Hometown Tour; or Fritter Madness

This weekend I celebrated sweater weather (again) with a few friends who spend most of their time on the mean streets of NYC. Dave, Pat, and Jess headed up from the city and we kicked off our weekend with a trip to the Old Cider Mill in Glastonbury.

We, no doubt, have a goat-borne disease now.

Pat got to ride a tractor, we fed some goats, and we bought some apple fritters and donuts. Here’s the thing, though: Dave and I consider ourselves to be fritter connoisseurs and what are being passed off as fritters at the cider mill are really just mini-donuts. The overgrown grass, lack of many farm animals, and rapidly deteriorating condition of the mill itself combined with the lack of real fritters was, well, shameful. Dave and I were there to show off our hometown, and our fritters, and instead we ended up feeding mini-donuts to a couple of lonely looking goats.

So we headed off to the Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival. Dave and I spent a lot of time talking about the old days when the festival was held in the center of town, and there were bed races. When I was a kid, the Apple Fest was one of the highlights of my year. These days, though, it’s an awful, muddy mess down near the community center with booth after booth of crap that I don’t want to buy. Maybe it takes more to amuse me now that I’m not 11, but there was one big highlight: a fritter booth. And these were real fritters…

Once we’d gotten ourselves thoroughly muddy, we headed off. Dave and Jess went to a wedding while Pat and I continued the fall festivities with a little apple picking at Scott’s Orchard & Nursery. I haven’t done this since I was a kid, and frankly, I was excited. Apple picking may be a scam but it’s an absolutely lovely way to spend a fall afternoon. Orchards are plenty beautiful, but even better are the hills that surround them–the beautiful, fiery hills. So after our apple-picking adventure, I took Pat on a tour through town. We went to the top of Belltown to see the view of Hartford and down to Tryon Street to see the river. And on our travels we found out that Glastonbury has gone fritter happy. Just about every farm stand we drove by had a sign advertising their fritters–something I’d never really noticed in years past. I’d like to take credit for this, since I couldn’t stop talking about fritters on the CMS last month.

Some hours later after checking in at the Crowne Plaza, a surreal trip to Blue Black Square, and sub-par sushi at Szechuan

I admit it: I was too smitten with King Richard & his pretty queen to look at the camera.

Tokyo, Pat and I found Jess and Dave again. With a couple more folks in tow we headed over to the Pig’s Eye. The last time I can remember going to the Pig’s Eye was several years ago, the night before Thanksgiving. After standing in line for far too long, I gave up and went to a diner. But on this particular evening it wasn’t very crowded, and–as is usually the case–it was a bit of a Glastonbury High School reunion. But with 2 for $5 PBR and a friend with a bottle of whiskey hidden in her purse, it’s easy to forget about all the annoying people you never wanted to see again. Add a stop at Vaughan’s and some elk blood and before you know it, you’re waking up in your clothes in a room filled with other sleeping people, one of whom is muttering, “Did anyone see the guy who took a shit in my mouth?”

But our hometown tour was not yet complete, so we had no choice but to rally, get ourselves in the car, and head north to King Richard’s Renaissance Faire. Now, it would have been more CuT-like of me to go to Connecticut’s renaissance faire, but it didn’t fit in with the hometown tour theme, so we headed to Pat’s neck of the woods, to hang out with people who would no doubt be painfully jealous if they knew I’m a direct descendant of Aragorn and Arwen. (If my skin isn’t proof enough, I’d be happy to show you my pointy ears.) I was expecting it to be something like this:


Dave really wanted to rent costumes, and I kinda liked the idea of getting dolled up like a wench. But, alas, after seeing the folks who were likely to have worn the costumes before us, we decided against it. The guys enjoyed some turkey legs — or, if you believe the random man next to us, emu legs — and I had to fight the urge to buy a crown. (Pat still thinks it was a mistake that I didn’t; he thinks I could be “the girl with crown around town.”) But I just couldn’t bare to break my Stuff Boycott, or officially join the ranks of these people:


After we watched the  truly pathetic jousting match (I could have taken either of them), we headed out to Mendon, MA: hometown #2. Mendon owes Hartford a great debt. Because we had spent what’s left of our dwindling youthful, foolhardy energy getting belligerent in Hartford, by the time we made it to Mendon we only had the energy for a few beers, some video games, and Monopoly in Pat’s parents’ basement. And instead of  waking up to a bunch of booze-smelling drunks, we woke up to an excited, chubby Labrador named Curtis. We ate some bagels, got in the car, and headed south toward real life, once again…enjoying the foliage along the way.