Hiking For Friendly’s Celebration!!

26 04 2018

celebration-2.jpgCherry and I returned to the “scene of the crime” where our Friendly’s adventures began, in Cromwell, CT. Surrounded by family and friends, we recounted our story of visiting 22 Connecticut Friendly’s and our associated hikes.

celebration-1.jpgCromwell’s manager Sean and his excellent staff took good care of us, with complimentary sundaes and goodie bags from Corporate Headquarters.

celebration-4.jpgWe all had Friendly’s memories and stories to share and a chance to reunite with long-time friends and cross-pollinate with others.

celebration-5.jpgThe perfect activities for a gloomy, rainy afternoon!

celebration-3.jpgThank you, Cromwell Friendly’s, all the other Connecticut stores, and Headquarters for making a memorable day!

celebration-6.jpg

 

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Mattabesset River Trail, Middletown and Cromwell Friendly’s

6 03 2016

4 March 2016

Cherry and I are back to exploring trails and hiking for Friendly’s. Today was in the thirties with a dusting of snow, but we were no deterred. We headed to northern Middletown to check out the multi-use trail along the Mattabesset River. After leaving one car at the Cromwell Friendly’s, we couldn’t locate the trail head at the cul-de-sac on Tuttle Place. We tried a few other side roads until we found a lovely entrance on Moss Glen. Meanwhile, we were catching up in the car on our lives since our last encounter.

Mattabesett River 04.04.16Heading down to the river, there was a slight sheen of snow on the paved bike path. We headed west when we reached the main route and enjoyed walking along the Mattabesset, under West Road, and along condos in the Westlake area. Cherry noted that she was thrilled that her nominee for a local award had been approved, particularly since news of the nomination had leaked out. We turned back at Westlake Drive, about a mile, and took a grassy path around a pond there, where we scared up a pair of mallards. A series of rickety wooden bridges crossed the wetlands but the dismal condition of one forced us to walk through a parking lot to return to the bike path and head east. I talked about my latest assignment in the city arts office.

Passing our entry point from Moss Glen, we continued to the trail head at Tuttle Place, which was blatantly obvious once we knew where to look. Interestingly, a “For Sale” sign that had been lying on the ground was now nailed back on a pair of four-by-fours. Cherry shared that a woman she’d met on retreat was so taken by Cherry’s butterfly garden plans that she’d made a donation, despite her limited funds, as this woman had lost her son and had a husband suffering from dementia.

Grateful for finding the proper trail head, we viewed the “rest area” and map and returned to the car. The entire trip took about an hour and a half and was four miles total. By then, the sun was peeking through clouds, although the air was still chilly.

Looking forward to visiting our first (and favorite?) Friendly’s, we were disappointed to find there was no toilet paper or towels in the ladies’ bathroom. Waiting a few minutes to be seated, we noticed a long table in the back still uncleared from breakfast. Once seated, we chatted quite a bit before finally getting to our order, which our young waiter with a hair wave graciously took. We talked about my upcoming trip to Costa Rica with my traveling friends, The Jeffs, we covered Cherry’s plans to furnish an needy person’s home, and we reviewed our enneagram types. It also turns out that I forgot to tell Cherry about my upcoming ecotherapy class at Connecticut Forest and Park Association or being discovered by yet another one of Thomas and Victoria Williams’s descendants.

Lunch came and surprisingly, my BACON & SWISS TURKEY BURGER (All-white-meat Turkey burger topped with melted Swiss cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, fresh lettuce, tomato, Honey Mustard, and mayo on a grilled Brioche roll) came without bacon. Not a huge deal, but it did detract a bit from the experience. Friendly’s has new (to us) tablets at each table for ordering, paying, and playing games. We weren’t able to use the new toy because of specifics of our order (our senior meals came with free sundaes), but they looked interesting.

And so did our sundaes, both of us getting forbidden chocolate with hot fudge. Yum. We talked about friends who needed visits and our efforts to provide support. We shared that each of us had plans following this adventure that included MORE food or drink! Finally, it was time to head in our separate directions, both of us satiated with our food and conversation. But just as important was our time outside that we both agreed was therapeutic and rewarding.

 





Hiking for Friendly’s: Portland Airline Trail and Cromwell Friendly’s

20 07 2015

June 8, 2015

Portland Airline trail CT Trails day

CT Trails Day

Cherry and I decide to hike a new stretch of the Airline Trail in Portland that was highlighted on CT Trails Day. I checked with a local volunteer about parking details, we leave one car where the trail and power line crosses Depot Hill Road, and head back to Camp Ingersoll on Route 66 to start our two-mile trek.

We have trouble finding the trail head, although we do encounter the camp’s dump for the camp and numerous ATV trails. Eventually, we find ourselves headed in the right direction, primarily under the power line. The trail isn’t bike-ready but is certainly easy for walking.

One large puddle is filled with tadpoles that we hope will mature before they run out of water. Before you know it, with talks about summer plans and our steady pace, we are at our second car. Nothing to it, we laugh.

And then we are off to Friendly’s in Cromwell. The friendly waitress aims to please. We are her first customers of the day, as it is just past 11:00AM and we want lunch. No problem for her. Coffee for Cherry, and then we decide to split the $5 burger and focus our energy on dessert. The burger comes neatly divided on two plates, with two adorable French fry holders, lined with paper napkins, each with half an order.

When it’s time to order dessert, I notice that my two favorite ice cream flavors, chocolate almond chip and pistachio, aren’t included in the menu choices for sundaes. No problem for our waitress; she cracks open a half gallon of each from the freezer. My grandmother was working in an ice cream shop when my grandfather-to-be came in for a chocolate cone. She preferred pistachio and through some interesting genetic quirk, I’ve followed this tradition even though I learned of the story much later in life.

We joke about this hike/Friendly’s connection and then get serious. We both have great memories of times at Friendly’s and decide to try out the idea of hiking near a Connecticut Friendly’s and then having lunch. Will keep you posted.