Friday, August 04, 2006

Just returned from Pony Nationals in Sterling, Va., where the team I coach, Cheshire Wildcats competed well in fastpitch softball. Very interesting experience. I would recommend the Hyatt Reston, too, which is attached to Reston Town Center. (I cover TV and lifestyle stuff here at the New Haven Register but I like travel stuff as much as anyone). Anyway, I had done a column on top-rated chain restaurants recently, and wondered why so few of the good ones are in Connecticut. Consumer Reports' top-rated seafood restaurant was McCormick and Schmick's, which we found right there in Reston Town Center. It's a little pricey, so we skipped the cocktails and I ordered a fresh lemonade to go with our two tasty fish dishes, monkfish and seared tuna. Good stuff. The weather was close to 100 degrees but the kids played great. We finished in the top 20 of Pony teams in the East, I hear, losing in the bracket final to a Pennsylvania team. Girls' softball is a wonderful thing, if only because it keeps them focused on teamwork and something positive during difficult years. We really enjoyed seeing our youngest player, Holli R. from Wallingford, go deep in the semifinal for a triple. Moments like that are ones you never forget.

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