Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Mystic vacation

Alright, I know you've been waiting. I'm finally getting around to doing the photo thing for our vacation. Ready? Let's travel.

We left Thursday and got stuck in traffic getting out of NYC, so we didn't get to our B&B until 8 p.m. By the time we got settled in and fed Thunder, who went with us, it was after 9 when we set out to find dinner. There wasn't much open, but we managed to sneak in under the clock before Mystic Pizza closed, and we were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Mystic Pizza is the namesake of the 1988 movie, starring Julia Roberts, which I haven't seen. Yet.

Click on any photo to see it larger.

The B&B we stayed in was nice enough, and they brought us breakfast every morning. Friday morning it was sausage, eggs, and muffins. But they were banana muffins so I couldn't eat them (bananas make me sick, literally). So after lounging around a bit and getting ready, we ventured out for lunch to a place called Go Fish, and had some surprisingly good seafood. We weren't sure what we were in for...the parking lot wasn't very full. But after lunch was the fun part.

I wasn't expecting much from the Mystic Aquarium. After being to the aquariums in Chattanooga and Atlanta, it seemed pretty small. But good things come in small packages. And it was fairly empty on that day, so we rarely even had other visitors around us. As you walk in, the first thing you see is the beluga whales. You can pretty much walk right up to the edge of their tank, and there's a window for below-viewing too.

Popping up to say hi
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Then they were starting the sea lion show, so we did that. There were three of them, Coco, the big dark one, Surfer, the middle child, and Boomerang, who is 2 years old but still tiny compared to Coco and Surfer. He was an orphan and they named him Boomerang because when he was released back into the wild he came right back, so now he lives at the aquarium. Oh, and the day we were there was Halloween, which is why the trainers are wearing pajamas.

Coco coming out to say hello

Boomerang waves hello

Coco showing us how sea lions like to get around...they slide!

Surfer shows us his teeth

Coco holds a fish in his mouth and won't eat it until the trainer claps, even when the whole audience clapped! Here, she's trying to trick him, but he doesn't fall for it.

Coco leaps out of the water to touch the toy! (See those shapes on the back wall? They've been trained to pick them out when told.)

Some stuff from inside...
This was a neat exhibit. They took a styrofoam cup to different sea levels, and the compression actually shrank the cups since styrofoam is made of mostly air.

Scott the marine biologist

Back outside...
A seagull tries to get in on the sea lion's fishy goods
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Finally we made it inside to what I guess would your typical aquarium exhibits.
I know this is blurry, but it's Boomerang chasing his tail.

Bird-eating spider bigger than your fist (intentionally left this one small in case you don't want to see it)

That evening, we had dinner at S&P Oyster Co., which is kinda like THE place to go for dinner in Mystic. It's right on the water. Here was the view from our corner table.
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On Saturday, after our breakfast of french toast and sausage, we came across a scenic stopping spot. Actually, we turned around here like 5 times, but that's beside the point.
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But this is where we were headed: Mystic Seaport. It's kinda like historic Williamsburg for those of you who have been there, with old-time buildings and shops where you can watch them make hoop skirts and rope. They also have boats there you can get on and walk around. This is the Joseph Conrad, which served as a commercial training ship for more than a century.
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The lighthouse

Underneath the deck of the L.A. Dunton, which is a national historic landmark. This is where the crew ate and slept.

Me on the boat...although you can't see the boat...

Saw some pretty fall colors on the way back to the inn
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On Sunday, after our pancakes and bacon, we checked out and headed home. But not before Thunder got his turn. We stopped at Ocean Beach State Park on our way out of town. They have a nice nature walk, and then we went down to the beach.

From the nature walk
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Down to the water (the little speck in the distance is a lighthouse)
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Thunder biting at the waves

And running at me full tilt

After that, we packed up our tired puppy and headed home. The End.


Meaghan said...

Looks like you had SO much fun, and the scenery was great! Thunder biting at the waves reminds me of Sadie.

Anonymous said...

Always enjoy your pictures!

Kristin Ross said...

The pictures are great, and thanks for the wonderful recap! I enjoyed them!

Nicole said...

Aw!! Thank you for posting photos, Steph! Looks like such a lovely place.