A Day Away…A Farmgirl Roadtrip to Hartford County, Connecticut

Charming. Quaint. Historic... These words describe my favorite places.  We’ve recently spent a family day finding just that!   What do dinosaurs and heirloom seedshave in common? Both are found in New England! Come take a Suburban Farmgirl road trip with me to Hartford County, Connecticut!

Graced with a beautiful day (finally) of sunshine, our family decided to get away for the day.  Our first stop was Rocky Hill, Connecticut, and a visit to the Dinosaur State museum and arboretum.  The museum may be smaller than some, but what’s showcased is mighty…definitely worthy of a stop.

My daughter’s held a fascination with dinosaurs since she was a tot, beginning with the cute, plush purple guy (I can still hear that little theme song in my head), and countless hours of dinosaur books and dino-toys. This stop would be exciting, for sure…what kid doesn’t love dinosaurs?

Connecticut’s Dinosaur State Park is home to one of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America, found in the late 1960’s by a bulldozer operator who stumbled across the massive footprints while digging the area on a construction site.  Soon after, it was decided that the area was a treasure to be preserved.

This is just a small sampling of the various tracks.

We spent the first part of our visit inside the dome-shaped museum.  I was amazed how many tracks are preserved and how detailed some of the fossils are, including a smaller, full-body dinosaur fossil.  A close-up look at another fossil gave a detailed impression of what the creature’s skin looked like.

It was a fascinating and educational visit.  I thought I’d heard most of the dinosaur facts and theories, but learned some I had missed.  One funny theory was that one of the largest dinosaurs had two small brains…one the size of a kitten’s in it’s head, another near the tail, in the, ahem, rear-end region.  Go ahead, snicker.  I know what you are thinking. And have you ever heard the theory that chickens are descended from the fearful Tyrannosaurus Rex?  Somehow, I don’t think the Farmgirl Sisterhood mascot, Henrietta, would be quite as charming as an apron-wearing T-Rex!

The trails are beautiful, and boast all sorts of natural habitats. I snapped this shot as we crossed over a wooden bridge.

We then walked around the beautiful state park and arboretum.  There’s a picnic area, two miles of well-maintained walking trails, and habitats boasting all sorts of species of natural trees.


We can’t wait to return in the summer season, when the natural beauty is in full bloom. If you have kids, it’s a must-see place. For all the details, check out the website at
http://www.dinosaurstatepark.org/.

Our next stop was about twenty minutes away to Wethersfield, Connecticut, Connecticut’s oldest town! As soon as we turned on the historic Main Street, it was me who was now bouncing to get out of the car!

As a farmgirl, I’ve become a fan of heirloom seeds, and was thrilled to find out that New England’s oldest seed company, Comstock-Ferre, is in Connecticut’s oldest town! The brick building was beautiful on the outside, and brimming with charm on the inside.  It’s a farmgirl’s dream…seeds in vintage drawers, a few  antiquities to see, and a gift shop. Of course, I picked up some seeds!

 I couldn’t wait to plant my seeds when I got home. Even the packets are so beautiful!  I’m dreaming of putting an empty packet onto a clay pot via decoupage. 

We enjoyed a relaxing stroll down Main Street, having an old-fashioned ice-cream cone, and browsing in some wonderful shops.  The proprietor of an antique shop told us of some of Wethersfield’s history, including the fact that George Washington had stopped and stayed at an inn there.

I found this large, old church with its steeple so beautiful.

Alley cat, Wethersfield, Connecticut

Wethersfield, where red onions were first cultivated, also has the oldest chartered volunteer fire department in the United States, still in operation today.

Wethersfield, CT volunteer fire department

It was a fun, spring family day. Hope you enjoyed our little road trip. Sometimes, nothing’s more refreshing than to get away for a day! Remember to leave me a comment and let me know ya stopped by!

Until next time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 10 Comments

  1. MaryJane says:

    What a lovely day you had! For sure chickens come from the T.Rex. What a funny waddle/run they have. To this day, it cracks me up when I see my chickens run. But Henrietta running in an apron? Hilarious.

    Hi MaryJane!
    Chicken antics "crack" me up too…can’t wait to get my own little backyard flock.  Soon…
    Much love! -Nicole

  2. Denise S says:

    ahhh, that was a nice little day trip you all took! you are right, sometimes those are the best days!

    I love day trips…it’s like a mini-vacation! Farmgirl hugs, -Nicole

  3. Laurie Dimino says:

    Hi Nicole!
    I enjoyed following along on your journey. We took our kids there years ago when they were younger and "into" dinosaurs. Definitely a hidden gem!
    I laughed when you brought up the "purple" dinosaur. Every now and then we break out in song singing some of the famous songs from the show. My kids (although they don’t admit it now) were addicted to Barney, Baby Bop, BJ and the rest of the gang! LOL
    Would love to visit the seed shop….you must have been in heaven!!!!!
    Thank you as always for sharing a glimpse!
    Hugs my friend,
    Laurie

    Hi Laurie!  My girl was so enchanted by Barney when she was a tot, back when Selena Gomez was a child star on it.  Now she is a "Selena Gomez" fan again.  They both have grown up so much.

    As for the seed shop, I’ve promised my Farmgirl Chapter an organized trip now that I have had a chance to check it out first.  Next early spring.  Hopefully you can join us for that one.  I’ll keep you posted on our other activities this summer…I’m determined to get ya out here! Farmgirl hugs,  Nicole

  4. Rose says:

    What a nice day trip you both had! The dinosaur museum sounds interesting!

    I will need to explore my home area for small local museums and parks. Sometimes, the most interesting thing can be found in one’s own backyard!

    Rose

    Isn’t that so true! Have fun…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. This sounds like it was a wonderful trip. I’m starting to discover how beautiful Hartford county is too. Brian and I took a trip to Fairvue Farm in Woodstock, CT and had lunch at an adorable place called The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret and stopped at a gift shop called Celebrations Gallery, also in Pomfret. I can’t wait to go back! I always wondered about the area which is called Quiet Corner in Connecticut and I want to explore it further! Even though I don’t have my own garden (yet), it sounds as thought I would have loved that seed shop!

    Ali, our sisterhood chapter will go one day.  Container gardening! Sounds like you found a neat place to go, too.   Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Becka Meyers says:

    Top of the day to you, Nicole! I loved shadowing your day trip. As a child, we rotated types of vacations, camping, swimming, and fishing in a single location one year and doing a road trip the next, with special interest in historical locations and national parks. I would love to visit Wethersfield! Unfortunately, I married a city boy,who is not at all into gardening or site seeing, so I would probably have to go by myself. I still may do it! Thank you for sharing your joy! Becka

    Hi Becka! I can still remember fun day trips I took with my parents as a child, too.  For awhile, my mom collected thimbles, and she gave them to me for my sewing room.  Some of them are purchased from day trips we took together in the 70′s!  As for your city boy not wanting to go site seeing, you should join a Sisterhood chapter (or start your own) and go sightseeing with the girls! Thanks for reading and commenting!  Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. Barb says:

    Sounds like a great day Nicole, thank you for sharing.

    Hi Barb!  It was a great day, and we found the dinosaur park by "accident" just by noticing a sign for it on I95 once before.  Like a hidden gem! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Beverly Battaglia says:

    Nicole, this was so interesting. I love the pictures and the old church one. Audrey has such a sweet face and I wish I could have gone there with y’all!
    I had a red banny hen that layed tiny eggs when I was Audrey’s age. My grandmother gave her to me one summer while visiting her farm in Fayetteville Arkansas. I had fun holding her in my arms and was so sad when I had to leave on the train to go back to Houston Texas.
    A place we visited a few years ago near Ft.Worth TX had dinosaur tracks too.
    I love and miss you,

    Mother

    Mom, you would have loved Wethersfield!  I will take you there when you visit next.  Love you, Nicole

  9. Ella says:

    Greetings, Nicole! Your articles are always a treat! I truly enjoy the simplest things and you always make them sound very special! Always well done! ella

    Hi Ella, thank you!  It is true, the simplest things in life are the best.  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  10. Joey says:

    Hi Nicole,
    Rod and I were in both places 5 years ago when my contract was Hartford, Conn. We so enjoyed both. It was amazing to me to walk where the dinosaurs walked. We also enjoyed ice cream in Wethersfield. What a wonderful town. Sounds like you all had a great day. ALWAYS good to see pics of your darling daughter.
    Ideas for another day maybe-we enjoyed the BT Barnham museum and the worlds only 2 sided building in Hartford. I think there is also a Poe house there too.
    Hugs to you, Joey

    Hi Joey!

    Isn’t that dinosaur park amazing?  I can’t wait to go back.  I’m glad you recommend the PT Barnum museum.  We’ve been trying to get there forever, it seems, but it was closed for awhile after damage from Irene, and the hours have not been convenient for us, but we will get there.  I also want to take the family to the Yale Peabody museum; we’ve not been there yet. When you were in Hartford, did you go to the Mark Twain house?  I’ve been there more times than I can count.  Always love it. 

    Big hugs to you, farmgirl sister! -Nicole

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