Thursday, June 23, 2016

Field Trip!

Yesterday our local senior group went on a field trip--also known as their Mystery Trip. We signed up a couple of months ago, paid a fee and gave them our choice of food we would like to eat and then we put our lives in their hands as they take us via bus to who knows where.

Since George and I do a lot of local site seeing, it is a gamble that we are going to end up somewhere we have already been. We lucked out for the first part of the trip yesterday. We were treated to a unique opportunity to go up inside the dome of the Colt building in Hartford. We drive by this all the time (also known as the blue onion dome) and know that it was the home of Colt Fire Arms once upon a time. Part of it has been converted to apartments with more rental units to be built.

This has become part of the National Park system and they are going to build a museum about the Colt Fire Arms on the property and hopefully will still have tours, but in a more sophisticated manner. I was very surprised the route this group of seniors went to get up to the top of the dome. In the picture, the right front is where the museum will be and will hopefully be completed in three years.

To arrive at the top of the dome, you first take an elevator to the 5th floor and then quietly walk down the corridors of the apartment doors.

At the end of one of the corridors is a locked door through which our guide obtained us access. There we walked along a boardwalk through the attic of this building.

Along the way we saw interesting windows and doors.

These were the stairs we had to take to get inside the dome:

Then the view from the top, certainly worth the interesting walk:

And now whenever we drive by the dome on the highway, we will say, "We've been up there!"

The stairs were tricky when you first get to the top--having to grab a handle and a pipe and step up and over, and the same on the way down, but this group of seniors did it without a hitch.

Our tour guide then got on our bus and pointed out some interesting buildings in the city. These are just random pictures of buildings that I took the opportunity to photograph. I felt better in a bus than taking pictures than in a car when people might think it strange. There are so many interesting buildings in Hartford.

Noticing an abundance of willows on his property, Samuel Colt decided to open a factory to make willow furniture. Germany was known for the best willow workers, so he imported an entire village of them, building the cottages fashioned after their homes in Germany to make them feel comfortable. These were known as Potsdam Village. These are two that remain today.

This is a spot where someone saw Jesus in a tree. People came from all around and put crosses and such. I couldn't get  better picture of the shrine items.

 The Colt Dome in the distance, and I believe the statues behind the trees were of the Colt family.

 Other buildings in Hartford:

Well behaved field trip participants:

We ate a delicious and elegant meal at Carbone's.

After that we boarded the bus for our second mystery stop, Cedar Hill Cemetery. This is was the part of the trip that we had been to before (our first letter boxing lesson happened here), but it was worth seeing again and I would like to return too. We stayed on the bus as our guide pointed out the graves of some of Connecticut's famous residents. That was interesting but I also was in awe of so many of the monuments and elaborate grave stones.

 This is Katherine Hepburn's grave site:

Couldn't get to take a picture at the angle where you can see the cross cut out in the middle.

There are a couple of ponds on the grounds.

It was a beautiful day. Mystery solved.

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