On Saturday of Memorial Day weekend we drove down to Mystic, Connecticut for a two-day trip--we hit the Aquarium Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, and we spent all day Sunday at the Seaport. We had a fabulous little driving vacation, right here in New England, complete with unpredictable New England weather (low 50s and rain and high winds, finally turning into sun and 70 degrees on Monday as we got back into the Boston area).
Robert rented a Prius from the Hertz at the Park Plaza for the trip--everyone was smiles as we set off after lunch on Saturday, and soon we had two napping kids in the back of the car.
We really loved the beluga whales at the aquarium, as well as the sea lion show, the assorted sea lion feedings, the penguin feeding, and the New England marsh exhibit, where we spotted upwards of 22 frogs and 6 turtles. Samantha learned the words "whale," "fish," "frog," and "turtle," and she was super excited about seeing the animals.
For dinner on Saturday we went to Captain Scott's in New London, which was supposed to have a good lobster roll. It certainly did--we ordered the hot Connecticut-style roll and Marcus devoured every shred of it, while we split a fisherman's sampler (fried shrimp--which Marcus also ate, fried clams, fried cod, and clam fritters) and a lobster bisque. The clam fritters dunked in the lobster bisque were out of the world, and Robert was really tempted to return to this place on Monday--you know, when it was empty and freezing, eating outside right on the water in the cold rain. It was worth it!
After dinner we went back into Mystic to go to the Drawbridge Ice Cream place--I was actually not hugely impressed with the ice cream, but we sure had fun walking over the drawbridge and hopefully waiting for boats to pass by.
The next morning, we assembled a quick breakfast in our motel, the Flagship Inn and Suites. Very grandly named, it was nevertheless clean and perfectly comfortable.
We were at the historic Seaport when they opened at 9:00, and we walked into virtually all of the houses and shops and building in the restoration village. We tried to get Marcus to take part in a raise-the-sail drill, where the workers taught the tourists (mostly kids) a nineteenth-century call-and-response chant that was used when the sailors would do their hand-over-hand maneuvers to raise the sails. Marcus got nervous and stepped out of line, though, so I stepped in in his place. The boy in front of me had a horrible technique, and even with Samantha on my front, I was much better.
Robert and Marcus checked out a kids' navigation kit and got to use a compass and some other tools to do a small scavenger hunt on the grounds, and Samantha and I listened to a good baritone sing sea shanties before a crew demonstrated a whaling boat.
We had lunch right on the grounds, a hot dog and fried fish plate and something with pulled pork, and then Robert played in a game of baseball with 1850s rules (Marcus was about to, but backed off at the last minute, so Robert got to bat against the baritone from before, who was now the hurler).
Samantha took a nap, Marcus built a wooden boat, we bought some old-fashioned "penny candy" sticks from the general store, and we spent most of the rest of the afternoon talking to some New Yorkers we met in the playground area (a Hunterite, class of 1979, and her sister and brother-in-law and their kids), while Marcus and Samantha climbed on everything outside and played with all the sailing-themed toys in the children's house.
Dinner on Sunday was at Noah's in Stonington, an excellent, unpretentious little place. Marcus had another lobster roll; I had local scallops, simply broiled; Robert had local monkfish with white wine and butter and breadcrumbs. Samantha, as at all our meals this weekend, ate a good amount of fish herself, and we finished with a fabulous house-made coconut layer cake and house-made chocolate malt balls.
At the end of the weekend, Marcus announced that he wanted to stay in Mystic forever. We convinced him that another couple hours at the aquarium and then a nice drive home, a Shake Shack lunch, and a JP Lick's cone, would be an adequate substitute. Happy Memorial Day weekend!
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Created: 5/28/13. Last Modified: 5/28/13.