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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Connecticut

So the Black Tavern turned out very well for us. We met some great folks, learned about history, and Bob even brought us some breakfast and coffee in the morning. (thanks!!) We met a few other members of the historical society who were arriving as we were packing up in the morning to help with renovations and upkeep on the tavern. I hope they didn't have to call a firetruck to get anyone off the roof!



We crossed into Connecticut about 3-4 miles after leaving the tavern, where we took this super awesome photo with the delay timer on the camera (okay, we weren't quite ready for the shot. We'll get the hang of this eventually). Upon entering Connecticut, we were greeted with beautiful scenery, demoralizing wind, and hellacious hills. It felt like we went uphill all day. I think I set a new low-speed record of 2.3 mph climbing one of these beasts.

We stopped for a drink and a snack at J&T's Tackle and Fly, where we were greeted by a ferocious-looking beagle and his owner. Really nice lady - we had a good conversation but we had to get back on the road.  We were hoping to make it to Ed's uncle's house for dinner.

We passed by a pumpkin patch and a Christmas tree farm, which were cool. Neither of us had ever actually seen a pumpkin patch before, and it was a nice distraction from the hills and the wind.

We passed by at least half a dozen of these huge fields just full of pumpkins. I wonder where they all will go.

Not sure what happened on the lighting on this one... maybe I can fix it later with some kind of photo editing software.

We ended up riding about 70 long miles on Friday. It was getting dark on us the last bit, but we ended up on a rail trail for about 7-8 miles (dedicated to bikes; no cars allowed!) and we were mostly in neighborhoods as well. We made it to Tio Donfer's house (everyone gets nicknames in Ed's family; when his uncle was little, they called him Don Fernando, which was shortened to Donfer. Ed is called Dito: his real name is Eduardo, and Dito is short for Eduardito), where we were greeted by two very excited little boys, Juan Marcos and Matias, Ed's cousins. (Ed's uncle, aunt, and aunt's sister were also there, but they weren't jumping around nearly as much as the boys) We were also greeted by a delicious lasagna dinner, a warm shower, and a beer. Fantastic!

Saturday we took the day off - Ed's littlest cousin, Valentina, was being baptized. The ceremony was nice but Valentina was not at all excited about the water from the baptism. She cheered right up after being fed. They had a nice party at the house after the ceremony - the kids played on a bouncy house, there was a ton of food and cake, and there was some wine and beer for the big kids. Tio Donfer's friends even sang and danced for us, and they got me speaking some Spanish. It was a really fun time.


Family photo with the priest. The boys had gone outside already to play.

Valentina, once again a happy baby.

Ed's cousins, Juan Marcos and Matias, in their Halloween costumes.

What baptism party is complete without a bouncy house?

Ed had this little ninja attached to his leg for at least 20 minutes.

Today we were treated to a tour of ESPN - Tio Donfer works for ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-speaking ESPN channel, so we got to check out some of the studios and wander around a few of the buildings on the campus. It was great! All the studios were really big and a little overwhelming. We didn't watch anything being filmed live, though. All the buildings had sports memorabilia, photos, jerseys, helmets, etc. all over the place too. We ran into Mike Ditka and Tim Hasselbeck as well. Check the photos on the Flickr photostream; I was able to snap a few with my phone.

All in all, it's been a really good time playing with the kids and hanging out with Ed's family. They've been great about taking us in and feeding us and entertaining us. Thanks so much! Come visit us in Texas when you get tired of all the snow this winter.

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