Summer 2016 has officially begun. I must say, so far so good. PK and I recently sat down to plan out our summer and literally every weekend is booked. At first, that was a little scary, but then we realized that we’re going to be busy doing things that we love and spending time with family and friends. That is the best kind of busy to be, in my opinion.
Friday I started on a bit of a craft spending spree. Holiday weekends always offer great savings at stores, so I ended up getting a lot, but saving a lot as well. I’ve been dying to start learning water colors and that will be my summer focus. Also, beer, my creative juice.
Saturday I finally got my kayak out! I woke up early and hit up Job Lot because they had a great sale on kayak carts. If you are looking into kayaking make sure you get one of these! The cart is a small two-wheel contraption that folds out so you can cart your kayak to the water and back, but also you can flip it upside down on your trunk and it guides the kayak onto your roof for you. Independent ladies, this is a must!
My cousin, Mads, came with me to Collinsville Canoe and Kayak. Rentals are affordable and it’s only $5 to launch your own kayak from their dock. If you’re new around here, Collinsville is one of my favorite small towns in Connecticut. An adorable downtown with small, local owned shops and a paved walking trail along the Farmington River make this place a great visit year-round. I’m really looking forward to joining a Moonlight Paddle soon.
As you can see, I was greeted by momma duck and her little ducklings. They came right up to my kayak to inspect. I was very tempted to cuddle and pet them, but I resisted. There is nature everywhere here. Lots of ducks, geese, and apparently the occasional moose and elusive river otter. I will die if I see an otter.
We reached an area with small rapids as we headed up-river. You would swear the beginning of the paddle you’re on a lake the water is so still. The rapids were small but strong. The water was probably only 9 inches, but we really got a work-out in attempting to make it through. We didn’t, but now we have a goal for the summer. We will be able to push through two months from now.
Saturday was about 91 degrees. On the water, though, it was absolutely beautiful. There was a wonderful breeze and the water was still refreshingly cold. The coolness came up through the bottom of the kayak and we could lay back and hang our arms into the water.
When we got out to put the kayak back on my roof it was a different story. We were dripping sweat and felt dehydrated in just 10 minutes of minor labor. We refueled and grabbed lunch at LaSalle Market.
I remembered to put sunscreen everywhere but my ankles. I was wearing capris and thought the kayak would protect the exposed part of my legs. I was wrong and I have questionable tan lines now.
After kayaking I did quick clean up and headed out to pick PK up from the Stamford Metro North station. We made dinner plans with friends in South Norwalk (SoNo) and got in early to do a little exploring. PK plans to continue working in the city after he graduates and I should start working from home soon, but need to stay in the state. Price and location wise we were looking into Stamford, but friends turned our attention to Norwalk. It is a new up-and-coming neighborhood with a family/city-living feel and almost looks like it belongs in Maryland with the townhouses and brick. Even though it’s right on the water and had a constant cool breeze, I was still shot from kayaking earlier so we’ve made plans to do an overnight very soon to officially explore. I won’t share too many pictures in this post, so stick around for the next one because this city is awesome! But shh, don’t tell anyone.
Normally, I’m up at around seven, eight the latest without an alarm, but Sunday I slept in no problem until ten am. We didn’t get home until around one am and I’m 75% sure I had some slight case of sun poisoning from Saturday. PK and I made buffalo chicken dip and grabbed some other snacks to meet our friend Cory at Firefly Hollow Brewing Co. It is in walking distance of my apartment now and it’s our favorite. They occasionally have bands and Sunday they had the duo Ditty Mack. They were really good and the lead singer sounded exactly like Randy Newman, it was like I was drinking in a Pixar movie.
After the brewery we decided to make the most of the beautiful day and went on a drive. My brothers and I have developed a great route that goes north of where we live through Collinsville, Barkhamstead, Harwinton, and Hartland, then we swing back down through Granby, Simsbury, Avon, West Hartford, and Farmington. I’m leaving some towns out, but you get the idea, it’s a wide loop through the north-central portion of the state.
We decided to stop by the Saville Dam and Lake McDonough to explore. I wanted to get a closer picture of the gate house, but a couple was having engagement pictures taken. How selfish of them (kidding! maybe…)!
The views were breathtaking from the top. We spent a lot of time just looking out at the reservoir/lake. I’m hoping to come back during the week to kayak.
After a full weekend we were totally lazy Monday. I brought PK back down to New York then tidied up around my place to get ready for the week. No amount of preparation gets me ready, but I’ll keep trying.
Thanks for stopping by, and visit later this week to hear some very very very very very exiting news I have regarding my favorite little town and my budding business!
Did everyone else have a fun weekend? What did you do?