Sunday, August 17, 2014

#383 Into The Mystic

At The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, every volunteer counselor must take an eight-hour rest period during the week.  You can take it in the morning (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) or in the evening (3 p.m. to 11 p.m.).  Last year I didn’t want to take my rest period because I didn’t want to miss any part of camp and I wasn’t tired.  Too bad - they make you.  So I rested in my room most of the time.  Bo-ring. 

This year I wanted to take a little adventure.  I found out Mystic, Connecticut is only an hour’s drive from Ashford so my goal was to drive there.  Why Mystic?  Why, “Mystic Pizza” of course!  It’s one of my favorite 80s movies.  My only problem?  Transportation. 

Volunteers fly into Hartford Airport and someone from camp arranges to pick them up.  I started chatting with driver Carly and mentioned wanting to drive to Mystic.  She immediately offered her car on the days she was working.  And mentioned she has a Mini Cooper convertible.  Yes, please! 


To work around her off days I chose the morning of the first full day of camp (Thursday) instead of waiting for midweek to have a true break.  It turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day.  I grabbed her keys from the table where she left them and walked to the parking lot next to the horse barn.  I didn’t bother to ask her what color her car was.  How many Mini Cooper convertibles could there be?  Four.  I walked up to the first one – not it.  Second, not it.  Of course it was the last one I tried. 

Once in the car, I adjusted everything.  Seat back, top down (I figured out how to get it partially back), radio.  Took me a while to find the gas gauge (had to make sure I had enough gas to get there, and to fill her up on the way back).  All systems go. 

It was a wonderful drive to Mystic, mostly on two-lane, winding roads.  The countryside is beautiful!  One unexpected sighting on my drive was a sign at a country church that said, “Worrying doesn’t change the outcome.”  That was a message I really needed that day to begin my week with the campers.  The Lord is always looking out for me in little and big ways, and sends me messages just when I need them the most. 

I made it to Mystic with no problems.  I walked around the shops and the river and around 11 a.m. I stopped at Mystic Pizza for lunch.  Nevermind that we had pizza for supper the night before (and little did I know we would make pizza for supper that night at Adventure).  My first slice was the standard pepperoni.  Very good.  Their daily special had white sauce, scallops and bacon.  Very, very good!  I had a nice chat with a regular at the bar who had lived there since he was four.  (And was really cute, by-the-way.)  He gave me more information about the movie when I mentioned my pilgrimage.  I even drove a bit further to Stonington Borough, where more filming took place.  After the movie was released, the current site of the original Mystic Pizza was renovated to resemble the movie set.  There are photos all over the inside.  I only saw the bar area, but there is a restaurant area as well. 

I wish I had more time to spend in Mystic and the surrounding area.  There is an Old Mystic area and I didn’t go there at all.  They also have kayak rentals.  Maybe next year. 

While walking around the shops I kept my eye out for a nice souvenir of my quick time there.  I like to do that in certain places.  No t-shirts or hats, or any tchotchke. And if I don’t see anything that grabs my attention, no big deal.  I hit all the main streets and I’d about given up.  Then I walked down a side street to The Art Garden.  Lots of stuff.  Jewelry, beads, scarves.  LOTS of stuff.  Then I spotted a silver bracelet of four fish hooked together.  Very unique.  I tried it on (I always try on jewelry to see how it looks and especially bracelets to make sure I can put them on by myself).  Hmmm.  Very nice.  I asked about the metal – Turkish silver (or so she said).  Very quirky designer the owner said.  I asked his name but she didn’t know (?).  Not too expensive.  I decided to get it.  It hit the mark in several areas.  Mystic is a seaport town so the fish were appropriate.  The camp theme for my week was Cat In The Hat.  One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.  Yes!  And fish are a Christian symbol.  Perfect! 

After lunch I took a photo of the library for my favorite librarian Mary, got back in my car, did a quick drive through of Stonington Borough, and headed back to camp.  A lovely morning driving into the Mystic. 


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