After a morning spent breakfasting & Bordening in Fall River, we began our official trek back home to Pittsburgh. This included a million miles of Connecticut. I had decided months ago that we had to stop in Mystic, because I thought we had a nice time there when we visited in 2002.
I guess I thought wrong, because aside from eating at Mystic Pizza (which Henry wouldn’t let me do the last time because he sucks) and shopping, there wasn’t much going on. I refused to pay to do shit at the Seaport, and the gift shop was full of shit I didn’t care about, anyway. I’m pretty sure you have to be wearing Dockers to give a shit about Mystic Seaport.
This place is a total tourist trap, thanks to the fact that it was the inspiration behind the 1988 Julia Roberts movie Mystic Pizza. But I really loved that movie when I was a kid and therefore, I had to eat there even though I wasn’t in the least bit in the mood for pizza.
The staff at Mystic Pizza could have very been cardboard cutouts on wheels. No personality and not memorable at all—a stark contrast from the waitstaff we encountered everywhere in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with the exception from the weird broad in Salem who treated us like illegal aliens and acted like she couldn’t understand a word of our exotic Pittsburgh-speak. (And we don’t even have the typical Pittsburgh Yinzer accent!) The teenage hostess stared at us with deadened eyes and made me feel so uncomfortable. But, from her standpoint, we were clearly tourists (none of us were wearing boat shoes) so she probably knew we were there to gawk.
At what? Framed movie stills upon the walls? It really wasn’t that big of a deal.
But the pizza was pretty good, you guys! I don’t know if I’d consider it a slice of heaven, because that’s typically something sweet and pillowy, but it was pretty good as far as pizza goes.
So if you’re ever in Mystic and aren’t bothered by standoffish waitresses and TGIFriday-esque interior design, go have yourself some fucking decent pizza.
Yes, I’m available for commercials. Well, my cardboard cutout is, anyway.
Here, let’s ask Henry if he liked it:
[I’ve been waiting three hours and he hasn’t responded, so I think that translates into a “NO COMMENT.”]
To Chooch, it was just a restaurant. WTF does he know about “coming-of-age tales” and Lili Taylor? Kid hasn’t even seen “Say Anything” yet.
Yep, it was just a restaurant in which he pooped.
Afterward, we went to get ice cream, and when I say “we,” I mean that Chooch and I yelled to Henry what we wanted and then frolicked off to never, neverland while Henry had to stand in line with people wearing Dockers and boat shoes. Then he turned around and started screaming at us because we had the NERVE to choose a picnic table that was furthest away and god forbid Henry should have to transport our frozen delights ALL THAT WAY so he made us move closer. This angered Chooch and me because we happened to like the picnic table we chose.
“Excuse us for wanting to sit somewhere we could privately converse while looking out into the water,” I hissed at Henry, who gave me a “get serious” look because he knew we were actually sitting over there and making fun of people and probably talking about totally hedonistic topics.
It was still Really Hot, so Chooch’s ice cream began to melt immediately. Dripping Ice Cream Clean-Up is the one part of parenthood I graciously let Henry have. He’s good at mopping messes, literally and metaphorically.
Henry, Life’s Janitor.
From Mystic, we made our way to Waterbury to see my friend Jessa. I was so stoked about this, but also nervous as shit because we’ve never met in real life before! Just in fables and fairy tales. And usually when people meet me for the first time, I’m your basic Mystic Pizza waitress.
Jessa and I first met online back in 2008 when she stumbled across my blog. In fact, she was probably one of the first non-LiveJournal friends I made on Oh Honestly, Erin. She was blogging regularly then, and we quickly became friends through that and Twitter and then once we discovered that we share a love for similar bands, it was a done deal. She is my musical kindred spirit (Isles and Glaciers, FTW!) and we are always lamenting that we live too far away to go to shows together.
The original plan was to visit her at work, which I was on board with because she works for a florist and now that I’m into raising plants, I was going to buy a new one to add to my office orphanage. But as per the norm, we were behind schedule (I blame Henry and his 30-minute Best Buy pit stop in Rhode Island when he was like, “OK! FINE! UNCLE! I’m buying a fucking GPS.”) so Jessa was already home. I wasn’t sure if she’d want to let in some Pennsylvania Internet riffraff into her home, but she was like “bitch please” and that is how Chooch wound up in his slice of Heaven: a house with 6 cats, 2 rabbits and cagefuls of birds!
“This is going to be the only part of the vacation he remembers, just watch,” I laughed as he made himself at home and scavaged around her house for cats.
He gets that rudeness from Henry.
Downton Bunny and Hopkins meet.
Anyway, it turned out to be not awkward at all! We hung out in her kitchen for about an hour and it was so easy!
Chooch was like, “This house rules, I’m staying.”
I even let her take a picture with me!
Hopefully we get to hang out again soon, and that her husband Simon didn’t think we were totally creepy vagabonds. I was sad that he didn’t talk while we there because he’s from New Zealand and Chooch could have added another accent to his collection. Henry later observed that he thinks he and Simon would probably get along pretty well, because Henry also doesn’t choose to speak much and he pointed that out that Simon was watching some dude-centric television show that Henry has also watched at some point, and I guess it really doesn’t take much more than that for two dudes to find each other in this world and start calling each other “cuz.”
Henry’s strategy for the next leg of our trip was to “keep driving for as long as possible until we reach Pennsylvania.” Somehow, we ended up staying at the same Red Roof Inn from our trip to Knoebel’s last spring and this totally blew my mind that we went from Connecticut to here, because I do not understand how maps or geography or Our Country Tis of Thee works.
Chooch and I are still wearing our Knoebels wristbands from April 27th so I thought it would be a brilliant idea to go there the next day and see if we could sneak on some rides but Henry just frowned and shat upon my sparkly brilliance. I guess he had already met his year’s quota of fun and any more merriment would probably put him in his grave.
The next morning, we ate breakfast at Mom’s Dutch Kitchen and I was so giddy about this because I was vetoed the last time I tried to eat here.
It was so creepy inside! Super crappy gift shop, an irritable old waitress who scowled as soon as she saw we had a kid in tow, and dusty Easter decorations on the windowsill.
But it had a peg game! Henry was glad about that.
We wised up and coaxed Chooch into ordering cereal because at least we know that’s on the short list of shit he’ll eat. The waitress was agrivated about having to list his choices, but at least she wasn’t a blank personality! She actually reminded me of how Henry’s mom must have been when she was a waitress. God, I wish I had been around for those days.
The food was good, though! Better than chain restaurant breakfasts, because it had that DUTCHLY HOME-COOKED FEEL to it. And no one got sick afterward.
And that was it. We got home around 2PM and I nearly smothered Marcy’s spirit right the fuck out of her. I MISSED HER SO MUCH!!
I’m still going through post-vacation withdrawals though. I miss my faraway friends! Big ups to anyone who managed to read all of these posts! You might be next on my list of people to
impose upon visit!