RSS

Tag Archives: Connecticut

Relaxing Weekend

Planned a weekend trip to visit the Dinosaur State Park, Hilton Gardens Inn Hartford North was my choice for lodging for the weekend. Less than a 20-minute drive from the park. Conveniently located right off Route 91, Hilton Garden Inn is close to a selection of restaurants and shopping.

Arrival and check-in was quick and easy as I had done an online check-in the day before. Check-in desk had my key cards ready for me, I got the little amenities speech and I was off to my room. My room was the 1 King Bed with Walkout Balcony with Skyline View. The view was nice, a large panoramic view of the city and the airport was in the distance. I enjoyed sitting out on the balcony and watching planes land and takeoff for a bit.

P5110019P5110023

The room was clean, and the bathroom had nice fresh towels and a collection of toiletries for use. I noticed a lack of drawers for me to store my stuff in, but I made use of what was available. Entering the room was a small counter with a Kiering coffee maker, a minifridge and a microwave. A large counter made up most of the room. A television with a selection of local programming in the center of the counter for entertainment. On one side of the television was open area for what ever usage you could come up with, the other side of the television was a desk area with LAN ports, a desk lamp and a desk chair that was comfortable. balkin

P5110003P5110004P5110007

The bed and sofa/with pullout bed covered the other wall. Night stands on either side of the bed with lamps, a phone on one side and an alarm clock on the other finishes up the room amenities.

P5110010P5110016P5110018

I use WIFI to connect with my friends through Skype, the inn offers a complimentary level as well as a premium level for an additional 4.95 per night. I always get the premium level because of my WIFI usage. I had not issues with the internet access, listening to Pandora, watching streaming videos and such where seamless.

Sleeping was refreshing, the room was quiet overnight getting no outside sound or any from within the inn. The room darkening blinds did their job wonderfully, keeping out any light from the parking lot, as well as the morning sun.

With morning comes breakfast, and Hilton Gardens offers a breakfast buffet with a good selection of self serve items and cooked to order eggs, pancakes and French toast. I had a ham and cheese omelet with a couple of pancakes with some sugar free syrup.

Second night was as good as the first. Slept well, had a nice breakfast and got ready for my drive home. Checkout was a quick and easy, a quick visit to the front desk, turn in my key cards and off for my drive home.

Hilton Garden Inn was a great place to spend a weekend, if my plans bring me to the area in the future this will be where I will stay.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 15, 2018 in Hotel Review, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

Tags: , , , , ,

A Little Literary History Weekend

Had a recent weekend trip to Farmington Connecticut to visit the Mark Twain House and Museum. My chosen place to stay was the Hampton Inn & Suites Hartford/Farmington because it was close to the museum, about a 15-minute drive away.

The Inn is located right off route 6 and a short drive off of Route 84. The surrounding area is mostly residential, making for a quiet area. Parking for the Inn was plentiful. Check in was quick and easy, a visit to the front desk, get my key cards and the clerk handed me a list of local restaurants as well as two menus to restaurants that deliver to the hotel, a pizza and sub shop and a Chinese restaurant, a quick stop at the 24-hour hot beverage station for a coffee and I was off to my room.

My room was a 1 King Bed Suite. The room was very comfortable and clean on entering. Got myself comfortable for the evening. The room had a large desk splitting the area into two sections. A television was attached to the desk, viewable from either side of the desk

P4130006P4130013

.

The bathroom had nice, clean and fresh towels, a collection of toiletries and a hair dryer. There was also a little nook with a good-sized counter with a small sink, a coffee maker and a collection of coffees and teas, a microwave and a mini fridge rounded out the area.

 P4130014P4130017

P4130020

Headed out for a bit of shopping for the evening, then back to my room and ordered the Chinese takeout from the restaurant the front desk gave me on check-in. The order was delivered in a timely fashion, I got a call from the restaurant just before delivery asking if I wanted to meet the driver in the lobby or have it delivered right to my room. I was in the mood to get a coffee, so I met the driver in the lobby.

Kicked back and relaxed, watched a bit of television, plenty of local broadcast to choose from, the to bed. The bed was very comfortable, and the sheets and comforter were clean. I heard very little sound come in from out side and the light blocking blinds did a great job keeping out all light, including the morning sun.

Morning brings a complimentary breakfast buffet. Plenty of choices to go with, fresh breads and bagels with a toaster for do it yourself, a chafing dish full of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and home fries. Oatmeal and cold cereals are available as well as some fresh fruits. The hot beverage station is there for your morning coffee.

Headed out for my days explorations. On my return to my room I hit my first and only problem. I was booked and signed in for a two night stay. Getting to my room I found my key card would not open my rooms door. It wasn’t a real big deal, I went back to the front desk, told them the problem and they promptly reset my key card. Back to my room, and the key worked.

My room was cleaned, new fresh towels and the toiletries I had used where replaced. The bed was cleanly made and the coffee and cups that I had used had been replenished. Enjoyed some leftover Chinese for dinner.

The second evening had me on Skype with a couple of my friends from Canada and Detroit. We were on to watch a Formula One race. The WiFi worked great and I had no drop outs with either the call or the broadcast onto my tablet.

Had a second great nights sleep. Morning had me getting a light breakfast because I knew I was going to be spending a few hours in my car driving.

Check out was as quick and easy as check in, turned in my cards to the front desk and an the road I was.

My visit to the Hampton Inn Farmington was relaxing and enjoyable, the next time I am going to be in the area this will be my destination. Thank you to the staff of Hampton Inn Farmington.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 3, 2018 in Hotel Review, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

P3170317P3170327

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.

P3170329P3170998

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.

P3170805

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.

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 P3160292P3160304

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.

P3170327P3170994

P3170805


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.


 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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.

Image result for mystic aquarium


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.


 P2100045P2100050

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.

P2100069P2100074

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.

P2100157

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.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

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.

P8200097P8200272

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.

 

P8200314

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.

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , ,