Favorite Places

Last week Phil and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.  Just like we do every year during the warmer months, we had taken a few days and blocked them off as camping days, choosing our anniversary week to go somewhere.  Well, since money has been tight (there’s been Phil’s new truck, a new well pump and pressure tank, among other things), we haven’t gone camping at all this year, a fact which has dismayed Phil and the kids.  We will still be making our annual pilgrimage to Deerfield Fair, don’t you fret.

In any case, Phil has still taken some of those days off even.  For some of them, we’ve done little inexpensive “staycations,” doing something special but staying close to home.  Last week, we took advantage of our Mystic Aquarium membership (thanks, Gram!) and then had lunch in the village.  Normally, we like to walk around the village and do a bit of shopping, but we didn’t want to spend the entire day there, and I figured it would be easier on our wallets, anyway.  We were delighted to notice some fruit trees just outside the restaurant where we had lunch!  The kids had fun climbing the tree and, since there were no signs or people telling us otherwise, we happily picked some apples to munch on and extra to bring home.  I’ve told Phil a few times that when cities and towns buy shrubs and trees to fix up public areas, they should pick something that will bear fruit so people can pick free food!

Since we were just down the street from Mystic Seaport, we decided to stop by and get information about admission, exhibits, and so forth.  The kids loved the giant anchor out front, and we browsed one of the gift shops.  We’ll go back another day when we have more time and money to spend!  It will be neat since the visit will coincide with the kids learning about early-American history, and experiential learning is always the best (in my opinion).

Mystic collage

A couple days later, I suggested we do another one of our favorite things: picnic and walking at Beavertail (coincidentally, this is where Phil proposed).  We have since discovered that breakfast picnics are the best there – not as much to pack, it’s still relatively cool and not crowded when we’re done, and we still have time and energy to do something else afterwards.  I packed homemade banana bread and cranberry honey we bought in Mystic and afterwards we burnt some calories hopping along the rocks and checking out the water.  We’ve been talking about tide pools in science, so it was neat for the kids to be able to study them up close – the seaweed, tiny crabs hiding, snail shells, etc.

Beavertail collage

On the way back home, we spontaneously stopped at a local glassblower’s shop.  Whenever we pass we say that we’d love to go there, wonder when they’re open, yadda yadda… and this time around the open flag happened to be flying in the breeze.  It was amazing – watching them work, asking them questions, browsing their selection of beautiful, fragile-looking glass items and telling the kids over and over “don’t touch, don’t touch!”

It’s always so nice to spend time with my family… the whole family, not just the kiddos and me.  Everything works so much better when Daddy is home!  The luxury of a whole day spent together is few and far between, so I cherish those moments while I can.  I will admit that it was all bittersweet, being very conscious of the fact that “the last time I was here…” I was pregnant and thinking how our family would be growing and smiling to myself knowing I harbored a special secret growing inside of me… *sigh*  But God – or life, whatever – had other plans.