We’re off again. You couldn’t really expect us to stay home on a beautiful Sunday like today. Dry, sunny, in the low 80’s – even the fibromyalgia decided to take a holiday today. The pain scale runs from 0 (never happens) to 10 (shoot me now) – today was about a 2. Really good.
We decided to go to the aquarium in Mystic, CT. Haven’t been there in a long time. It’s only about an hour or so to get there, a straight shot down Rte 395. We set out about about 11:30 AM after gassing up (hey, it’s under $2.80/gallon) and getting some Dunkin’ Donuts iced decaf (black w/Equal). Cranked up the tunes on the Oldies station. Who could ask for more?
The aquarium was packed – lots of parents with the under 6 yr old set. It’s changed a lot since we were there last. It’s bigger, with lots of interesting exhibits in the indoor building, including a central “reef” with many tropical fish. They also have added a marine theater (for an entertaining sea lion demonstration), a 3D-XD movie and motion ride (with underwater explorations of reefs, the Titanic, etc), a cafe, a Beluga whale exhibit, the seal rescue exhibit, a marsh boardwalk and an improved penguin exhibit (with South African penguins – all penguins don’t live in cold climates).
We enjoyed it all, though we skipped the motion ride because I didn’t think there was a need to wake up the fibromyalgia that was taking a nice nap. The Beluga whales were beautiful. Very white and very large. Very different than orcas or humpbacks. They look closer to some of the varieties of dolphins I’ve seen pictures of. It was interesting to be able to watch the penguins and sea lions from under water. The penguins look just like they’re flying. What freedom it seems to be – and 2 things I’ve always wished I could do: fly like a bird and swim like a dolphin. And they combine it in one bird! The sea lions from below were fascinating. You could see their muscles work and see their flippers work from close-up.
It was also mesmerizing to watch the bubbles in the water as the penguins or sea lions would dive from the surface. They left streams of bubbles sparkling in the light, swirling and rising long after the animals were gone.
My favorite exhibit was probably the simplest. There was a cylinder just inside the indoor exhibit building. It was maybe 6′ in diameter and about 10′ tall, filled with water. The entry was dark but there was light above the cylinder. In the cylinder were several dozen jellyfish that varied in size from 3″ to 6″, give or take an inch. Now you have to think of the jellyfish in their “stereotypical pose” for the sizes. But they didn’t just drift in that position, looking like a bunch of toadstools. They were sideways and upside down as well. The edges of the jellyfish, with its multitude of finger-like projections was constantly pulsing to bring water (and food) into the “mouth” of the jellyfish. A few of the larger jellyfish were actually stretched out flat, so they looked like floating CD’s (I was going to say record albums, but figured some of you may never have listened to them). The effect was etherial and relaxing. I could have pulled up a chair and stayed for hours. I told my husband on the way home that I wanted to set up a jellyfish tank at home for meditation purposes. I’m not sure he’s on board with that idea!
After we finished at the aquarium, we went to Friendly’s Restaurant for late lunch/early supper. It was that wonderful, peaceful time in a restaurant – the lunch bunch has come and gone, the supper crowd isn’t there yet. We gone to eat in some places between 2 and 4 where we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. Private dining – very romantic and relaxing. And … you get lunch prices even though you’re getting the same meals; maybe slightly smaller portions, but that’s really not bad.
We headed for home on the low roads for a while, through the small mill towns along the eastern Connecticut border. About halfway, we hopped back on Rte 395 and were home before 6 PM. Not that getting home before dark is a big thing – we aren’t at the point that we turn into pumpkins if we stay out late yet. But I do have laundry and dishes to do tonight. You sometimes have to pay the price for a Sunday drive.
Oh yeah, we did pick up some Powerball tickets while we were in CT. The jackpot is going to be about $180 million on Wednesday and someone’s bound to win it. Might as well be us. Trust me – the subjects in this blog won’t change if we do … though maybe I won’t be doing all the laundry and dishes on my own.