Friday, July 25, 2008

Rocky Neck State Park; East Lyme, CT

About once a year, I make a pilgrimage to Rocky Neck State Park for a beach day. Today was my day! I woke up to clear blue skies, sunshine, and a forecast of temperatures in the eighties and a light breeze. How perfect! I arrived in the early afternoon and it was packed - blanket to blanket with people. No worries, I had pictures in my computer from last year's visit that I never posted on the blog.

To reach the beach from the parking lot, you have to cross under the railroad tracks through this tunnel. This is Amtrak's Boston-NY line, so every once in a while, the train roars past the beach, including the high speed Acela.

The boardwalk to the left of the tunnel makes walking easier with chairs and coolers while searching for a good spot.

Long Island Sound is a lot cleaner than it was while I was growing up. Beautiful spot for swimmers, sunbathers, boaters and seagulls.

The adjacent campground features large, grassy sites. We don't camp here because no dogs are allowed. And, like all other CT state park campgrounds, there are no utility hookups. I'd put up with that, but my dog is the whole reason we became campers! But for us who live in CT, it's a perfect day trip.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Lake Compounce Amusement Park; Bristol, CT

It's been awhile since I've posted because we've been working, not sight-seeing, since we returned to CT in April. But on a recent Friday, my sister and brother-in-law and their two girls planned a day trip to Lake Compounce Amusement Park, in Bristol CT. It's becoming an annual tradition and it just gets more fun as Catherine & Meredith get a bit older. They are now 6 and 3. Joining us were Marguerite's college roommate, Joni, and Joni's son, Luca, same age as Catherine.

My instructions were to meet the family at the yellow octopus (above, with Catherine in front) in the water park. The weather was perfect for swimming but the water was still a bit cold, this early in the season. But that didn't deter Meredith from going down the kiddie water slide over and over!

The girls were fascinated by the giant pirate ship. A big bucket on top fills with water and periodically dumps over, drenching anyone below. Catherine & Meredith would squeal with delight - and made very sure that THEY were not under it!

After the water park, we decided to take the train that goes halfway around the lake. All aboard!

Marguerite, Joni, Luca, Meredith, & Catherine

As the train pulled away from the station, we got a great view of where the adult water slide dumps into the lake.

Across the lake, as the train looped around for the return trip, we had a great view of the park, including the beach, water park, and main pavilion.

The pavilion houses a restaurant that serves sandwiches, salads and more. After we had lunch on the porch, it was time to hit the rides. The great thing about Lake Compounce is that they have a section of kiddie rides, perfect for kids the age of ours. The motorcycles are always a favorite of Catherine's.

Meredith probably rode the merry-go-round a half dozen times, each time riding a different animal. She loved the bunny!

Luca and the girls also enjoyed a few rides on the caterpillar.

David taught the kids to hold their arms up on the kiddie roller coaster.

Afterwards, David wanted to go on on of the big coasters. Joni went with him but Marguerite & I passed. We're wimps, I guess.

By the time 5PM rolled around, the sky blackened with rain clouds so we decided to stroll down Main St. towards the exit.

We all had such fun that we promised to not wait for next year to come back!