Friday, June 5, 2015

Walk - Hike - Bike: So Many Miles of Trails to Explore

  It's Spring! ...
Everybody Out for a Walk!

... No Street vendors with enticing smells of freshly grilling delectables. No entertainment to draw you out of your indoor world and into the city streets for some fresh air. Just blue sky, sunshine, and warmth. No need for winter coats. Shirt sleeves would do fine. The first warm (over 40 degrees) day draws us, one and all, to the great outdoors.
OK everyone, the "let's go out for a walk" season has begun. Take a walk, or bring your bicycle. Try it. You'll like it.

Featuring - The Sculpture Mile
One of the attractions unique to Madison is the Sculpture Mile. Located throughout Madison's downtown area, the Madison Sculpture mile is an exciting outdoor display of thirty-five sculptures by American Sculptors. It is open day and night, year 'round, is free, and booklets that catalogue and describe the currently displayed sculptures, good for self-guided tours, are available here at the inn and at various locations in town. From May to October there is a free docent-led guided tour on Saturdays at 11 am, departing from the Scranton Park Pavilion in the Stop & Shop parking area. This is a don't-miss activity whether you're a lover of visual arts and sculpture, are looking for an enjoyable walk around town, or are simply curious. Current sculptures range in character from the whimsical to the thought provoking. You'll be sure to see something you'll want to tell someone about.

The Sculpture Mile is selected and organized by the Hollycroft Foundation. "The Mile's two-fold mission is 1. To place sculpture before the general public within everyday living space, and 2. to make that space available to talented established sculptors as well as to emerging artists." [excerpt from The Sculpture Mile Catalogue 2008-2009]

More Area Walks and Trails for Hikes and Bicycles too:

Madison town beaches and beach roads
Everyone's first choice for early morning or evening walks - less than a mile from the inn, enjoy walks along the beach at East Wharf beach. Follow the beach roads to West Wharf and Surf Club beaches.

Tuxis Pond
Park behind CVS in the center of Madison and access the Tuxis Pond walkway for a walk around the pond.

Bauer Park*

At the intersection of Copse Road and Hunter's Trail is Bauer park. Frequent nature and bird walks are sponsored here. There are 2 main trails at the park: The Woodland Trail is a 1 mile long loop. It plies through grassy meadows, wooded wetlands and past hillside cliffs and stone fences. The Pond Wetland trail is also a loop, passing by two ponds, the covered bridge, near bluebird boxes and the forested wetland boardwalk. Picnic anyone?

Hammonasset State Park* Just one mile down the road from our inn is Hammonasset State Park, with 2 miles of beach and boardwalk for your walking pleasure. Bring along a picnic and make it an extra special day.

Rockland Preserve* In North Madison, almost into Killingworth, is the Rockland Preserve with three trails, a red blaze, orange blaze and white blaze, of from 1 to 1.5 miles each. There are 649 acres of rounded, rocky hills, steep gray cliffs, ledges, and lovely wooded areas, easily accessed by both walkers and hikers along abandoned ancient country roads.It's another great place to bring a picnic. The Preserve is patrolled on horseback by the Connecticut Horse Council, Inc.
Westwoods Trails*
The WestWoods trail system is the largest recreational area for hiking in nearby Guilford. Westwoods contains 39 miles of trails on 1,200 acres. It will take many visits and picnics to enjoy all of this.

Bluff Head Preserve*
In North Guilford, on Rte 77, as part of the Mattabesset Trail system, is the Bluff Head Ridge trail system between Guilford and Durham. There are three trail options, all relatively short but of varied terrain, and the views from the bluff are spectacular - both Hartford and Long Island Sound.
Chatfield Hollow State Park*
On Rte 80, in nearby Killingworth, hike the trails in search of Indian caves, explore the jagged rocky ledges and recesses or relax by the cooling waters, or picnic in the soft pine woods at Chatfield Hollow State Park.

Gillette Castle State Park*
Nearby, in East Haddam, walk the grounds or follow hiking trails through the Gillette Castle State Park property for great views of the Connecticut River, and the castle itself, one of our eccentricities. Picnic areas are provided throughout the grounds.

Bicycle Trails:
Bring your bikes and enjoy the beach roads and country roads that surround us. If you prefer a planned bicycle trail check the link for a web site that will print out trails of varying lengths and terrain difficulty, depending on your search criteria. Search for South Central CT and enter Madison as your starting point. We can then direct you from the inn to any point that they begin with in Madison.

*Trail Etiquette
Trails are shared by many: walkers, hikers, mountain bikers, dog walkers, adults, children, horseback riders, hunters, runners, skaters, snowshoers, bird watchers and nature lovers, for a start. Share the trail. Whether on foot, on horse, or on wheels, always stay to the right so that others can pass on the left. Clean up after yourself and your pet or horse. Be aware of hunting season by checking with the State of CT, and wear bright fluorescent orange to be easily seen and not mistaken for game. For more information contact the Connecticut Horse Council, Inc. and ask for their brochure "Tips for Trail Etiquette."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring Fever!

Signs and Promises of Spring

I don't know about you, but as for me I've been ready and looking for signs of Spring since Ground Hog Day. This week - and especially today, my wishes came true!

Just last week the first House Finches came to play and sing their morning serenade in our still-hanging (waiting for them) Christmas wreath. They come every year, around the first of March. This year they're a bit over a week behind, but they're here, and that's what counts.

Over last weekend I saw Red Wing Blackbirds at our feeders. Yay! They're back!

The snow that's looked like the return of the glacial age has been slowly, slowly, slowly (the best way) melding away for over a week, and now we can see lawn where there was a sea of white around our Christmas Angel - it became embedded in snow last January before it could be picked up and stored for another year. Here are a couple of before and after pics. See what I mean?

March 5, 2015 - More Snow on Snow

Christmas Angel - March 5, 2015

Christmas Angel - March 17, 2015
Today I saw a male Goldfinch at our feeders with about half of his bright yellow feathers now showing. He looked like he'd been in a dust bin - lots of grey still mixed in with the bright golden yellow. He's getting ready. Spring's coming for sure!

And my happiest sign is this - the daffodils are up a whole inch! That's today. Yesterday there was no sign of them.

Inch-high Daffodils - March 17, 2015
Hope you too are seeing signs and promises of Spring wherever you are. Comment and tell us about yours. The weather and the calendar haven't caught up yet, but the birds and the flowers are on it. They are the wonderful harbingers of Spring!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Majestic Bald Eagles - A Joy of CT Winters

Majestic Bald Eagles Winter in Southern CT

Really? Yes, really.
Four Eagles Atop Trees along the CT River

Every Winter, when their Northern feeding grounds freeze hard as iron, eagles from as far North as Canada come down to nest and feed along the Southern  CT river where they find open waters and plenty to eat.

From late in January to mid-March eagle watching opportunities abound, and eagle watchers wander along the lower CT river valley and the CT shoreline area where the CT River meets Long Island Sound for a chance to view these magnificent birds.

Three Ways to Eagle Watch

We have found three different approaches to fulfilled eagle watching: the river cruise, the guided land tour, and the self-directed driving tour. So, we've also created three different overnight Eagle Watch Escape packages - one for each way to eagle watch. There's something here for everyone.

The Eagle Watch Cruise

Eagle Watch and Wildlife Boat Tours depart from the dock at the CT River Museum in nearby Essex CT. Come aboard Project Oceanology’s Enviro-Lab III, a 65′ modern research vessel equipped with a heated cabin and lots of deck space. A naturalist is on board to be your host and provides guided narration, pointing out the eagles and describing their behaviors and more. Free coffee is on board and the use of binoculars is also included. Your cruise ticket also gives you same day free admission to all the CT River Museum galleries featuring the Eagles of Essex exhibit.

Boat departures are on Fridays at 1:00 PM; and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
Advance reservations are the best way to assure you'll have a spot on your choice of date and time. To reserve call the CT River Museum at 860-767-8269. You may also reserve online from the CT River Museum's web site.

Enviro-Lab III - from CT River Museum Web Site

The Guided Land Tour

Jerry Connolly, owner of The Audubon Shop in Madison CT, will share his enthusiasm and passion for birding in general, and the majestic Bald Eagles, specifically, by taking you on a guided land tour to the area's prime eagle viewing spots. The tours are arranged in carpools departing from the shop bright and early on Saturday mornings in February and March and include a soup and sandwich lunch. With Jerry as your guide you'll both see the eagles and learn all about them. Somehow I think he's got some good eagle-watch stories to share too.

Advance reservations are a must and best done by telephone call to the shop at (203) 245-9056 during regular business hours, 10:00am - 5:00pm. Be sure to reserve binoculars, too, if you need to rent them for the tour.

The Self-Directed Driving Tour

If you prefer to go at your own pace, or if you've cruised and been guided in the past, you may feel more like taking yourself on a Self-Directed Driving Tour to the various nearby eagle viewing spots. Prepared for our overnight guests, you may ask the innkeeper for the printed Self-Guided Eagle Watch Tour, along with a map, when you are staying here at the inn. Follow the directions using the map or use your own GPS and you're on your way, on your day, your schedule, your pace.

No need to reserve your copy of the tour in advance, but do remember to bring binoculars or call The Audubon Shop in advance to reserve binoculars to rent for the day.

Photo by Jack Faller - from Audubon Shop Facebook
Three Wonderful Escape Packages for Eagle Watchers

Eagle Watch Cruise Escape Package -
Two Eagle Watch Cruise tickets, including admission to the CT River Museum; Gift Certificates for Lunch, The Audubon Shop, and afternoon coffee or tea; book about Eagles; printed Self-Directed Driving Tour for more eagle watching; map; snacks for the road. Add $180 to your reservation for a one, two, or more nights stay at our Tidewater Inn B&B.

Eagle Watch Guided Land Tour Escape Package -
Two Guided Land Tour tickets, including lunch; Gift Certificates for The Audubon Shop and afternoon coffee or tea; book about Eagles; printed Self-Directed Driving Tour for more eagle watching; map; snacks for the road. Add $105 to your reservation for a one, two, or more nights stay at our Tidewater Inn B&B.

Eagle Watch Self-Directed Driving Tour Escape Package -
Our printed Self-Directed Driving Tour; map; Gift Certificates for Lunch, The Audubon Shop, and afternoon coffee or tea; book about Eagles; snacks for the road. Add $95 to your reservation for a one, two or more nights stay at our Tidewater Inn B&B.

Choose your Escape Package, Choose your Room, Choose your Dates and Come! The Eagles are here for your to see.

Book by email to, by phone 203-245-8457 or through our web site,
I look forward to welcoming you.


By the way ... Nature lovers ... Seal Watch Cruises around the Thimble Islands are what to sse and do around here in March!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winter Fun on the Shoreline

Discover Winter Fun on the Shoreline!

     We're going to let you in on a secret! Actually, a whole bunch of them! It's time that we awakened everyone to the joys and wonders of Winter here in the heart of the CT shoreline.
     What is it that draws you out of your cocoon in Winter?  What's so appealing that it draws you out of the city and brings you to a seaside escape in CT in Winter? Is it the thought of a comfy chair by a roaring fire, glass of wine and a good book, uninterrupted snuggle time with your honey, or a change of scenery and new delights to discover and enjoy? It's all good, and all here for you in Madison CT.
     Madison CT and the surrounding seaside communities that make up the central CT shoreline have a characteristically different and special attraction for us in each season of the year. It's Winter now, and Madison and its neighboring seaside towns are full of surprises.
     These are those special activities that are unique to the Winter months. Then there are also those year 'round favorite things to do that we find comforting with their familiarity. Here's a "short list" to pique your interest. We'll add details and links in the days and weeks to come. Meanwhile, pick your dates and plan your Winter Getaway. The best way to combat "Cabin Fever" is to get out here and enjoy all the uniquely Winter fun. Really!

Treat yourself to a "Snowflake Getaway."

 Culinary Delights

  • Dining by a fireplace has a charm all its own. Many of our favorite restaurants can offer you just that and more - warmth, ambience, the finest cuisine - all in one place. And, don't forget those wonderful Winter menu items.
  • It's mighty tasty around here - taste olive oils and vinegars, cheeses, teas and wines from around the world. Madison's specialty shops are a playground for foodies. Shoreline wine bars tempt you with flights of wines and delicacies. Local vineyards invite you to taste to the tunes of music.
  • Take a cooking class! Whether you prefer hands-on or to sit back, watch, learn and taste the fruit of the class's labors, it's all good.
  • Make your own signature wine!

Play in the Snow

  • Build a Snow Sculpture.
  • Go Snow-shoeing or Cross-country Skiing - bring your own or rent nearby.
  • Go Ice Skating - No ice? No problem - great indoor rink is near.
  • Learn downhill skiing and snowboarding - Powder Ridge Mountain has just opened nearby.

Behold Nature

  • Winter Birding, by land or water - Bald Eagles, Snowy Owls, and more: Guided or Self-directed tours, river cruises
  • Seal watching, by land or sea

The Great Outdoors

  • Hiking and Walking Trails - Seaside and Countryside
  • Walk the beach
  • Build a Sand Sculpture on the Beach
  • Countryside Horse and Carriage Ride or Sleigh Ride
  • Winter Festivals

The Great Indoors

  • Theater, Opera, Concerts
  • Movies - Art Cinemas and Megaplexes
  • Priceless Museums - both great and small; special seasonal exhibits
  • Art Classes
  • Author talks and book signings
  • Art Galleries and Openings

Treasure Hunting

  • Research your Genealogy and Family History
  • Browse Antique Shops, Thrift Shops and Consignment Shops
  • Unique Boutiques and Specialty Shops to Explore
  • An "indie" bookstore like no other
  • InSide Sidewalk Sales


  • Relaxing Quiet Times Together
  • Couples Massages & Spa packages
  • Fireplace Guestrooms
  • Jacuzzi to splash around in
  • Breakfast in Bed
  • Valentine's Packages
We invite you to follow our upcoming blog posts as we flesh out these categories with more details.  You know you want that Winter Getaway. Come away to refresh and restore. Come away as your personal reward. Come away to relax. It's all waiting for you here.

Don't know your dates yet, but know you want to get away? Treat yourself to a Gift Certificate for your upcoming Getaway!

I look forward to welcoming you ...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Don't You Just Love Waffles!?

Celebrate Waffles!
It's March 25th - International Waffle Day!!!

waffles - imagesCASJ!WSE.jpg

What's your favorite Waffle recipe? It's time to celebrate this wonderful and versatile comfort food. Great for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert, every region and nation has its specialty. Think Pizzelles, Chicken and Waffles, Belgian Waffles ... no limits to the imagination.

Fun Waffles Facts ... (our thanks to
* Waffles eveolved from Greek flat cakes that were cooked between two metal plates and were made with herbs and cheese (boy would I like to find this recipe!)
* The first waffle iron was brought from France to the USA by Thomas Jefferson in the late 1800's
*In the USA we get to celebrate this delicious holiday twice a year! On March 25th (International) and on August 24th (National).

Here's one of our favorite recipes enjoyed here at the Inn:
3 Eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

3/4 C. Milk
1 Tbsp. Sugar
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted Butter, melted
1/2 C. fresh or frozen Blueberries
3/4 C. Sour Cream
1 1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
Confectioner’s Sugar for dusting
Whipped Cream and Fresh Blueberries, to garnish
Maple Syrup, to serve

Preheat a nonstick square Belgian waffle iron and spray with butter-flavored cooking spray.
In a medium, chilled mixing bowl beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.
In a Large Mixing Bowl, beat together the egg yolks, milk, butter and sour cream.
In another bowl, stir together with a fork or whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until smooth. 
Stir in the blueberries.
With a rubber spatula, fold 1/2 C. egg whites into the batter to lighten it.  Then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions. 

Garnish with kisses of whipped cream and additional blueberries if fresh ones are available.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve hot with maple syrup.

Serves 4 (two squares each)

Here's the link to a recipe for Cheese and Herbs Waffles from I wonder how close it is to that ancient Greek recipe mentioned above? :-)

Cheesey Herbed Waffles -

Friday, January 11, 2013

Knitter's Retreat Weekend

Winter Warmer - Fireside Knitter's Retreat Weekend - March 8-10, 2013

Tidewater Inn

What better way to enjoy a Winter weekend than to be at a knitters retreat at a comfy bed and breakfast inn.

Madison Wool

Dayna, owner of Madison Wool, and I have put one together for you for the weekend of March 8-10 with Shannon Okey, the "knitgrrl." She'll be teaching all about sweater design, and there will be time for you to share about your knitting passion too.

Arrive Friday afternoon early enough to visit Madison Wool to pick up supplies. Check in at our Tidewater Inn and enjoy a light dinner with your fellow knitters. Bring along a project that you're proud of for "show and tell" time as everyone gets to know each other after dinner.

Cover Photo
Knitgrrl Studio
Start Saturday and Sunday mornings with a bountiful Tidewater Inn breakfast, and then it's class time with Shannon. Classes will be 6 to 8 hours each day, with breaks and lunch. After class spend time knitting by the fireplace or enjoying a glass of wine with some cheeses, fruit and nuts from our local cheese shop.  Venture out for Saturday dinner at one of Madison's fine restaurants. Come back to the inn for more time to knit, chat and relax.

The Winter Fireside Knitter's Retreat package includes two nights at our Tidewater Inn, (voted the Shoreline's Comfiest Bed and Breakfast 2007 - 2012), two bountiful breakfasts, two lunches, Friday night's dinner, anytime snacks, coffee, tea and soft drinks, and Saturday's pre-dinner wine and cheese reception, along with two full days of classes with Shannon Okey.

Package Prices - 2 nights lodging, 5 meals, snacks, classes, taxes:
Room (maximum
occupancy -
two per room):    Double          Single       
                       Occupancy    Occupancy
Cottage Suite - 1    $680              $555
King - 2                 $604              $479
Queen - 4              $575             $450
Two-Twins - 1      $575              $450
Full - 1                  $518              $393 <-sold out="">
Class size is limited to 18.
The materials needed for the classes are still being chosen. The materials list will be posted here as soon as it is available. Expect to be asked to bring some things from home, and also expect that there will be a class kit that you can pick up at Madison Wool on Friday of the retreat weekend. There will be a cost for the kit, and that too will be announced here once we know the details.

To reserve your space in this special Winter retreat please call (203-245-8457) or email us at the Tidewater Inn directly. All rooms have been reserved for this retreat and thus cannot be booked online. We are sorry, but gift certificates and gift cards cannot be used for this retreat.

Please be sure to tell us about any food allergies or dietary requirements when you book your place in this retreat so that we can be sure to plan for you.

Dayna and I look forward to welcoming you to this fun weekend in March.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Plan Your Storybook Christmas in Madison

A Classic Hometown Christmas

     In 1945, Hollywood coined the phrase “Christmas in Connecticut” after the movie of the same name. (My absolutely Favorite Christmas Movie!)

    Since that time, romanticists around the world have dreamed of spending at least one winter holiday in a quaint Connecticut hamlet complete with a town common crowned with freshly fallen snow and carolers strolling by storefronts and elder homes.

   The scene now depicted in your mind’s eye is not just a figment from a Currier and Ives print – it actually exists – and travel photojournalists Wayne and Judy Bailiff found it. Right here, in Madison CT.

   Read their entire article and enjoy a 20-photo slide show of Judy's photos HERE.

   Then call (203-245-8457) or email us to book Your Christmas In Connecticut weekend with us this December 1st and 2nd, 2012. That's the weekend this year when all that you just read about begins. 

   Thank you, Wayne and Judy, for capturing the heart and essence of Christmas in Madison CT.

Come, step “through the looking glass” into a classic home-town Christmas.

    Shop local boutiques amid strolling carolers, be amazed at the talent of local young dancers as they tell the story of Christmas, join young and old as they await the arrival of Santa, and sing carols at the evening tree lighting on the town green. Perhaps even take in a local Christmas concert or buy a fresh-cut tree to bring home. This two-night package (Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday) includes two nights lodging, possibly with a fireplace, full breakfast each morning, tickets to “Ahavah” the story of a young girl’s search for the meaning of Christmas, performed by the Christian Academy of Dance, a schedule of the weekend’s local tree-lighting events for you to choose, a gift certificate for a dinner or brunch (you choose) at one of our favorite local restaurants, a gift card to Madison Chocolates for a special dessert, a Christmas in Connecticut ornament and a DVD of the 1945 film, “Christmas in Connecticut” starring Barbara Stanwyck. All-inclusive package begins at $490.00 plus CT occupancy taxes.