Fall Foliage Scenic Drive in Connecticut

Fall foliage scenic drives in Connecticut include the Long Island Sound coastal routes, and the Litchfield Hills in Northwestern Connecticut. These areas offer dramatic scenic drives any season, but for me, the trip that comes alive in the fall is nestled in eastern Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner” and is Route 169. This is a gem of a fall foliage scenic drive in Connecticut. Let me take you for a quick spin…

Peak fall foliage in Connecticut usually starts mid-October and lasts through end of October, sometimes drifting into early November. Connecticut has a milder climate than many other areas of New England, as evidence by the plethora of wineries and vineyards enjoyed by the region these days. Many scenic routes take you close to one of the 16 open for visiting.

But back to our fall foliage route…

Traveling Route 169 is as much about historic buildings and communities with traditions, as about brilliant color changes – although you’ll be blessed with plenty of opportunities to soak up the color and take an eye-popping memory snap. The drive follows Route 169 from Lisbon, CT, to the border with Massachusetts. Though it’s just a short drive of over 30 miles, nonetheless as you’ll see it packs a lot into a small area.

Begin your scenic drive in the town of Lisbon, which can be reached, from I-395 exit 83A. The center of town is known as Newent. In the town visit the Bishop House Museum and the Newent Congregational Church for a flavor of some of the architectural styles in this region of Connecticut.

Follow Route 169 out of Lisbon/Newent and drive the 8 miles to Canterbury.

Named for the cathedral city in Kent, England, Canterbury was originally settled in 1697, and offers a window into Connecticut’s early American past. Highlights are the classic New England Town Green and the Prudence Crandall Museum.

Prudence was an extraordinary woman, and The Prudence Crandall Museum documents her attempt to provide education for black women during a time of violent oppression. Prudence’s neighbors and friends eventually ostracized here and forced her to close her school and move away from the area never to return.

Wright’s Mill Tree Farm is a pick-your-own local favorite, and during the fall foliage season offers a spooky hayride, and the chance to pick-your-own pumpkin. This 250-acre farm is in the north end of Canterbury.

Travel the 7 miles to Brooklyn, where along the way you’ll pass farms and homes set among the rolling hills and fields of the region. Brooklyn is steeped in history. You’ll discover historical buildings galore with a high concentration of them in a 1.75-acre area known as Brooklyn Green. Both Brooklyn and Brooklyn Green is on the National Register of Historic Districts.

Places to view include Friendship Valley Inn, a stop on the Underground Railroad, and where Prudence Crandall was given refuge during her trial, and the 18th century Old Brooklyn Burying Ground. The close-by C. Vaughan Ferguson, Jr. Conservancy offers walking trails among marshlands and hills.

The easiest way of visiting Brooklyn Green is simply to park the car and walk. With five churches on the green and a cluster of historical buildings, statues, and commemorative stones, something is bound to catch your eye to explore further.

Leaving Brooklyn on Route 169 and heading north towards Pomfret, you’ll pass the 200-acre Lapsley Orchards in the Bush Hill historic district. Here during the fall you can pick crisp apples or purchase the perfect pumpkin for your front porch.

Another side trip worth taking before you reach Pomfret is Mashamoquet Brook State Park and Putnam Wolf Den. At the junction with Route 101 head west and take the entrance into the park less than a mile down Route 101. With the abundance of maples and oaks in the park the fall foliage dazzles. Be sure to take the path and short walk to the Wolf Den where a plaque describes the events leading to the killing of the last wolf in Connecticut.

Back on Route 169 take the next few miles into the center of Pomfret. A walk through Pomfret presents another chance to check out an 18th century graveyard at The Sabin Cemetery, 19th century churches, and a 13th century French window at the Pomfret School chapel. Pomfret is also home to Sharpe Hill Vineyard, one of the wineries on the Connecticut Wine Trail, and open for touring and wine-tasting.

Continue the drive north on Route 169 out of Pomfret for Woodstock, the final leg of this scenic drive. Before reaching the picturesque New England village of Woodstock, you’ll have the chance to explore many more hiking trails at The Connecticut Audobon-Pomfret Farms and The Air Line Trail.

Connecticut is deep in museums and historic homes, and in Woodstock it comes together at Roseland Cottage – a striking pink Gothic Revival style house which is also home to the Bowen Museum.

Romantic Weekend Getaways Is Les Cascades Possibly The Most Romantic Hotel In Cape Town

We discovered Les Cascades, very much by chance at the end of a touring holiday in South Africa, never realising where it was or what it was, so it was just amazing to find what I would undoubtedly class as one of my top 10 romantic weekend getaways so close to the centre of Cape Town.

We were in fact looking for weekend honeymoon ideas, and my wife wanted to write about the top 10 romantic weekend getaways, so we were more than delighted to find Les Cascades , which is situated in the exclusive area of Bantry Bay on the Cape Town Atlantic coast, less than a ten minute drive from the city.

In its former life Les Cascades was a private house, hidden behind a huge wooden front door, but herein lies a beautiful boutique hotel. I hesitate to write about a romantic weekend getaway, when it is really only feasible for people in Southern Africa. Having said that I once went to Darjeeling for the weekend!!

Immediately you enter through the doors it is like another world, where uncannily you seem immediately to be able to forget the stresses you carried around with you outside. The initial impression of luxury, comfort, warmth, and the views from reception are reinforced by the sheer quality of the furnishings in the suite.

Apart from the opulence of the furnishings, a combination of dark woods, wool carpets, African art and artifacts, there is the small matter of hidden speakers, a large screen television, and fast internet connection for those info junkies who simply can’t escape from the ties of the office!!

The bedroom is enormous, and there is yet another television, and a huge bed with fine cotton linen, and then the bathroom is a designer’s dream with a lovely big bath, and a large shower, with the inevitable but nevertheless welcome huge array of toiletries. The suite comes complete with a little kitchenette cleverly hidden away, and a private terrace – all very impressive indeed.

What is so incredible about Les Cascades is how isolated, and ‘away from it all’ you feel, which helps make it such a fantastic romantic weekend getaway, and yet it is effectively in suburbia!! The key to this is the fact it is on a hill so you feel as if you are on a mountain overlooking the ocean, and that enhances the feeling of privacy.

There are three pools, and elegant dining villa restaurant, which is just past the main pool, and is accessed via steps. The whole thing gives the impression of not so much a hotel as small village.

Without going into detail, dinner is superb, magnificent food, beautifully presented, and fine wines. The breakfast is in similar mode, the only possible complaint could be unforced overindulgence!!

Everywhere has superb sea views, the restaurant, the pool, but best of all in this incredible escape is the almost telepathic service which was unsurprisingly spot on.

Going On A Camping Trip?

Camping outdoors can be an exciting adventure. Camping is a great way for family, friends, and loved ones to have a wonderful outdoor experience. Camping can create unforgettable memories: from exploring the woods to telling ghost stories around the campfire. Now before you go camping, you should be well equipped. Bringing along the right materials is a necessary when camping. Here is some advice about what you should bring along a camp trip:

Equipment

Tent – One of the first things you should bring is a tent. A good idea would be to bring an extra tent as well, in case one of the tents becomes damage on the trip.

Sleeping Bags – You will need something to keep yourself warm, and to use as a blanket. The woods, forests, and mountain areas are often cool during the night.

Cell phone – to call for help if needed

Backpack – Bring a backpack to carry the items you will bring with you

– Other items:
Towels, toilet paper, flashlight, rain gear, bug repellant, and matches (You will need matches for the campfire.)

Clothes

You should only pack clothes that will be necessary for you to wear when camping. You don’t want to over-pack, because over-packing will only become a burden to you. You will not exactly have a lot of places to store your clothes. Here is a basic list of clothes to bring:

Jacket – For when it is cool outdoors
Shirts
Long pants – It is good to wear long sweat pants when jogging to avoid ticks
Bandana – These help absorb sweat
Extra Socks
Shorts
Hat

Food Utensils

Cooler – You can store your food inside a cooler
Utensil you use to eat with (e.g. forks, spoons, cups, etc.)
Utensil you use to cook with (e.g. pans, pots, knives, can-opener etc.)

The advice in this article will be helpful for anyone planning to go on a camping trip.

A Proactive Approach Towards Safer Travel

Video security is as much a part of airports as planes and runways. It is unthinkable for an airport – any airport – not to have video security. In fact, in the wake of the events of 9/11, the video security of airports have undergone remarkable transformations.

Innovations in Airport Video Security
If there is anything that the tragic events of 9/11 revealed, it is this: airport security, no matter how sophisticated, is not infallible. Anyone determined to beat the system may do so, provided that he has the gadget and technology needed. With this in mind, experts are now rethinking their approach to airport video security. Instead of collecting data after an incident, the focus is now on anticipating events and addressing problems even before they take place. Additionally, they have introduced two technological breakthroughs to airport surveillance and video security, namely, intelligent video and face recognition.

Intelligent Video Security?
Intelligent video is the latest offspring of the marriage between established video security and newly plumbed video technologies. How does it work? A software is made to work with existing airport CCTV systems. This software revolutionizes the detection process. Traditional video security requires that personnel keep close watch of the images captured. This system is flawed because no matter how many personnel an airport employs, it still is possible to overlook an area, for example. After all, how can one lock into a threatening situation quickly and reliably when one has hundreds, if not thousands, of CCTV cameras to watch?

With intelligent video security, cameras do not only monitor movement, they report aberrant or suspicious behavior. Cameras classify behavior as suspicious if they deviate from the patterns of normal activity coded into the video security system. Once anomalous behavior from a passenger is noted, a video clip is sent to a responder, via pager, laptop, cell phone, or the control center. Should the first responder fail to act, the video clip is sent to another responder.

Face Recognition in Video Security
Another upgrade to airport video security is face recognition. It is already in use in some airports, although application is limited to airport personnel for the time being. Face recognition is highly useful in verifying identity. It is used in two ways in airports. The first is in watch list screening. Live images of passengers are compared to a database of known criminals. The second is in regulating access to restricted areas or airport controls. Badges and uniforms can be stolen easily and quickly; it will require plenty of work to steal a face.

Experts believe that integration of face recognition in the video security of all airports is a cost-effective solution not only to security concerns, but also to lags in paper processing. With face recognition, it will become easier to identify people and match the face to existing records.

It is unanimously accepted that video security helps improve travel safety. Having the best video technology in the world, however, is not what’s important. It’s what you do with it that counts.