We did it. We really did it. For the first time in our lives, we didn’t exchange Christmas gifts. It was a bold (and more difficult than expected) move, but one that we thought we needed to do.
If you haven’t noticed, the exchanging of Christmas gifts has…well, lost something throughout the years. I notice it more and more as time goes on. Throughout each year, we seem to take quite good care of ourselves, which leaves little to be desired towards the holiday seasons. Instead of falling into the cyclical trap again this year, we decided that it would be best to enjoy a relaxing evening together. No presents, no stress, no guilt. All we wanted was to go someplace nice for a quiet dinner to talk amongst ourselves.
That is exactly what we did.
Last night, I decided to make this one of those really long posts. When I woke up this morning, I felt the same way. There really is so much to write. As I sit now typing away, I think I am going to cut it short. The reason I am going to do this is because I have quite a few pictures, and I don’t really want to dilute my message; the message about our dinner. Perhaps I will discuss our trip through Southbury, Woodbury and Washington another day. I’ll still include the few photos I took of those areas in this post though.
Okay, so we took off around 4PM for our 6PM reservation at the Mayflower Inn in Washington, CT. Washington, CT is probably most famous for the Mayflower Inn and the Gunnery. The Gunnery is a private 9-12 private school and is located across the street from the Mayflower. When I look at the area on Live Maps, I always confuse the two, because of the similar architecture of their main buildings.
The ride was pretty non-eventful getting out of the Hartford area. One thing I did notice was a ski mountain that I never knew existed. It’s right next to where 691 intersects with Interstate 84. I’ll have to find out the name to that one. We made it through Waterbury and got off the Southbury (Rt.6) exit.
Now, this drives Laura absolutely nuts. A long time ago, we drove over to Southbury, CT to check out a motorcycle I thought I wanted to buy. It was dark outside, but the location has been festering in my mind ever since. The area was really nice and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. We drove around a bit last night, but I could tell that I was boring my lady, so I stopped the search. This all happened on our way back, so we were probably more interested in getting one the highway anyway.
Either way, the Southbury, Woodbury, Washington area is really fun to drive through. Woodbury is antique central and offers those great sidewalks that sit back from the road. It’s a great walking town and is truly New England. It sort of reminds me of Ridgefield, CT. Washington is situated so far back in the woods, it actually hard to find. If you are wealthy and privacy is your middle name, Washington is your town.
We have been to Washington many times, but have never taken Washington Road from Woodbury to get there. Let me tell you, it was quite the trip. At one point, I didn’t think the mountain we were climbing would ever end. It doesn’t matter which way you get there (from New Milford, Brookfield, New Preston or Woodbury), you are bound to drive through some pretty tight roads. The darkness of winter doesn’t help much. The good part about the trip is that when you finally arrive, it is usually a pleasant surprise. It never gets old and there is always something new to discover.
We pulled in the parking lot of the Mayflower Inn at about 5:20PM. I snagged a sweet parking spot right up front and we climbed out of the car to head inside. The first thing I did once we got out of the car was to pull out the camera. I took a quick shot of the walkway going up to the spa.
What’s very nice about the Mayflower is the service. I don’t think we have ever been there and haven’t had the front door opened for us. Although, all of the “Hello”s, “Merry Christmas”s and “Can I get you something”s puts me a little on edge. It is really very welcoming, but being the home town boy that I am, I am just used to doing it myself. It’s still hard for me to let anyone do anything for me, even if it is their job.
Since we were a bit early, we decided to head straight for the library. I mentioned my love for the library in one of my previous posts. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but I’m sure the fireplace, warm colors and cozy seat below the large window helps. I took a few pictures of it, since I knew you would be just dying to see what I am talking about.
It felt great to relax in there for a little while. The best part was that no one in the entire inn came into the library when we were there, before and after dinner.
After checking out some books for a few minutes, we wandered over to the bar area, where we ordered a Samuel Adams Oatmeal Stout and a Victory Donnybrook Stout. I liked the Outmeal Stout, while Laura enjoyed the Victory Stout. That may have been because those are the ones we chose.
We sat and talked for a while and decided to do a little exploring. We got up and walked out to the porch. It’s a bit odd walking around on a completely heated porch in the middle of winter, but really cool at the same time. The inn encased the entire porch in double paned glass to keep it heated and cooled year round. There were tables and chairs set up for the entire span.
After we wandered around for a little while, I decided to go back up front to grab a few quick shots. Dinner was about to begin, so I had to put the camera away. Here is what I got.
Okay, I got that out of the way, so we were ready for dinner. We walked in the to main dining room and sat at our usual table. It’s the one in the right, rear corner. During the day, you can look out the window at the garden. At night time, you face the seats so you are looking at the rest of the dining room.
I am not going to say much about dinner, except the fact that it was delicious. The only complaint that I had is that I couldn’t have another…everything. The dessert was especially annoying to finish. I kept scraping the plate with my spoon in an effort to get every last bit. It was good. It’s rare to find food that good, it really is.
About an hour and a half later, we left the dinging room to head back to the library. Once we got back in, Laura spent her time browsing the walls for some good books to flip through. My eyes kept wandering around to see how the fireplace worked and how everything was put together. At one point, I picked up a few books myself. I found a set of really neat books called, “The Historians’ History of the World.” These books were very thick and very ancient. By ancient, I mean 100 years, not a million. I decided that someone should buy me the set of these; they looked very interesting. It would make for some good bed-time reading.
If you’ll notice, I didn’t drink a glass of Scotch. That might be because I haven’t found my flavor yet or because I didn’t want to smell like a bottle of liquor while driving down the road. Either are good excuses.
After a while, we decided it was time to head up to Washington and take a little tour. We got in the car and made a right out of the parking lot. We made it to the top of the hill and didn’t see a soul. It’s a very quiet and well behaved town on Christmas night, I suppose. We made a quick left, when I thought we should turn around. As I was turning, I looked to my left and saw an enormous church. I had to take a picture of it, so you would see what I am talking about.
Now, this is a serious church. They aren’t messing around. This is like the “center of town” church. I thought it looked really cool, especially being that is was Christmas night.
We continued down the hill to pass the entrance to the Gunnery…
After that, we made a few wrong turns, but eventually made it back out to the main road.
I’m almost done, but there is one other photo I took that is pretty neat. On the way back, we passed by the Woodbury Ski Area. Now, you know me and I can’t pass up an opportunity to take a picture of something so lit up as this. Here is a shot of some night time skiing.
Well, there aren’t many people skiing, but I am sure you can imagine what it would be like if there was.
That’s my Chirstmas post. I hope you liked it as much as we liked living it. Till next time…