1. The 25 mile per hour speed limits. Everywhere.
It doesn't really matter where in Connecticut you live; everywhere you go has some odd reason to make the speed limit 25. If you live in the woods and farms areas where every curve in the roads are almost right angles, the speed limit is 25. If you live in a more populated area where the little yellow signs shaped like children holding a flag are at every other house, the speed limit is 25. Even if the road has a double yellow line, the speed limit is still probably 25. Connecticut people may make fun of Massachusetts drivers for being awful, but its probably because we aren't going fast enough to actually get into accidents. The only time people actually follow those speed limits is when it's snowing and they don't plow the roads.
2. Speaking of snow, some people love it, some hate it.
In Connecticut, there is disparity over whether snow is loved or hated. All children under 18 love a snow day, but it tends to get ridiculous when you haven't had school for a week, no one has power, and it is 25 degrees outside. We are a part of New England, so at least we don't get in 20-car-pileups on the highway when it snows an inch, but after a certain point shoveling foot after foot of snow makes you wish it weren't snowing anymore. Especially when the town gives up on plowing the roads. Has anyone else ever skied down their roads?
If you were to visit any parking lot in Connecticut- a high school, grocery store, etc.- Every third car will most likely be a keep Wrangler or Rubicon. It's a culture.
4. Going to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard and seeing too many people you know.
Maybe it's the Jeep culture that attracts Connecticut people to a hard-to-get-to-island where you can't go in the water for more than an hour because you will have a hard time breathing. Maybe it's the vineyard vines. It doesn't matter how preppy you are on a scale from 1-10, you will see at least one person you know every single time you leave the house that looks exactly like the one next to you. One of the following words has definitely at least been an item of conversation: Siasconset, Madaket, Tom Nevers, Dionis, Surfside, or the Juice Bar.
5. Apple Orchards and Tree Farms
These are more common for Central/Northern Connecticut, but people will travel the distance to go apple picking, ride the hayride, and get the apple pie that Connecticut is famous for. We just grow a lot of apples. And then there are the tree farms. Some people tailgate at football games. We tailgate at tree farms. When the holiday season rolls around, everyone gathers together to make good food and hang out outside while picking out a home grown christmas tree to chop down. Maybe the validation of chopping down your own tree is what attracts people, or maybe it's the overabundance of trees in general.
6. New Haven Pizza
There are so many cities that argue over who has the best pizza. Chicago claims their deep-dish pizza is the best, while New York claims their thin-crust pizza is the best. Sometimes New Jersey tries to get a step in. However, all Connecticut natives are partial to New Haven. Besides having Yale, New Haven has a lot of good food from all over the world... but mostly the pizza
7. The rivalry between Greenwich, Darien, and New Canaan.
As an innocent bystander of this trio of rivals, I can honestly say that I enjoy it. I could fit every person that goes to my college in Greenwich's cafeteria. Darien has twice as many high schoolers as people that live in my entire town. New Canaan is just plain intimidating. Sit back and watch these FCIAC double L schools battle it out on the sports fields.
8. You know what Tuxedo Junction or Toad's Place is.
I hate to ruin it for everyone else, but you know the venues. You know the shows. You know that you say you never want to go back there, but you always do it anyways.
9. Sandy Hook brought us all together
On a more serious note, December 14th shook our whole state. Forget the rivalries, forget the competition. Every single person living in Connecticut mourned the loss of those 20 beautiful children and the heroic adults that tried to save them. I still remember the lockdowns and the fear, and I know that everyone else does as well. That experience left us with a state-wide community that supports each other and will never forget.
10. We like to poke fun at where we live, but we really actually like it.
People complain about Connecticut all the time. Some people don't even know where it is on a map of the United States. But we have mastered the art of knowing how to make our own fun, and how to embrace our experiences outside of where we live.