It was a gloomy, rainy Sunday. My husband, Roger, and I set off to find the perfect gift for a thirteen year old. Not only did we find that we had no clue what thirteen year old boys liked, but we could not comprehend why they wore clothes that were three sizes too big. When the monumental task was completed, it was time to fill our grumbling tummies. Roger suggested we try a place that had been reviewed in the area newspaper, Quercibella Wood-grilled Food + Flatbreads in New Hartford, Connecticut. My only regret is that all of my friends cannot experience the farm fresh, old world cuisine served with pride and love. The restaurant focuses on flatbreads and salads, with dinner specials selected according to the market and what is in season. Oak plank tables from California adorn the intimate space. To all my Connecticut friends, if you want to experience a combination of Sonoma, CA and Northern Italy, give Quercibella Wood-grilled Food and Flatbreads a try . Northwest Connecticut is a great destination for leaf peeping, skiing, tubing, antiquing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and entertainment. Norfolk boasts of the Infinity Music Hall and Torrington is home of the world renown Nutmeg Conservatory and Warner Theater. Check out Quercibella’s website at http://www.quercibella.com/. In this world of cookie cutter chains, a restaurant that puts food, family and friends first is a breath of fresh air.
Fiberglass, aluminum and sailcloth are the bones, but the spirit lives in the heart of anyone who sailed her. Sloopy is the 36 foot sailboat in the Liz Adams Mysteries, Murder in Mystic and Murder in Newport. She is named after the 30 foot Catalina Tall Rig that my husband, Roger and I sailed for 14 years. Initially docked in Westbrook, Connecticut, she spent most of her days with us in the homeport of Mystic, Connecticut. As in fiction, Sloopy was our water home and carried us to adventure in New England waters. Our boys, Scott and Ron, then 17 and 14 respectively, named her. A combination of the lovable Charles Schulz beagle, Snoopy and the two sail sloop design, the handle, Sloopy, stuck.
The time we spent on Sloopy was priceless. It took us away from a hectic lifestyle as owners of a popular photography studio to a world where time stood still. We enjoyed our sons and their friends without the distractions at home. Meals shared in the cockpit as the sun slipped into the sea are forever burned into memory. Lifelong friendships were forged with other boaters.
Sadly, we sold Sloopy in 2002, but she continues to be the inspiration for the Liz Adams Mystery series. More to come.