Connecticut

We are never going to beat this summer! The weekend after we got home from visiting Pops and Nana we were off to conquer New England for our States Trip 2015!
Flying East is usually difficult with weather, delayed planes, and time changes.  We had a connecting flight in Chicago and ended up with a 2 hour delay.  With the time change and flights, we didn't get to our hotel until 2 am.
 There is no time to waste on our States Trips so we had to be up and on our way to explore Connecticut by 8 am! Five hours of sleep is a great way to start a marathon trip.
We flew into Hartford which put a stop by the capital as our first destination.
On an early Sunday morning we had the place to ourselves. :)
 There are not many gorgeous buildings like this in the west and possibly none in Arizona!
Our next destination was to Essex, where the Steam Train was waiting to take us to Gillette Castle.  In a 24 hour period we rode an airplane, automobile, train and boat!
 We hopped aboard for a ride on a Steam Engine train ride to a ferry that took across the Connecticut River to a hike up to Gillette castle.
I really enjoyed the gentle sway of the train ride and watching the kids play together.  One of the best parts of these trips is connecting as a family and spending so much time together.
It took a little getting use to the humidity and all the green.  Hailey in particular loves bugs and nature.
We had lunch at the top with sweeping views of the river valley.  I imagine it is spectacular in the fall.
 William Gillette, who played Sherlock Holmes in the early 1900's, built the castle in 1914.
 The castle was undergoing maintenance so we hiked around the grounds.  They were climbing the walls as it was, so a little exercise was just what we needed.
We took the ferry and train back so we could head to Mystic Seaport for the evening.  Mystic is in the southeast portion of the state and has the nation's largest maritime museum and the only steam-powered Cider Mill in the U.S.  While we didn't visit the museum we made sure to see the ocean, as it is our goal to see or touch the ocean from as many states as possible.

Right after this picture Hank and Kaitlin went to climb on a big anchor and both jumped at the same time.  Hank's head connected with Kaitlin's lip.  Always an adventure on our trips!  Blood was dripping all over the white painted deck and there was not a napkin to be found.  Add some good, loud crying from two kids and we were the entertainment for the evening tourist.
A little homemade Mystic fudge cheered Kaitlin up and we were on our way.
Along with exploring the sights of the states we always try to eat and drink foods the state is known for.  PEZ candy was invented and is still made in Orange, Connecticut.  New Haven claims to be the birthplace of our American staple, the hamburger.  We also managed to find a Connecticut brewed beer, Back East Ale, to drink with our burger.  For lunch that day we ate Subway.  Subway is the largest single brand restaurant chain in the world!  I had no idea it was bigger than McDonald's.  Subway was started by a man hoping to earn enough from the restaurant to pay for medical school.  I am guessing he never ended up going.  The headquarters are in Milford, Connecticut.
It doesn't matter where in the world we could be, if there is a pool at the end of the day the kids are happy.  Next up Rhode Island!

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