Welcome 2015

Connecticut New Year HikeWe decided to take part in the first day hike tradition to celebrate the first day of 2015. We are lucky enough to have Crescent Lake Recreation area nearby here in Connecticut. Although we have covered these acres of woods many times in the past whether looking for a geocache, fishing or just to scout wildlife; it never gets old. A short car ride and we are in the wilds! On this day the kids had a blast with ice. Walking, pretending to skate, trying to break it…you name it they tried it. While they toiled away at their latest project it gave me time to ponder the previous year. Although the year started rather rough for our family we did end up conquering it and I do consider us quite blessed. We live in an amazingly family friendly area of Connecticut  and we have had some terrific adventures both in state and out! We cannot wait to see what 2015 brings. Winter Winter fun The kids enjoy winter sports. Skiing, sledding and of course basketball. We scored some great tickets to watch our favorite home team and alma mater UCONN bring home 2 National Championships….for the second time! We did however find some time to make a quick escape to St. John USVI for some fun in the sun as well. The Villa Mariposa treated us right as we made our way to some of our favorite beaches; Maho and Lameshur Bays. The snorkeling, sunsets, and scenery are forever remembered. It was a break we really needed!     Spring Spring Fun Spring reminded us again why we love our home town and home state so much! There is so much to do. While we scheduled in gymnastics meets and basketball games we found time to check out some of our favorite spots and discover a few new ones! On Track Carting in Wallingford fulfills the need for speed even for the littlest in our family. Hots Dogs from Hollywood….Pinks…made their way to our little corner at Lake Compounce Amusement Park. The summer season pass for the park is only $50 and a terrific bargain. Score for our neck of the woods again! We even made our way to Pepe’s New Haven Style Pizza to celebrate the end of the basketball season. However the highlight of spring was a mother-daughter getaway to the Sugar and Spice Horse Camp in Bandera Texas; the Cowboy (girl) Capital of the World. What a treat to spend some alone time with my tween daughter and watch her fall in love with horses while gaining so much confidence along the way. The San Antonio Zoo added a bit more zip! Summersummer fun Summer is usually our busiest adventure time of the year and 2014 was no different. We started in Tampa Florida for the YMCA Gymnastics Nationals Championship. This was quite an experience as the gymnasts participated in a Olympic like opening ceremony at The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stadium and competed over a 2 day period. Of course the competition was exciting, but bonding with the team was far more memorable. We found remote adventure at Caladesi Island Beach after a ferry ride from the mainland near Clearwater. We spied the elusive Gopher Tortoise near the beautiful beach. Of course we couldn’t leave Florida without a visit to Orlando. Universal Islands of Adventure and SeaWorld were the picks for this trip. I actually rode on the Hulk Coaster for the first…and last time. The kids had fun feeding the dolphins at SeaWorld and interacting with the Mystic Fountain  at the Islands of Adventure. It didn’t matter that the fountain was spitting water at us. We were soaked from the thunderous July rainstorm that cleared the park and cut the wait time to zero for the Harry Potter ride! The end of the summer brought us to one of our favorite spots; Vermont. We are in love with Vermont and we were happy to take part in Mount Snow Family Camp. The camp allowed us to go on some adventures as a family. We paddle boarded, went tubing, mountain biked and completed a tree top ropes course. We also met some terrific families from around the East coast. We highly recommend this fun camp. As summer was drawing to an end we needed to spend some time at our home away from home; Charlestown, Rhode Island. Trips here evoke so many family memories and this year was especially difficult, however we visited some of favorite locations; Trustom Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Charlestown Breachway, Captain Jack’s and of course Brickley’s Ice Cream and thought of our Poppa every day.     Fall Fall funFall is always a hectic time for us. We begin our annual holiday traditions and throw in a couple of birthdays as well. We start off with apple season here in Connecticut at Karabin and Lyman orchards and also the Connecticut fair season. New Hampshire is the next stop for Columbus day weekend and trips to Storyland and my all time favorite amusement park; Santa’s Village. Did you know that Santa’s Village is a Trip Advisor top 25 park? One visit with your little ones and you’ll know why. They rolled out a new tubing ride just in time for Christmas this year. Of course we can’t leave Jackson New Hampshire without a visit to EVERY Pumpkin People display we can find. Our trip was topped off with a fall foliage horseback ride which is really the only way to view foliage.(At least in my daughters opinion) The Christmas traditions commence right after Thanksgiving. The Hartford stage produces a terrific adaptation of Dickens: A Christmas Carol. Although this is our 8th year to see the show I am moved to my feet every time by the fabulous Bill Raymond. We round out the Christmas tradition with visits to Carl Bozenski’s Christmas Village in Torrington and the nearby Christmas House. The village is a true Santa experience for the small ones. Santa sees each child and offers them a toy he picks just for them. Other buildings house Mrs. Claus with her candy canes and elves busily making toys. The reindeer also await  your visit.   And so another year of tradition and adventure has come to a close. We are very thankful that the place we live is so conducive to family fun, that we are able to have so many adventures and that we are starting another year. Welcome 2015!   Disclosure: My family and I were provided complimentary trips to Sugar and Spice Ranch and Mount Snow Family Camp. All of the opinions are my own and I was not required to provide any specific opinion.