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Let the Stars Guide You

IN CONNECTICUT, THERE’S A PLACE TO BE AND SOMETHING TO DO, FOR CRABS, GOATS, PERFECTIONISTS AND EVEN FISH

Let the Stars be Your Guide and Match a Visit to Connecticut with Your Astrological Sign

Is there a ‘King of the Universe’ in your life that makes their presence known through their mighty roars? Or perhaps you have the strength and determination of a ‘bull’ (yet NEVER ‘bullheaded’!)? This year, let the stars, moon and sun guide the way to a vacation fit for the ‘Pisces Fish’ in all of us in Connecticut.

The wonderful thing about astrological signs is that the positive traits belong to us; the negative characteristics belong to everyone else. So, to help plan an upcoming weekend getaway or longer vacation, Connecticut suggests some things to do, places to go and stay to match the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Those introspectively honest enough may just discover the ‘positively’ perfect escape.

Aries (March 21 – April 20)
Stand aside; this fire sign, the first in the Zodiac, waits for no man or woman. This is the comet of the universe: powerful, impatient and always on energy overload. For Aries, life is a battle to be won, and often won loudly. Give them a challenge.

How about the Skip Barber Racing School? This is where several Andrettis, one third of all Indy 500 competitors, and Paul Newman
(among other celebrities) learned to race automobiles. Introductory lessons and other more advanced courses are offered at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville. For information visit www.skipbarber.com. Racing enthusiasts will also enjoy the 38th Annual Mohegan Sun Grand Prix and NASCAR Busch North 200, one of the country’s biggest racing events, at Lime Rock, May 27-30. Lime Rock also hosts the 2nd Annual American Le Mans Series – New England Grand Prix on July 1-4 (800-RACE-LRP).

Taurus (April 21 – May 20)
Put your head down and move forward: that’s the motto of this earth sign, the bull. These are people with a practical nature; often gentle and patient, always stubborn and not appreciative of sudden changes. You may want to tell the Taurus in your life to take a hike. So why not?

The bull in your life, or in you, will love Connecticut’s ‘For Serious Hikers Only‘ Getaway. Begin at Bull’s bridge in South Kent and follow part of the longest river walk on the Appalachian Trail to Ten Mile River Gorge, with its spectacular views of the Litchfield Hills. Other highlights include Prospect Mountain, the Iron History Trail and the Under Mountain Trail through rugged forests to the summit of Bear Mountain. An overnight in one of the Salisbury area’s many B&B’s or country inns is recommended. For complete information on the ‘For Serious Hikers Only’ Getaway, one of 52 offered by the State, visit http://www.ctbound.org/GetAways.asp.

Another trail that may be of interest to Taurus is the Connecticut Wine Trail. Steeped in New England charm, it encompasses Brookfield, Litchfield, Clinton, Mystic, and the Stoningtons, offering wine to sample and buy along the way. And no vineyard is more than a popping champagne
cork from a comfortable B&B, country inn or elegant resort. For more information, visit www.ctwine.com.

Gemini (May 21 – June 21)
There is a reason Gemini, an air sign, is represented by a pair of twins: it takes two people to contain the mercurial energy, the curiosity and restless intellect of this air sign, which, unfortunately is often accompanied by exhausting flightiness and nervous energy. In planning a Gemini vacation, it’s best to include serious stimulation.

Consider an ‘Adventure in Time Travel.’ Encompassing the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, this journey through Connecticut, another of the State’s 52 Getaways, features the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, the premiere museum for the exploration of Connecticut’s Native American heritage; the historic fishing village of Stonington, home of the state’s last fishing fleet; the incomparable
Mystic Seaport, the museum of America and the Sea; and the Mark Twain House in Hartford. An overnight at Randall’s Ordinary provides both a good open hearth-cooked meal and a fascinating glimpse of 17th century New England. For more information, visit http://www.ctbound.org/GetAways.asp.

Or plan a visit to the 48th Annual Guilford
Handcrafts Exposition this July 14 – 16. This premier outdoor show features handcrafted items by 170 artists from across the United States showcasing an array of the finest in handmade American crafts including baskets, ceramics, fiber, glass, leather, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paper, wood, furniture and sculpture. Sure to keep even the most restless stimulated. Exposition is open Thursday – Friday 12 – 9, Saturday 10 – 7. Adults $7, seniors $5, children (12 and under) free, (203-453-5947).

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)
A water sign ruled by the moon – as in lunatic – the Cancer’s moodiness and
emotions are compensated by a love of family, a strong imagination and empathy for others. Often more interested in staying home than traveling, Cancers (also known as ‘the crab’) need to be cajoled, encouraged and possibly pampered.
Including the kids on the trip always helps.

Connecticut is full of family adventures. Depending on the time of year, there are the beaches of coastal Connecticut or tube rides on the Farmington River at Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation (www.farmingtonrivertubing.com) area. Huck Finn Adventures (860-693-0385) offers floats down the river with a picnic at the largest tree in the state and an excursion to an Indian cave. The Mystic region is one of America’s leading family vacation destinations, offering the Mystic Seaport – a day’s adventure in itself (860-572-5315), the Mystic Aquarium (860-572-5955), day cruises on Long Island Sound and a myriad of other activities. Many of the hotels and inns in the Mystic area offer family packages that include accommodations and admission to many of the attractions. The Hilton
Mystic
(860-572-0731) and the Mystic Marriott (860-446-2600) are two that do.

Other family-oriented attractions include the Essex Steam Train and River Boat (860-767-0103), featuring authentic steam train rides and a cruise up the Connecticut River, and Lake Compounce Theme Park (860-583-3300), where one of the rides, the Boulder Dash, was voted the #1 wooden roller coaster in the world. For more information about family activities and accommodations in Connecticut, visit www.ctbound.org.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
This fire sign, the lion, may be proud but the roar often conceals a fragile soul that needs attention. Give them a place where they can strut their stuff, and hide their insecurities in nonstop action.

There are no better vacation destinations in Connecticut for a Leo than two of the country’s largest and most exciting gaming
resorts: Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun Resort. Close enough that both can become part of the same weekend, these resorts provide everything from themed dining to live, world-class entertainment and sporting events to a choice of accommodations. Foxwoods (800-FOXWOODS; www.foxwoods.com) offers over 6,500 slots and hundreds of gaming tables. Dining choices include Paragon, on the 24th floor of the Pequot Tower; Al Dente, an Italian gourmet restaurant; Cedars Steakhouse; Fox Harbour, noted for its seafood, and Han Garden, offering elegant and authentic Chinese delicacies. Foxwoods’ entertainment includes the Fox Theatre, which has hosted the likes of Bill Cosby and the Dixie Chicks; the Foxwoods Arena, where Luciano Pavarotti entertained thousands, and Club BB King.

Mohegan Sun has recently expanded to include a luxury hotel and numerous restaurants and entertainment venues as well as extensive shopping. The Mohegan Indian-themed resort (888-226-7711; www.mohegansun.com) has over 6,000 slots and 300 gaming tables. Dining options include Jasper White’s Summer Shack, Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, Todd English’s Tuscany, Rain, the Bamboo Forest and Pompeii & Caesar. Entertainment venues
at Mohegan Sun include the Wolf Den, featuring top stars of music; an intimate Cabaret and the 10,000 seat Mohegan Sun Arena, for major national acts and top sporting events.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
What’s wrong with being a perfectionist? Virgo, an earth sign, abides by this philosophy and loves to have everything just ‘so’. Bright, energetic, meticulous – and extremely critical – Virgos are happiest when everything is just right, so why not the classiest of hotels, inns or B&B’s?

The choice of unique and luxurious accommodations in Connecticut is virtually limitless. A sampling includes: The Mayflower Inn, a country house hotel in the beautiful town of Washington, is set
on 28 acres of century-old rhododendrons and stately maples integrated with rare specimen trees, classic New England stone walls, running streams and rolling hills. The inn’s five elegant buildings offer comfort, luxury and activity in a pastoral setting (www.mayflowerinn.com). The 103 room Spa at Norwich Inn is located on 42 country acres in Norwich. Located on the 17th tee of the Norwich Public Golf Course, the well-groomed grounds are filled with perennial gardens and ponds. Oak trees, a reflecting pool and oversized deck compliment the
atmosphere of the world class spa and promote the ultimate in relaxation. With 32 treatment rooms, the spa offers a wide selection of services ranging from traditional massages to a special selection of treatments designed especially
for the award-winning Spa at Norwich Inn (www.thespaatnorwichinn.com).

Other outstanding inns for the Virgo in everyone include the famous Litchfield Inn, an elegant Colonial property in one of the state’s loveliest regions (860-567-4503), and the Inn at Stonington, on the harbor overlooking Fishers Island in one of the state’s most picturesque
villages (860-535-2000).

Libra (September 23 – October 22)
‘On the other hand…’ This air sign is aptly represented by scales. The world’s lawyers must all be Libras; they painstakingly weigh every action and decision. Sweet, gregarious, they are best pampered in a setting where they have to make few decisions as possible.

One option might be a ‘Massage Weekend Special’ at the Inn at Lower Farm B&B in North Stonington. In addition to a lot of care and attention, the package includes two nights in a guest room with a working fireplace, a candlelight breakfast, a complimentary wine basket (no need to ponder the wine list) with a box of chocolates and discount coupons for a Swedish massage. www.lowerfarm.com.

Another is the ‘I’m in Love with Litchfield’ getaway package at Longwood Country Inn in Woodbury. In addition the unspoiled countryside and sophisticated cultural attractions of the area (Woodbury is known as the antiques capital of Connecticut), the two-night program includes accommodations, full breakfasts, a $100 voucher for fine dining at a choice of restaurants, two tickets to several area museums and attractions, including the Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden, maps for walking trails and flowers and chocolates in the room (203-266-0800).

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Scorpio (the scorpion) is intense and powerful. This sharp-minded water sign can be instinctively brilliant and brilliantly critical. Full of hidden passions, it is best to give a Scorpio a chance to break out of the routine and release the pent up emotions.

Let them take the helm of a 61-foot schooner, Brilliant, and learn to sail. Operated by Mystic Seaport, the ship provides the setting for spring and fall weekend programs for adults and multi-day programs for children during the summer (www.visitmysticseaport.org). For those Scorpios who prefer that someone else does the work, there are cruises on the Argia, a replica of a 19th century gaff-rigged schooner between May and October, also
from Mystic (860-536-0416).

Or really escape the world in a hot air balloon. Beaver Brook Hot Air Balloon Services in Cheshire (203-271-2004) and Aer Blarney Balloons in Litchfield (www.aerblarney.com) are two of more than a dozen companies in Connecticut that offer champagne charter flights over the scenic beauty of the countryside.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Sagittarius (the archer) is optimistic and full of life. A fire sign, Sagittarians often blunder through life, saying all the wrong things for all the right reasons. Honest to a fault (sometimes perceived as thoughtless), and usually cheerful, their positive outlook of life is best expressed when they are kept busy learning something.

New theater experiences are always a good choice and Connecticut is full of them. The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford
is a learning community dedicated to advancing American theater using some of the finest new talents in the country. Script-in-hand readings are open to the public during the summer months (860-443-5378). Yale Repertory Theatre (203-432-1234) and the Long Wharf Theatre (203-787-4282), both in New Haven, also are dedicated to new plays, as is the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, a part of Goodspeed Opera House (860-873-8668).

Connecticut’s many Audubon Centers provide much more than an opportunity for birding. Sagittarians will discover a wide variety of educational programs, miles of walking trails and hundreds of acres of untouched nature to explore at the Connecticut Audubon Center at Pomfret (860-928-4948) and others, including in Sharon and Southbury. Another option might be deep-sea and coastal fishing. Charter and party boats put out regularly from Bridgeport and other coastal communities with beginners and experts, all in search of the one that didn’t get away, including bluefish, cod, flounder, shark and tuna. Visit www.ctbound.org for more information.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20)
The goat, an earth sign, needs little explanation; just watch one in a field,
resourcefully devouring everything in sight, patiently devising ways to escape from every enclosure, and butting anything that gets in the way. After kicking up their heels as youngsters, they settle into a somewhat frugal adulthood. So, indulge them with a money-saving vacation.

The Dutch Iris Inn in Granby (860-844-0262) is featuring a ‘Weekend Get-Away from Taxes’ package. Until April 15, guests can enjoy the comforts of the Inn and have their taxes done at the same time by a 17-year veteran of tax preparations. Be sure to bring your receipts.

Through May 22, the Holiday Inn Express in
Waterbury is offering a ‘Palace Theatre Comedy Series,’ which should cheer up the grumpiest goat. With each overnight stay, guests receive complimentary breakfast and tickets to a choice of shows at the Palace
Theatre
, including Rob Becker’s Defending the Caveman, Capitol Steps, Bill Cosby, and Tim Conway and Harvey Corman: Together Again! Call (203- 575-1500). And, if any further incentive is needed to get the goat traveling, many hotels and other guest accommodations, including Antiques & Accommodations, a restored 1860’s home on the National Register of Historic Places in North Stonington www.antiquesandaccommodations.com, offer significant discounts for old Capricorns (seniors) and those belonging to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Aquarius (January 21 – February 19)
Aquarius, another air sign, is the free spirit of the Zodiac. These are the flower children, the ones who blaze their own trail, whose sharp intuition about the world carries them to unpredictable places. So, don’t cramp their style; put them somewhere where their imagination can soar. That usually means the stimulation of a big city.

New Haven, home to Yale University, is the place for art, history and cosmopolitan pleasures. Museums like the Yale Art
Museum
, the Peabody Museum of Natural History and Yale Center for British Art are world famous (www.theartbeat.org). And the Annual Arts & Ideas New Haven, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year from June 10-25 presents some of the world’s most ‘far-out’ performing and visual arts and innovative thinkers, with theater, music, opera, poetry, puppets and family entertainment (888-ART-IDEA).

The offbeat nature of Aquarians may also respond to the 14th Annual Schemitzun 2005 -Annual Feast of Green Corn and Dance in North Stonington celebrating Native American nations in song, drum and dance contests and educational exhibits. The intertribal pow wow, this year held August 25-28, attracts more than 500 nations (800-224-CORN).

Pisces (February 20 – March 20)
Be gentle with Pisces, a water sign and the 12th in the Zodiac, because they are
easily frightened. These are the folks who buy the Brooklyn Bridge from the guy on the corner; creative, understanding, often sweet and impractical, they tend to swim in many directions. It is best to keep them in their element.

The jewel in the crown of things fishy in Connecticut is the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration in Mystic. This world-famous institution is as much fun as it is educational and features everything from baby alligators to beluga whales and sea lion shows. Robert Ballard, the explorer who found the Titanic, is in charge of the continuing research at the Institution for Exploration (www.mysticaquarium.org). The Maritime Museum at Norwalk offers over 1,000 marine animals that will soothe the jumpiest Pisces, including sharks, seals, jellyfish, sea turtles and river otters. There is also an IMAX movie theater and an Environmental Education Center (www.maritimeaquarium.org). Or drop in on the Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery in Central Village, one of the largest in the East, where 320,000 troutlets are grown every year (860-564-7542).

Pisces will also enjoy Connecticut’s numerous beaches, including Hammonasset Beach State Park, the largest. The two miles of beach include facilities for swimming, camping, picnicking, saltwater fishing,
SCUBA diving and boating. There is also a nature center offering interpretive programs (www.dep.state.ct.us/stateparks). Ocean Beach Park in New London (800-510-SAND) is another popular saltwater recreation area in the state, offering ocean and pool swimming, a health club, children’s rides and playground, miniature golf, a boardwalk, dining and much more. And, New London will host the 28th Annual Sailfest July 8-10 for tall ship enthusiasts. The popular event also features fireworks, entertainment, car shows, a parade and amusement rides (860-713-31310).

It should be noted that whatever the Zodiac sign and whatever the activity selected, Connecticut’s hospitality industry,
including a full range of accommodations and restaurants in every part of the state, is standing by to offer an unbeatable complement to ensure a memorable visit.

For further information about the 52 Getaways to Connecticut, restaurants, resorts, country inns, B&B’s and other places to stay in the Connecticut, please call 800-CTBOUND (800-282-6863) or visit www.ctbound.org. Connecticut offers visitors a multi-faceted wealth of attractions, historical, cultural and recreational activities, diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, parks, beaches and wilderness sure to fulfill any getaway need.