After several date and destination changes we loaded up the cars and headed out of town on Saturday morning for two days of family fun with our friends, the Thayer's (minus Scott who had to work). We were originally going to stay in Mystic for the weekend, but because we had to reschedule, the hotel we had booked couldn't accommodate us. Soooo... we went to Plan B which actually worked out even better! We started our weekend in Mystic, stayed over night in Smithfield, Rhode Island, and spent the whole day Sunday at the Southwicks Zoo. I absolutely love the zoo so I was very happy that we were able to get a trip in before the summer ended.
Anxiously waiting to get on the road
The forecast changed daily as to what to expect for weather in Mystic. Originally it was going to be beautiful, then chance of storms, then nice again. However as it turned out, it was raining pretty darn hard when we got there. We stopped at Friendly's to feed the kids and see if it might clear some before we went to the Aquarium.
I think the kids would have been satisfied with just staying at a hotel and eating at restaurants.
Day 1 - before the exhaustion set in..
The rain didn't end, but our spirits were not to be dampened! We spent the afternoon checking out the gorgeous fish, watching the sea lion show and visiting the outside exhibits despite the rain. It was so much fun to watch my kids get so excited to show their friends all of their favorite things from our last visit.
The brave ones touching the sting rays
Checking out some fish
Up close and personal with the sharks
The beluga checking out Maggie
When we were sufficiently wet we gave in to the kids requests to head to the hotel. I'm pretty sure we could have simply booked hotel rooms for the night and done nothing else and the kids would have been thrilled. But since we're the go big or go home type of parents, we feel the need to get as much as we possibly can into one weekend. So we hit the road and drove to Rhode Island and stayed near the Massachusetts border for the night so that we would be only a short drive from the zoo in the morning.
If you live someplace like Texas it probably seems insane to drive through three states in one day, but up here in New England we could have left our house in MA on the New Hampshire border, gone to Mystic, CT, to the hotel in RI, to the zoo and home again in 5 hours (if we didn't stop of course).
We let the kids play for about 20 minutes after we checked in to the hotel and then headed out to dinner. We thought about ordering pizza and staying in but what fun is that when you can go out and drop unbelievable amounts of food on a restaurant floor?
Maggie discovering chocolate milk
Braeden photo-bombing Erin and the kids
A "who can take the biggest bite" contest
Our night ended later than we would have liked with everyone going to bed around 9:30 (even Maggie - Yikes!) They had to go swimming after dinner and then as much as we tried to get them all to go to sleep so that we could hang out and enjoy some adult time, no one was having that so we went to bed right along with them. In hindsight it was probably a good choice since we spent 5 hours walking around the zoo on Sunday.