"On the road again, goin' places that I've never been. Seein' things that I may never see again." - Willie Nelson
We hopped the ferry in Port Jefferson and crossed the water to Bridgeport, or rather we navigated slowly and safely. As always, we have a tremendous penchant to travel on days where there is less than favorable weather. It’s amusing to note, that on both days we embarked from home, we encountered exceedingly thick fog. The majority of the trip to Bridgeport was spent trying to find a space to have a conversation. It was a pretty packed ride over, and it was heavily trafficked with small children.
One of the benefits of taking the ferry was it put us much closer to Mystic Seaport. I had never been, and Joe was positive it would be the perfect way to start our trip. Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, it collects and preserves the artifacts of America’s seafaring past, and the Northeast was where the foundations of that history began. During the colonial era, seafaring folk were the only kind that were around, so they figured out pretty quickly what food was in the waters. We learned about all the different tools they created, crafted, and perfected, so they would flourish in a predominantly wild environment. Since Mystic Seaport is an educational facility, it also has Artisans on staff using the techniques of decades past, to break down the barriers in history and show people what their ancestors achieved with mere humble beginnings. We walked from exhibit to exhibit, learning about all the various techniques in Wordpressing, Ropemaking, Coopering, Blacksmithing, Candlemaking, Shipbuilding, and about the study of weather patterns as it specifically relates to storms. It was a wonderful way to spend a morning. Before we left to head to our next stop, we treated ourselves to something I never knew existed; a fabulous concoction called a Baked Potato Pizza. Yeeessssssssssss. A tiny place called Pizzetta’s, tucked away in the back of an old Victorian Home, and some of the best gluten free pizza I’ve had…. however, to be fair, it wasn’t a fair metric. Anyone who knows me can attest to my obsessive fanaticism of potato; but Joe who is a more thorough judge did admit that while it wasn’t as good as the pizza in Wyoming, it was high up on the list (and A LOT closer to home!). We finished our carb overloaded lunch and lumbered off to our next stop.
Our next tour was through the Johnson and Wales Culinary Museum in Rhode Island. It’s a great (and inexpensive) pit stop to walk through, and learn about how most of our restaurant business was formed. Mostly, the museum focuses on the evolution of culinary technologies and the strategies that were successful for restaurant tycoons. It includes a section containing the achievements of its alumnus, but there was art and history abound. Paintings, and retired factory pieces, uniquely fit together to create a wonderful patchwork working mosaic of American Culinary History.
We left Rhode Island and drove a bit longer until we were just outside Boston. Joe had planned a small bit of a surprise for me for our morning Adventure. My only hint was that it was in Boston, and that I was personally going to love it. We spent the night in a hotel, and after having such a heavy lunch decided that a lighter snack style dinner of hummus and chips would suit our waistlines better.
In the morning, I woke up like an annoying child, excited for my soon to be discovered present. Mother Nature dejectedly attempted to dampen my parade, but I would not succumb. Rain had accompanied us through the majority of this trip, and had become more like a traveling companion. Traffic inside of Boston however, was almost the death of me, but we persevered, and found parking. We walked, and we walked, and we got lost a little bit and then we walked further. After which we found ourselves at the doors of Harvard. My loving husband took me inside of a building, to the 2nd floor, and to the silent glass cases housed within: the Warren Anatomical Museum, a small collection of medical anomalies, oddities, and rarities, that are part of a much larger anatomical library. I was in creeptastic heaven. Unfortunately, no photography is permitted of the exhibit, so what I witnessed is only for my memory banks.
After staying longer than we should have looking at the Warren collection, we climbed back in the car and continued onwards. Long periods of time in traffic has a tendency to make people cranky and we were no exception. So, we were grateful that our next stop offered adult refreshment as their main attraction. Smoky Quartz Distillery is a USA Veteran owned and operated distillery that makes everything they have out of locally sourced corn, or as locally sourced as they can get. The benefit to that, for me is… EVERYTHING is Gluten Free! Woo! Hello Bourbon! The owner took us on a small tour of his warehouse, showed us how everything was made, and why he chose to walk this path after he served our country. We had a phenomenal conversation, a small sip of everything he offered, and ended up buying a bottle of each. Traffic had died down enough for us to continue towards our goal for the day; a Walmart parking lot in Portland, Maine. This particular parking lot was chosen so that we would have a comfortable drive to Acadia National Park the next morning, but quickly became a fabulous travel destination in its own right, when we discovered that it shared residence with a movie theater, and not just any theater, but the kind with the incredibly large and comfortable reclining seats. Bonus. We bought tickets to see “Star Trek Beyond”, went back out to the lot to set up the car for the evening. After a quick conversion, we were ready to recline. Who doesn’t love going to the movies? Admittedly, it was the shortest commute home after going out that we ever had. It was a great way to spend time if you’re sleeping in a parking lot.