Mystic Day

The crazy thing about being out east for me is trying to wrap my mind around where we are in relation to where we are going to be.  Lynn says “hey let’s go up the east coast for some seafood” and I’m thinking ‘What?  That’s a whole separate trip!”

Oh silly me, we are on the east coast.  So, off we go, to Connecticut for the day.

What a lovely drive, once we got through the city.  Actually, despite the fact that I’m an outdoors nut, I can truly appreciate seeing concrete  jungles, up close and from a distance.  The view of New York City as we race down the freeway, reminds me of so many apocalyptic movies I’ve seen, where people are rushing to escape NYC before whatever ‘end of days’ situation is going to occur.  Trying to cross the bridge, trying to get down the road, trying to flee, as I guess we were.  Yes, we were fleeing to a better place, Mystic Connecticut, where the ocean breeze is crisp and the seafood is out of this world. 

It’s a long haul north from Cranford NJ to CT, giving us lots of time to talk.  We came up with solutions for most of the world’s problems, and each other’s.  Then my phone rang.  “Elaine!!!” She got my email and can meet us in Mystic! 

I couldn’t be more excited to see my good friend and former business associate Elaine.  We had some history in the archery industry!  Work is always work, but sometimes you get to make that special connection with others. We certainly did that.  In some ways, Elaine has been an inspiration to me, since she left her long time marketing positioning to become a nurse, making a complete career change in later life.

Details are confirmed on when and where to meet.  S&P Oyster Company on the water, comes highly recommended.  We should get there about 1:00—just in time for lunch! We stop at a rest stop that was closed.  Helped a guy jump his car along the way. The view on the eastern shore is beautiful   Woody and fresh, and somewhat uninhabited. The air seems so clean.  The waterscapes look “novelish” with their sleepy little seaport towns lining the waterside, like something out of a Harlequin Romance or Stephan King book. 

We arrive to Mystic and park several blocks from S&P Oyster Co. so we can walk the scenic streets and shop.  Then we meet up with Elaine. It was like time stood still and it was yesterday!  Isn’t it wonderful how the people you cherish seem to remain the same, timeless, ageless, and just as you always pictured them?  That was Elaine.  Still the same bright, cheery, happy person I knew years before. 

We caught up over fantastic fresh seafood and cocktails, and then walked around historic Mystic CT.  Of course we couldn’t end our visit without taking pictures at Mystic Pizza, and stopping at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream.  Unfortunately time was short, so we had to part ways, far too early.  Elaine gave us a couple suggestions for dinner, we hugged good by, and parted with a girlfriend pact that the 3 of us would meet again next year to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge together.  I’m in!

The remainder of the day Lynn and I spent touring the rest of Mystic, then heading to Stonington Borough, CT.  We were quickly running out of daylight but now we can see the Christmas lights of this quaint, historic little town.  We had just enough time to stop at the pier before dark, and face the straight line wind and cold to say “we were here!” and then head back to main street to check out the shops and find our dinner destination.

We ended up at the Dog Watch Café, on the water, directly overlooking Dodson Boatyard. What a fun place! The atmosphere was great, the food was delicious, and of course there’s a story behind the establishments name.

Dog Watch, in marine or naval talk, is a period of work duty or a work shift between 1600 and 2000 (4 and 8 pm).  It’s split into two—a first and last dog watch.  Compared to normal watches, each of these dog watches is “curtailed. “Dog Watch” may have come from the idea that someone tasked with one of these ‘half”’ watches was said to be not pulling their weight, ‘dodging the watch’, when standing the ‘dodge watch’. This became shortened to ‘dog watch’. Another folk etymology is that someone sleeping only gets ‘dog sleep’ in this watch.  This watch exists because in order for the crew to rotate through all the watches, one needed to be split in half.  It allowed the sailors to stand different watches instead of always having to stand the mid-watch night after night.  Plus, they could occasionally have dinner at traditional time with the rotation of watches. 

As for me, I just got a big kick out of the branding on their sellables and had a hay day buying souvenirs.  Once Lynn and I picked out our memorabilia take-aways we got into the car and headed back to New Jersey. A Mystic day to remember!

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