Author Topic: Greenwich, CT - 2 days  (Read 640 times)

Offline JuryDuty

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Greenwich, CT - 2 days
« on: August 15, 2019, 11:56:22 PM »
This week, we went on a spontaneous staycation in Greenwich, Connecticut. Greenwich has a Category 2 Hyatt Regency, so for only 8,000 points (less with the current promos), we had a beautiful place to stay. In addition, both Stamford and Scarsdale are within a twenty minute drive, so there was no shortage of kosher food available.

We set out for the hour long drive at about 2 on Tuesday afternoon. It was supposed to pour, but in the end, it was totally clear. Our first impression of the hotel was "wow." The hotel was centered on a huge indoor forest, with trees reaching to the top of the four-story building, which was roofed with a pointed skylight. I'd seen this before in the Embassy Suites in Parsippany, but I hadn't really looked at pictures of the Hyatt before booking, so it was a really nice surprise.

Hyatt Regency Greenwich by Jury Duty, on Flickr

Check-in was smooth, and since it was an award night, they waived the parking fee. There was no upgrade available, but she put us on the top floor with a view of the lobby/forest. We brought our stuff upstairs, down the really long corriders. (why do hotels have carpet which makes wheeling your luggage so difficult?)
The room was nice and normal, nothing special. We had free waters with status. There was a beautiful view of the lobby. The only downside was that the windows didn't open, and it kind of felt a little closed in. In addition, the only way to make it cool was to have the AC pumping at 65, the lowest possible temperature. In the end, it did get cool, so we didn't feel a need to complain it.
The hotel recently introduced the option to open your door with your phone on the Hyatt app. It's a super cool function and makes life much easier. I wish they had it in the Hyatt Ziva Cancun which we visited in June, because not having to take a key to the pool would've been super convenient.
We checked out the indoor pool, which apparently is a saltwater pool, even though it smelled very much like chlorine. It was packed. That was fine, because the weather had held up and we had no problem exploring Greenwich.

Our original plan was to visit Greenwich Point. Before leaving, we stopped at the front desk for more information about the city. We were happy that we did, because they sell Park Passes in the hotel, which counted as a Hyatt purchase for the Hyatt credit card. The pass costed 7 dollars a person and is required for many parks in Greenwich. The other place they sell it is in the Civic Center. There is one center a short drive from the hotel, and we stopped there anyway to find out about the ferry schedule for tomorrow. We learned that Greenwich Point does not require park passes after 5 PM, but still charges the 35 dollar parking fee. We were going to return to the hotel and either get on the shuttle, which the hotel has for free pending availability, or grab an Uber for the short ride. If it sounds like there are tons of rules, regulations, and random fees in Greenwich, it's because there are. Everywhere we went, it seemed like there was something else. After two days, we pretty much got the hang of it, though.

We decided to drive around the area first, scouting out for our day tomorrow and in search of some impressive architecture. We drove up until the gate at the entrance of Greenwich Point and decided not to enter then. There are some really nice houses in that area. We then went to Greenwich Avenue, the main shopping area, and drove down the street. We saw some really interesting stores and put it on the list for tomorrow. We found the spot where the ferry left from on Arch Street, and I stopped in to get some more clarification on ferry times. We then found a nice pier on Steamboat Road where there was a nice crowd fishing.



By that time, it was nearly 6 and we headed to Stamford for dinner. We ate in Six Thirteen, a meat restaurant which came highly recommended. We sat outside, which was pleasant. They have a huge menu, with tons of food options that looked really good. (Who knows, maybe we'll go there for dinner again - it's only an hour drive after all.) The food is really awesome, definitely get the crab cakes appetizer.
We sat next to the Chabad Rabbi and Rebbetzin, who were happy to give us recommendations of places to see the next day. They were super friendly and helpful.
After dinner, I ran to mincha in Congregation Agudath Sholom. After that, we went to Avon Theatre, which shows indie films. The show that was playing that night was Tel Aviv on Fire. It was absolutely hilarious, one of the best movies I've seen recently. I'd say it was worth it to come to Connecticut just for that movie. I highly recommend it to everyone!
http://www.avontheatre.org/films/754/tel-aviv-on-fire

That's all for the first day, I'll try to complete the trip report of Day 2 soon.
Jury Duty: A time with nothing to do but chill and write a TR. Kinda like the beach without a view and an ocean breeze.

Offline DTM

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Re: Greenwich, CT - 2 days
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 05:55:47 AM »
Thanks, great TR, looking forward to Day 2 !
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Offline JuryDuty

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Re: Greenwich, CT - 2 days
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 06:34:05 PM »
Wednesday morning, we woke up and packed our bags. The hotel offered breakfast with a club pass, but we passed on that. We brought our bags to the car and I went back to the front desk to check out. There was a huge line, so I just checked out on the app and handed my keys off. We then headed out for breakfast to Scarsdale, which was a 25 minute drive due to the heavy traffic caused by construction.

We were running a little late, so we nixed the sit-down meal in favor of one handed eating while driving. I was a little disappointed when I saw it was Chalav Stam, but they had enough pareve food, like lox, tuna, and whitefish. The staff are knowledgeable about how to avoid dairy contamination. We each got 2 bagels, one for breakfast and one for lunch. We also grabbed a Sammy Stick (a bagel stick) and an accompanying container of tuna. We also added 2 muffins, which were pareve. The food was very solid, everything one could ask for from a bagel store.

We then headed back to Greenwich, which was only 15 minutes on the return. We went straight to the ferry which is located on Arch Street (google Roger Sherman Baldwin Park). There is a parking lot across the street from the ferry with permit parking and paid parking. We parked and then walked to the pay station, where a town employee was standing. He informed us that there was another section they had set up in the parking lot for free if you were using the ferry! That was a huge relief, because I read somewhere that the cost was 35 dollars.
Crossing the street was pretty cool, as the light will go for minutes if you don't press the button to cross, but it will change literally the second after you press the button.

Paying for the ferry is cash only, 13 dollars per person. You need to have a park pass already (7 dollars each) because they don't sell them there. (Again, they can be bought in one of the Civic Centers or the hotel). So for a round trip ride, it's 20 dollars a person.
Ferries to the Island Beach run on the hour and return every hour on the half hour. The ride is about 20 minutes each way.


Island Beach, with another private island

Ferries to Great Captain Island depend on the tide and do not run every day. There is also a 2 hour boat ride to nowhere, which also depends on the day. More information can be found here: https://www.greenwichct.gov/641/Ferry-Service
Today, there was no Great Captain Island ferry and the 2 hour ride was only in the evening. That left only Island Beach, which supposedly is the better option because they have a concession stand.

View from the ferry by Jury Duty, on Flickr

The ferry left on time and had only a handful of people on board. The ride is short and scenic. Island Beach is really small, and you can explore the whole thing in about four minutes. There's a beach with lifeguards along one side. There's also a nice playground. When we got there, there was a whole camp there. I'm not sure if they go there everyday or if it was a special outing. Aside for the camp, there were probably 15 people on the island.
After sitting on the beach for an hour, we took the return ferry. We changed back into regular clothes in the bathroom by the pier and then drove to the top of Greenwich Avenue.

Greenwich Avenue is the shopping center of the town. There are many upscale stores on the .7 mile strip. We parked at the top and walked down, leaving the option for Ubering to the top of we got tired. There are some really cool shops, including a Steinway and Sons piano store. Make sure to venture down some side roads also. I found a Suit Supply store backing Greenwich Avenue.



 There's also an Indochino, which actually might be more convenient than the one in Manhattan if traffic conditions are right. At the very bottom of the street, turning onto Railroad Avenue, there was a really neat vintage and upscale car dealership, Carriage House Motor Cars. Also, the train stops there, if that method of transportation makes sense for you.


Vintage Car Dealership

By the time we got to the bottom, I was pretty much wiped. My wife still had some energy, so we agreed to drive around the area some more. The Chabad couple we met yesterday had recommended Cos Cob park, and the views did not disappoint. We also drove to Indian Head and found some nice houses. Sadly, there are way too many private roads so extensive exploring is limited. On the way back, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a 2 dollar latte and chanced upon an Aston Martin dealership next door.  This town really is something else. After a really nice day, we headed back home.


Aston Martin Dealership

All in all, it was a beautiful vacation. It's super convenient from New York, and a Category 2 Hyatt Regency is super amazing. Greenwich is a great place to walk around, explore, and find something really special. I looked into houses but sadly, 35 million is way out of my starting house price range. Also, shout out to Dan for the pictures, they've gone to the next level since I got the Pixel from the Google Fi deal.
Thanks for reading!!
Jury Duty: A time with nothing to do but chill and write a TR. Kinda like the beach without a view and an ocean breeze.