Saturday, April 9, 2011


I had wanted to plan something fun for Oliver's birthday this year, maybe something like the My Gym birthday party we went to, but hadn't figured it out yet. Then Bonnie and Terry said they were coming, and suddenly, Oliver's birthday became a full weekend of adventure instead of one silly party! I think he was thoroughly satisfied. He's upstairs "napping" as I write this, singing "Happy Birthday to You . . ." I think maybe he thinks his birthday is still being celebrated?

I guess you could say the adventure started with the Sesame Street Live show on Friday with Daddy. Then on Saturday, we got up and packed up the van and headed East.

Let me pause for a minute here to extoll the virtues of the van. We rented a van for the weekend, because our Sonata cannot fit 4 adults plus a car seat comfortably. See, you'd think you don't need a van until you have more than one kid, but one kid comes with a lot of stuff. You should see our car when we drive somewhere for Christmas, with suitcases plus gifts! And if anyone comes to visit, you have to drive two cars. It's really a pain. So, despite Marty's protests to the contrary, I think a van is an awesome thing. It's roomy, comfy, and you can haul a lot of crap! So Marty had Hertz points, and we got a Toyota Sienna. Now, I do not have any point of comparison, but it rocked. It had cupholders galore, individual climate controls, that little tv thing that shows you if anyone is behind you when you are backing up, comfy seats, automatic doors (fun!), and built in sun shades. No DVD player, bummer. But in my dream where we buy a van, they are built in. It was even a pretty olive green color. I'm sort of sad that I have no pictures of it to share with you!

But I digress.

We were off to Mystic on a gorgeous sunny day. We decided to go to the aquarium first, and let the sun warm up the day a bit. Oliver loves aquariums, but we hadn't been to one in a while, so this was a special treat. He was so excited, running around from tank to tank, oohing and ahhing over everything.

Ooooh, barracuda!

Beautiful fishies

Not the cheesy grin, but the "hurry up and take the picture" pose.

Then we headed over to the Mystic Seaport, a sort of living museum with a recreated 19th century village and lots of historic ships and boats, and sea-related things. Bonnie and Terry are sailors, so they really enjoyed it.

Bonnie and Oliver, rowing a boat on the gravel.

The gravel was actually crushed seashells, like in Florida. Oliver was fascinated.

Showing Daddy a seashell fragment. The tongue sticking out is a constant thing lately. Maybe he's a future Michael Jordan? Hah!

We thought this was such a cute backdrop for a little photo session. 

Oliver disagreed.

We finally got a little grin out of him!

The quaint little village. See how the blue sky is slowly being overtaken by heavy clouds. Yup, that's what happened to our nice sunny day. By the end it was cold, windy, and spitting rain.

Picking up more shells.

On a boat. Notice, shell fragment still in hand!

Inside a very old boat. They had a walkway built around and in it so you could walk through, but it was otherwise falling apart. Oliver loved it and "walked the circle" 4 times.

Riding a whale in the play area.

On a little boat turned play structure.

The photo session with Mommy soon turned silly.

Building a toy boat with Daddy.

Watch out, that glue is hot!

Mommy and Oliver in the snack shop taking a break.

Despite the weather turning, we had a very nice time, but by about 2:30 or so we were cold and done. While we were promised better weather, I think Mystic would have been better a bit later in the season. Yes, we beat the crowds, which was great, but at both the Aquarium and the Seaport, there were parts that weren't open yet. Not enough to ruin our visit, but maybe we missed a few things. Still, I wouldn't want to go in the height of the summer, because I bet it's a madhouse. 

Done with Mystic, we hopped in the wonderful van and drove on to Newport (about an hour away) so we could get checked in to our hotel, have a nice dinner, and see a little of the town. Gorgeous place. Wow. More about that soon!

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