Weekend Recaps

Road Trip to Mystic Aquarium

by agirlandhermutt on July 28, 2015

YES! I have officially marked off #16 from my 35 While 35 list. Visit Mystic Aquarium! This little line item has been on the list for about 5 years. Every single time I try to visit, something comes up. One year we were in the area for a wine expo event and had plans to visit the aquarium the next day. Random snow storm. Another year there was a hurricane. This year we had plans to visit for my birthday, but that whole hospitalization thing happened.

In the middle of last week it randomly occurred to us that we had a free Saturday and maybe we could just pop down to Connecticut for a quick visit to the aquarium. This was perfect for the whole explore New England thing we have been doing this summer. I was like a kid on Christmas morning!

And we finally made it!

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Yes, that is a picture of nothing. I got excited to show my parents I had made it and didn’t realize I wasn’t actually taking a photo of anything. Oops.

Mystic has a few really great outdoor areas for the beluga whales, sea lions and African penguins. Untitled
This is Astro. He is a 9 year old sea lion that weighs about 800+ pounds. Apparently he kept stranding himself on land, would get rehabilitated and then do it all over again. After the 3rd or 4th time they realized that he wouldn’t survive in the wild so they brought him to Mystic.

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One of the Beluga Whales, which always get the Baby Beluga song stuck in my head for days.

My favorite exhibits at aquariums are always the jellyfish. I avoid those suckers like the plague in the water, but in an aquarium I just can’t get enough of them. Mystic’s had a really nice collection that were fascinating to watch.
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We spent about 3 hours walking around the aquarium, exploring all the exhibits and even touching a few rays.
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They had a separate exhibit called Exploration: Wild that had little scenes from the Arctic, Rain Forest, etc. There was even a an exhibit for the Titanic which was random, but really interesting. They had a great picture representation of how many were saved and died from each class on the ship. The crew had the most men perish in the accident, but they also managed to have the most saved. The exhibit did a great job highlighting the division of class without overdoing it.

There weren’t really any animals, but they did have a few fun photo ops set up.

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Not the Titanic.

Throughout the aquarium there are pieces of art from an organization calledWashed Ashore. The organization is a non-profit that cleans up debris from beaches and then makes artwork out of it in order to teach about the environment, plastic pollution and cleaning up the oceans.

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These pieces of artwork are incredible. Not only are they huge, but they are just really cool looking. You almost forget that these are made from TRASH that is found on our beautiful beaches.

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After the aquarium, and being around tons of childrens ;), I needed some food and a beer. We headed over to S&P Oyster Company to grab a bite to eat.
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The restaurant was busy, but really nice. Good food, great service and a nice view of the water.

We can’t ever seem to make a trip without a stop at a brewery and this time was no different. We stopped at Beer’d. We had heard good things about this brewery, but I just really liked their logo. :) Beards are the best! Untitled

This nano brewery is located in a space called the American Velvet Mill. Once the mill closed, artists started to move into the mill and created studios and gallery space. It is a unique space that was fun to navigate around. Untitled
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The brewery offers free tastings of whatever they have on tap and then you can also get pints and growlers filled. Beer’d seems to specialize in DIPAs, which just so happen to my specialty too.
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The last stop on our road trip was to The Malted Barley for a quick snack before hitting the road. Untitled
Chipotle pepper and gouda stuffed soft pretzel. Seriously. With apricot butter. Just kill me now. Untitled

With a full belly and a bucket list item completed, we headed back to Boston!

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I got a few recommendations on places to visit the next time I am in Mystic so I will definitely be heading back down again. The city is really cute and it was an easy drive on a Saturday morning.

So where to next?! I’m ready for another adventure!

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Sun & Fun Weekend

by agirlandhermutt on July 14, 2015

Hello there!! This past weekend was just…fantastic. Hot. But really really lovely.

For the past few months my friend,Karen, has been getting ready for her wedding and I have been serving as her “fashion consultant”. Ha. Don’t get it twisted. I know I am no fashion expert, but I do know what looks good and did pretty good with my own wedding makeup. Plus, I’m super bossy and love telling people my opinion. 😉

On Saturday morning I headed over to meet with up with the bride and her family to help her get ready. She had set up shop in a bed & breakfast down the street from her house, where the wedding and reception would take place. Yes, a home wedding! How easy is that?!

A few mimosas, some makeup, and a veil later and the bride was ready to go!

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She wanted to have a retro vibe with her wedding look and she totally pulled it off. It was retro without being costumey and perfect for the location.

Karen’s wedding was filled with family and friends. They had all kind of activities for the kids and plenty of food, desserts and beer for the adults. But I have to say that the best part was seeing Karen so happy. Congrats to Karen and her HUSBAND!

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After Karen’s wedding, I was pooped. I was more tired than when I got married! I ended up spending the rest of the evening just laying on the couch, watching tv and eating Chipotle. I know how to party.

Sunday was supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far so we decided that it would make for the perfect beach day. Unfortunately, every other person in Massachusetts had this bright idea too. What is normally a 40 minute drive to our favorite beach ended up being a 1.5 hr drive. When we got there, the beach lot was full. Just as we were about to give up, we discovered a public beach access route in a neighborhood that had parking right next to it. YESSSS! Free parking is the best parking.

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We spent the next few hours soaking up the sun and enjoying our first official beach day of the year. The traffic was nuts on the way home so we did a u-turn, headed up to Portsmouth, NH and had dinner and drinks at Portsmouth Brewery. Ahhhh. Perfect way to end the day.

Last year I didn’t really hit up the beach much. I was training for my triathlon so I often visited my neighborhood pool to swim laps, or as I did most times, lay around and people watch. The pool just opened last week so I’m looking forward to making my grand return this weekend.

So summer is officially here! I’m trying to make the most out of it by doing all kinds of fun New England/Boston things. If something is offered that is outdoors and sounds fun, I’ll be there. The goal is to get out and enjoy the area WITHOUT all of the snow. 😉

With that said, I want to mark a few items off my 35 While 35 list.

1. Visit the arboretum.
4. Visit Nantucket.
5. Watch a Red Sox game at Bleacher Bar.
24. Participate in a biking event.

These items would be perfect to do this summer and I’m ready to get on it!

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A Weekend in Portland, Maine

May 29, 2015

Heeeeyyy there. Today I am preparing for an epic beer weekend after coming off of an epic getaway weekend. I’m going to need a break from all things beer and cheese related…starting Sunday! 😉 My traveling schedule has been a little sad this year because of my illness and surgery and I was feeling the […]

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