Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Big E

The Big E, the largest fair in the Northeast, takes place in West Springfield, Mass and runs from September 12th through the 28th, so if you haven't been, there is still one week to go. Visit the Midway for daily parades, attend concerts, go on thrilling rides, shop at Craft Common, and so much more. And, be sure to visit my favorite, The Avenue of the States.

Each of the New England Buildings is a scaled-down version of the original State House, and you'll want to experience all the exhibits and goodies unique to each state. In the Connecticut building, don't miss "Love to Read Connecticut Authors", a book store sponsored by Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association (CAPA.) If you visited last year, look for us on the opposite side of the room in a much larger space with room to browse the 115 titles representing 62 Connecticut authors.

I will be there signing my book, Cruising Connecticut with a Picnic Basket on Thursday, September 25th from 10-3:30 and 6-9 and would love to meet you. Sharing the booth with me from 6-9 will be Patricia Sheehy with her two novels, plus her latest book, Giving with Meaning Please stop by to say hello.

What will I be doing during my down time, from 3:30 to 6:00? Why, stuffing myself with all the great food of course ~ Maine baked potato, Vermont's fresh blueberry pie, seafood from Rhode Island ~ well, you get the idea. Oh, and I can't forget my once-a-year Creme Puff, The Big E's signature dessert found in the New England Center, plus a bag of the best kettle corn ever, popped outside the back of the one of the New England buildings. Actually, since I discovered last year that kettle corn can be frozen with no loss of flavor, make that two, to go!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Picnic Season is Far From Over

September is a bittersweet month for me. I find it hard to flip the calendar from August to September without bemoaning the fact that the carefree days of summer seemed to fly by ~ again, and sad there were so many events I did not get to. On the other hand, September has some lovely warm days with comfortable cooling breezes, plus the state's breathtaking foliage is on this month's heels. And, best of all, both months are great for picnicking. Now, this is a happy thought.

Speaking of picnics, I recently happened upon an interesting website,, which bills itself as the "webs foremost authority on picnics and picnic planning." Check out the various topics, such as Free Picnic Table Plans, Picnic Products Guide, Picnic Baskets, Picnic Games & Ideas, and Free Cookbook.

One of the most interesting topics for me, under a heading titled Picnic Related, is Find a Picnic Area, which brings up a map listing 109 locations in America to picnic. You simply find a state and click on a flag for a pop-up of the destination. Imagine my surprise when I clicked on Connecticut and found zero destinations. I thought, how can this be, there are so many wonderful spots to picnic in this state! But, I rectified this omission when I saw an invitation to send in your favorite picnic area. And, when I checked back a short time later, there was my blurb about Gillette Castle State Park. No doubt I will send in more suggestions, and perhaps some of my readers will do the same, no matter where you live.

Most important ~ while the weather is still nice ~ get out there and PICNIC!