'Tis the Season to be Jolly

Last weekend, Kate and I headed up to Connecticut to meet up with Reed and visit Maple Row Farm, a Christmas tree farm near Fairfield! Growing up in Florida, I had never been to a Christmas tree farm before and I didn't even realize how popular the tradition is. Apparently families all over the place head to their nearby Christmas tree farms every winter to pick out the perfect tree and chop it down themselves. While we weren't chopping down any trees, it was certainly fun to see all the families and friends in the holiday spirit trekking around the rows in pursuit of their tree. There were also so many dogs, I just wanted to pet them all. While driving around the area we blasted holiday music and sang along gleefully down the twisty roads. 

Before the farm, we'd stopped at Terrain in Westport for food, a super trendy store and cafe that had a delicious brunch! After the farm, Reed drove us to his hometown where we stopped for yummy hot chocolate to warm up then met his two bear-dogs, AKA his Newfoundlands. They were so cute and fluffy and even bigger than I'd expected. After Newtown, it was time to head back to the city, but it was such a fun way to spend the day and really make it feel like Christmastime. I'm always struck by how much New England feels like the stereotypical normal America, like the place I always imagined to be where every normal American family would live, likely because it's the setting of most movies and shows I saw growing up. It feels all at once completely foreign and utterly familiar, as if I recognize it all from seeing it so often portrayed in movies but I could never imagine myself growing up a part of it despite having wished so many times growing up that I could have that normal setting. Florida is a very atypical place to grow up and it's hard to compare it to that Northeastern life, but it's funny how I always felt I'd had an abnormal childhood in Florida yet what I pictured as the regular childhood now feels so weird and exotic to me...

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