NY: Katonah: Caramoor (American Roots Festival)

I’ve written of the beautiful Caramoor property before but their improvements and schedule enhancements bring it from a nice stop to a MUST stop.

It has a great summer season of music to include a couple of music festivals. My favorite is the American Roots Festival which offers several artists performing throughout the property leading into a special evening performance under the Venetian tent.

I have an affinity for the sunken garden area at which Sunday morning events are held. I haven’t had the opportunity as yet for those but I certainly look forward to one.

Lots of close by opportunities in Katonah – Muscoot Farm, John Jay Homestead and Lasdon Park.

NY: Katonah: Muscoot Farm

My healing injury has offered me the opportunity to find local easier outdoor offerings to enjoy.

Fun to see all the smiling families on a hayride around the farm. I was hanging around watching with the cow as he showed off the strength of his tongue. Did you know that since a cow has a relatively immobile top lip they use their tongue to grab grass and then bite it off!

It was a 90 degree day and the Master Pig put on a show of taking a mud bath to keep cool while the sheep took cover in the barn.

There was also a lovely concession stand with many picnic tables in the shade to cool down.

Muscoot Farm, Katonah, NY- 10-4- donations only.

If you go on a Saturday stop by John Jay Homestead for their great Farmers Market.

John Jay Homestead – injured but making it happen!

CT: Southbury: Kettletown Park (Hiking)

I researched for an easy, short but scenic trail due to an injury preventing me from strenuous athletics. So on a perfect June day with no humidity and 70 degrees, I found Brook Trail.

Kettletown Park is a CT State park free to CT residents in Southbury. The brook had so much character throughout with large boulders redirecting its moves.

At one point the cavernous brook filled with light abruptly making me smile to have noticed the difference in clarity it offered by being present.

Close to parking is the trailhead. Before or after your hike enjoy a bite by Lake Zoar.

CT: New Canaan: Grace Farms

We were treated to the Eastern approach of the respect given to drinking tea and had a wonderful meditative stroll around the property uncovering baby birds, bunnies and butterflies.

The architecture, while famous, is a catalyst to understanding the mission of Grace Farms. Enter the pavilion as a transition to start your journey letting go and slowing down as you exit the other door and stroll through the property.

Note: Requires reservations to enter the grounds promoting the tranquility of the experience.

NY: Catskills- Peekamoose Bluehole

For a couple of years I read about a small swimming hole with a blue glow within the NY Catskill preserve.

It would get so busy that now it requires reservations and is manned to ensure it’s kept clean. I met a really nice 25 year old ranger named Eli who checked us in. He guided us to our destination and suggested a couple of other stops.

The water did glow! I also met an adorable dog named Charlie who warned visitors from going into the glowing water. He stared at me watching my moves to ensure I didn’t consider leaping in.

My new friend Eli suggested I also visit a little creek near the parking lot as a quieter option. I had so much fun following the shadows of a water bug reflecting on the rocks beneath the clear waters.

Finally Eli advised to stop a mile down the road to visit the waterfall. You wouldn’t even know I had a headache that day! I find it’s Uber important to not let even a migraine stop me from an outdoor adventure. I just temper what I do.

Please google peekamoose blue hole reservations if you wish to visit as they do require it given the number of visitors and mess it was creating. Keep it clean!

CT: New Haven County- Farmington Canal Greenway (Biking)

A great bike ride with “eats.” Start off at the lot by the entrance of the York Hill Campus of Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

Ride a mostly flat five miles into New Haven passing the elegant architecture of the Yale campus along the way.

While I chose to stop and get a great poke bowl, I was drawn by what appeared to be a genuine bagel shop proudly announcing their matzo ball soup- a sight I usually only see in my hometown.

A relaxing bike ride to return gets you to a nice even 10 mile ride.

CT: Fairfield: Isabelle et Vincent Bakery

If you are looking to save those extra calories for one particular treat, this is the bakery you should be saving up for!

My mother was Parisian and she worked at a French restaurant when I was a kid. My point being I know authentic French bakery when I taste it!

To boot, there’s an adorable space to feel like you’re away in a Paris hotel. I chose a latte and an almond with chocolate croissant. I couldn’t leave one crumb.

Gone before I could take a picture!

1903 Post Road, Fairfield, CT

CT: Westport- Compo Beach

Now that it’s beyond May 1st, parking for Compo Beach necessitate a residents sticker.

Fortunately you can still walk or bike in. It was a perfect evening for the effort.

I enjoyed watching the sun cast it’s shadows and reflections within the perfect trees lining the shore.

The pictures tell the story of the evening as the sun took its final bow.

The moon rose as the sun set and I stood in between and just smiled.

I enjoyed capturing these memories so I can return to this picture perfect evening even on a rainy day.

CT: Darien: Pear Tree Point (Sunset)

Only a few more weeks until I can no longer access many of my favorite coastline beaches. But tonight my favorite veggie crunch salad was on sale so I grabbed a bunch and head to see the sunset.

As I opened my car door, the wind pushed it back towards me. I realized my view would have to be from the car.

I laid back, relaxing from the long work day and the hard workout which followed and watched as the setting sun reflected on the hood.