Monday, June 23, 2014

Strawberry Picking and Webb Mountain Discovery Zone

As I was looking for things to do in Connecticut during our stay at the 200 Year Old Mill, I stumbled upon this Mommy Poppins Post  which sounded really interesting.  I called Jones Family Farm, and they said the strawberries were ready for picking on father's day weekend and they are sweeter than ever!!
This came out to exactly 8 lbs!!!
Jones Family Farm also has a winery using both local and imported grapes.  So naturally we stopped in and brought home a case of wine!!!

Webb Mountain Discovery Zone is an outdoor learning center set on 173 acre of forest! There are 3 trails you can follow for an outdoor learning scavenger hunt.  What they wrote here is why I decided this is a definite stop on our trip.
Which animal do you think this foot print belong to??
We finally spotted a frog!!!!
We learned that this flower is the Connecticut flower, but sadly I already forgot the name.  I guess not much learning for mom here.
I think Nat had another good father's day even though we missed our friend's Taco Party!
We ended our trip with some yummy Spanish food at Brasitas in Stamford CT.

Kent CT

During our stay at the 200 year old Mill, we headed up to Kent CT.  We originally planned to go to Quassy Amusement Park because I assumed there would be a hike to see Kent Falls, and worried my 3 year old daughter would not been able to make it.  But after speaking to a local, who assured me that you can just walk right up to the fall and that the hike to the top was easy enough for even a 3 year old to do, we then changed our minds and decided on Kent CT.

We were too hungry to wait until Kent for Kingsley Tavern - which looked really good when we walked by later in the afternoon.  So we stopped by the Cookhouse (which we also believe was converted from a Mill) for some finger licking ribs!!!
Kent CT is a small town with its main street area consisting of just few blocks.  But those few blocks are filled with wonderful stores, art galleries, outdoor art displays, antiques, and good eats!!  We were so glad we decided on Kent Falls!
There was also a museum with old trains and antique machinery few blocks up on the way to Kent Falls, we drove in and took few pictures.
Kent Falls was exactly as described, you just walk right up to it after you park the car.  We hiked to the top, and found a spot at the stream where the kids played for about an hour pretending to fishing and throwing rocks.
We ended the night at a funky toy store and watched How to Train a Dragon 2 in New Milford, CT.

Here is another Kent CT day trip guide from Mommy Poppins.

A 200 Year Old Mill

We stayed at this 200 Year Old Mill for our annual father's day trip this year.  After our stay, I was sure this place needed a post of its own!

The minute we arrived at the mill, we were excited as we were met with a charming house with very interesting things even at the porch.
When Don welcomed us into the house, we were amazed by the living area, and couldn't wait to find out how Don created the space.  It was late so he immediately brought us to our quarters, which was a bed room with our own bathroom and living area with a day bed.  The fridge was stocked with orange juice and milk, and there were muffins and fruits on top of the fridge.  There was a wine opener, wine glasses, coffee mugs and a Kurig for use.  The space was fully stocked with bath towels, beach towels, extra blankets, bathrobes, a hair dryer, q-tips, shampoo, conditioner and body wash.  Every little toiletry you can think of, was provided in the vanity drawer.  The space itself was nothing out of extraordinary, but you can tell Don put a lot of effort into every small detail to make sure the stay was comfortable.  I loved all the interesting photographs and art work everywhere in this mill.  I also found the music player at the bedside was loaded with cds that played very soothing music, which set a very relaxing mood for the evening.
The next morning, Don was ready to greet us with answers to any questions we may have had.  We had so many questions for him, and he was so kind to answer them all.  He also invited us to tour the rest of the house.  Don's living quarters was upstairs along with his photography studio.  He is a professional photographer that creates many magazine ads.  He also shot for the Giants!  Aiden asked him if he was a collector because he had so many interesting things around the mill.  He said he could have been a collector, but most things were from photography sets he needed and kept, and now those items lived in the mill.
 There were so many interesting things on the bookshelves throughout the mill.  You just have to be there to check them out!  A neighbor and his daughter came by to borrow some photography items from Don.  They were so friendly and gave us tips for Kent Falls, which turned out to be a wonderful day.  The daughter was taking photography classes, so we gave her our camera and she took the following photos.  They came out really good right?
Onto the backyard/garden.  There is a stream that runs through the mill under a wooden bridge.  Don had put in a pool for the guests.  But to me the most amazing part of the back yard were the stone paved steps and statues through out the garden as you walk through them.
There is a forest behind the mill, apparently you can hike 2 miles on the forest and will end at an abandon train track, but we weren't brave enough to venture out that far in the forest.

Value:      5 Stars (I have never stayed at a hotel for $120 that is as cool and interesting as this, have you?)
Service:   5 Stars
Comfort: 4.5 Stars (The only reason I gave 0.5 stars less is because the TV is in the living area with daybed, and it wasn't as comfortable as a sofa, but we ended up putting some pillows on the floor and it was fine.

I would recommend this to anyone who's looking for a weekend getaway from NYC as the mill is only 1.5 Hour drive from Manhattan, but a world of difference.

Side note, Don has original photographs of the Mill!!!  And he's into Thai cooking as we found this cookbook.

During our stay here, we did this and this.