Monday, December 11, 2017

Welcome to Middletown, CT

Middletown, Connecticut is probably best known as the home of Wesleyan University.   The campus of Wesleyan is beautiful and many historic houses are now part of the university. Plan to spend part of your visit walking around and enjoying it.

While Wesleyan may be the big attraction today, Middletown is one of the older cities in Connecticut and was at one time one of the greatest ports on the east coast of the United States. Its location 15 miles south of Hartford, right on the Connecticut River gave it an ideal location.

Much of the early wealth in the city is as a result of shipping and trade. Middletown has a mile long Main Street and it is the perfect place to get a real feel for the city. In the 19th century, it was tree-lined and particularly attractive. Like many other cities, it was the victim of mid-20th-century redevelopment which removed the historic town hall and courthouse and replaced them with ugly, new construction.

Luckily, it isn’t all bad news. In the last 20 years much has been done to restore the glory that was Main Street and while there are still not many stores, there are loads of restaurants and Main Street is the place to come for a wide selection of fine and casual dining. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Middletown, Conn. as one of five "Most Romantic Main Streets" in the nation.

If Middletown has one weakness, it is that it has very little choice in the way of accommodations. The Inn at Middletown is certainly the only quality place in town and it is both beautiful and historic. It was created using the old armory and offers luxurious rooms and a very nice restaurant and tavern. From the Inn, you can walk to a wide variety of restaurants as well as the Middletown Historical Society which has some interesting displays on the history of the city and the area.

The Wadsworth Mansion is the site of several events during the year including a summer concert series. If you would like to tour the mansion, it is open on Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m. for guided tours. Trails throughout the parkland are open to the public.

Connecticut River cruises are offered by Lady Katherine Cruises on the riverfront and if you prefer to look at vintage cars, there is a cruise night offered in June on Main Street. If you are visiting with children, KidCity is a very popular destination. Genealogists come from all over to visit the Godfrey Library which has an excellent collection of material on the area and beyond.

A popular and delicious attraction in Middletown is O’Rourke’s Diner. Located at the north end of Main Street it has been satisfying hungry appetites for over 60 years. While you are there you will see historic St John Church and school. Built by Irish Catholics over 150 years ago, the church is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Norwich. A stop at NORA, (North of Rapallo Avenue) Cupcake Shop is also in order while you are in the north end of Middletown, I don't think I need to give details about why but think delicious!

While Middletown may not be the best-known city in Connecticut, it has a lot to offer visitors to the area and best of all, it is my hometown.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fireside at the Wadsworth Mansion


Sunday, December 10, 2017, $10 adults $5 children 6-12 years old
The Wadsworth Mansion welcomes storyteller Tom Lee for a holiday performance featuring folktales and music.  Holiday refreshments and wine will be served.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fairs and Festivals Dec 2-3

Friday -Sunday, Dec 1-3
Christmas Fair
Saint Lawrence Church Killingworth
Friday 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to noon. Silent auction, gifts, baskets, raffles and evergreen decorations. Santa will be on hand Saturday 9-11 a.m. for photos.

Saturday, Dec 2
Fall Festival St Joseph Church Chester
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Handmade wreaths, swags, and cemetery boxes. St Joseph's gift shop with new and gently used household items Food table with jams, breads, soups, cookies, and cakes. Santa Claus will visit from 10 am to noon. 

Saturday, Dec 2
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Our Lady of Sorrows Essex. Craft table, lunch, children's area, basket raffle and six wonderful items for a silent auction. 

Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3
Sacred Heart Church Norwichtown
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 8:30-noon Sunday
in the church hall. Crafters, raffles, baked goods, food, and drink. 

Sunday, December 3
The Cathedral of St. Patrick Norwich 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Crafters, basket raffle, pictures with Santa and baked goods. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Holidays on Main Wethersfield

Item:Holidays on Main
Start time:5:00 PM
End time:9:00 PM (4 hours)
Location:Main Street


Join friends young and old at the Annual Holidays on Main Celebration. Meet in front of Village Pizza for Caroling with the Choraliers from Wethersfield High School, at 5:45. Then Santa Arrives via firetruck. holiday Essay Contest Winner is announced and lights the tree in front of Lucky Lou’s. Santa then heads over to the Firehouse for personal and free visits, bring your camera for the photo op! 

The Webb Barn will play host to a number of Holiday themed Silent Auction items, donated by area businesses and groups, with 50% of the auction price going to the donors’ designated charity. Also at the Webb Barn, will be select vendors, and a complimentary wine tasting. 

Continue your conversations at the Beer Garden on the patio of the Webb Barn! There will be a pop-up Farmers market, along Main Street adjacent to the Webb-Deane-Stevens Houses. Look out for food Vendors like J Restaurant/Bar with the Wethersfield Yacht Club, Ice Carvers, Horse and Wagon Rides to the Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre which will have fresh live Trees available for sale, along with Hot Chocolate and homemade marshmallows! 

The Keeney Center and the Hurlburt Dunham House will be open and decorated for the Holidays. This is truly a great time in the O' Dub (Old Wethersfield)! For more info!

Join Heirloom Market for this years Holidays on Main where we will be featuring local singers, CT Grown Christmas trees, fresh baked goods, house-made Hot Chocolate and fresh Cider. We will also be joining with Vintage Open Home for a pop-up Christmas Shop in our greenhouse from Thursday through Sunday 12/7-12/10.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Brunch at Angelico's Boathouse in East Hampton

On Sunday's we often go out to breakfast or brunch and many times with our friends Cindy and Jeff. I called them on the way to church this morning to see if they were interested in going out. Getting an affirmative answer I contacted them on the way home from church. I originally planned to go to Max Amore in Glastonbury but we have never had brunch at Angelico's Boathouse so we agreed on this closer choice. 

It was very quiet when we arrived at 11 a.m. The dining room has a welcoming fire and it was cozy. Our waitress was very friendly and we felt welcome from the moment we walked in. They offer a Bloody Bar which sounded wonderful but since I can't have alcohol was not really worth it for me. 

We had a choice of breakfast or lunch. The breakfast menu has enough choices to satisfy us. I ordered the Eggs Benedict, Al had scrambled eggs, Cindy had eggs Benedict and Jeff had the French toast. I ordered the candied bacon but was told after our waitress checked with the kitchen that they didn't have any. I would have liked to know that before I ordered it. 

Coffee and juice were good and my cup was kept filled. The French toast arrived without the seasonal fruit compote and when questioned we were told it was out of season. Seriously, are bananas ever out of season? Is it only served when say strawberries are in season? I am not sure but certainly it was disappointing, however, they do serve local real maple syrup which is a nice touch. 

The scrambled eggs were delicious, cooked soft. The homefries are good, nice and crispy. The Eggs Benedict were nothing special. Both of us had one perfectly cooked egg and one overcooked egg and the hollandaise was too thin and not enough taste. But the thick slice of ham was nicer than the usual Canadian bacon. 

Overall it was a good experience, nothing really exceptional but the atmosphere was nice and we had great service and the prices are reasonable. I would give it a solid 3.5 out of 5 and I will come back again. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday at the Wadsworth Mansion Middletown

Holiday Bazaar

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 10:00AM – 3:00PM, $2 entry
Expect to find unique holiday gifts for your family and friends. Featured vendors from the Open Air Market will be selling their handmade products.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Angels and Elves Christmas Fair

If you are looking for something to do, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, why not head to St John School in Old Saybrook for the Angels and Elves Christmas Fair. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held in the gym, you will find crafters, raffles, baked goods, breakfast, and lunch.