Our New Life in Connecticut Forever: PART TWO

We’re still in Connecticut! Just in case you forgot.

Connecticut Summer Livin'

I decided last night as I was scrolling through hundreds of photos and slipping into anxiety, “What do I show them? These are too many photos! How will I do this?! It will take five thousand years! I’ll be an old lady with sagging jowls by the end of the post! Will medicare even accept me?!” – that I’ll just start with week one.

So we’re starting with week one.

That very first week.

First of all, life here has been out-of-this-world surreal. SOMEHOW, without knowing anything about this area (besides Mystic Pizza, duh), we were booking a cottage in one of the most magical strips of east coast there is.

OKAY, WE HAVEN’T BEEN to the Cape yet. Or Block Island (tomorrow!), but this little string of towns we’re smack dab in the middle of, has overwhelmingly changed us. (<–my mom is having a panic attack, “don’t move! don’t move! omg DO NOT MOVE.”)

Let’s look at some photos of week one!

New England Summer Livin'

So on that first Sunday, we ventured into Stonington Borough, and brunched at Noah’s (where Great Hope Springs was filmed!), but I TOTALLY DID NOT GET A PHOTO. We’ll go back though. It was amazing.

I know we’ve already talked about Mystic Aquarium, which we conquered that first (very drizzly) Monday. So now we’re settled into the week a little more, starting with these photos.

We went to Watch Hill, Rhode Island (which is less than half an hour away, and a STUNNING drive), to stalk Taylor Swift and check out the local beach scene. Thing is, school was still in session, so it was hauntingly quiet. Which worked out for us not having to pay $40 (FORTY DOLLARS) for a parking spot.

New England Summer Livin'

We popped into the quaint and comfy St. Clair Annex, right there on the strip, for lunch (Tuna roll!^^ UNREAL. I was saving lobster for later.), then grabbed some ice cream before we began our T-Swift hunt.

You know, fuel.

New England Summer Livin'

So behind them down in the corner is the famous Carousel in Watch Hill, which also acts as the main entryway into the public beach which was GORGEOUS. (We went back for Father’s Day. More on that later.)

This is the gremlins strategizing what we’re going to say to Taylor when we see her at her house up the hill. “Sorry I spilled my ice cream on your lawn, Swift. Hopefully you can just shake it off.”

New England Summer Livin'

OKAY, we didn’t see Tay Tay. But there’s her crib!

(can’t decide how I feel about Tay Tay.)

(okay, I decided.)

(IT STAY STAY.)

(don’t delete me from your life.)

New England Summer Livin'

Will decided to get a tiny pebble stuck in his sandal on Swift’s side beach entry, so Nurse Natalie went to the rescue to tweeze it out with her teeth.

You think I’m kidding.

New England Summer Livin'

YES WE WENT TO MYSTIC PIZZA IMMEDIATELY.

And I know it technically wasn’t filmed in this exact location (because at the time in the late ’80s this restaurant was half its size and too small to shut down for production, so they filmed on Water Street in Stonington which I scouted out like a psycho, but there are a ton of scenes shot right in this area! Just love me.)

New England Summer Livin'

It is SO FUN in there because there are framed photos on every single wall, the movie plays on repeat on the back wall, and the pizza…..

New England Summer Livin'

You’re going to hate me but I LOVED IT. Old school, the right amount of chew-to-crisp ratio, doesn’t sag over like a dead fish when you pick it up, and geeeeenerous toppings.

AND GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT GUESS WHAT.

When cheeseless Aaron was ordering his pizza, the waitress goes, “There’s some parmesan in the sauce, is that okay?”

GUYS.

I THINK THAT’S WHAT’S INNNNN THE SAUCE. Because I overly-enthusiastically yipped at her, “Wait! Is that it? Cheese? It’s in the sauce? Is that the secret magical ingredient IN THE SAUCE?” And her eyes bugged out as if she’d just accidentally confessed to a triple murder.

It was fabulous.

New England Summer Livin'

Cheese and garlic, we think. The sauce was garlicky. I think. Maybe it’s just cheese.

And garlic.

I think.

New England Summer Livin'

Next we strolled Mystic, crossing the bridge and reenacting the scene where Jojo yells at at Billy for changing the name of his boat.

It was fabulous.

New England Summer Livin'

Look at that boat! I want to get on it.

New England Summer Livin'

Next we found a winery. Hashtag IT’S OKAY MOM.

Our goal this trip is to experience one vineyard per week. We went to Saltwater week one (and back on Father’s Day), Stonington Vineyard week two (which was beautiful and I’ll post on that later this week!). This week we’re headed up to Jonathan Edward’s vineyard. Which I heaaar will be my fave (not fav). We’re headed there Thursday, so stay tuned. *hiccup*

New England Summer Livin'

Will enjoyed the winery a liiiiiiittle too much IF YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN I’m kidding don’t throw me in jail.

New England Summer Livin'

We discovered the cutest tiiiiiny one-man Farmer’s market (farmer market?) open on Tuesday afternoons, so we’ve been dropping by each week for pesto, fresh bread and cookies. Basically want to stick it in my purse and bra.

New England Summer Livin'

The very first weekend we drove up to Attleboro, MA, making a quick pit stop in Providence to grab an iced coffee and stroll down a hipster street for a wee bit of shopping.

What’s in Attleboro? Aaron’s aunt and uncle! So Aaron’s dad’s brother and wife. Right, you get how the family tree works.

They own this STUNNING historical home that Aunt Marcia grew up in as a little girl. Thirty years in the Army and all around the world with their three kids, and back home they landed after retirement.

And it is one beautiful home, I tell you.

New England Summer Livin'

Here’s me and Nat, down at their giant pool in our matching gingham. YES DAD I’m having that mole checked out as soon as we’re back.

New England Summer Livin'

On Saturday we ate through one shiny apple – wait, that’s not it.

On Saturday we took them to a historical park with canoes and a playground and THE FASTEST CAROUSEL ON THIS PLANET. And I am serious, that mother was fast. Made in 1895 and still zips around like a toddler hummingbird on adderall.

I want to be like that when I’m that old.

New England Summer Livin'

For lunch we dipped into the cutest little diner that I’m not sure how 28 movies haven’t already been shot there. This TRAIN choo choos around the top of the restaurant, the booths are a deep retro green, and the chowder. . .

OMG.

We’ve had five chowders so far and this award-winning creamy New England chowder hovers the number one spot, rivaling one other that changed our mouths’ lives. But I’ll tell you more Thursday.

New England Summer Livin'

Like, this is the type of booth where a breakup is being diagnosed, or a murder is being planned.

New England Summer Livin'

We cooked both nights at Uncle Glenn and Aunt Marcia’s, and it simply couldn’t have been a more magical experience.

I mean . . .

New England Summer Livin'

‘Nuff said.

New England Summer Livin'

Nat wanted to eat those antennaes. Literally gnawing on them in her mouth asking where the meat was and, “Can they feel this?”

New England Summer Livin'

We also made clams! THAT AARON DUG UP OUT OF THE SOGGY EARTH.

How is this life?

New England Summer Livin'

After lobster we cozied up by an outdoor fire and made s’mores! THIS IS AMERICA, GUYS.

New England Summer Livin'

And ice cream the night before. Sorry to get out of order with our summertime desserts. I can only do so much in this world.

New England Summer Livin'

On the way home we stopped by the much-suggested Federal Hill street in Providence. Nothing but a loooong row of Italian restaurants and shops. I loved it! Wish we’d had more time to explore that area.

New England Summer Livin'

SO, the pizza at Caffe Dolce Vita was probably among the very best I’ve ever had. The mushrooms could have been prepared at little differently (they looked like drown slugs), but the SAUCE? I’ve never had better sauce. The bright acidity of the tomatoes shone through and made this pizza simply outstanding.

New England Summer Livin'

THAT ^^ IS NEW ENGLAND.

New England Summer Livin'

Aside from the mini travels, we’ve really been soaking up coastal life, while maintaining this unexpected peaceful rhythm. I’m running in the mornings, Aaron bikes around town, digs for clams at low tide, the kids start the day down by the beach collecting shells, we tidy the cottage, stay on top of laundry and relax on the back porch. It’s still LIFE, you know?

New England Summer Livin'

Except with more crabs.

HAHAHAHAA.

Oh.

Week two is coming Thursday!

(Also, in case you missed the whole WHY WE’RE HERE thing.)

 

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15 Responses to Our New Life in Connecticut Forever: PART TWO

  1. Melanie June 19, 2018 at 9:16 am #
    So Jealous!
  2. Sarah June 19, 2018 at 10:11 am #
    SO happy for your guys! I have loved following along with your travels and adventures, thank you for sharing this part of the world with us! Can't wait to see more. (Also, you should totally move there. DO IT.)
  3. Amanda June 19, 2018 at 10:19 am #
    I really enjoyed following along with your travels on IG stories! An exploration of that entire coast is on my travel list. Eep!!! Mystic Pizza. Oh man I love that movie.
  4. Anne Parker June 19, 2018 at 10:45 am #
    Bev, I am having a BLAST following your family's vacation! We live in NH and can so appreciate how these little towns are life-changing! SO glad you're having fun!
  5. Becky June 19, 2018 at 11:07 am #
    You've been able to do so many awesome adventures! Love watching you on Instagram every day and still so happy you came down to Niantic!
  6. Alison June 19, 2018 at 11:07 am #
    So glad you're enjoying that incredible part of NE. I spent my summers there and went to college in New London --- it's definitely a wonderful part of CT.
  7. jessica June 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm #
    This looks so nice! I'm on the other side of the Sound on Long Island, and we usually call it a farm stand if is just one person's setup outside along the street.
  8. Sarah C. June 19, 2018 at 3:16 pm #
    Wow looks amazing! You make me want to book a house up there!!
  9. Sarah G June 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm #
    If you’re still in town, stop in at Captain Svott’s lobster dock in New London, or anywhere in New London really. We have some fabulous places...and our beach is among the best!
  10. Mary June 20, 2018 at 8:08 am #
    I am absolutely loving following along with your family travels! I think it's surpassed your and our expectations. You are fully embracing all the little things: Natalie's thing for washing her seashells, Will trying oysters, the search for the perfect chowder (not soup) ect.. Thanks for taking us along on your adventures!
  11. Dana June 20, 2018 at 9:06 am #
    I’m dying laughing at ,”can they feel this?”!!! Hilarious!
  12. Joni June 21, 2018 at 10:29 am #
    I have a Facebook friend whose parents own a winery in Connecticut. I know nothing about the geography, so I have no idea how close or far away from you it might be. At any rate, here are the details: Walker Road Vineyard, in Woodbury. Open Sat and Sun 12-5 for tastings. My friend, Elizabeth Frey-Thomas, said to drop her name if you go. :D
  13. Margaret June 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm #
    Ok, so I may not be popular for saying this BUT if you take a short drive down 95 to Clinton, CT you are going to find the best lobster roll...Lobster Landing. It’s better than Abbott’s although I love Abbott’s because my nana would always take me there as a kid. But, the lobster roll is really overrated. Also, there is better pizza than Mystic Pizza...Mohegan Sun has Pepe’s and the best place in Mystic is Sift Bake Shop....owned by the Best Baker in America. Come to Niantic and check out the Book Barn and the boardwalk. There’s a lot to do where you are and welcome!
  14. Nancy July 4, 2018 at 8:22 am #
    So funny about Nat chewing on the lobster antennae! When I was little, I used to eat shrimp shells without shrimp in them! But now I eat the shrimp and not the shells!

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