Friday, October 28, 2016

Beyond Disney: Our Road Trip to Connecticut + What We've Been Up To While Here

If you follow along on Snapchat or Instagram, you'll know that Will, my mom and I have made the drive from Florida to Connecticut this past weekend.

We left Orlando on Thursday and made it all the way to Gainesville (!), a short two hour drive away, where we stayed the night and ate a Satchel's Pizza. Even though it was a short visit, it was still nice to get back to my old college stomping grounds. Go Gators! Can't wait to take Will to a game in the Swamp.

The next day we made it to Royston, Georgia to visit our family friend. We dropped my mom's dog off with her and stayed two nights before hitting the road again. Our third stop was Harrisonburg, VA for the night; the next morning we drove up along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the fall foliage. Our final stop was in Shippensburg, PA before rolling into Connecticut a full five days after leaving Florida.

My mom and I have made this trip every year for the past 6 or 7 years; my dad lives in CT and works in Manhattan, while my mom prefers to live in Florida. They visit each other often and kind of have the best of both worlds. It's unconventional but it works for our family-- my parents have been married for 37 years! This drive was a whole different ballgame with a two month old in tow. He was such a trooper and has quite the story to tell in his first 60 days on earth.

Since arriving in Connecticut, we've visited the town of Sleepy Hollow and went to the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, a popular event featuring thousands of carved pumpkins decorating the grounds of a historic property in the Hudson Valley. Historic Hudson Valley is in and of itself a really neat destination, especially in the fall. It features Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving, who Disney fans know as the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (fun fact: Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, is modeled after Sunnyside). It's also the site of the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, where Irving is buried, along with several citizens of the town who inspired some of the characters in his famous tale. In the month of October, Historic Hudson Valley plays host to a bunch of neat Halloween themed events. There's also Christmas tours and more, and it's an all-around really pretty area to visit. Definitely check it out if you're in the area.

We've also spent time just hanging around, visiting the cute Main Street in New Canaan (the town my dad lives in), and running errands. I'm not sure I've mentioned it, but I lived in Connecticut for four years after graduating college, from 2006-2010, before my mom and I moved back to Florida. When we return, it's nice to see friends and stop by the places we frequented when we lived here.

In the days to come, we'll be going into NYC, taking Will to a legit pumpkin patch (one where you pick a pumpkin from the vine!), go apple picking, visit with more friends, enjoy the world's best lobster roll (no, really, the best), and more. It's nice to visit, especially this time of year, but boy is it nice to get home to sunny, warm Florida again. Look at the weather we had on Thursday morning. Brrrr!

Thanks for reading!
XO, Ashley


  1. I LOVE Halloween festivities; this would be a great trip to make. Kari *o*

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