This weekend Jen and I took a ride on the Essex Dinner Train. This adventure, like so many others this summer, spawned from our Connecticut guide book.
The evening began at 4:30 when we arrived at the train station. We boarded the train and were greeted with some fresh vegetables and some tasty dip.
At 5:00pm promptly, the train began racing along its route at a fierce 10mph. Honestly, anything more would have resulted in a mess of tableware and spilled beverages. The train ride was two and a half hours long and included a salad, warm rolls, dinner (choice of stuffed chicken, prime rib, seafood something or other, and pasta primavera), and a dessert of chocolate cake and coffee.
The ride took us mostly along the Connecticut River going North to Hadlyme and turning around just past the Goodspeed Opera House.
I strongly recommend this adventure. It’s a bit pricey at $75 a head, but massively fun!
Oh Dang! I got food poisoning last week! It was really gross!
But to continue with the previous story, last weekend Jen and I hit up some ziplines. We purchased the tickets the day before the event and unfortunately the only time slot available was an 8:20am departure. This was extra annoying because the zipline headquarters in Deerfield, MA is 90 minutes away.
Amazingly, however, this turned into a huge benefit. While the normal zipline group is 8 persons strong, no one else had signed up for this 8:20 slot. Jen and I got a personal tour! This included a few opportunities to re-do some of the extra fun zip lines and a lot of fun chatting time with our guides.
If you’re curious about my helmet name-tag, they asked if we wanted secret names for this event. I asked to be Sting.
Something I didn’t expect about Zip lining: it’s really not that intense. I don’t mean that as being a negative, it’s mega fun! But, it’s hardly an adrenaline infused event at all. That said, this place’s longest zipline was somewhere in the 700ft long range. Our fastest speeds were around 35mph. I’m sure a mountain top zipline might be a bit more extreme than our canopy tour in the Berkshires.
Cost: ~$100 per person.
Event length: 11 ziplines and a few rappels.
For a normal group time = 3h. two people: time = 90min
I checked out a Red Sox/Yankees game at Yankee Stadium this weekend. It wasn’t the game that was the most impressive, it was this picture taken with a smart phone.
I applaud the photographer’s skills. He led the jets knowing the rough delay time of his camera and everything turned out great!
This had me thinking: Jets are pretty sweet… but aren’t they a little cliche?
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you never knew what was going to buzz the field? It’d be another whole element to the game anticipation. One of the guys at the game said he’s seen apache helicopters buzz the Patriot’s field. Still… I bet they could get more creative.
747s, hot air balloons, hang gliders, a swarm of remote control short range bi-planes, blimps, skydivers, Unmanned Predator drones, a pedal powered ornithopter, paragliders, wingsuit divers…
Way more awesome.
I recently received in the mail my very own copy of Eric D Lehman’s “Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut.” I heard it being talked about on the radio and thought it might be fun to explore in greater depth the place where I live.
For a very long time I have disliked Connecticut. There are all sorts of things going against it. I think it lying between New York and Boston lessens the need to have a local cultural hub here. Public critics frequently point to the state’s high taxes as reasons younger folks abandon this state (remember this MikeDiDonato post?). And it’s natural strength pales compared to its neighbors (mountains? NH. Skiing? VT. Beaches? RI and MA) All in all, sometimes it feels a bit drab here.
Still, Connecticut is growing on me. And Lehman’s book is going to most certainly tip me over the edge into the Connecticut fan-base. This past weekend at Eric’s recommendations Jen and I checked out the Hill-stead museum, Shady Glen’s hamburger joint, Roaring brook falls, and Sweet Claude’s Ice cream joint. There were gardens and hiking trails and delicious eats! All within 20 minutes of our abodes! Who knew?!
Obviously, Jen and I have started an excel spreadsheet. The highlights will be shown here.
This weekend was Meriden’s infamous Daffodil Festival!
Two notable things:
1. Nature didn’t play kindly with Meriden’s plans. All the Daffodil flowers had already come and gone by the time of the festival.
2. There was a fun parade – though it’s odd to see little kids from the YMCA dancing to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I know it”
Ex-roommate Nick left his motorcycle behind when he moved in order to save himself the effort of moving a vehicle that he was planning on selling anyway. He enlisted us, his trusted roommates to help him make the sale by taking some pictures of the bike.
On Sunday morning, we took pictures.
Oh, did we ever take pictures.
In other news, I’m in Chicago for business this week.
Hello good readers!
First off, I’m working on a few other posts – most notably, a Roller Derby recap from Saturday’s bout. So stay tuned for that.
Aside from the Derby which continues to exceed entertainment expectations, this weekend had some other thrills. I’m most excited about a potential long term project I’m starting with Dave. Dave and I have tried to form a band in the past, and have been
mostly entirely unsuccessful.
This time though, we have a specific goal: A live Karaoke band.
Alicia has spoken highly of one such band out in Oregon, and Dave and I want to repeat the experience here in Connecticut.
The challenge is twofold:
1. This shear volume of songs is frightening. We think just to start such an endeavor we’ll need flawless recall on 150 – 200 songs.
2. Most of those songs are horrible. – I assure you that there is little joy in learning Dancing Queen.
But the payback! The payback could be huge. Where but at Karaoke can you be guaranteed a great time? The crowd brings the party! Also, the pressure is not on the band but on the performance of the singer. At a Karaoke bar you can’t blame the DJ for poor song choices.
Right now we’re formulating a list of karaoke songs. We hope to learn two songs a week for the next year and a half. We started with some random top Karaoke songs list online, but we’ll need more suggestions. Please feel free to comment with suggestions if you are so inclined.
Hopefully we’ll be able to stick with this plan. Also, hopefully we’ll be able to find a bassist and a percussionist. Until that day of reckoning, we will continue to provide West Hartford’s Butterfly with our Karaoke patronage.
On Friday night we celebrated Shaun L’s birthday at the House of Rock. Shaun, for those of you who don’t already know, is an extreme fast food fan. He is especially fond of the McChicken. We’re talking fanboy appreciation of the McChicken. McChickens grace his palate with somewhat alarming frequency, occasionally he’ll even splurge and have four for dinner.
As a special birthday surprise, Darcy bought Shaun 26 McChickens for his birthday. This, coupled with a bucket of KFC from Kevin, and I dare say we had the ultimate fast food lover’s gift.
For the rest of us, I cooked up some grilled pizza. Granted, all were encouraged to participate in the gluttony fest that is an eternal pile of McChickens
Post dinner, pre dessert, we retreated to the living room for a raucous evening of rock band. Lady Gaga, The Beastie Boys, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs all made appearances. I am consistently impressed with Rock Band’s ability to bring a crowd together. Nearly everyone played. It must be said, Katie’s gotta step it up (I think she’d rock the drums) and SarahLyla still needs to try the mic. We’ll give Erin a free pass since she didn’t arrive until later in the evening.
Finally, after vocal chords were annihilated and fingers were blistered we headed to the kitchen for dessert. Vivienne baked a fantastic almond cake, and SarahLyla brought ice cream with sundae toppings.
Shaun made a wish and blew out the candle. Honestly, I’m not sure what he could have wished for, as there were still about 19 McChickens that hadn’t been eaten. And, for Shaun, I think an armful of McChickens is pretty much a dream come true.
Highlights of the night:
- Jesse’s impression of a french Kermit
- Alicia’s question: “Does James have an accent? or am I just drunk?”
(note: James is British. Also? Alicia was drunk.)
- The McChicken Pizza
- Vivienne’s Almond Cake
- The dining room bass, guitar, and ukulele trio
- Obviously, the 26 McChickens, actually… 27. McDonalds miscounted.