Mystic Boat Adventures - Celebrating my Hubby's 50th


2020 has certainly been the year of milestones, both good and bad.  On September 16th, Big Lew celebrated his 50th birthday--a milestone I still can't seem to fully realize, considering that I started dating my husband in 2002, when he was just 32 years old!  Back then, Big Lew (and me) looked more like this:

Now, 18 years later, we're married, have a 12 year-old son, and a puppy named Bruce.  We've lost important people in our lives but also made new long-lasting friendships.  We struggled through the pains caused by addiction and illness but also learned from them, grew, and developed a new inner strength centered on gratitude and spirituality.  We've made both monumental decisions and trivial ones, but together, we've learned to respect our differences, honor our contributions, and celebrate life's moments--both big and small.  Together, we learned that life isn't always perfect, and sometimes the most well-intentioned plans go awry, but we've also learned that sometimes life hands us these perfect moments that can never be explained other than calling them a sheer miracle.

Before the pandemic, I imagined celebrating Lew's 50th surrounded by tons of family and friends from every stage of life.  (Thanks to good ole' Facebook, Lew has managed to stay in touch with people from grammar school, high school, college, grad school, and beyond.)  More than likely, the party would have been big and maybe even a little rowdy and overwhelming.  I think it would have made Lew happy, satisfying his extraverted instinct to be the life of the party; however, on the other hand, a celebration like this might have been sure to conjure up old memories too--memories of loved ones, like his parents, that might have been too painful to remember right now.  

Life is always about surprises, and so this year, instead of hosting a party and worrying about social distancing, we decided to look on Trip Advisor for an outdoor activity instead.  We found one.  Mystic Boat Adventures offered an opportunity for us to rent our own mini-power boat for two people and be part of a tour of the Mystic River and Seaport.  Since turning 50 only happens once, we spoiled ourselves and chose the three hour sunset tour.  People who went on the adventure raved about the tour, so the closer our date came, the more excited we became.  Now instead of a party, hubby and I had a chance to go on a fun date instead--just the two of us.

Taking the day off from work, we headed out to Mystic early, partly to get something to eat and partly to make sure we were at the dock on time.  (Our ticket said very specifically that if we didn't arrive 40 minutes early, we would have to forfeit our trip.)  When we arrived, we saw that a few outdoor seafood restaurants were closed due to new "after Labor Day" hours.  However, a small little sandwich & breakfast shop called Carson's Store was open, so we happily went in to order and then eat outside on their porch.  The store was darling, and their lobster rolls and sandwiches, like a lobster BLT, were to die for.  It was situated on a quaint street in Groton, CT leading to the ocean, where all the homes surrounding it were historic, most built in the 1800s.  While waiting for our food, I couldn't help but walk up the street a little ways to admire the old homes--I even snuck in a few pictures.

Eating at Carson's was the best decision we could have made, for not only did we not get hungry during our three-hour sunset cruise, but after the tour was over, we were wet, salty and uncomfortable.  There was no way we could have mustered up the strength and energy to sit for an evening dinner.  (My makeup didn't hold up well either!)

After parking at the dock and visiting a nearby restroom, it was our time for the boat trip.  Our tour guide brought us to our mini-power boats (there were five couples in total), and then he proceeded to give us a half an hour driving lesson.  I personally didn't have an interest in driving the boat, so I spaced out during the lesson and let Lew take the reigns.  He was happy to do it.  The next thing I knew, we were off to the races.  We cruised out into the open waters, then took it down a notch to tour the Mystic River, and then it was back out into the open waters again to do donuts, figure eights, and other fun boating stunts.  I jokingly told my husband, this was a guy's trip.  If I had my own power boat tour for women, I would have most definitely kept the cruising limit at 30, so we could enjoy a nice leisurely ride with a throttle in one hand and a glass of vino in the other.  (Then again, boating and alcohol are probably not a great mix.)

My favorite part of the tour was cruising down the "Mystic River."  We didn't see much wildlife, but we saw lots of beautiful privately owned million dollar boats.  They had names like "Gratitude," "The Whit's End," "Wanderlust," "More Overtime," "Seas the Day," "Tie the Knot," and "Mystic Mermaid."  Then we drove to the historic part of the river where we had a chance to look at replicas of the Amistad and some of the oldest whaling ships in the U.S.; they were all docked at Mystic Seaport, a 19th century seafaring village and museum.  During the time of our tour, the boats and the seaport should have been packed with visitors from all over the world, but because of COVID, the whole area was eerily quiet.  

After the beautiful tour, it was time to head back out into the open waters, so the boys could "play" with the boats.  It was a bumpy and windy ride back with lots of splashing.  (My clothes, hair, and face were wet and salty after the tour.)  Once everyone calmed down from their stunts, it was time to search for a perfect spot to view the sunset.  Our tour guide took us to one place by an island with a house.  (Unfortunately, the homeowner came out and made a fuss--she felt our boats weren't giving her privacy.)  So, we left that little cove and found another.

After the sunset, we scooted back into port--a little cold, tired, and wet from our adventure.  Thankfully, there was a place to change our clothes before the 90 minute drive home.  

It might not have been an expected way to celebrate my hubby's 50th, but it sure was a memorable one.  Maybe next year, I'll surprise hubby and Little Lewie with their own Mystic Boat Adventure for Father's Day...  We shall see.


  1. Happy Birthday! When I saw the first picture, I was thinking wow, he looks young!

    1. Too funny! I wish we could still look 30 years old. Where's that fountain of youth?


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