Expat Life, Travel & Outings

Go Ask Barb

After my last, slightly downbeat, post about the trials and tribulations of life as an expat, I’ve gone back to my usual upbeat posting style for a review of our Sunday exploration up north. Much like normal life, despite the rough bits, there are plenty of good times too.

This weekend is Memorial Weekend and on Memorial Weekend there are two things Americans like to do. The first is, of course, to remember those veterans that lost their lives to protect their country. As it should be, this is commemorated in tremendous fashion through parades, BBQ’s, fireworks and plenty of patriotism. Americans are incredibly patriotic; everywhere you look you will see American flags hanging from just about anything hangable.

2015-05-24 14.48.37After the true purpose of Memorial weekend is fulfilled, there is one other thing Americans like to do on a bank holiday; HIT THE BEACH!

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2015-05-24 13.30.13So we headed for Hammonasset State Park and Beach. Hammonasset is about an hour’s drive north of Stamford, and the closest town is a delightful little place called Madison (where we stopped on the way home and which I’ll get to later!).

We weren’t sure what to expect when we decided to head to Hammonasset, but the reviews were good, so we thought we’d give it a shot.

As far as beach life goes, this place was cool. It had beautiful yellow, clean sands, lots of places to BBQ and lovely scenery for walking or biking. The sea didn’t look hugely inviting, and I heard someone say it was pretty cold, but apparently by mid-summer it’s warm and toasty.

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After a wonderful scenic walk along the boardwalk, we stopped for a bit of sustenance in the form of a cheeseburger, and hot dog served from a beachside BBQ. They were tasty but tiny, although this picture makes them look pretty huge… maybe we were very hungry… either way they filled a gap until we got cookies and coffee later.

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After a bit of grub, we walked further and stumbled on a much quieter section of beach even more beautiful than we’d already seen. There were a few people dotted around, but they were few and far between. It was stone covered, for the most part, which I guess is what kept the masses away, but it was stunningly beautiful, sheltered from the wind, and had a real sense of calm.

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We then bumped into a young budding artist who was photographing a small collection of stones that he’d strategically positioned on a random log. So, I took my opportunity and decided to take a couple of creative pictures of my own.

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After plenty of sunshine, a satisfying walk and ensuring I had lots of photographic evidence of our day, we headed back to the car and made for home. On the way back we passed through the village I mentioned earlier of Madison. Madison is an all American style quaint village, with a similar feel to Mystic (review in a previous post). It had intriguing book shops, boutique clothes stores and lots of rustic and cozy coffee shops.

I asked for a specific book in the bookstore, and as Americans seem to be across the board, the assistant was incredibly helpful. She spent about ten minutes trying to help me, but, unfortunately, the store didn’t have what I wanted, so she suggested I go round the corner to the local information centre. “Head round the corner and go ask Barb, she’ll be able to help you.” Said in my best east coast accent of course. I love the local, friendly feel in the country villages; it reminds me of my treasured Northern England roots.

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This place did awesome oatmeal and raisin cookies and is Trip Advisor recommended. A must for me these days!

It was a wonderful day out, and it certainly reminded me of why we came here and the adventure we have in store. Expat life isn’t all bad 😉

Let me know what you think!

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