I am not sure how this happened, but this weekend I explored places that each had the letter ‘B’ somewhere in the name. Hence, the ‘B’ – weekend!
My weekend started out with an evening at Crystal Bees in Southington for Radio 104.1’s Cashapalooza Live. This event provides the opportunity to win $104 every 15 minutes on top of other prizes. Considering I’m a twenty-something with loans to pay, the potential to win free money and prizes was a definite draw.
When I entered Crystal Bees, I was shocked to see just how huge it was. My guess is that they retrofitted an old industrial space and turned it into a massive arena of fun. One side of Crystal Bees has a video arcade with a mix of classic (Skee-Ball, basketball, air hockey) and modern games (they have Flappy Bird!), and a cornhole and bocce court. The other side consists of a bowling alley and a bar and bistro with plenty of seating. Throughout Crystal Bees, there are big screens that project either local television or a wide array of music videos.
After taking a few minutes to explore, I decided to partake in Crystal Bees “Power Hour”; two hours of unlimited gaming for $10. The power hour deal pays for itself after 15-30 minutes, depending on what games you play. The prices for their games range between 50 cents and two dollars, with the average being one dollar. Playing multiple rounds of Skee-Ball was a definite stress reliever after a tough day at work!
From there, I had dinner at the bar. I found the bartenders to be pretty friendly and helpful, but I was not as impressed with their food. It took at least twenty minutes for me to get the burger I had ordered, and it tasted salty. I wasn’t the only one who had to wait for their burger (the guy sitting next to me had ordered one as well), so I am not sure whether that was a good choice.
By then it was six o’clock, and time for the giveaways to begin! I wasn’t lucky enough to win any money or tickets to an upcoming Switchfoot show, but the anticipation of wondering if I would win was worth it. I also got to play more arcade games while I waited for the giveaways, which was fun.
Overall, Crystal Bees was a good experience. It is a family-friendly place, but it can be a bit expensive if you’re not careful! I definitely want to go there again sometime!
Bristol Mum Festival
The next day was Saturday, and after my weekly exercise class I found myself in a slight conundrum. I had initially planned to visit the Durham Fair, but I realized that it would be difficult to find parking due to the fact I was going in the afternoon. I determined that going somewhere closer would be easier (and cheaper), so I drove over to the Bristol Mum Festival.
The Bristol Mum Festival is an annual event that is so much fun! Part community celebration, part fireman’s carnival, the Mum Festival has something for everyone. There were a ton of vendors of all kinds; some sold food, others clothing and toys, and still others promoted their community organizations. The midway had games, rides and other carnival fare that attracted lots of younger kids.
The community stage had a variety of music acts, including Arc City Angels; a rock band from Holyoke, MA. I got to listen to most of their set and I found them to be very enjoyable. They have a high-energy sound that is complemented by the songs in their setlist, including “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard and “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. I would definitely recommend seeing them the next time they come to Connecticut!
Outside the main festival, there was a classic car show which I found to be very cool. I may not know much about the inner workings of an old-fashioned car, but I can appreciate the aesthetic value of these beautiful machines. The love and care the owners of the cars put in to them was 100 percent apparent during the show. I was in awe!
Right next to the car show was a drum circle led by the Sacred Sorrow Singers. I was the most intrigued by this group because they were providing something interactive, as opposed to simply looking at things. The pounding drums and singing drew me in, and I was impressed with the collective talent of the group. We played two spiritual songs together (I don’t remember the names of them), and I enjoyed being part of something unique. Out of everything I experienced at the Bristol Mum Festival, this was the most memorable!
The final piece of my “B” weekend was Bolton, specifically A Villa Louisa. My chorus was performing there, and I was thrilled to be somewhere so beautiful. A Villa Louisa is located on the back roads in Bolton, near Gay City State Park and across the street from a beautiful farm. The weather was cool and sunny, so I took the opportunity to take some photos of the gorgeous landscape. It’s no wonder that A Villa Louisa is used for weddings!
I can’t wait for this weekend – there is more fall fun to be had! Keep watching the blog to see what happens next!