Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Connecticut Wanders: Elizabeth Park and Mark Twain House

My cousin Ann and her husband Ray were visiting this weekend from Michigan.  As hostess, I am also their tour director for Connecticut.  I thought visiting Elizabeth Park's beautiful gardens and the Mark Twain house would be a nice introduction to the west side of Hartford.

We were in luck.  This weekend was Rose Weekend Festival at Elizabeth Park.  There are actually 5 different gardens in Elizabeth Park; the herb, annual, perennial, heritage and large municipal rose gardens.  It is the oldest municipal rose garden in the US, and it celebrated it centennial anniversary in 2004. We enjoyed all of the gardens with the grand finale being the rose garden.   

After the delightful morning at Elizabeth Park, we headed over to the Mark Twain House for a tour of the house, and insight into what it was like for the family while they resided in Hartford.  After the tour we stopped in the gift shop, and Ray purchased a copy of Mark Twain's Autobiography.  It wasn't released until 2010,per his request, 100 years after his death.  He felt the only way he could write it honestly was by knowing that none of the people he wrote about would be alive to read it.

Ray and Ann in front of the Mark Twain House

The Mark Twain Quote of the day: 
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

After sp

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Last night I got together with a group of friends to play Euchre. Euchre is a fun easily learned trick-taking card game usuallly played with 4 people/2 partners and uses the 9-Ace of a regular deck of cards.  The game was popular when I was growing up in the midwest.

I started this group12 years ago when I first moved to Connecticut, as a Newcomers activity.  It was a great way to meet new people in the area, especially people who relocated from the midwest. The group is still going strong, meeting one Saturday evening each month year round.

Tonight, I was asked by my BFF Lori to fill in for her, so her husband could play while she was out of town.  I hadn't played or seen most of these friends since before my divorce.  I knew this group as a couple, and I always find it wierd to now be a single when mixing with my old "couple" social groups.  I got over the wierdness and really kicked butt with a couple of 5 loner hands, and some of the highest scores of the evening.  I guess I still have it after all.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CT Senate Passes Recreational Liability Reform

The in the last hour the Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly finally passed the Recreational Liability Reform bill  H.B. 6557.  It was passed by the house on May 17, 2011 and the Governor Malloy is expected to approve it.  This will protect our municipalities from frivolous lawsuits from outdoor activities on the more then 150K acres of recreational land around the state (via Connecticut Forest and Parks Association).

Lets go out and play in our state parks to celebrate.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

National Trails Day

National Trails Day was Saturday, June 4th.  Community organizations around the country held events celebrating our nation's 200,000 miles of trails.  I volunteered to help with the 14th annual "Trails in Motion" celebration of the Farmington Valley Trails.  The featured event was a 62 mile bike tour of the entire trail system.  Shorter bike, skating, running, and walking were tours were also available.

I was assigned to the Rest Stop Team at the Brickyard Road rest stop.  We provided snacks, water, and tools for minor bike repairs for event participants.  The weather was perfect. Mid-60's and sunny. We had a good turnout, and fun was had by all.

I didn't get a chance to ride yesterday, but today I celebrated the
Farmington Valley Trails by riding the southern half of the trails; 35 miles round trip.  Tomorrow I plan on continuing the celebration by riding the northern section into Massachusetts.