By Vanessa Willoughby

Connecticut winters can be brutal, yet the combination of the bare trees enveloped in thick snow and beloved holiday traditions can make people forget about the lingering icy chill. I ran into Amy Hoskins, a local Waterford resident, on her way to finish some errands. Knowledgeable and personable, Amy described her ways to survive the cold.

Name: Amy Hoskins
Age: 23
How long have you lived in Connecticut? My whole life
What town/city are you from? Waterford

Occupation? Food Service Manager

Where do you tend to hang out during CT’s colder months? Indoors at friend’s houses or at a bar.

What are your holiday traditions? We do Thanksgiving at our house with my aunt & uncle, cousins, grandma, and some friends of the family. We make a big dinner with all the traditional food and set it up buffet-style on the breakfast bar. After dinner, we eat Italian desserts and pie and usually play a game like Scrabble. The next day, everyone comes over again and we have leftovers. We do Christmas Eve at my aunt & uncle’s house with the same people plus usually a few more. We drink lots of liquor and eat a big dinner, usually either stuffed shells or a baked spiral ham. After dinner, we have coffee and Italian pastries and then we all sit down together in the living room by the tree and open the presents we brought for each other while listening to Christmas music.

What drinks do you order most in the winter time? I usually order more liquor drinks in the winter as opposed to lots of beer in the summer. My favorites are rum & coke and whiskey & ginger ale.

Are you less willing to bar hop because of the colder weather? Absolutely. I usually go to one place and then stay there just to avoid going back out in the cold.

Favorite venue for live music during the colder months? There are a few of them, first there is Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI, then El ‘N Gee Club in New London, or of course the XL Center in Hartford.

What do you plan to do for New Year’s this year? I will be spending it in Las Vegas with my half-sister who lives there!

What’s a great date bar? Definitely The Black Sheep in Niantic for dates. It’s a great location.

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What bar do you always take friends to when they come in for a visit around the holiday season? I almost always take out of town guest to The Oasis Pub in New London.

If you’re not in the mood to go out to a bar on a Saturday night, what do you do like to do instead? Stay at a friend’s house and make cookies or watch a movie… or both. I usually go to the bar every Saturday though.

What is your favorite thing about Connecticut in the wintertime? Despite the cold weather and icy roads, it can actually be very beautiful. When the ice and snow freeze on the bare branches of the trees, the sun hits it and makes all the branches sparkle.

Vanessa Willoughby lives in Waterford. A recent graduate of The New School’s MFA program, she also blogs for the entertainment and music website,


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