Day Off Date!

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The last time I traveled down to Mystic, Connecticut was in the Summer of 2014 in the days following my return from San Diego Comic-Con. My friend Stef and I had gone down for the day to visit the aquarium and the neighboring Mystic Village for some shopping  before we finished up with dinner at Daniel Packer Inne. Since then, I’ve been meaning to head back to spend some time in Mystic’s downtown area- which is lined with independently owned businesses, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants- but I’ve just never found the time.

Last Tuesday, one of the hottest days of the Summer so far (although this past week had been brutal temperature, humidity, and severe weather-wise), I used my day off to finally make the trip back to Mystic- solo, this time- for an afternoon by the river.

While I was there, I managed to scratch one more thing off of my bucket list: I finally had a slice of pizza at Mystic Pizza. Yes, the one made famous by the 1988 Julia Roberts movie of the same name.

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While the exterior of Mystic Pizza is straight out of the movie- the inside is much tinier and lined with a lot more movie memorabilia and souvenirs for sale. It’s cute, but still maintains a “local” vibe- which I like. I ordered two slices of pepperoni pizza, which were made fresh- and was kindly seated at a booth in the adjacent restaurant area when the main part of the pizzeria was filled up with people on their lunch breaks and I couldn’t find a spot to sit and eat- and it tasted pretty good!

The employees at Mystic Pizza are all super sweet, too- and the fact that they were playing the movie on the TVs in the restaurant was a nice touch. I’d nearly forgotten how fantastically cheesy that film was.

After lunch, I went for a stroll downtown- stopping to window shop at Peppergass and Tulip and Once A Sale, Forever A Sea before grabbing an iced latte at Bartleby’s Cafe and making my way towards Mystic Village to pick up a couple of gifts for friends and family.

After a long, hot, and lazy afternoon- I took the back roads all the way home to enjoy some more picturesque scenery.

Overall, it was a lovely day. I’d love to head back to Mystic when the weather cools down a bit and spend more time outdoors- maybe even take a harbor cruise to pass the time when I know I won’t roast under the sun!

Oddly enough, this week marks the beginning of a mini-vacation for me that I didn’t know about until recently. I had a few unexpected days off at work starting today that run through the end of the week- so I’m looking forward to taking a couple more day trips before it’s time to head back to my office next Monday!

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xx

The Life Aquatic.

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The last time I went to Mystic Aquarium, I don’t think I’d turned 21 yet- and I also think I may have called out of my job at the time just so that I could make the trip to Connecticut with some of my friends (who also may have called out of their jobs, too. None of us were exactly responsible back then.) Before that, spending a day in Mystic was a family Summertime tradition for years- only gradually fading out as my brothers and I got old enough where we could bring ourselves or go with friends whenever we felt like it.

Much like Roger Williams Park Zoo’s efforts, Mystic has the distinction of not only being a great place to view so many species of fish and sea mammals in one convenient location- but the facility is also a leader in oceanic research and in the education of how to care for and protect the marine life within and around the waters. Their conservation efforts over the years have been really admirable- and there are so many ways visitors and locals can get involved to help, too.

This past Sunday, having a lazy afternoon with no concrete plans- my friend Stef and I decided to head down to Mystic for the remainder of the day (coincidentally enough, Stef was with me during the last pilgrimage there before I turned 21, too.) to look at the penguins, sharks, and seals. The place was crawling with temperamental toddlers, so we didn’t stay long- but we had a nice time for the couple of hours we were there- especially in the “Titanic” inspired exhibit within the indoor 4-D theater area. I’m not sure how long that particular exhibit will be on display, but it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area and need to escape screaming children for 15-20 minutes.

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Directly across from Mystic Aquarium is Olde Mistick Village, which was also a yearly stop for my family and I when I was a kid. OMV, which hasn’t changed much over the years- is just a series of pathways, small restaurants, and shops. When Stef and I left the aquarium, we headed over and perused a few different clothing boutiques, natural remedy shops, and even a store that specialized in Wicca/Pagan materials until we started getting hungry and headed towards downtown Mystic to grab some food.

Unlike the area on the Mystic River that I’m most familiar with (Chelsea,) downtown Mystic, CT. is charming and full of activity. While we were stopped in traffic, both Stef and I couldn’t help but comment in disbelief at how cute it all was. I’d like to go back before the Summer is over and take a few more photos of the area before it gets blanketed by snow- and check out the farmer’s market I saw advertised on a banner.

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It took a little searching, and more than one missed turn, but Stef and I eventually found a spot she’d located on her phone and thought we should try for dinner on Sunday night: Captain Daniel Packer Inne, which as you can probably guess- is an old inn turned restaurant/pub. Besides the really cool interior, the place also had some of the best food I’ve ever tasted- including but not limited to the salted caramel gelato I dove into when I was done chowing down on dinner. So, so good.

The entire afternoon/evening was such a nice time- such a wonderful way to end the weekend (and technically begin the week.)