Everybody laughed and mocked us. Oh, they laughed and mocked, what is in CT? Why are you going to Hartford? It's the insurance capital, don't you know? Oh, we know. Well, maybe we needed insurance. (We didn't.)
We looked up things to do, made a list of things to see: Mark Twain Museum, Clock Museum, ESPN, something water related and of course, Foxwoods. We did this and much much more!! We might even plan another trip for all the stuff we didn't get a chance to see.
So, we started the week with Hurricane Irene and though it missed us in the DC area, it hit the NE rather hard according to the news. There was flooding and outages and the sorts. Strangely, for planners, we didn't call the B&B we had reserved a room to check how they made out. They were nice enough to call us when we were in the airport ready to take off that they still didn't have power. It wasn't like we weren't going to get on the plane, we figured we'll find a hotel, it's CT afterall, not NYC during New Years.
Short hopper flight and we got one of those tourism books for the Hartford area and it was stocked with a ton of new ideas and options. We tried to go to ESPN, but apparently, their website wasn't entirely accurate and you can't just show up on campus and take a tour. It was our first choice and it was a bust, BUT we kept seeing signs for a "Theme Park." It was suppose to have all kinds of old timey stuff according to our tour book, but they were closed. Not to be disappointed, I found my new FAVORITE building of ALL times:
Just in the middle of nowhere this gigantic building stood. It was labeled as Otis Elevators, Technical Research Center. We find out after we get home it's their North American HQ. We probably could have gotten a tour or something, right? Maybe next time. We stood outside and looked like weird Asian tourists just taking pictures of the building while 2 workers stood at the door moving their stuff around.
Next stop? The American Clock & Watch Museum. Oh, it's as much fun as it sounds!! We got there just in time for noon, so they sent us in the the grandfather clock room and we sat for 5-10 minutes listening to the clocks chime. They did not synchronize the clocks, so my OCD was a little aggravated, but it did extend the noon chimes.
Oh, you don't think that there could be more fun? There was!! We went to the New England Carousel Museum/Museum of Fire History and Museum of Greek Culture. Yup, all three in one. Another good find.
Next up was lunch time. We went to a hot dog place that was on some Famous Hot Dog thing we found online. It was good, a nice stop into New Britain, CT. There's a New London, CT, too. Decided to go south and see what we can find. Did you know you can cross the whole state in a little over an hour? Yes, you can, so we decided that a hotel didn't need to be THAT close to the casino, we can just drive there and go back to the hotel. We found a room on sale in Mystic. Just a few miles from a maritime museum, Enjanerd wanted to visit and also, a few miles from my future new home! It has a dock and it's own private beach.
Thanks to some advice from the car rental guy, we headed to the Mogehan Sun instead of Foxwoods for the younger crowd. It was a good time and I can definitely get into trouble if I did live in CT. Tables were affordable and the dealers were very nice and knowledgeable.
Next day was where all the fun was had. We went to the The Museum of America and the Sea. The entrance fee was a little high for our alloted visiting time, so we spent our money at the gift shop buying presents and taking pictures of the area. Then we headed to the see a submarine, The USN Nautilus. It was my first submarine visit!!
We crossed this bridge a lot and the view was incredible. It is now one of my favorite bridges to drive across.
So at long last, we decided we should visit Hartford. That was the city, we told people we were visiting.
The highlight of the trip was about to come. I don't know how we came across this, but it has fullfilled one of the places I have always wanted to visit: A Recycling Center!!! We went to the Trash Museum. I don't know why it was so much fun, but it was. They had clothing made from trash!! Next up on my list to cross off, water treatment system. (Sadly, not on this trip.)
Then we went to the Mark Twain House and Museum which was next to the Harriet Beecher Stowe house. Amazing houses, but not enough time for the tours. Did a nice drive around Hartford looking at landmark buildings and statues and then off to return the car. All this fun in less than 36 hours.