Tag Archives: hiking

Mohegan Sun Blogger Girls Weekend!

Remember that the giveaway for a pair of Sprigs Earbags ends tonight at 11:59PM EST! Make sure to enter before cooking time begins 😛

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you probably saw bits and pieces of my fabulous girls weekend at Mohegan Sun with other bloggers. My love for this Connecticut casino is well-known to readers of this blog. I’ve written about trips there many a time…

Thankfully, Mohegan is a fan of the blog! PR Manager Michelle Williams invited me and some other lovely ladies to spend time at the casino this past weekend, including overnight accommodations in the hotel – which I’ve always wanted to stay in!

I was in some excellent company! L to R: Me, Maria, Anne, Elizabeth, Theodora, Julie, Tina, Bianca, Beth.

Maria and I arrived Saturday morning in our puffy vests, ready to take on a hike at Mystic, CT’s Bluff Point State Park!

In vests that match our personalities! 😉

Mohegan Sun offered each blogger her choice of activity – hiking, biking, shopping, or a visit to Mystic Aquarium. I’m not the most coordinated biker (gimme a stationary spin bike any day) and I’ve already shopped in Mystic and been to the aquarium, so I thought a hike would be a unique activity and a perfect way to enjoy the beautiful day. You know what else is a perfect way to enjoy a day? A limo ride.

My limo crew – Maria and I hiked, while Bianca and Beth visited the aquarium.

I certainly enjoyed riding to and from Mystic in style, though I felt a bit under-dressed for a limo!

Sadly the limo was devoid of champagne.

I spy a Daybreak coffee cup…and snacks!

Maria and I arrived at Bluff Point and were pleasantly surprised to find that we would have a guide! Kim, the Education Director of the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, made the hike so amazing. Without her, Maria and I would have still been enjoying the sights; with her though, we could know WHAT we were looking at and enjoying, as well as some history of the area.

Look how clean and clear this water is!

Cheesy as it sounds, I felt completely inspired by the fact hidden gems like Bluff Point exist right in my own backyard. It makes me wonder what other beautiful sights are out there that I still haven’t seen!

Saltwater cord grass! (See, I never would have known that without Kim on the hike.)

New opportunities await…

This incredible quiet beach is just a mile from the park entrance – a completely manageable walk for someone who wants to avoid the typical beach crowds!

Upon reaching the top of Bluff Point, Maria and I just had to stop and take a moment to take in the beauty. I can tell Kim enjoyed seeing our reactions.

Me and the big world!

I obviously had to get silly.

Kim led us on a speedy walk back to the entrance to meet the limo (we were running a bit behind) and Maria and I departed with huge smiles on our faces! Thank you Kim!

Me and Kim!

Mohegan Sun was kind enough to provide us boxed lunches, but they were not too plant-heavy and Maria and I both had a hankering for salads. And seafood. To Summer Shack we go!

May or may not have also had a tequila craving.

I ordered a Crab Cobb Salad (no bacon). It was wonderful! I ate every last bite, along with some Summer Shack cornbread.

Look at all that crab!

After lunch (and some shopping…THANKS Maria for getting me into Lush) I was super-excited to check into our room. Why? Three letters. V-I-P!

Michelle arranged for all of us bloggers to check in at the casino’s Aquai VIP Lounge. This was my first time as a VIP and I was not very good at hiding it. For example, when asked if we wanted water or champagne, Maria and I stood dumbfounded. Finally Maria said, “Can we have water AND champagne?”

Balance, exemplified.

The answer, clearly, was OF COURSE!

People who are used to VIP treatment probably don’t ask for pictures of themselves being treated like VIPs.

On our way up to our room (32nd floor, baby!) Maria and I stopped by the indoor pool to scope it out. Um, hello?! How did I not know this beautiful thing existed?! I’ll be back! Look, there’s a bar!

Mohegan Sun totally hooked us up with a room with a view! Completely gorgeous.

The inside of the room was certainly not shabby either. I adored the purple accents throughout! Felt totally perfect for a girls weekend.

Isn’t the tile around the mirror beautiful? The bathroom floor had a matching design!

Makeup mirror and brocade purple shower curtain!

Our toilet came equipped with its own door so its user could have privacy while someone else used the bathroom sink/mirror. It also came equipped with…a phone!

As my grandpa used to say…I was having “a shitty conversation”.

Maria and I spent the rest of the afternoon pampering and getting ready for dinner. As I sat at my laptop uploading photos, letting my nails and hair dry, and sipping champagne, I could hardly believe…my life! I felt so very special and honored that Mohegan Sun was hosting me. You like me, you really like me!

And man oh man, the fun doesn’t stop there. Stay tuned for my recap of our fabulous dinner at Todd English’s Tuscanyto come after Thanksgiving. Which, by the way, is TOMORROW! Really?!

I hope you all have a beautiful Turkey Day and if you don’t celebrate, a fabulous Thursday.

When was the last time you went on a hike?

What’s the most glamorous hotel experience you’ve ever had?

Do you have any casinos in your area?

Disclaimer: Though I received my stay at Mohegan Sun free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Maybelline Winners and Hidden Gems

First thing’s first, I’d love to announce the winners of the Bzz Agent Maybelline giveaway! Participation was awesome – I really appreciate everyone stopping by and taking the time to comment and enter!

Congratulations Lindsay of Lindsay’s List, Crystal Tewelow, and Kelsey of The Secret Life of Kelsey! Please email your shipping information to caitplusate@gmail.com!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a little bit on the slow side, but I refuse to call it boring, because I told myself as soon as I started work that I’d NEVER say I was bored during my free time. Free time is rare and I should always appreciate it!

For today, I’d like to share the happenings from a fun Sunday I had earlier this month!

Have you ever had the experience of finding something wonderful, and kicking yourself for not realizing that it was right in your backyard the entire time? I certainly did a couple of weeks ago, when a well-versed local and friend took me on a mini-tour of a couple hidden gems of South Glastonbury.

After meeting at the always-adorable So G Coffee Roasters, we embarked for a visit to an art gallery showing just a short walk away. An art gallery – in South Glastonbury? I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. Dave Magee was showing his art in his barn, and I was amazed by his talent. I couldn’t believe I had the chance to converse with the artist himself! The theme of the show was elephants with pink tusks, but plenty of other varieties of work were on display too.

A painting of the elephants with pink tusks, and their legend. All work copyright Dave Magee.

What struck me most about the show was how many different styles Dave was able to adopt. The elephants above were almost part of a fantasy world, but the watercolors below were very realistic, though also unique due to his use of color. For example, I love the “seafoam” color he used for the grass in the painting on the left, below. That one was actually my favorite of the day.

All work copyright Dave Magee.

Some pieces were more abstract, like the one pictured below right. But I still love how you can tell what it’s supposed to be (grapes).

All work copyright Dave Magee.

Dave’s wife was amazing to talk to – she has traveled all over the world, and has  a yoga studio in the barn! We talked about India, because I had just finished the amazing Miranda Kennedy memoir “Sideways on a Scooter“. Dave also recommended “Shopgirl” by Steve Martin to me, which I have been obsessing about ever since I read it in two days, starting that very evening.

Food and drink was available to all guests, including some local wine (in the clear bottle and cup) and homemade kahlua (in the blue bottles). The wine was at a different stage than most that you buy in the stores, so it tasted so unique to me. The kahlua was probably one of the best things I’ve ever drank, let’s leave it at that.

I also enjoyed a smooth glass (er,  plastic cup) of that Chianti on the right.

Aren’t the napkins sweet? The brie pictured at center, paired with apricot preserves and crackers, was wonderful. Later, some local bleu cheese made an appearance.

My Chianti is creepin on the left.

We received the VIP treatment, and got a tour of the loft of Dave’s barn, which was full of more hidden gems. Apparently he used to hold parties up there in the 90’s – can we bring those back please?! We can keep the 90’s music.

I was in awe of the loft’s contents. I felt like Ariel in her little trove of treasures untold (“Part of your World” anyone?)

I spy Albert Einstein, and a new-car-style bow.

Corkscrews made out of real grape vines!

The barn's backyard.

The loft from the loft's loft…still with me?

I could’ve stayed up there and explored for awhile, but it was time for the next stop on the tour of South Glastonbury – a hike through Cotton Hollow. I’ve been there before, but in a different part of the park. This hike revealed something unexpected.

How gorgeous is that? The ruins are apparently from an old factory. They look completely out of place in the woods, and that’s what I love about them.

What a relaxing, serene Sunday. I feel inspired to find more hidden spots in my town, especially since I don’t see myself moving out of the house anytime soon 😛

Have you ever been to an art show?