Here are the things I knew about Farmington before I got there:
1. It's in Connecticut.
2. It's where Miss Porter's is.
3. It's where the Lewis Walpole Library is.
4. I would absolutely need a car.
All of those are true, but it actually ended up being on of my favorite stops on my trip.
First, what is the Lewis Walpole Library?
From their website:
The Lewis Walpole Library, a department of the Yale University Library since 1980, is an internationally recognized research collection in the field of British eighteenth-century studies. Its unrivalled collection of Walpoliana includes half the traceable volumes from Horace Walpole's famous library at Strawberry Hill and many letters and other manuscripts by him. The Library's book and manuscript collections, numbering over 32,000 volumes, cover all aspects of eighteenth-century British culture.
The Library is also home to the largest and finest collection of eighteenth-century British graphic art outside the British Museum; its 35,000 satirical prints, portraits, and topographical views are an incomparable resource for visual material on many facets of English life of the period.
Located in Farmington, Connecticut, forty miles north of New Haven and within easy distance of Boston and New York, the Lewis Walpole Library's collections also include drawings, paintings, and furniture, all housed on a fourteen-acre campus with four historically important structures and extensive grounds. The Library runs an active fellowship program and sponsors conferences, lectures, and exhibitions in cooperation with other Yale libraries and departments.
It's also, honestly, my favorite archive I've ever visited. Incredibly helpful and knowledgable staff, great people, a great collection, and the best research library I've ever worked in. Also, they let me stay in their scholar's residence, the Root House, which is one of the nicest houses I've ever been in.
I only got pictures of the grounds, but they're gorgeous as well:
Central Connecticut actually kind of reminds me of the Ozarks. Super hilly, very green.
Oh, and I got pics of the inside of the house. Including the creepy statue you could just see from the corner of your eye when you walked in.
Research aside, I also saw a lot of interesting sites near Farmington, and found some great places for photography.
The largest Sycamore tree in Connecticut.
The pretty bridge and river next to the largest sycamore tree in Connecticut.
I also went to beach and to Mystic, CT, but that's in the next post!
While I was in Farmington, I also ate a TON.
One of my favorite places was Wood-n-Tap.
Where I used valet parking for the first time.
I mean, I was driving Steely Van, so I needed help.
I asked for a compact. I got an 8 person van. Steely Van.
Wood-n-Tap is awesome.
I also took advantage of Happy Hour and got Spinach Artichoke Dip, but I ate it before I thought to take a pic.
I checked in on Yelp, and got a free dessert, so I went with the Madagascar Fudge Nut Brownie. So good! And the dessert menu is called Tappy Endings, so my craving for dirt puns was met as well.
I went to New Britain one day, just outside of Farmington, and went to the mall. And to Cheesecake Factory!
Avocado egg rolls. My cousin Curt's favorite.
Louisiana Chicken Pasta.
Coffee and cake.
I went during happy hour so I got all this for like $31 with tip. And had enough leftovers for 3 more meals.
I also went to Central Cafe, in nearby Planville, to get some Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings.
They were amazing. I was NOT impressed with the bar (see my yelp review) but the wings were some of the best I've ever had. And they made good breakfast for the next 2 days.
(There was also a Starbucks incident that began with me seeing a girl's bits when she stormed out in a far too short miniskirt and ended with me listening in to the story of Greg and Sarah's tropical honeymoon that cost something around $2K a night. They were right next to me, so of course I eavesdropped. After the first "well we were in the best suite..." comment I was hooked.
I got some frozen yogurt one day.
And ate my lunch by a lake another.
(On my beach towel, which I will now take everywhere with me.)
Overall, Connecticut is beautiful, and, I can't wait to go back to Farmington!
Bonus: I need to! Best. Archive. Ever.