Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cheese Vacation

Today is our first full day back home. During the past three days we took a mini-vacation to Mystic, CT. It was a great weekend.

Things started off right on Friday with Henry's school's ice cream social. Every family member was invited and I think almost all of them came as the turnout was great. Henry had been asking about it for days. On Saturday I took the kids to the Gap Outlet to get Henry a swimsuit and myself some shirts. I was very glad that Henry was pretty excited about a swimsuit we bought (he usually doesn't like new things at all). We then went to the Ecotarium and had a good time riding the train, playing outside, withstanding the wind booth (multiple times, even Hazel could stand up in 80 mph winds!) and playing with musical tubes. On Sunday we went to the park in the afternoon after church and lots of pre-vacation errands.

Henry was very excited about our hotel. When he learned that they would have sheets and pillows there Henry asked Meg, "will they have clothes too?" I'm not exactly sure how he comprehended the idea as we haven't stayed in one in along time. He was also pumped about potentially having a TV in his room ("we'll have a TV party in my room!") and an indoor pool.

The ride down was pretty quick. Meg and I and got to have a conversation while the kids napped (a big plus about long rides). We went directly to the Mystic Aquarium. We saved a bit using our Big Y cards (thanks Uncle Greg!), but otherwise it is fairly steep. I think we made it worth it, however. The kids did really well here, except for the indoor aquariums, for some reason Henry was obsessed with checking out the upstairs (which was almost empty). Meg and I really appreciated how spread out the place is compared to the Boston Aquarium. After checking into the hotel and exploring the room (we had to unplug the three phones because Hazel was playing with them continuously) we went down to the pool. Henry did really well in the big pool with me and Hazel was most interested in enjoying the whirlpool with Meg (too hot for Henry, I guess). In the evening we went to Friendly's (sadly, the culinary highlight of our trip).

After two relatively good sleeps from the kids (the next night was even better) we enjoyed breakfast downstairs and went to Mystic Seaport. There were not many people there because of the rain --- better for us. We got a good discount via our Sturbridge Village membership and the fact that they let Henry in for free. I was surprised at how much kid stuff they have there. They had a great house with tons of good toys (see pictures), three play boats outside, a room with 19th century toys (to play with), lots of ship models and one very large model of the port. We even came back after lunchtime, swimming and napping at the hotel. We didn't push our luck with another restaurant trip for dinner and instead at downstairs. Henry and Hazel enjoyed the food.

The next day we went to breakfast downstairs, packed up and went back to the Mystic Aquarium (with our tickets we could go back for free). The place had much fewer people than our first visit so we enjoyed somethings a bit more. We also got to see a quick sea lion show. After the show (well actually before it) the kids began melting down so we headed home.

In summary it was a great trip. We're definitely looking forward to our "beach house" vacation later this summer.

Meg and Hazel watching the beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium. I found them a bit creepy, but the others seemed to enjoy them a lot!

Hazel getting excited seeing the penguins swim in front of her. She also liked the bullfrogs a lot that were nearby.

We had what was probably our most fun in the bird cage feeding parakeets. Meg was the best at getting them to come onto her stick. I was the only person who got pooped on. I thought our raincoats would come in more handy in this place!

Hazel was a big fan of the aquariums inside. She would point and say "whoah" at lot. At times she would put her hands over her ears ... although the fish made no sounds.

A true vacation. Cuddling with the kids while reading a book. Everyone's got juice.

Henry was very excited to put on his new swimming suit (except for the fact that it came with underwear). He even picked it out himself at the Gap Outlet. Hazel wore a new one from her role model Cassie.

Henry at the children's house at Mystic Seaport. The model he's playing with here was great. All of the ships and buildings could be moved about. "They have felt on the bottom!" It was reasonable accurate.

Meg and Hazel playing with some other toys near Henry and I.

The kids in the play kitchen. This was there favorite spot - much like in Sturbridge Village. Henry and Hazel fed Meg and I lots of eggs and donuts. Henry told me, "it's a kind of soup that doesn't burn."

Hazel still in her apron from the kitchen at the wheel.

Meg, Henry and Hazel fishing.

Henry and Hazel playing on the three outdoor kids' boats. These were really well made and kept them amused for sometime even outdoors in the rain.

Hazel peeking out.

The kids on our luggage cart.

Before we left I searched some coin.

5 small dollars and 8,000 halves had two 90% silver halves (2 x 1964) and six 40% silver halves (2 x 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968D, 1969D).

5,640 quarters produced four Canadians, four US nickels and one Cayman Islands 25¢.

2,950 dimes yielded four silver Rosies (1958D, 1961D, 2 x 1963D), four Canadians, one Guatemala 5¢ and one Singapore 10¢.

1,600 nickels turned up four Canadians, one Guatemala 10¢, two US dimes and one semi-key Jefferson, the 1951S.

24,900 pennies rounded up one hundred sixty-four Wheats, one hundred sixty-two Canadians, two UK pennies, twenty-six US dimes, one Euro 2¢ and one Bahamas 1¢. In the bunch was also a new modern one for me, the 2012.

1911, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1927, 1934(2), 1936, 1937, 1938(2), 1939(4)