Category Archives: connecticut

Bow Wow Bark in the Park (Rockwell Park, Bristol, CT)

Date Of Event: September 1, 2018

Location: 243 Jacobs, St, Bristol, CT (2 hours southwest of Boston, MA and 30 minutes southwest of Hartford, CT)

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Parking: There are several parking areas with ample parking

Trail Size/Difficulty: over 100 acres/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Bow Wow Bark In The Park (Facebook Page)

Highlights: dog friendly events, dog agility course, vendors, “pitty march”, costume contest


Everyone had a howling good time at the third annual Bow Wow Bark In The Park festival September 1 at Rockwell Park.

The festival included vendors selling all sorts of wares such as this vendor who makes home made wreaths.


There was also a kissing booth and a stand-in for your pooch to stick his or her head out of.  Our dog Holly wasn’t impressed by it.

There was an agility course at the park for dogs to test their balance and jumping skills.  Most dogs just looked at the bars and obstacles and walked around them.  But some dogs were able to successfully manage the course.  The best part may be watching the parents smile, encourage their pets and take photos as they crossed the obstacles.




One of the biggest events at the festival is the “pitty march”.  But, all dogs are invited to march.  Not just pit bulls.

Of course, there were many cute dogs to photograph at the event.  I was able to photograph quite a few of them and some other visitors at the festival.


Echo is a 13 year old Italian Greyhound.  Love his bandanna!


Sophia, a 3 and a half year old “Shorkie” (Shitzu Yorkie).  But, she is no normal Shorkie.  She is also a seizure service dog.


You may not notice it, but Phoenix, a 4 year old Border and Australian Cattle dog, has 3 legs.  But, he’s all smiles and beautiful anyways!


Boeheim, named after Jim Boeheim (the coach of the Syracuse college basketball team), is a 5 month old Cavalier King Charles and Poodle mixed breed (Cavapoo).  He is standing next to the sign for his mom’s store, Pink Pineapple Boutique.


Winnie is a 10 week old Golden Retriever.


Dahlia, a 3 year old Staffordshire Terrier, was dressed up for the costume contest.


Maggie is a 4 and a half year old Landseer Newfoundland dog.

But, there weren’t just dogs at this event.  These very brave cats also made it out to Rockwell Park.


Lagertha (named after a character from the show Vikings) is a 2 and a half year old Chestnut Oriental Short Hair.


I think I got too close to Daisy, a 3 or 4 year old cat.



Storm is a 2 week old kitten.

Below is a video of a dog successfully completing the seesaw agility obstacle, with a little help from some friends.



Budweiser Clydesdales (Mystic, CT)

Date Of Event: March 24, 2018

Location: Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, CT (about 1 hour southeast of Hartford, CT and 1 and a half hours southwest of Boston, MA)

Hours: Presently open daily, 9:00 – 5:00 (hours may vary depending on the season)

2018 Hours of Operation

  • January 4 – March 23: Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.***
  • February 19: (Presidents Day) Open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • March 24 – October 26: Open Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • October 27  –  November 25: Open Daily, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • November 22: Closed (Thanksgiving Day)
  • November 26 –  December 23: Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • December 24-25: Closed.
  • December 26-December 31: Open Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Adult – $28.95
Senior (ages 65+) – $26.95
Youth (ages 4-14) – $18.95
Children (3 and younger) – Free

Parking: there is a free parking lot across the street from the Seaport Museum.  There is also additional parking across the street from the parking lot for overflow

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, but not all of the buildings are accessible to the handicapped.  Approximately one-third of our buildings have wheelchair-accessible entrances; interior access varies. The village’s unpaved roads are generally firm and stable suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. All roads are basically level with a few slight inclines located near the Children’s Museum, Treworgy Planetarium and Membership Building.  (see link below for more info)

Mystic Seaport Accessibility Guide

Dog Friendly: Yes, leashed dogs are allowed.  But they are not allowed in the buildings

Website: Mystic Seaport

Highlights: living museum with character actors, boats, replicas of historic homes, figureheads, lighthouse replica, play area for children


  • For an after museum viewing treat, Mystik Village, an open area shopping mall is a mere.9 miles away on Coogan Blvd
  • the museum’s main parking lot can fill up quickly if you don’t get there early.  Additional parking can be found in the lots off Rossie St on the other side of the main parking lot

Websites: Mystic Seaport

Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Schedule

Fun Fact: The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the end of Prohibition

Related Posts:

Mystic Seaport – Part I

Mystic Seaport – Part II

Mystic Seaport – Part III


The neighs had it in Mystic, CT, last month.

The main attraction of the Mystic Irish Parade which was held on Sunday, March 25, the Busch-Anheuser Clydesdales were on display for visitors to view and photograph before they lead the parade, after paying the paltry entrance fee to the Seaport Museum.

The only downside to the viewing of the horses was they were kept behind bars in their stables for both the safety of the horses as well as the safety of the visitors.  However, if you were lucky and patient, you could get a glimpse of the handlers washing their horses.

Each Clydesdale had their own stall and were kept in a tented area.  The unit of measurement used to determine a horses’ height is called HH or “hands.”  One hand equals about 10 centimeters or 4 inches.

Some of the Clydesdales were either camera shy or more interested in their food. Merlin was one of these horses.


Merlin is going to be 7 in May.  He weighs 1,950 pounds and his height is 19 HH or 6 feet, 4 inches.


Rico just turned 9 years old.  Happy birthday, Rico!  He is 18.2 HH (6 feet, 2 inches tall) and he clocked in at 1,972 lbs.


Phoenix is 8 years old and weighs 1,975 pounds.  Phoenix is 18.1 HH (6 feet, 1 inch tall)


Lucky is going to be 9 in May.  Lucky weighs in at 1,930 pounds and is listed as being 18.2 HH (6 ft 2 inches).

Larussa is a 1,940 7 year old Clydesdale.  Larussa is 18.1 HH (just over 6 feet)


Royal is a very hungry 1,800 pound, 7 year old horse.  Royal is 18 HH (6 feet tall).

Yet another May baby, Jack will be 11 next month.  He is 18.1 HH (just over 6 feet tall).


Master, a 1,825 pound and 18HH (6 feet tall) horse, turned 7 on New Year’s Day.


Ivan, a 1,775 pound and 17.2 HH (5.8 feet tall) horse, turned 9 on New Year’s Day.

The Budweiser truck that transported the beautiful Clydesdales was parked right outside the tent.

There was also a Budweiser dog named Barley.  While I was unable to photograph Barley, I did photograph a puppy in Barley’s stall.


Speaking of dogs, since Mystic Seaport is a dog friendly attraction and the weather was, uncharacteristically for New England this time of the year, mild there were numerous dogs attending the event.




Shantie (“peace” in Sanskrit) is a 7 month old Golden Retriever.  Eventually, Shantie is going to be trained to be a therapy dog.


Sara, a foster dog, is a 3 year old Border Collie.  What a beautiful coat and ears!


Matthew is a 6 year old Havanese.  I love the cute smile on Matthew.


The appropriately named for this venue, Sailor is a 1 year old Lab mix.  I was particularly drawn to Sailor because she bears a striking similarity to my mom’s new adopted dog, Holly, who you may see in future photo shoots.


Barker Character, Comic And Cartoon Museum (Cheshire, CT)


Date Of Visit: August 12, 2017

Location: 1188 Highland Avenue, Cheshire, CT


  • Toddlers (3 & Under): Free
  • Children (4 – 17):  $3.00
  • Adults (18+):  $5.00


Tuesday CLOSED
Wednesday 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Thursday 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Parking: The main parking area has room for only about half a dozen cars.  But, there is a parking area behind the museum you can park at.

Website: Barker Museum

Highlights: collection of toys, dolls, figurines, lunch boxes and many other memorabilia and collectibles.


Memories and nostalgia fill the aisles of Barker Character, Comic an Cartoon Museum in Cheshire, CT.

You’re bound to find something among the nearly 80,000 items in the two floors at Barker museum. Whether it is an action figure (and there are tons of them there to view)


or board games (you know before they had video games)

you’re bound to find something that catches your eye or reminds you of your youth.

There are even old Wheaties and other types of cereal boxes, Pez candy and dispensers and other candy.

The oldest item at the museum is a cast iron elephant ramp walker manufactured by the Ives Company in 1873.  The value of this toy is estimated between $225 and $250.


There were some other unusual toys and collectibles at Barker.

I had a ton of these while I was growing up.  I remember saving up my allowance each week and saving so I could buy the new figures. It was quite a smurfy collection.

I also recognized this lunch box from my younger days.


There are many other lunch boxes on display at the museum.

The deceivingly looking main building that looks like any other residency has art available for purchase from many of the most popular movies, cartoons and other types of entertainment.


There are also sculptures of Dr. Seuss characters and other toys and figurines in the main building.

Outside of the buildings there are murals, statues and signs with drawings of famous cartoon characters on them.

As you can see, Barker’s is a fun for people of all ages!

Below is a video of some of the fun things to see at Barkers.

The Farm At Carter Tree Hill (Marlborough, CT)

Date Of Visit: July 22, 2017

Location: 86 E.  Hampton Rd, Marlborough, CT

Hours: the website says to call for hours (860-906-7866)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is free parking for a couple dozen cars.  More parking may be available in nearby lots when they have special events

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Family-friendly working farm with an eatery, general store, bed and breakfast, carriage house for events and farm animals


  • It’s easy to miss the farm if you’re not looking for it

Website: The Farm At Carter Hill

Now that I have posted most of my posts from Salem up (I may have a few more to post later), I am catching up posts about places I visited this past summer and this fall.

One of the more enchanting places I visited this summer was a place I found by happenstance.  During a trip to a park in Connecticut, my passenger and I noticed an old pickup truck parked by the side of what appeared to be a farm.


Tucked away off Route 66 in Marlborough, CT, Carter Tree Hill Farm has a farm, general store, barn used for entertainment and  events.

The animals in the farm area are very playful and friendly.  They really seem to like to play on their car.  My favorite part of the farm, the farm area has several goats, chickens, ducks and even a peacock.

It was late July during my visit and the flowers were in bloom.  Vibrant flowers were scattered around the farm and gardens.

The peak time to visit Tree Hill Farm is probably during the warmer seasons and fall.  It must look very pretty there during the autumn with all of the leaves on the trees changing color.  I also think it must feel good to be able to spend one of the first mild spring days there drinking a beverage outside after one of our long cold winters.

During the summer, Carter Tree Hill Farm shows movie on their projection screen.


The Carter Tree Hill Farm consists of a general store, outdoor eatery, bed and breakfast, ice-cream and outdoor pavillion for weddings, carriage barn for private parties or events and Hogs Breath Tavern as well as an animal farm.

The friendly staff made us a coffee and pored me an orange juice at no charge and allowed us free rein to explore the property.

The affable staff at Tree Hill Farm work hard to keep the garden and flowers clean and pretty.  You can tell they take a lot of pride in their work by the way the property is kept after.  We also spent a while talking to a worker about how much he loves to work on his plants and vegetables at the farm.

There is also a an old time filling station (not in use) and a barn where you can buy home made jellies (try the marmalade), other snacks and other merchandise at Carter Tree Hill Farm. Look at that gas price!

With its ample space, colorful plants and flowers and barns and animals to watch, Carter Tree Hill Farm is a great place to bring the entire family.

Pinchot Sycamore Tree Park (Simsbury, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 10, 2017

Location: Hartford Rd Rt 185, Simsbury, CT

Hours: open daily, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There is free parking for about 10 cars to park.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Pinchot Sycamore Tree Park

Highlights: biggest tree in Connecticut, boat launch, bench to sit


  • It may be better to see the size of the tree in the fall, winter and spring when the trees skeleton is visible to fully appreciate the size of the tree
  • The park is the right just before the Bataan Corregidor Memorial Bridge on Rt 185 or just after the bridge, depending upon which way you’re traveling
  • Despite what your GPS says the best road to take to get to the tree is probably Cobtail Way


Everyday, hundreds, if not thousands, of people pass by a historic landmark without even realizing it.  It is interesting  that so many people miss out on viewing the biggest tree in Connecticut and never know it.

When it was most recently measured in 2016 by the Connecticut Botanical Society, the trunk of the Pinchot Sycamore Tree was listed at 28 feet (8.5 meters) around and 100 feet (30 meters) tall.  It is estimated to be at least 200 years old and could be as old as 300 years.  The tree’s branches sprout in various directions.  With its thick, far reaching limbs, it could easily be used in a horror movie.

The tree was named in honor of influential conservationist and Connecticut resident Gifford Pinchot in 1965.  There was a re-dedication  in 1975.

There are two markers located by the tree.  The first marker (on the left below) is a thank you to all of the groups who have worked to make the park possible.  The second marker (on the right below) is the marker from the original dedication in 1965.  You’ll note the tree’s circumference was recorded as being 23 feet and 7 inches (as opposed to the 28 feet it was measured at in 2016).

To get a better sense of the size of the tree, take a look at the trunk of the this tree in proportion to this model.


There is also a bench located near the back of the tree that is dedicated to Pauline Schwartz.  The note on the bench states, “Come Have A Seat By Pauline Schwartz’s Favorite Tree” with some designs and, although it is slightly worn, an image that appears to be a person’s face.  Pauline, a native of Bridgeport, CT, passed away in 2013 in Las Vegas, NV.  A bench was dedicated in her honor because of her love of the park.

Behind the tree, almost hidden from the park is a boat launch that offers views of the Farmington River.

The entrance to the park is a little hard to find, unless you know where.  ON Rt 185 just before or after the bridge, there are two green poles that mark the entrance to the park.  The road to the parking lot is short but a little narrow.

As I mentioned in the tips section, it’s probably better to fully appreciate the size of the during the fall, winter or spring when the leaves are off the tree, so you can see the full size of the tree without the leaves hiding the skeleton of the tree.  Below is a photo of what the tree looks like without its leaves (from

Heublein Tower (Simsbury, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 9, 2017

Location: Talcott Mountain State Park, Route 185, Simsbury, CT

Cost: Free

Hours: The trail to the tower is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Hours for the museum in the tower are as follows:

Memorial Day Weekend through September 30th, the museum is open Thursday through Sunday only.
October 1 – October 31st the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.
Museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm. Pets, food, drink, and walking sticks are not allowed in the museum.


Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: Yes

Trail Size/Difficulty: 2.5 miles round trip/moderate with some sharp inclines.

Website: Friends Of Heublein Tower

Talcott Mountain State Park

Highlights: tower, scenic views,


  • There is no parking lot at the park.  Parking is allowed on the side of the road at and near the trail to the tower
  • Don’t forget to check out the scenic views on the way up to the tower by taking the trail closest to the ledge (the trail on the right after the trail splits
  • The trail has a steep incline at the beginning but evens out and becomes easier about halfway to the tower
  • If using a GPS: Parking is located on Summit Ridge Dr. Simsbury, CT 06070


Once the home of Gilbert Heublein (pronounced “High-Bline”), Heublein Tower offers some of the most pretty views in the Connecticut River Valley.

As legend has it, during a hike of Talcott Mountain with his fiance Louise M. Gundlach, he promised her that one day he would build her a castle there.  He would make good on his promise in 1914 with the Heublein Tower.

Heublein manufactured such delicacies as A1 Steak Sauce and Smirnoff Vodka.  Anyone else hungry for some steak and vodka? A barbecue, perhaps?

Heublein Tower is located along a trail that begins at Talcott Mountain State Park.  Parking is available along the sides of the road to the tower.

Along the trail to the tower, you can take the trail on the right to see some pretty views of the Farmington River Valley.  As you can also see by some of the photos, the trail does have some inclines.  There are also some benches along the trail at the beginning of the trail.

During certain days you can enter the tower and view the rooms in the tower.  The at times arduous hike is worth it for the views of the tower and the self guided tower of the inside of the tower.

The views from Heublein Tower are stunning.

The trails are not too hard for man nor beast.  Dogs of a variety of sizes and breeds were on the trail during my visit.

Hiro is a 7 month old Cobberdog

Monte is a 2 year old Tibetan Terrier.

Kaiser is a 2 year old Airedale.


Roscoe (on the left) is a 3 year old Rottweiler.   Love his bandanna!

Onyx (on the right) is a 2 year old boxer.



Mystic Seaport – Part III (Mystic, CT)


Date Of Visit: September 2, 2017

Location: 75 Greenmanville Ave. Mystic, CT

Hours: Open daily, 9:00 – 5:00 (hours may vary depending on the season)


Adult – $28.95
Senior (ages 65+) – $26.95
Youth (ages 4-14) – $18.95
Children (3 and younger) – Free

Parking: there is a free parking lot across the street from the Seaport Museum.  There is also additional parking across the street from the parking lot for overflow

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, but not all of the buildings are accessible to the handicapped.  Approximately one-third of our buildings have wheelchair-accessible entrances; interior access varies. The village’s unpaved roads are generally firm and stable suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. All roads are basically level with a few slight inclines located near the Children’s Museum, Treworgy Planetarium and Membership Building.  (see link below for more info)

Mystic Seaport Accessibility Guide

Dog Friendly: Yes, but they are not allowed in the buildings

Website: Mystic Seaport

Highlights: living museum with character actors, boats, replicas of historic homes, figureheads, lighthouse replica, play area for children


  • For an after museum viewing treat, Mystik Village, an open area shopping mall is a mere.9 miles away on Coogan Blvd
  • the museum’s main parking lot can fill up quickly if you don’t get there early.  Additional parking can be found in the lots off Rossie St on the other side of the main parking lot

In my previous posts about Mystic Seaport, I shown you the figureheads and the ships and boats of Mystic Seaport.

In this final installment, part three, I am going to focus on some of the buildings and historical items at the museum.  I hope you enjoy!IMG_0009

The first exhibit room at the Thompson Exhibition Hall has many interactive exhibits and artifacts and exhibits from a bygone era.

The first interactive exhibit is called “Sea States.”  At this exhibit, you can watch video of the water from calm


to blustery


and every other weather condition you can think of.

In the Thompson Building is a very large room packed with lots of historical items. And many of these exhibits and items have interactive devices that give more information and historical context to the items.

These carved etchings were made on teeth and bones of whales.

People may think captains and other sailors were not attached to their families, being away from them for so long and because of traditional family dynamics.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  Sailors seemed to have a very strong connection to their families, especially their children.

Pictured below are a glove box, photo of Captain Richard Columbus Mears and his Nellie, his daughter (Nellie Goodsell Mears Van Valkenburgh) and some wood carvings he made.

Captain Mears, born in Accomack County, Virginia in 1829, was a merchant ship captain based mainly out of New York.

The black and gold item on the left is a glove box that Captain Mears sent to Nellie for her 13th birthday.  Believe it or not before plastics were invented people made these objects out of turtle shell.  This particular glove box was made out of a hawksbill turtle shell.

The photo next to the glove box is a photo of Captain Mears with Nellie.  To the right of the display are wood carvings by Captain Mears.  The napkin ring, also carved by Captain Mears has the letters N E L L I E with a heart next to it.


This crib also has turtle shell in its design.  In the second photo you can see the turtle shell reflected in the mirror under the crib.

Most museums do not want you to touch their exhibits.  But, the Seaport Museum has this replica of a turtle for people to touch to see what they felt like that.  It was smooth and silky.  I want one.  A real one.


This bed from that era, pictured below, had some interesting designs on it.

These carvings are miniature figureheads.  They are models of life sized figureheads that adorned ships of those days.

There are also several models of boats from the earlier days of the seaport.

Nikki McClure’s book To Market, To Market was on display at the Mallory Building.  McClure, a papercut artist based out of  Olympia, Washington, is an author and  illustrator who mainly writes children’s books with an environmental theme.  I love her art!


The were other works of art from her books Waiting For High Tide and Life In Balance.

I liked these pieces from her exhibit best.

I also loved the educational historical buildings with the re-enactors.  The people in these buildings are very knowledgeable and friendly.

In this building, The Cooperage, coopers (barrel makers) were making barrels.  The old fashioned way.

This is the Nautical Instruments Shop.  They have many clocks and timepieces as well as  nautical devices such as compasses in this building.

The Mystic Print Shop is a true to life replica of the print shops of the 1800’s.  If you look closely at the photos in the corner, you will see how the template or blocks on the metal pad match up with the words on the printed sheets.

The people at the Shipsmith Shop and Hoop Shop reenact ship and mast builders.

There is also a replica of a lighthouse that you can enter.  A short documentary plays on a loop in the lighthouse.

There are also several shops that are replicas of the buildings of the 1800’s.

The Geo. H. Stone & Co store is a replica of the stores of the time.


Of course no living history museum would be complete with a school house.

The drug store had some interesting remedies of the time.

The Seamen’s Friend Society was a place the seamen could go to read, learn to read or have a book read to them.  Since sailors spent a lot of time at sea and began working at a very early age sometimes they were not literate.  They came to places like to be tutored or just to have someone read to them.

Formerly located in Saybrook, Connecticut, the Buckingham-Hall House is a two story building with two bedrooms and several sitting and family rooms.  Being self-sufficient people, there was also a sewing and quilting area with a variety of fibers.  The house was owned by William Hall Jr., from the estate of Samuel Buckingham.  I love how they used to design the windows in those days.  They weren’t big as many windows are these days.  But, they were much more fancy and, despite their small size, allowed for a good amount of light.  There was also an open hearth cooking demonstration in the kitchen during my visit.

One of the other homes at the Seaport Museum is the Thomas Greenman House.  The house was originally built for Thomas and Charlotte Greenman in 1942.  THomas Greenman was originally from Westerly, Rhode Island but made his way to Mystic later in his life.

The kitchen and the second floor are not accessible to visitors.  But the rooms on the first floor are decorated and furnished in the Victorian style of the 1870’s.  I always think I want to live in these types of houses because of their ornate designs and their charm.  Then I realize just how oppressive it must have been during the hot summers and frigid winters.  Not to mention they didn’t even have WI-FI.

The Burrows House is a very small home, yet almost as big as my apartment, that stands as an example of many of the homes of that era.  The house, which is said to have been built between 1805 and 1925, was the home of storekeeper Seth Winthrop Burrows and his milliner wife, Jane.  That is some tight stairwell.