This past weekend I took a short trip just to get out of the city with J_. I took my folks car (with their permission of course) picked J_ up from Starbucks and off we headed from Douglaston, Queens, up to Mystic, Connecticut.
First off, traffic sucks. We got a late start and managed to leave around 2 in the PM. First off, the mix CD I made didn't work. I accidentally made an MP3 CD which wouldn't play in my regular CD player. So that blew. And then J_'s iPod decided not to work and that also blew. J_ doesn't so much like a lot of my CD's because my music isn't very happy (a good deal of indie rock, and we all know how happy Death Cab or Neutral Milk Hotel and the Dresden Dolls really are).
I shall list the tracks of the mix CD here as I put some time and effort into it, and, though it isn't the best mix CD, it is happy music (mostly) and I want to share. If I knew how to upload the music itself I'd do that, but I don't know how, you'll have to be satisfied with the song titles instead.
1. The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song - The Flaming Lips
2. Mambo Sun - Eszter Balint (covering the Marc Bolan original)
3 ? (I don't know, it's some ska song I stole from my brother's computer, it was untitled)
4. Lupin the 3rd - The Tokyo Ska Jazz Orchestra
5. Circles (live bootleg) - Soul Coughing
6. Comfort Eagle - Cake
7. The Peter Gunn Theme song - Henry Mancini
8. Jaan Pehechan Ho - Mohammad Rafi (from the Ghost World Soundtrack)
9. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained - Huang Sheng Yi, Raymond Wong, Lin Xi (from the Kung Fu Hustle Soundtrack)
10. Summer: III Presto - Vivaldi
11. Coin-Operated Boy - The Dresden Dolls
12. Angle with an Attitude - The Ditty Bops
13. God is a DJ - Pink (Don't judge me people! It's happy music)
14. Soft Revolution - the Stars
15. I wish I was a Punk Rock Girl (with flowers in my hair) - Sandi Thom
16. (Love is) What I Got - Sublime
17. Stuff that I like - Brak (From the Brak show on Cartoon Network)
18. Rockin' the Suburbs - Ben Folds
19. Dreaming of You - The Coral
20. Someone to Watch Over Me - Ella Fitzgerald.
So instead we listened to some Israeli 90's rock I had (a great band called Monica Sex which has since broken up - boo!). Then the radio. The ride, which really shouldn't have been more than three hours, took a little over four hours of bumper to bumper traffic. Grah interstate 95!
When finally got to our hotel (Cedar Park Whirlpool Suites - our room was not as nice as those pictured) I was a little nervous as the exterior really isn't the nicest in person. But it turned out to be a really nice, cozy place to stay. The staff was great and friendly, and even the other guests were nice. So that was a nice surprise.
We wanted to walk around Mystic but alas, it was raining, thus we we went straight for dinner.
As I hadn't done any real research on where to eat or anything like that, we just stopped at the first nice place we saw. This happened to be the "Seaman's Inn" (and because you are all upstanding readers I shall refrain from all the horrible dirty puns I shot, rapid fire, at J_ while we were parking). It was right by the Seaport, and had Tofu Pad Thai as the vegetarian option.
Note to anyone traveling anywhere. Maybe it's because I'm spoiled having lived in Boston, and now in NY, but I'm used to good Pad Thai. For future reference, don't order Pad Thai from a New England pub known for it's fresh seafood and chowder. It's just a bad idea. Pad Thai should only be consumed from real Thai restaurants, and that's all I'll say on that matter.
We managed to find a Starbucks (every time I think I'm out they pull me back in) and found they had all sorts of pastries we don't get. We ordered our drinks and then took a walk around the very small shopping center where the Starbucks was found. I lucked out and found a Van Heusen store with a huge sale. I got a really nice shirt and tie for only twenty bucks total, which is pretty outstanding in general, and even more so compared to most sale prices I see here in the city. NY is so freaking expensive.
We drove back to the Hotel, watched the end of Monk, and the new show Psych on USA. Psych is really a poor man's Monk. It's cute but not nearly as good.
Anyway, aside from the fact that I'm horrid in bed, there really is nothing more to tell you about until the following morning.
We slept in and missed the complimentary breakfast, which kinda sucked as I didn't want to go out and try and find a good breakfast place somewhere else.
We spent the morning in a huge tourist trap of sixty shops in an area set up to look like an old New England Village. If you ever go to Mystic it isn't worth your time.
Then it was off to the Mystic Aquarium. Here is what I learned at the aquarium (which really is pretty nice, though a bit small, on the plus side most of it is outdoors):
- Poison Dart Frogs get their names because natives would rub darts on the frogs to get the poison mucus secreted by the frog onto the darts.
- Sea Horses use their tails to grab onto seaweed and such to prevent being washed away by the current.
-Sea Horses have a series of rigid circular bones that keeps them upright as they swim.
-Many Bats aren't blind; some even have better vision than humans.
- The Electric Eel can release an electric charge with enough energy to bake a pie and do a load of wash in the dryer simultaneously.
- Beluga Whales use the weird dome thing on their head to make the many sounds they make to communicate.
- Sea Lions are a lot bigger than I though they were (weighing up to 2500 pounds).
I think that might be it. Also, if you are walking around under the sun for a long time, wear sunscreen. Technically I knew this already, but I wasn't wise enough to actually use said knowledge to my advantage that day.
After the Aquarium we headed straight to Friendly's. Why Friendly's you may ask instead of say, a local restaurant? Well screw you! I don't need to answer your questions. Stop Judging Me!
Really though, I grew up on Friendly's, it was a huge part of my childhood, and J_ had never in her life been to one. Thus, Friendly's - at least in my mind - was an imperative.
Full of ice creamy goodness, we headed towards the seaport, which we then learned closed at five (the time was 4:40).
Since we had plenty of time to kill (we were in no rush to go home) we headed into downtown.
Gosh darn if that isn't what we should have done first. For some reason I thought the cheesy faux New England village was the downtown. I was wrong. The Downtown was much nicer. We walked around, checked out the shops, hung out at a park by the docks on Mystic River, and walked around some more through the general neighborhood checking out the old (well mid-1800's old) houses. They were really nice.
The neighborhood goes up a hill from the river. At the top of the hill there is a nice senior retirement community. Actually, I don't know how nice the community really is, but it sure looked nice. So nice we thought about cutting through the "emergency" path located on the side downwards, just to check out the nice lawn and such. We opted out of the shortcut in order to see more houses as we snaked our way back down towards the river.
We ambled further down the hill and saw a nice family owned funeral home. I thought to myself it would be funny in a movie or something if the "emergency" path from the retirement home led down to the Funeral Home. It's a bit dark, but J_ thought it was pretty funny. That is until we learned the truth: the "emergency" path really did lead down from the retirement home down to the funeral home. It was marked clear as day on the funeral home side. Feeling really bad, and cracking up at the same time, I wondered if the person was already dead, why was the path labeled "emergency"? It seems like once they are dead there are no emergencies anymore. Emergencies are the privilege of the living. Once you're dead, you have all the time in the world.
We almost got a slice at Mystic Pizza just because it was Mystic Pizza, even though J_ had never seen the movie Mystic Pizza. Sometimes I forget how young she really is. But we were full and went without.
Sun set, it was too cloudy to see stars, so we drove home.
The drive home took two hours.
Unrelated; I don't know if any of you have heard, but apparently it is rumored that Heath Ledger will play the Joker in the next Batman movie. I haven't figured out how I feel about this yet. Thoughts always welcome.
That is all, you may now resume your lives.
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