After a rainy spring, many families traveled to the Connecticut shoreline to enjoy the perfect weather for the unofficial start to summer.
This Memorial Day came with ideal weather for sailing on Long Island Sound, spending time on the beach or cooling off at the splash pad at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven.
"It’s been nice for a few days so I can say we getting a little reward,” said Erica Watts from New Haven. “We haven’t been down here in a while, so we decided to do something today with the family so it was last minute but we decided to make it work.”
Watts and her family lit the grill for a barbecue in the Lighthouse Point Park picnic area.
“So right now I got hot dogs on that grill, hamburgers on that grill,” she said.
Her mother Tonya Watts took credit for the sides.
“My mother made a potato salad and a garden salad," Erica said. "We got some barbecue chicken, we got some sausages, we got some pork chops.”
With the Hammonasset Beach State Park campground at capacity, nearby businesses in Madison like The Clam Castle are feeling a boost in business.
"This is our favorite place," said Joette Trinh from West Hartford. "We love this. We come here every summer. This is how we kick our summer off.”
Trinh and her husband are first generation Americans. Their parents came to the country from Vietnam.
"So everything the veterans have done for us means a great deal because we wouldn’t be here without their sacrifice,” Trinh said.
At the Watts family barbecue in New Haven, Tonya Watts said her son Davon recently finished Army basic training in South Carolina and now he is stationed in Georgia.
“When I went there and saw him at the graduation," she said, "it was just beautiful how they teach them how to just be young men that care about their country.”
On this Memorial Day, she is thinking about the military families who lost loved ones that made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the country's freedom.
"It means a lot," Watts said, "because a lot of people gave their life for us to be able to be here in the United States, to live free.”