Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New England Vacation -- Mystic Seaport CN

The plan* was to fly out Thursday morning, May 26, and arrive in Hartford CT around 5pm that evening. We were flying American Airlines, so were routed through Dallas/Fort Worth. As you may have heard, there was a lot of weather in the Midwest, including TX, so our flights were cancelled. I was moved to Friday and Dan was delayed all the way until Saturday, not arriving until after the wedding. I did some scrambling around, cancelling Dan's Burbank to Hartford flights and rescheduling him on Southwest Airlines. So, basically, we flew across the country on Friday, separately together....

We arrived in Hartford after midnight Friday night (too late to pick up our rental car), took a taxi to the hotel, and slept most of Saturday. That evening we attended the event we had flown to the East Coast for -- the wedding of our friends Denise Gattinella and Eric Lopez. Denise was a beautiful bride, Eric was proud and beaming and all of us were happy to be there to share this occasion with them.

Eric and Denise went off to Cabo San Lucas for their honeymoon; the rest of us are staying in Connecticut for the week and partying!

On Sunday, we took a drive to Mystic Seaport to see how ships are made and to attend (and eat our way through) a lobsterfest!

The event was held at the wharf where there is a visitors center; we went there first to figure out what was going on so we could make a plan for the day.*

There were many galleries and museums to tour here....

...ships in the harbor and beautiful homes across the water.

We toured a shipbuilding facility; one of the first things we saw was a huge log splitter that cut boards of uniform thickness for ship hulls.

To take the picture above, I stood on a balcony overlooking a workshop of very large proportions to accommodate the size of the seafaring ships that were built on site. The flags above pictured and named the various stages of shipbuilding that were done here.

Dan and me, on a platform outside the shipbuilding facility....

The groom's brother, Chad, and mom, Rhonda, inside an area where finishing work was done. There was a lot of sawdust on the floor!

We got to climb all over a ship that was built here in Mystic Seaport; it's been in dry dock and set up just for tourists to learn more about what life was like onboard a ship. Some of the "rooms" were set up to show us how the limited space on a ship was utilized for all of the things that had to be done on it -- working, sleeping, cooking, the barber shop, etc.

At left is one of the stoves -- not for cooking, but to help propel the ship through the water.

Abryann on a platform that we never did figure out a use for....

After we did all the educational stuff, we went over to the Boat Shed for the lobsterfest. Half of us ate lobster with melted butter and the other half had hot dogs; everybody got corn on the cob and cole slaw and lemonade. Those of us who had lobster rented the metal claw crackers for $1.00; when we brought back the crackers, we got a cookie! Good way to ensure that the group sponsoring the lobsterfest got all their utensils back!

We got back to the hotel too tired to eat dinner, so Dan and I got Drumsticks from the freezer part of the hotel pantry -- hooray for Marriott!

Next up -- Salem, Massachusetts, to learn about witches!

*Plan for the day: Our group numbered 20, so we often found that our plan for the day frequently shifted to Plan B, Plan C, or Plan Whatever the Heck It Was as we figured out how to accommodate our large numbers!

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