Thursday, June 11, 2015


I drove through Connecticut several times while growing up in New England, usually on my way to points south and west. I haven't spent much time visiting the state. Quite frankly, there isn't much to see in Connecticut. 

When I look back on my trips through the state, one misadventure stands out. I was driving from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst to New Jersey to visit my friend Hannah at Drew University. It was snowing during the trip and the roads were getting slippery. Foolishly, I was cruising in the left lane. There was some construction going on, so a series of large cement dividers stood to my left.

As I was driving along, my car hit a particularly slippery patch and lost its grip on the road. My adrenaline shot up as I tried to regain control. I was able to steer myself away from the cement dividers and avoided a direct collision, but in the process, my car turned 90 degrees counter-clockwise and the front bumper scraped and dragged against the cement blocks as I brought it to a full stop. Fortunately the cars behind me saw this and were able to stop and avoid hitting me. However, this left me in a precarious position, as I was stuck and would have to back up into a lane of moving traffic to get myself unstuck. At that point, my adrenaline was at its max. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get myself out of this jam while also fearing a pileup behind me as others come to a stop.

After about a minute of holding up traffic, the driver of a mack truck saw what was going on, slowed down and stopped before he got to me so I could back out. I straightened myself out and got back on the road. I waved my hand vigorously to thank the driver as I drove away.

When I reached the next exit, I pulled off to assess the damage. This brought me to Bridgeport, CT, a shady town on the west side of the state. I was quite relieved to see that I got away with just a scratched front bumper and no further damages. As I concluded that both the car and I were fine, I noticed the car next to me trying to get out of a heap of snow. I pushed his car as he steered, and we got him out. He waved emphatically as he drove away. I felt I had repaid the good deed bestowed on me by the mack truck driver.

I spent the rest of the trip driving at a snail's pace to keep the car under control as I made my way to New Jersey. It was a close call, and I was very lucky there wasn't any serious damage. 

The other story I have from Connecticut is actually not mine, it's my Dad's. 

There are two casinos in Connecticut, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. My dad is a big fan of slot machines, and his favorite thing to do is drop by one of these casinos to try his luck. On his birthday a few years back, he left work, picked up my stepmother, and headed over to Foxwoods. They had lousy luck there, so they decided to drive to the other casino and see if they'd have better luck. Mohegan Sun didn’t treat them any better, but they had a blast trying. They returned home at about 4:00 AM, slept for an hour and a half, and then went to work the next day. I definitely get my spirit of adventure from him. 

While I haven’t really explored Connecticut, my friend Drex (the guest photographer for the post on Washington DC) is a native of the Constitution State, and he has a few destination suggestions. He recommends the town of Essex, and specifically the Griswold Inn and the Essex Steam Train, plus the nearby Gillette Castle State Park. Additionally, he says movie buffs will enjoy a trip to Mystic, Connecticut, which is featured in the movie Mystic Pizza. However, he warns against falling into the trap of actually trying the food at Mystic Pizza

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