This past summer I returned to America where I stayed with family, finished up some business, and ate a bunch of super nommy delights. My sister is an amazing chef, having both a culinary degree and a ton of back-of-the-house experience, so I was pretty lucky to be staying with her. She has a small furry sidekick who does a lot of the tastings, but mostly just sits around looking way too cute.
All of this occurred in the tiny east coast state of Connecticut, a place I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with. I was so miserable when my parents moved us there as a kid and couldn't wait to leave when I graduated high school. But years later I went back to teach at an amazing youth summer camp and fell in love with Connecticut again. Now I have quite a bit of family there and friends from high school, so it's always nice to visit even though I'd never want to live there again.
One of the beautiful natural areas of Connecticut is White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, about a 1/2 hour from Waterbury. This protected park has over 40 miles of hiking trails, most of which seem fairly accessible to a wide variety of abilities. We headed down several trails, including the Ice House Ruins Trail, which winds through the ruins of a commercial ice harvesting factory that was in operation about a century ago. This trail is about a mile long and takes you to the Lake Trail that heads to an overlook of Bantam Lake.