Sometimes Connecticut is the best place. PART THREE

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On our final full day in Connecticut, we woke up early.  After eating a quick breakfast, we headed up to Mystic, Connecticut.

It was Nerd Heaven.

Our first stop was the Mystic Seaport, which is an entire complex set up as a 19th-centry seaport.  SO MANY DEMONSTRATIONS.  SO MANY COOL SHIPS TO WALK AROUND.  SO MANY COOL OLD STOREFRONTS TO WALK INTO.  SO MUCH LEARNING. 

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Neat old ship! It had a fascinating history too detailed to recount here.

I cannot stress enough how much fun it was to watch an anchor being brought up or to watch an open-sea fishing demonstration or to walk through an actual old whaling ships.  Those areas that were not equipped with actual demonstrators in them doing something (blacksmiths, coopers, most of the ships) had wonderful educational plaques and reconstructions that you could read.  And then there’s the actual thrill of walking through another world – a world without computers and cellphones and electronic navigational equipment.  A brilliant place.  Just brilliant.

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That one’s mine. That cute girl there.

On that day, we wanted to stay forever.  We, however, had bought a double ticket that gave us admission to the Mystic Aquarium as well, so we begrudgingly left the seaport and headed across town to the aquarium, which was super-fun as well.

We both had grown up with the advantage of great aquariums, but this was no less fantastic than others we’ve seen.  The most entrancing animals present were the beluga whales.  I likened them to a cross between a dolphin and a dog.  They swam like dolphins – graceful, playful, upside-down, right next to the glass to show off for the kids – but there was something more (less?) there than you see in dolphins.  It was almost an openness, a simpler way of looking at things.  I know they’re not as intelligent as dolphins, so perhaps it was really just the lesser intelligence I was seeing.  But it was still charming to watch and something that I had never seen up close.

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Clarification: we saw actual beluga whales as well as plastic ones.

My one point of contention with the aquarium was the touch tank.  UGH.  I cannot abide by families (read: parents) who have no awareness of others around them. 

Yes, Ma’am – my girlfriend and I are standing right behind your child, waiting for a turn to touch the sting rays.  Yes, you’ve been there for ten minutes on your phone and your kid hasn’t even tried to put his hand in the water once since you first plopped him down there.  Yes, every other person around the tank is doing the same thing, i.e. – not paying attention to anyone but themselves.

After an extended wait, however, we managed to steal a spot and touch the ray.  After we did so, we left to make way for others who wanted to do the same.  How hard was that??

We ate dinner at a charming little place and made plans to come back the next day.

Which we did.

After a harrowing laundry experience the next morning (we may have overestimated the drying power of the standard Maytag), we loaded up the car and left our little house in Fairfield.  Then we drove right back up to Mystic Seaport.

After all, there was so much we didn’t do the first time!  The planetarium, the hauling up of the anchor, the exhibit on figureheads, the small boat museum!  We strolled the grounds a second time (AND STILL DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO DO EVERYTHING) and realized we had to head back home.

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The drive back was lovely as we listened to showtunes, refreshed from our New England vacay.

We dropped off the rental car and greeted our cat with open arms.
We were home.

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Sometimes you learn things from Jungle 2 Jungle.

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I watched Jungle 2 Jungle today.  It was the first time since I first saw it in theaters when I was a kid.  Here are the life lessons I took away:

1. The stock market is difficult.  Also, they wear bright colored jackets and nametags so people know who they are.  They’re like costumes, and they even have a coat check dressing room adjacent to the trading floor.  So basically the stock market is like a big play.

2. Mimi-Siku means “cat piss.”

3. Fruit increases flatulence, according to Tim Allen.

4. The 90’s were a very different time, when a thirteen-year-old boy could fly on a plane and walk through the airport shirtless, shoeless, and carrying a bow and arrow.  And nobody gave him a second look.
Also – You could crawl out one of the windows of the crown on the Statue of Liberty and nobody would try to stop you – they’d just take pictures.  Also, you could get released from the police within hours of committing this act.

5. No one in big cities carries a bag or has anywhere to go ever.  They’re just always completely bagless and purseless, totally game for some impromptu dancing in front of a street performer who doesn’t look like they have a license.

6. I miss the original Game Boy.  And the cool light/magnifying glass you could get with it.

7. Unconscious cat humor is always effective.  Especially when it is paired with tranquilizing blowguns.

8. David Ogden Stiers is amazing.

9. It’s always funny when someone says “That’s gotta hurt” after watching someone else get kicked in the crotch.

10. If you live in Lipo Lipo and you give a girl a pot, it’s like friending someone your crush on Facebook – things are gonna get real.