Our weekend adventures look a little bit different these days. Like everyone else, we are spending our time at home and our frequent road trips to idyllic New England towns are on hold. Our focus as a family has been on finding activities and moments that help us keep a positive mindset and maintain a sense of normalcy through all the uncertainty. For me, it’s cooking a new recipe with my toddler, Elle, reading books, enjoying a family dinner, watching my 11-month old, Lily, learn a new skill, and spending time in nature.
As the weather slowly warms up in New England, we’ve jumped at the chance to be outside. As a family, it gives us a chance to connect without any distractions or technology and for me, it helps me gain perspective.
With some rainy weather gone, it was finally a warm spring day. It was a day we had been waiting for after being cooped up during the week. Wanting to take advantage of the sunshine, we drove to the Wethersfield Cove, a historic area in Old Wethersfield, Connecticut, for a walk on the hiking trails and a picnic by the water.
After getting our girls situated in the stroller and loading our kid essentials in the back – a blanket, snacks, and a few toys - we started on the wide trail towards the Cove Warehouse, a maritime warehouse built in the late 1600’s. Both the Cove and warehouse were a part of commercial trading in this area many years ago. As we walked, the warm sun was shining down on our faces and I caught a glimpse of Lily smiling ear to ear and Elle looking toward the river excited for the afternoon ahead. We rounded the corner of the trail and got the first glimpse of the Cove Warehouse situated on the edge of the Connecticut River. The maritime warehouse resembles an old barn and turns into a museum in warmer months.
As we parked the stroller, Elle sprinted to the back of the warehouse which faced the water. There I noticed a flood line many feet up showing the extreme water heights reached during a historic flood in the 1930s.
Elle blew bubbles and snacked on homemade brownie bars we made earlier that day. Lily sat quietly taking in the warm breeze, while Rob & I admired the daffodils lining the trail. Rob and Elle then moved to the water’s edge to skip rocks and play by the water. After Elle finished running around and as the breeze picked up, we packed up and retraced our steps back on the trail. This Spring afternoon was the simple outside adventure we all needed and I was overcome by a genuine sense of gratitude for this extra time spent together.
We spend so much time down by these boat docks.Lilly loves to watch the boats bobbing in the water or chase the many geese that have claimed the rocks as their home (although don’t be fooled, these birds can be mean buggers!).
We chose to head down the Mystic River toward Long Island Sound. As we pulled away from the docks, Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic played in my head. The water was calm, the sun was shining, and the kids were overcome with excitement.
One of our favorite parts of this particular vacation was the day on the water we spent with Captain Rich and his crew aboard the Schooner Eleanor. Our boys had sailed before, but never in Maine. They were up bright and early that morning eager to see what the ride would be like.