True talk: I often forget that Boston is a coastal city. When I hear seagulls, my first instinct is to assume they’re lost. My default setting is to think of New England as the birthplace of America; home of cider and maple syrup and Colonial houses; densely wooded, hilly, and full of cute woodland creatures. I have to remind myself of the lighthouses and the 473 miles of coastline. Never mind how the first settlers got here — what matters is that they probably really enjoyed the leaves in the fall.
Our trip to the Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago set me straight. (“A couple of a weeks ago”? Oops. I blame working-moving-unpacking-furnitureshopping for my blogging delinquency.)
We left Mass a little before 8:30 on Saturday morning and were at the Seaport by 10:00. It didn’t look that big when we walked in, so I figured we’d do a quick lap, hit up the near by shopping district, have an early dinner, and be on our way. HA!
The Seaport grounds are broken up into 58(!) points of interest. One section is dedicated to the Charles W. Morgan — America’s only remaining wooden whaling ship — and the other is made to look like a 19th century whaling village, complete with a drug store, a printing press, and a replica lighthouse.
We visited the ship first. She’s being restored for her 38th voyage, so after we’d looked around aboard, we took in a special exhibit about the restoration efforts.
Each building in the adjacent whaling village featured an exhibit on life by the sea in New England. We found out the history of oysters (America’s first fast food!), how rope was made in the 1800s, and about Civil War smuggling — all before lunch. We weren’t even halfway through when we decided to pause for a trip to Mystic Pizza.
Truth be told, I’ve only seen the movie once and I can’t remember a thing about it, but c’mon! It’s iconic. Unfortunately Julia Roberts was not our waitress.
We returned to the Seaport after lunch to learn about sailing, immigration, and barrel making (to store the whale oil, natch), among other things. It was such a fascinating experience that we stayed until they kicked us out!
After we shut the Seaport down, we poked around the shops down the street for an hour or so before heading to the Daniel Packer Inne for
sinful overindulgence dinner.
My friend Erin recommended it to us (she’s a New England native and has been talking up Mystic since before Boston was a twinkle in our eyes) and DING DING DING! It was a big money winner! A whole head(!) of roasted garlic and bread to start, lobster lollipops, truffle scallops and scallops Nantucket, and a big slice of flourless chocolate torte for dessert.
I was so blissed out from the day’s activities and the endless food that by the end of dinner the only words I could think to say were “Today was SO MUCH fun! I love it here. I love it here.”