Going/Steady Ep. 3: How Quaint! Regional Surprises and Travel Plans

In which we discuss:

  • Connecticut’s quaintness, real and imagined.
  • Regional destinations that surprised us, pleasantly or otherwise.
  • When prepping for a trip, do we prefer planning it all out or leaving everything to chance?



What Connecticut features qualify as quaint? Johnna and Kerri talk about happy surprises and a few disappointments in regional travel. Is it better to travel based on an itinerary or on whichever way the wind blows?

Special Moments and Details

CTMQ has published a piece on the fairy houses that gets mentioned at 4:45. Kerri has written a bit about the slang [8:30] that needs to stop in 2018.

We start our chat about regional surprises at 15:00. Learn more about historic, and possibly quaint, Benefit Street [18:50] on the Rhode Island tourism site. Johnna was not wrong about Burlington being the most populous city in Vermont [26:25]. The New Haven rant [27:00]  inspired an idea for a dating app. And if you’re wondering, here’s some background on why New Haven can claim to be “America’s first planned town” [30:00]. Wild Bill’s Nostalgia [32:15] is hard to describe, so peek at their website for a better idea. The Connecticut Old State House & Museum of Curiosities, and its famous two-headed calf, get a mention [39:25]. Kerri was ultra wrong about the length of the ice jam that the Coast Guard had to deal with back in January [41:40].

Our conversation about planning begins at 43:10, and meanders into a slightly off-topic look at such topics as Valentine’s Day dinners and Edible Arrangements.

Note: podcast contains occasional, relatively lightweight curse-words. Use the earbuds at work or around the kiddos.

Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco


Want Sneak Audio Previews?

We wanted to send out a quick reminder that sneak audio previews from upcoming episodes of Going/Steady are available to Patrons on Kerri’s Patreon page. The one up now is from Episode 3; it’s a bit of a rant!

Stay tuned for the full Episode 3, which will be up here at goingsteadyct.com – and in your inbox, if you’ve signed up for notifications – in mid-February.

Thank you for listening, subscribing, and sending us your feedback. We really appreciate it!

Going/Steady Ep. 2: Lobster Rolls, Border Patrol, and Fears Spiraling Out of Control

In which we discuss:

  • Connecticut stereotypes, as defined by “You Know You’re From Connecticut When…” lists.
  • Our childhood vacation memories in the region.
  • Travel, loneliness, fear, and how they intertwine.


Are Connecticut residents defined by how we eat our cheeseburgers and lobster rolls? Johnna and Kerri rip into a few “You Know You’re from Connecticut When” listicles in this episode, before reflecting on how childhood travel experiences have informed our adventure styles as adults, specifically, as the kind of adults who explore the world alone, despite loads of fears.

Special Moments and Details

We begin this episode by looking at two listicles overflowing with Connecticut stereotypes ( “40 Ways You Know You’re From Connecticut” and “27 Ways You Know You’re From Connecticut”) and evaluate each and every one, though for the sake of time, we edited out most of our discussion, leaving you with the best parts. In wondering what a Desperate Housewives-type show of Greater Hartford would look like, Kerri is reminded of The Hotwives of Orlando with Kristen Schaal, but as you’ll hear, could not remember the name of the show, the name of the actress, or the name of anything else she was in. Later in this segment, she confuses the Heublein Tower with something else. We talk about Caldor and Fudgie the Whale; as we’ve learned, neither were born in or specific to Connecticut. (Carvel now has its headquarters in Georgia and is sold worldwide.) Inspired by Caldor, Johnna recalls the awesomely ‘70s Flying J logo. Unsatisfied with how others have defined living in Connecticut, Johnna created her own list many years ago for The Size of Connecticut:

You Know You’re From CT When:

1) You wear diamond earrings with a sweatshirt.

2) You drive east and call it north.

3) You have both a MetroCard and a Charlie Card in your wallet.

4) You haven’t pronounced a consonant at the end of a word in years.

5) You think noticeable makeup and styled hair are the height of trashy.

6) You don’t slow down or move over for vehicles stopped in the breakdown lane. [Update: CT has since imported this annoying law, unfortunately.]

7) When the Yankees play the Red Sox, you feel like you live in the Balkans.

8) You know that Mohegan Sun is nicer than Foxwoods.

9) You panic when you go to a state that doesn’t have Dunkin’ Donuts.

10) You leave your bag unattended in your shopping cart while you walk around the Stop & Shop.

11) You got that bag at the Coach outlet at Clinton Crossing.

12) You know the story of the Charter Oak and actually secretly think it’s kind of cool.

13) You have CL&P’s emergency number programmed into your phone.

14) You have, while living in another state or country, said “You can take the girl out of Connecticut, but you can’t take the Connecticut out of the girl.”

15) You said the above because someone discovered you owned more than one L.L. Bean Boat & Tote bag.

16) You think it’s weird that supermarkets in other places don’t cover their beer with a little curtain on Sundays. [Update: CT has since gotten rid of this silly law, fortunately.]

17) You have either climbed over, fallen off of, or injured yourself on, a stone wall.

18) You think sand consists of rocks, broken shells, and seaweed.

19) You pack three coats of various weights for a weekend trip.

20) When someone from Massachusetts says Connecticut isn’t really New England, you get offended and splutter “Hey, Masshole…we were the Provisions State!”

21) You know how to pronounce Coventry and Berlin correctly, but you don’t, because you’re not from Coventry or Berlin.

22) You think county sheriffs are something they made up for old Westerns.

23) You remember having dark blue license plates, stopping for tolls at the New York border, being “full of surprises,” and the days when the Danbury Fair Mall was just the Danbury Fair.

24) It does not strike you as strange when people consider towns 20 minutes away from their home to be essentially unexplored foreign lands.

25) When you were little you couldn’t understand how Canada could have a Yukon too.

The middle segment (starting at approx. 24 minutes) features a cautionary tale about border crossing and taking a cat on vacation. The Wall Street Journal (and others) don’t disagree with one of our ideas about how to make family trips less hellish for children.

Around 40 minutes in we get to talking about how to reconcile wanderlust with all the fears that come with travel — from fearing attacks by bears and scorpions, to fearing fear.


Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco

Episode 1: “Haters Gonna Hate on Connecticut in the Bleak Not-Yet-Winter”

In which we discuss:

  • What’s with all those “Connecticut sucks” stories?
  • What to do in New England in winter?
  • Which U.S. states have we not been to yet?


In this first episode, Johnna and Kerri talk about the trend of writing Dear John letters to Connecticut. They also explore what to do in New England after it stops being PSL season. Listen to the last segment to learn what they have not seen in the United States . . . yet.

Special Moments and Details

At 00:25 you can hear Kerri introduce herself for what is apparently her first time ever. She promises to do better next time. There was indecision about Rhode Island’s state flag at 3:50, but it is confirmed to sport an anchor and the word “Hope”. At 4:30 we wonder, what even is nutmeg? Why hasn’t Connecticut gone all in on it? At 5:25 we wonder where in Connecticut we can get branded stuff; Hartford Prints! and the Barnes & Noble in downtown Hartford are two places that came to mind. In this segment we sure had a lot to say about lighters. This is not an endorsement of smoking. For those curious about the giant puppet event we hardly did justice to: Night Fall.

In our regional segment at 21:00 we talked about SAD, building up our expectations about holidays to the point that these dreams can only come crashing down, and the hygge trend. As for things to do in New England, Winterfest and Old Mill Pond Village Shops came to mind.

Finally, we talked wanderlust, or not, when it comes to the United States. Kerri mentioned the Bigfoot Discovery Museum and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The California destination Johnna couldn’t recall the name of was Pinnacles National Park. At 55:15 there was an allusion to something Johnna had recently published about New Mexico — read about it on This Land, This Year.


Music: “Below the Waves” by Keshco