Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fantastic Connecticut Weekend

What an amazing weekend my family had!  We were afforded the opportunity to go spend the weekend in Connecticut through Family Fun Mystic.  We had the option of choosing from 4 different adventures and we found the perfect ones for us!
We started out on quite a dreary, rainy Friday morning heading out to the Orient Point Ferry on the North Fork of Long Island.  The rain was teeming at times and even at 9AM, lightning danced across the sky as we headed east.  We got up onto the ferry and found ourselves a cozy table to sit at and sat back.  On occasion, my husband did take the little guys outside, but they're not much for getting their faces wet!  The trip across the Long Island Sound was an hour and 20 minutes.  The boys handled it well for being indoors and sitting still.  They were just thrilled that they were on a boat!
When we were ready to get going to our first destination, The Dinosaur Place ( we were still a little iffy on the weather.  But, we proceeded because we knew ultimately, we wouldn't melt. 
We pulled up to a GIANT T-REX name Monty wearing a neck tie!  The boys squealed with happiness and my husband and I knew we made the right decision.  The rain actually stopped completely by the time that we had gotten there, but it was still damp and cool.  The other plus for us (and don't tell on us either) all the kids were still in school.  We had the place to ourselves!!!  It truly doesn't get any better than that!
We started off wandering around the amazing gift shop.  Every type of dino-related toy was available plus beading and gems.  It was beautiful.  The only disappointment we had was not being able to  hit the jackpot mine where you look for "fools gold".  That didn't stop us!
We headed across the parking lot to head into the mini Jurassic Park.  The gentleman in the little shop had told us to start the trail by going off to the left first.  Boy, did he give us the best advice.  To start, the hourly volcano (yes, a volcano) was about to blow!  We waited 5 minutes before the ground started to rumble and smoke started to pour out of the top.  It got louder and louder and smoke was getting thicker.  Finally it blew (water) everywhere,  which didn't matter because we had already decided that we weren't going to melt, remember that part? 
And now, the dinosaur hunt begins............

Then, this is why I truly give the admission guy KUDOS!!  I don't know if he had kids or not or maybe he was just that smart, or maybe he really did just want us to see the volcano first.  There is a HUGE playground in the park as well.  The boys went nuts - and once again, it was ALL THEIRS!!!  (spoiled rotten little boys) Did I say that out loud?
What fun we had!  There was a giant "spider web" looking thing that they spent most of their time tooling around on and admittedly, so did I!  Then there was a playset with a bone bridge, a rope bridge and probably the most fun slide that I have been on - it was all rollers so that meant SUPER SPEED!!  I went on that one A LOT! 
Yeah, everything was wet, but that's one of the reasons I packed extra underpants, right?  The other fun thing to do there that we didn't need to have open anyway was their splash pad.  That was opening on Father's Day and we were celebrating a few days earlier.  The cats around here wouldn't have been to keen on it, but, I know a lot of other kids that would have a blast there!

Then we were off to our hotel - the Marriott Springhill Suites.  We had a great room, 2 beds, a little living room and little kitchenette with a fridge and microwave.  The boys were exhausted and needed to take a break (yup, they needed to take a break).
So after resting up, we went down to the indoor pool (the only way I roll) and played around for a while to exhaust them some more  play.  It worked.  Me and the boys were passed out by 8:30.  I don't know what time hubbs passed out.  I didn't ask.  Apparently there was some wicked storm going on too........

Saturday morning, we enjoyed our free breakfast buffett and we totally took advantage of it!!  Fresh waffles, sausage, eggs, english muffins, bagels, muffins, cereal, fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, juice and coffee.  Lots of coffee.
Then we were on our way to the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat  We were really excited for this one too(until the little guy asked if it took us to the Dinosaur Place and I had to let him down easy.)  The boys had never been on a train before so when we pulled into the parking lot, they were in awe at the size of the engine (okay, so I was a little too!!) 
We went to stand in line to get our tickets and there was a conductor walking the line to move things along, prefilling orders of which tour they wanted to take.  Some people had made reservations, others were just getting there.  Here's my advice.  Get online and order your tickets in advance - especially if you want to take the riverboat.  Apparently, from the woman that I had befriended while standing on line, she was there for her third attempt at getting train and boat tickets.  The third time she got wise and bought her tickets online. 
Now, back to the conductor that was walking around.  He was moving things along finding out what each person was doing.  Some people were there just for the train ride.  Like me, others were there for the train and boat and there was a third option as well that included a hike.  The first stop off the train was a hike to a ferry with a short trip across the river to another short hike up to Gillette's Castle.  From the river, the castle looks beautiful.  (My knees thanked me for not going up that hill!!)  Definately something that I know I would have enjoyed!
So we set off on our train ride.  A lovely 1/2 hour ride, whistle blowing, slow trip up the tracks.  Locals wave at everyone on the train as we pass by. 
 When we got to the end of the line, the train goes in reverse.  First the Castle tour gets off the train.  Then we back up some more for the Riverboat.  During that stop, the train engine detaches from the front of the train and goes to the backside.  The kids loved watching that.  
We boarded our boat and grabbed some seats together.  We meandered down the river while a guide told us stories of the boatyards and the castle and the Goodspeed Opera House.  The scenery was beautiful.  The four of us went topside and enjoyed the scenes some more - we even saw a bald eagle!!  The boats, jetskis, yachts and all the beautiful scenery made for a relaxing hour long excusion.  Even the boys dealt pretty well for the length of time.  As we were docking though, they were getting ants in their pants to get back on the train!!
It was another 1/2 hour ride back to the station that we enjoyed.  And Sue, if you're reading this, you can be expecting my husband and I back for the Essex Dinner Train.  We were REALLY intrigued and thought it would make for a great date night!
Our weekend was coming to an end.  We couldn't believe how much we had accomplished in 30 hours!  Whirlwind, yes!  Full of memories, definately! 
I haven't been to Connecticut in over 10 years.  I think they are going to be seeing our faces more often - those dinosaurs haven't seen the last of my little men yet and I have a pending dinner date with my husband on a train!
Most of this trip was compensated by Family Fun Mystic, but all these opinions are my own.

post signature

1 comment:

Christina said...

Dinos and oldest would love that!

Post a Comment