Fort Bragg 2022

August 24, 2022 5:05 pm

We wanted to get out to the coast before school started up again so we headed out to Fort Bragg over the weekend of Aug 4-7. We stayed at the same place we've stayed for several years, but it now costs almost double what it did 4 years ago and it's getting a bit ridiculous--especially since they're not providing breakfast or housekeeping. It's gone from being a pretty good deal to being rather expensive. So in the future we may have to explore other options.

Regardless, we had a good trip this go around.

We drove out on Thursday the 4th stopping for lunch at Chick-Fil-A on the way. We got checked in and headed down to the beach for a bit before having dinner at a BBQ restaurant and ice cream at Cowlick's.

Friday was down to the beach again in the morning and wandering around downtown which we've never really done in the past. We took the scooters with us because I thought the girls might like to ride along the pedestrian path that runs along the shore. So I rode Jess' scooter downtown and wandered about while Jess and the girls stayed on the beach longer.

I wanted to find a sun hat since I had left mine at home and that was going to result in sunburning. I did successfully find a hat and then spent some time wandering about until the rest of the party joined me for lunch.

After lunch the girls and I scootered back to the hotel for a rest out of the sun while Jess visited a yarn shop. For dinner we picked up pizza from a local pizza shop. And after dinner I did a bit of walking around with the camera to take some pictures as the sun set. I got some really nice shots.

On Saturday we visited the Point Cabrillo Light Station because they were giving lens tours. So we got to climb to the top and learn about the workings from docents. Everything was going great until it was time to go back down and Heather had a bit of a panic attack about coming down the ladders. The place was busy with groups ahead of us and behind us and only one ladder up and down to each of the 3 levels. So after some calming and coaxing we eventually had to simply put Heather on the ladders while I guided her foot onto each rung/step and we made it down.

After a quick lunch and bathroom stop we were on to our next adventure--the long-awaited horseback riding! We got to Ricochet Ridge Ranch and picked out helmets and then situated on our horses: Nightcap (Corinne), Whisper (Heather), Voltaire (Kyle), and Pancho (Jess). Corinne and Heather were on leads, but even so they loved every minute of it as we walked through the woods to the beach and back.

I had my camera on my shoulder strap, which allowed me to snap some pictures without worrying about it falling; but I couldn't give it a lot of attention while still managing my horse. So there was a lot of spray-and-pray picture taking, especially over my shoulder towards Jess.

We had dinner at Lee's, the only Chinese restaurant in town, which was quite good. Heather just about managed her whole meal using chopsticks. Then a walk around the block to Cowlick's for ice cream afterwards.

On Sunday we packed up and started working our way home. Decided to take a slightly different route this time to try something new and see if the windiness was any better. So we came back via route 128 (instead of route 20), stopped in Boonville for lunch, and bought some real apple cider from a roadside stand. The windiness was about the same overall, but did have a break in the middle.

2022 Trip: Part 10 - Back to CT

August 21, 2022 10:21 am

The day after Santa's Village, June 22, we stopped at the Mt Washington Cog Railway and took a ride to the top. It was cold. Grandma bought Heather and Corinne blankets at the top. Heather's has bear ears and paws, Corinne's has a moose snout and hooves.

Some clouds blew in while we were at the top which made for some interesting pictures.

We finished that day by driving down to Concord, NH and having dinner and ice cream at Arnie's Place.

On the 23rd we road railbikes through the Concord woods which was lots of fun. Nice to be in the shade. We went out one direction, turned around, came back through the starting point out the other direction, and then turned around and came back.

Unlike the ones we rode in Fort Bragg, these were not electric so it was also more work and we made Heather start us off at one of the turn arounds to see if she could and she did!

The 23rd being our anniversary Jess and I went out to dinner after getting back to Cromwell. The girls stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa.

Before Jess and the girls got to CT I had asked for restaurant recommendations for our anniversary. For some reason, Erin was aware of a restaurant that had a whole area decked out as a totally-not-Harry-Potter-wink wizarding-world which sounded like something Jess would enjoy. So that's where we went, Cava in Southington. It was fun.

Friday was spent getting packed and ready to head home which we did on Saturday. And that was our grand trip of 2022.

2022 Trip: Part 9 - Santa's Village

August 17, 2022 8:02 pm

We debated whether to include this stop on our trip. We've taken the girls to Gilroy Gardens several times which targets the same age range and they seem to be aging out of it so we were concerned if they'd be interested. But it was good we went because they loved it.

I was impressed with how well kept the place was and all the employees were excited, high-energy types which really amped the girls up. It was a great day.

The girls loved the Elfabet game--finding and punching out each letter on their card. We rode just about every ride, we fed reindeer, the girls got nail rings from the blacksmith, we ate fair food. We even got the girls to go on the log flume at the end.

Corinne is much more of a thrill rider than Heather. She went on several rides all by herself and loved every minute of it.

The girls love swimming so we splurged and rented a cabana for the day. It was nice to have a place to stash stuff and sit in the shade while the girls played. They even both went on some of the big waterslides (like 30-ft tall) which was surprising.

Our commemorative picture magnet of the Yule Log:

We spent the whole day at the park, open to close. So we spent another night at the Evergreen Motel right across the street and didn't need to do any driving.

2022 Trip: Part 8 - Leaving Canada

August 16, 2022 7:51 pm

On the 20th we checked out of the hotel and (eventually, with some difficulty) walked down to the Plains of Abraham museum to pick up our "escape rally" wheelbarrow. It was an escape-room like experience built around the history of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Our wheelbarrow contained various locked items and clues and we needed to travel throughout the park to find information to solve puzzles and learn about some of the people involved in the battle. It was fun, but we ran out of time to complete it and needed to get on the move, so we returned it only partially completed.

Our destination for the night was Jefferson, NH which was many hours away. So we took a short break in Stoke, QC at Miellerie Lune de Miel, or, the Honeymoon Honey House. Unfortunately they weren't doing any tours at the time due to COVID issues, but we bought some honey and saw some alpacas.

Then it was back on the road and across the border at the Canaan, VT crossing. We stopped for pizza at House of Pizza in Colebrook, NH. And ended our day at the Evergreen Motel just across the street from Santa's Village, where we'll pick it up next time.

2022 Trip: Part 7 - Quebec Days 2-3

August 15, 2022 8:15 pm

Both the 18th and the 19th were spent doing more walking around and looking at stuff.

It was a little rainy on the morning of the 18th, but it dried up eventually. We headed down to the Lower Town of Vieux Quebec and wandered about the area looking at shops (and eating popcorn) before ending up at the Museum of Civilization. We popped our heads in, saw that it wasn't crowded and decided to grab lunch first.

So we walked a bit further and stopped for lunch at Le Buffet de L'Antiquaire. We got to teach the waitress a new word, "corndog," which was on their menu, but apparently never ordered in English before. In French (at least in Quebec) it is "pogo."

When we returned to the museum after lunch the line was almost out the door. We apparently arrived just in time to catch the tail end of a tour group or cruise ship or something because once we got through the line it was gone.

I almost managed the entire ticket-buying process at the museum in French, but got thrown for a loop at the end when she asked if we wanted to add on one of the special exhibits. I wasn't ready for the question and didn't understand and asked her to switch to English. So close.

After the museum we stopped at a few shops along rue du Petit Champlain. I bought a small wooden moose carved at a wood-working shop where we also got a short tour of the building and workshop.

Then we went back up to the upper town via the Funiculaire to the hotel to collect Dad (who opted to not walk around in the rain after discovering a hole in his shoe) and had dinner at a pizza restaurant.

On the 19th we started by attempting a walking-tour game Mom had on her phone, but it was more interested in gamification than we were so after following it to a few stops we made up our own plans. We ended up back on rue Saint-Jean and had some crepes at Au Petit Coin Breton. They didn't have room for 6 though so Mom and Dad agreed to do something else. Which was too bad because c'était très délicieuse.

Jess became enamored of a backpack she saw in a shop and would return in the evening to buy it when we returned to the area after dinner for more crepes (at a different créperie).

On our way back to the hotel to rest for a bit we had some gelato and stopped in the Notre Dame Basilica-Cathedral and discovered they were holding crypt tours. So we arranged to meet Mom & Dad there after a rest to take the tour.

Before the tour, I popped back down to the lower town to buy a print of a painting of rue du Petit Champlain that I liked after seeing it on the previous day's wanderings.

We went back down to rue du Petit Champlain to finish wandering the areas we hadn't yet seen and bought some fudge and chocolates at a chocolatier. And then back up the Funiculaire for Father's Day dinner at the Chic Shack burger restaurant.

Perhaps my favorite picture from Quebec taken on our way back to the hotel after dessert crepes: