So I’m up in Mystic, Connecticut this weekend with my wife and in-laws for the wedding of one of their close family friends. Even though I grew up in New York, I’d never been here until Friday, when we took the ferry over.
(I highly recommend the ferry over I-95; less traffic and less aggravation, but fewer rest stops. There just isn’t a Starbucks or a Dunkin’ Donuts in the middle of Long Island Sound, though I’m sure somewhere, people are working on it.)
This is a very cool little town, and I can see why it has the reputation of being a big tourist area. It’s petty close to Providence, R.I., so naturally I’m finding a ton of Red Sox fans up here.
The shops and restaurants are pretty much clustered together, which made it easy for us to walk around. It also reminded me how much crap tourists buy, the fact that so many of these businesses, mostly selling similar items, are able to stay in business.
Being the 1980s pop culture lunatic that I am, I of course checked out Mystic Pizza, site of the not-so-famous Julia Roberts movie from 1988. Supposedly it was her first big movie, but I saw it and thought it was pretty bad. The pizza place, though, was cool. Movie posters were on the walls, and merchandise was for sale as well. They also have the movie playing all the time when the restaurant’s open.
Can you imagine how hellish that must be for the employees? I asked one of the women behind the counter, and she just rolled her eyes. I can sorta relate; when I worked at the great Rainbow Video in high school, we used to give out free popcorn to anyone who rented a movie. For years, I couldn’t stand even looking at popcorn.
Anyway, very cool little town up here, with great seafood restaurants, a great aquarium (the wedding I’m going to is actually being held at the Mystic Aquarium, to which I of course wondered, “will fish be served as a main course?” I’ll let you know what the verdict is!)
If you’re ever nearby, check it out. Sadly, the Mystic Chamber of Commerce didn’t sponsore this blog post.
**On another note, did you see Michael Phelps actually taunting his rival Milo Cavic after winning the 100 butterfly Saturday? The two swimmers, of course, had the most famous race of the Beijing Olympics, when, somehow, after trailing the whole race, Phelps won by literally a fingernail.
This time Phelps won by a “huge” margin of .13, and afterwards he puffed out his swimsuit, a la an NBA player, and stared at Cavic. Cavic had apparently talked a little trash a day earlier, mocking Phelps’ complaining about the new, faster swimsuits.
Nice to see the Golden Boy get a little attitude! One thing I’ve learned covering sports is at this level, guys like Phelps are always looking for any tiny reason to get extra motivated. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, all of them; they’ll use any perceived slight to fire them up.
Anyway, my man Ryan Lochte goes for one more gold medal Sunday in the 400 IM; if he wins, that would be four golds and a bronze.
To quote Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song,” that’s not too shabby.