Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Mystic Halloween

My brother recommended that we stop in Mystic, Connecticut.  The wiggly and narrow Mystic river winds about 3 nautical miles inland before bringing you close to the town of Mystic.  At the end of the channel is an old drawbridge weighted with a huge cement block.  We decided to hole up in the Brewer’s marina outside of the bridge and take the dingy in a mile to Mystic Seaport.  

Mystic Seaport is a living history maritime museum noted both for its collection of restored wooden boats and for the re-creation of an entire 19th century seafaring village consisting of over 60 original historic buildings. Upon arrival in the village with our dingy we started chatting with a guy named Mike who was working on the restoration of the oldest whaling boat in the world, the Charles W. Morgan.  We mentioned my brother’s name (he spent a few weeks working at the Seaport a few years  ago).  Mike remembered him and this started a whole chain reaction of friendly welcome in which the director of the shipyard invited us to bring the boat in to stay on their dock in the centre of the village, we got a tour of the inside of the whale boat, met a great guy named Jeff Gold who gave us advice and shared his memories about cruising in Central America and generally were treated wonderfully.  We moved the Pjotter into the dock in the village and settled in. Mystic Seaport has become one of our favourite spots.  

The Seaport village was also an amazing place for the monkeys.  Horse and carriage rides around the sight, a barrel maker who let them roll the barrels, an electric tugboat pond and a nautical children’s museum complete with child size boats to climb on are some of the things that had them leaping out of bed every morning clamouring to get outside.  

We ended up spending a week and leaving the day after Halloween. Halloween may have started to rival Sinterklaas and Christmas as favourite annual events with Emma and Macsen.  Halloween activities started on the Saturday, October 30th with a pumpkin carving competition featuring about 200 creatively carved pumpkins by various local talents. Wandering through the old buildings in the pitch dark looking at flickering pumpkins of every shape and sort was really pretty amazing.  The following day, on the 31st, all of the houses in the village handed out candy to trick-or-treaters.  Emma and Macsen, clad again respectively as a mermaid and a cat, joined the throngs of Mystic children grinning gleefully as their candy bags got fuller and fuller.  This loot was added to their Bristol collection and I don’t think either of them has ever seen a larger pile of candy. 

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