circuit breaker. I understand that these kinds of things happen and I was not upset. What matters in these instances is what happens next.

What happened next was great customer service. A quick call to the front desk to see if anything could be done about this. As it was later in the night the maintenance staff had gone home for the evening. As this had also caused my fridge to stop working and I had stuff that needed to be in there I needed something done about it. Sunni was great at solving my problem, she had a new room for me, got my key card changed and I was in the new room in less than half hour. And my weekend continued on without another hitch.

Sleeping was good, comfortable bed and not a whisper of noise from the outside. Waking up refreshed and ready to take on the new day I went to the in hotel restaurant for breakfast. A mix of made to order and buffet style. A fresh made omelet, a bit of sausage from the kitchen and some toast from the buffet. Breakfast was quick and delicious.

Off for a day of adventure.

Returning to my room after a long day was refreshing. My room was cleaned and the bed made and ready for me for my second night. Another night of quiet, restful sleep followed by a fresh breakfast.

Check out was smooth and easy. The option to have my receipt emailed to me and turn in my key card had me out the door and on my ride home in just minutes.

Thank you to the staff of the Wallingford/Meridian Hilton Garden Inn for showing me such great customer service.

Wallingford 99 Restaurant

Meal Deal for Me

The Wallingford 99 has a very comfortable country feel to its atmosphere. There was no wait for me when I went in for my dinner.

I started with a bowl of corn chowder, the soup of the day, when I ordered the waitress suggested that I take the three course meal deal and I decided that was a good idea. The chowder had a nice creamy texture to it with plenty of clams and potato.

My main course choice was sirloin steak with fried shrimp combo with fries and a side salad. The steak was cooked perfectly to my taste (med rare), the fries where well cooked and crispy, the shrimp was deep fried and very tasty and the salad was nice and fresh. Quite enjoyable dinner.

For dessert I went with the Peanut Butter Brownie Petite Treat (petites are the selection for the meal deal). Decadent is the only word that came to mind while I was eating this delicious treat. A peanut butter brownie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with some chocolate syrup, this and a glass of cold milk made for a great ending to a wonderful dinner.

The Shore Line Trolley Museum

Trains In The Sun

What a beautiful day for a short trolley ride. I enjoy trains and trolley rides and learning their histories.

The museum building itself is not large but a lot of information and displays are packed into the small space. There are a few interactive displays that can be played with as well as plenty of historic articles and paperwork on display as well. There is also a good selection of items at the gift shop.

There is also a trolley ride available. The ride takes you through the museums train yard and then through the woods and marsh. The ride is under an hour long. On the way back to the main trolley stop at the museum there is also a stop in the train yard where you get a guided tour of the buildings housing many different trolleys, subway cars and busses. A great walk through the history of public transportation. Included in the collection of cars is one of the two subway cars that survived in the World Trade Center garage.

A great place to visit if you are into trains or the history of transportation.

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In Between

The ride from the trolley museum to Dinosaur State Park was a little over a half hour. When I left the museum it was a beautiful, sunny day. About half way to the park it started raining, really raining, to the point that I had to slow to a crawl on the highway.

Dinosaur State Park

Dinosaur Tracks In The Rain

On the day of my visit to the Dinosaur State Park the park was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, that day was also sporting heavy rains. A lot of the outside activities where not happening. Fortunately, there is plenty to see on the inside.

The park itself was created as the result of finding a large area of petrified dinosaur tracks. The main building was constructed over the large area of the petrified lake bed. Around the open area above the tracks are plenty of other prehistoric exhibits, dioramas and displays. There is also a discovery room with loads of hands on stuff for the younger visitors to explore.

I enjoyed my visit to the museum, I only wish I could have taken the walk around the outside. I may plan another visit in the future for the purpose walking the grounds.

 

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Panda Garden

Surprise, I Got Takeout

My plans for the evening, get on a conference call with a couple of my friends and watch the final Tragically Hip concert. Take out was my best option, it gave a dinner as well as some finger foods to snack on during the concert.

My choices where Crab Rangoon, Beef Teriyaki, Boneless Spare Ribs and Pork Lo Mein. I prefer lo mein over rice personally.

The Crab Rangoon where a little bigger than I am used to, the crust was nice and crispy and they were very well filled. They had a very rich flavor and filling. The Beef Teriyaki was. Beef Teriyaki. Nothing more to really say about the Beef Teriyaki. The Boneless Spare Ribs were also a bit bigger than I am used to, they were well sauced and very tender. The Pork Lo Mein had a nice sauce to it that was rich in flavor but not too spicy.

The evening plans for me as I said was to watch the Tragically Hip’s final concert. I have a friend in Calgary Canada who got me interested into the band, I do wish that had happened many more years ago as I have found to enjoy the band a great deal. Relaxing in my room with my tablet connected to the television for the show and on Skype with my buddy in Canada made for a very relaxing evening and a very cool last night of the weekend.

Sunday morning came after a nice relaxing nights sleep. The drive home was uneventful and under a nice sky.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2016 in Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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