August 3, 2012

One Year of Stefcations

Me and Reba, my retired racing greyhound,
hanging at home in Connecticut.
Dearest Stefcations readers,

It's been a year since I started this blog. Happy anniversary to me! It's been a fun and enlightening road, and I have learned a couple of things along the way:

(1) Connecticut doesn't completely suck.

I can't believe I just said that.

That's right, hanging with
Apolo Anton Ohno this past year.
But really, for me, this has been nothing short of a revelation.

I grew up here. I went to college here. I have spent most of my adult life here (save for a short stint in NYC). My husband and I bought our first house - and then our next house - here. If you'd told the teenage Stef that she was going to do these things, she would've laughed. Or cried. Or punched you in the face.

Alas, here I am, still living in Connecticut. So what have I learned? That it's actually not so bad. Sure, you can't typically order up Thai food to be delivered at 3 a.m. You are not likely to bask under palm trees or enjoy year-round weather in the 70s. For heaven's sake, Sunday liquor purchases became legal only a few short months ago. So no, it's not the wildest or craziest place around.
Auditioning for Family Feud
earlier this year with my fam.

All that said, there's still plenty to do; as with anything else, it's truly what you make of it.*

Even after a year of recording some of my most enjoyable Connecticut-area outings here on this blog, I've found there are endless other, unexpected adventures to be had, restaurants to be visited, and lovely and interesting sights to see.

Checking out my first
roller derby bout this year.
Need proof? Behold the photos throughout this post.

* Disclaimer: This is not to say I'm staying permanently ... I'm not entirely past the no-palm-trees thing.

(2) Social media doesn't completely suck.

Another major revelation for moi.

Once upon a time - not so long ago - I wondered what on Earth possessed so many people to spend so much of their precious time in the realm of social media.

Enjoying afternoon tea
at Tea Roses in Cromwell.
I was a hater, and I readily admit it. But I have seen the light, and so I thank you. (After all, it's folks like you - who have checked out my blog, who share my posts with their friends on Facebook, and with whom I've tweeted - who have led me to see the error of my ways.)

It's been refreshing to connect with old friends on Facebook and a pleasant surprise to discover so many creative, wonderful people on Twitter. I even have a Foursquare account, people.

A lovely day spent
at Hammonasset Beach State Park.
And, lo and behold, this blog has been a great way to open up to the world - which turned out to be nowhere near as scary as I'd initially assumed.

(3) It's OK to change your mind.

As a teenager, I disparaged Connecticut to no end, swore I'd escape as soon as humanly possible.

As an adult, I disparaged Connecticut to no end ... and then extended that to include Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

But sometimes you just have to give things a chance. As you can see, I've come around.

Fun drinks at
Glastonbury's Rooftop 120.
One of my favorite quotations of all time has long been the following:

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

It's one idea that I never seem to outgrow ... which, I guess, is the point - to keep growing, to keep finding new ways to contradict oneself.

Amazing Indian feast
at Bollywood Grill in Glastonbury.
Which brings me to one last piece of business: My hiatus from blogging.

I'm heading out tomorrow for a trip to South Africa. No, I'm not pulling a Dave Chappelle, but Stefcations is taking an extended Stefcation. So this blog may be back in a few weeks, or it may not return at all; I'm not yet decided.

No matter where things end up, I did want to thank you reader peeps for making it a fun year. For teaching stubborn little ol' me things I didn't even realize were worth learning. For giving me a reason and an opportunity to sing a little song of myself, as it were.

A night out with my mom
(one of my faithful blog readers)
to see Norah Jones.
In my very first post, I declared my intention to connect a few cool people with more than a few cool places to see and things to do in Connecticut and beyond. I hope I've accomplished that.

Thanks so much for reading.