Overnight at Mystic Aquarium


Last Friday, Little Lewie, Daddy, and I had a chance to sleep overnight at Mystic Aquarium with another 150 Cub Scouts and their families.  This was our first "official" scout camping trip--no bears or raccoons to worry about--only sharks, stingrays, and predators of the reef.  We arrived with our "camping gear," fully prepared to get little sleep, but in reality, we slept more comfortably than anticipated.

At seven o'clock, the festivities started--the cub scouts were divided into their packs to go through a rotation, which involved dissecting squid, a tour of the "Wild America Building," amphibian trivia, a scavenger hunt, and a visit to the touch tank room.  Out of all the activities, Lewie enjoyed the Wild America tour the best.  Once it came time for the amphibian trivia and the last two activities, Lewie was too tired to fully participate.  In full disclosure, my eyelids became heavy too; after a full week of work, I am exhausted when Friday comes.  Most other parents looked the same way!

Lewie and Daddy preparing for the squid dissection.

Lewie's reaction to the squid.

Lewie's friend's reaction...

So proud of Daddy's dissecting skills.

At ten o'clock, we were allowed to prepare our "camping site" and change into our PJs.  Eleven o'clock would be "lights out."  We rolled out our sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows (no air mattresses were allowed); got into our PJs; brushed our teeth; and took our places.  Little Lewie asked me if we could say our prayers before bed.  We said them quietly to each other, and then I fell fast asleep before bedtime was even declared.

Our comfy little campsite beyond the touch tank.

Lewie and his Cub Scout buddy before bed.
The next thing I knew, I woke up around 3 a.m. to the sounds of splashing coming from the touch tank near us--those little rascal fish were ACTIVE.  The aquarium was pitch dark with only one tank lit up, and it was eerily quiet.  I could hear the sound of forced air coming from the vents, but other than that, and the occasional fish splashing at the water's surface, there was no talking, snoring, or even heavy breathing sounds.  It was QUIET.

I fell back to sleep and permanently woke up at 5 a.m.--just like home.  Our day wouldn't begin until 6:30 a.m., so I laid in my place meditating and made a few trips back and forth to the bathroom to begin getting dressed.  Most people were still fast asleep.

We ended our Mystic experience by taking a morning stroll around the outside of the aquarium.  A tour guide told us about the sea lions, whales, and penguins while we snapped photos.  We were given a special Overnight at Mystic Aquarium badge, and then we headed to our car with one thought only--BREAKFAST.  We pulled into the Mystic Diner and Restaurant, only a half a block away, and had a yummy breakfast feast before making the 90 minute trip home.

Rise and Shine!

At home, what did we do?  You guessed it; we took another two hour snooze and woke up sometime around noon.  It was a night (and morning) to remember!

Making the Most of Fall


Since we had both a wedding and a baby shower in October, these last few weeks have been all about playing "catch up."  I LOVE the fall, particularly the agricultural fairs, farm visits, and hiking. On the last week of October, we finally picked our pumpkins, and last week, we went through our very first corn maze.  I am so happy we squeezed in these visits before the cold weather set in...

The Corn Maze at Lyman Orchards closed last week.  The farm is celebrating its 275th anniversary and its tenth generation of family ownership.  This year the Corn Maze was designed to recognize its anniversary by cutting the path in the shape of its signature homestead.  The maze itself was created on four acres with nearly two miles of winding pathways.

Since we went on the last weekend of the event, we were lucky to almost have the entire maze to ourselves. We ran and played hide-and-go-seek between the corn stalks.  (Silly mommy thought we were actually going to read the facts within the maze and figure out the exit strategy.)  With our nutty shenanigans, it didn't take long before we got lost.  (In fact, a few times we almost lost each other!) After an hour of running around and tagging each other, we finally made it to an emergency exit.  We attempted to figure out the real exit, but once again, after winding around another twenty minutes, we made it right back to the same emergency exit.  We admitted defeat, swallowed our pride, and went back to their market for lunch.  They had such yummy and unique sandwiches; my choice was the Crispin with grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, leaf lettuce, thinly sliced red onions, fresh apple slices and Lyman’s own apple glace.

The special 275th Anniversary Corn Maze.  (It opened in Sept. this year.)