50 States Countdown: Connecticut

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In honor of me having achieved my goal of visiting all 50 US States, I will post a picture of somewhere I have visited in each state and write a paragraph or two about my experience. There is so much to see in every one of them, so I am just selecting one of my best memories. 

I used to think that Connecticut was the hardest of the 50 states to spell until someone told me “It’s just Connect-I-Cut” so then the hardest state to spell title was passed on to maybe Mississippi or Massachusetts. Other than being a bedroom state for commuters to New York City and being the home to Yale University, I didn’t really know much about “The Nutmeg State.” Not even why the state got its moniker. The only thing I can tell you is that the nickname was based on peddlers who used to travel around and sell the spice, but that the state isn’t really that keen on the title as they have never officially adopted it.

What Connecticut really takes pride in is the fact that they have the highest per capita income of any state and it’s rich maritime history. The coast of Connecticut is sheltered by Long Island and provides coverage from storms. These safe harbors provided security for ships, and the calm waters were popular with many varieties of fish. During the days of Whaling the port cities of Bridgeport, Stanford, and New London became quite prosperous.

Some of the old wooden Whaling Ships have been restored such as this one in Mystic Harbor

One of my favorite places in Connecticut is the old seaport told of Mystic. The city has a quaint waterfront area with fishing ships and restored classic wooden ships. I have been to the state four times and I have always made a point of returning here.

This is a replica of the Mayflower, the ship which carried the Pilgrims to Plymouth Harbor in Massachusetts. It is being tugged to the shipyard for repair and restoration work. 
For those of you that are movie fans, there is actually a “Mystic Pizza”. The 1988 film featured a then-unknown Julia Roberts.  while “Pretty Woman” made her a star it was Mystic Pizza” that got her noticed. The Pizza restaurant existed prior to the movie but has since expanded and opened an additional location due to the film’s success. 

Another memorable excursion was visiting the state capital of Hartford. The city has one of the most beautiful state capitol buildings in America, I really like the design of the building which dominates the city’s skyline.

I really like this building from an architectural standpoint. The interior is very nice as well. I will feature this building in an upcoming post. 

What I love best about Hartford though is the home of writer Mark Twain. His gothic revival style home is captivating, much like the man himself.  It has been described as “part steamboat, a part medieval fortress, and a part cuckoo clock.” The home is creative, eclectic, but still stylish enough that you wouldn’t be worried about entertaining guests.

I would not be so bold as to call it a kindred spirit connection, but viewing this home, made me think “Yes, I could definitely live here.”  This place is marvelous and I will definitely do a tour in detail in a future post. 
I could definite hole up in this library. If you are an admirer of Mark Twain, you will forever regret not visiting if you are in Hartford.  

New Haven is the home of Yale University. Yale is considered the best University in America (or is it second best? there’s a strong hotly contested debate with Harvard as to who gets the top honor) regardless of ranking the campus is everything you envision when you think of old fashioned college campus, with stone buildings, gargoyles, and studious young people many of which will be future Senators, Judges, movie stars and maybe even Presidents. The city of New Haven is a great college town with some very nice and inexpensive restaurants, cafes, and theaters.


I had been to NYC a few times before I ventured a few miles up the road to Connecticut. I wish I had visited sooner.

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