Mystic, Connecticut

"A breath of fresh air between New York and Boston."

We arrived in Mystic after driving since 3am.......correction -- Doug had been driving since 3am and I had been sleeping since 3am but whose keeping track???  We went straight to our hotel fully expecting that we would not be able to check-in this early but we were able to leave the truck and camper in the parking lot and walk the 1/4 mile to the Mystic Aquarium.  A quick stop in the tourist center scored us significantly discounted tickets to the aquarium!!  Love that!!!

The tourist center is located in Ole Mystic Village, a quaint collection of 60+ shops with meandering sidewalks and benches throughout.  The kids stopped at this old time well / water fountain trying to guess what it was...Carter had the best guess....a urinal....LOL.

Mystic Aquarium is the perfect blend of aquarium and zoo with a little bit of Sea World thrown into the mix.  I loved that it is 1/2 inside exhibits and 1/2 outside exhibits AND that the entire aquarium was very hands-on -- shark touch tank; sting ray feeding area; bird aviary.....we went to a funny sea lion show which reminded me of similar shows at Sea World and got to see some trainer interaction with the Beluga whales.  LOVE them too!! 

Did I mention I loved the opportunity for the kids to feed the stingrays?  Ariel had just mentioned recently that she remembers swimming with the stingrays on our Disney Cruise a few years ago and wanted to do that again.  What a neat opportunity.  Carter wasn't as thrilled to feed them but he did touch them every time they swam by. 

After the aquarium we were able to check into our room at The Hampton Inn.  Kudos to The Hampton Inn for being one of the few pet-friendly hotels in Mystic and for allowing us to check in early.  Doug and Riley both took naps while the kids and I went swimming and to lunch.  After lunch we decided to explore downtown Mystic and find the famous Mystic Pizza featured in the movie by the same name that stars Julia Roberts (which I watched just last night in preparation for our trip). 

 What is not to love about downtown Mystic?  Its a charming, coastal community with a rich nautical history and beautiful scenery. 
 And then there is the pizza....YUMMO!

We had 1/2 Seafood Delight and 1/2 plain cheese.  Doug and I loved it.  The kids said it was "flat"...that is their new word for any pizza that they do not like....I am not sure exactly what "flat pizza" is but in this case what they call "flat" we called "great". 

I really wanted to get one of their "Slice of Heaven" T-shirts but my frugal self won out over my "Got to Have It" self.  After dinner, we drove to the Mystic Fire Department so Doug could get a t-shirt but no one was at the station....guess new t-shirts were not meant to be today.  Back to the pool for another swim.   Tomorrow we are back on the road to Maine. 

Couldn't resist these last pictures of Riley living the "Suite Life"................

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