Farmgirl Roadtrip: Warm Weather Dreamin’ at Mystic Seaport

IMG_9111-001In my area, right now we are literally up to our eyeballs in snow! After a relatively mild winter until recently, we’ve had some major snowfalls since late January and haven’t gotten a break or a thaw since. This is when spring fever starts to gnaw at us. Seed catalogs are arriving, yet it feels like we’ll never see dry ground again. With so many layers of snow and ice piled everywhere, it’s easy to get cabin fever. We occasionally question why we reside where it so closely resembles the North Pole. This is when I remind myself there’s just a few more weeks of winter left, focusing on how awesome Connecticut is most of the year, beautiful and with so many great places to visit. Last year, while it was still warm, we headed to one of my family’s favorite destinations…Mystic Seaport!

We try to visit Mystic at least once a year. We’ll spend a day enjoying the fresh sea air while walking around and seeing the sights. Mystic itself is quaint with neat shops and places to eat (including Mystic Pizza, made famous by the movie with Julia Roberts). Mystic Aquarium is fantastic, a great place to take kids. Still, my favorite stop is Mystic Seaport and the maritime museum. Scenic, historic, and educational, we never tire of walking around on a beautiful, balmy day.

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IMG_9159I love touring the seaport village, set up with old buildings and homes representing life as it would have been in the 19th century. Sometimes there will be role playing “villagers” to greet guests, as well.

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The inside of the "General Store" makes me want to go antiquing!

The inside of the “General Store” makes me want to go antiquing!

The shop of a wood-carver for ships would have looked like this long ago…

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What ails ya?

The doctor will see you now...

The doctor will see you now…

Ol' time firehouse

Ol’ time firehouse

My daughter and I take a break in the shade...

My daughter and I take a break in the shade…

The biggest draw for my family are all of the “floating” exhibits. For example, the Charles W. Morgan floats in the seaport. A National Landmark, this huge ship was once a working whaling ship, launched in 1841. She’s the last surviving wooden whaling ship in existence, and sailed all over the world for over eight decades.

IMG_9154There’s also the L.A. Dunton, an engine-less fishing schooner built in 1921. Beautifully restored, she was named a historic landmark in 1994. It amazes me how tight living quarters were!

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Talk about a tight kitchen!

Talk about a tight kitchen!

How comfy does that look!?

How comfy does that look!?

Can you imagine how many sailors bumped their heads there?

Can you imagine how many sailors bumped their heads there?

Two other National Historic Landmark vessels are part of Mystic seaport, as well: The Emma C. Berry, and the Sabino, a coal-burning steamboat. We have taken several rides aboard this historic, old steamboat. Currently, she is being restored in the museums Preservation Shipyard, and will be returning next year.

Another site floating at Mystic Seaport is the Gerda III. This little Danish boat saved many lives during World War II under Nazi occupation, as many of Denmark’s Jewish citizens were hidden beneath in the cargo area and taken to safety in Sweden by a small crew, headed by a brave female of only nineteen years of age.

So many lives saved in this little boat...

So many lives saved in this little boat…

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We found the giant spinning wheels and ropes made for ships fascinating.

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Hope you enjoyed looking back at a fun family road trip with me. Though the museum is closed for a brief period in winter from January 2nd, Mystic Seaport reopens February 14th this year, and is a must-see in New England. We never tire of taking a day walking around the beautiful scenic area, with the breezy salty ocean air, our paths crossing with history. Check out the website at http://www.mysticseaport.org/ . There’s so much more to do and see there, we haven’t done it all yet ourselves.

IMG_0506But for now, as for my little family, I’m writing this while we are all home. My daughter is sick with a horrible cold, my husband has a day off, but has been snow blowing the driveway all morning and chipping ice away several times. I’ve been bringing in piles of firewood. Sigh…while I head out to shovel more snow off my deck, it helps to dream of warmer days ahead, planning annual family fun days in the beautiful sunny weather. THINK SPRING!

Until Next Time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

Leave a comment 37 Comments

  1. Dori Troutman says:

    Nicole, I’ve never lived where there was much in the way of snow. I honestly cannot imagine the stir crazy, spring fever feeling you would get. We are iced in here in Tennessee this week and the icy white trees are just gorgeous from our hilltop; but after only two days I’m looking forward to some melting sunshine! Loved your post and loved the tour of Mystic that you gave us! It is my dream to visit the New England states… I’m thinking a trip to visit you in Connecticut and the Beach Farmgirl in Massachussetts is a must! Maybe someday. Hugs – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Dori, the first time I saw a big snow, over twenty years ago as a young bride, I phoned and woke my Daddy up at 4 AM I was so excited. By the end of the week, I was ready to go back to Texas. No really, it is not a big thing except when it gets like it has been lately. The ice on top of the snow, and repeated giant snowstorms with no break or thaw in between, does get a bit much. I can drive in snow but ice is dicey. Toward the end of the winter, like it is now, everything is so salt covered and there’s no where to really walk outside. Even the dogs get cabin fever, but it is all the more reason why we rejoice in spring. By the end of the summer, we are praying for a cool break, and I can’t imagine Christmases with no snow or cozy cold weather. It’s all good. I am done with the below zero temps, though. How do our mid-west farmsisters do it? As for you visiting New England…come on up! My guest room is ready! How much fun would that be? Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Diane Van Horn says:

    Love Mystic! I was there many moons ago and your pictures brought back wonderful memories. Thank you!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Diane, I am so glad. Thank you. Hope you can visit it again sometime, they are always adding new things. (Let me know if you are in this area sometime)! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  3. Karin Weaver says:

    These pictures really helped to warm me up. Jut got in from feeding the horses and other animals and it is below zero out there. It has been a relatively mild winter here also but old man winter saved the best for last. Snow and bitter cold. I have been doing a lot of quilting in between feeding times and have a bad case of “cabin fever”. Thank you so much for the pictures and I am going to add this destination to my bucket list….

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      I hear ya. Outdoor chores are unpleasant when it gets so cold. It was below zero here several times this week and again today. It doesn’t seem so bad when the wind isn’t blowing but when it starts whipping up – ouch! Like you, I have been doing a lot of crafting indoors, one aspect I adore about winter. Stay warm! Think spring! Hope you visit Mystic sometime, it is truly lovely. Thanks for “stopping by today!” Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  4. Barb Delaney says:

    Thank you Nicole. Another great article about your adventures. Your articles suck me right in. Hmm I wonder where you will go next?

  5. Adrienne says:

    Well, Nicole, we here in California would happily take most of your snow and use it to help relieve our drought conditions. A recent ski competition was cancelled because of the lack of snow. However, you do have Mystic Seaport to enjoy and we had a great time hosting your chantey singers at our monthly sea chantey singing event in San Francisco at the Maritime Historical Park. It’s part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the most visited national park last year. Remember to think like the ants do: think winter all summer while you prepare; think summer all winter while you reap the harvest of your preparation. I hope your daughter feels much better very soon!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Adrienne, I love that…”think like ants”! So true, (very much so with firewood)! Now California is somewhere I want to go (so does my daughter). I have a cousin there, but I have never gotten that far west yet. (Arizona is the farthest state that direction I have been to).As for the snow, DH and I were thinking that very thing yesterday…wish they could bottle some up and send it to drought-ridden areas! We have plenty of snow to give away! 😉 Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  6. Debbie says:

    We’re right there with ya sister! Piles and piles of snow with no end in sight! Loved the get away to Mystic Seaport… We’ve not yet visited but it’s on our list! I think we are less than 2 hours from it! Thanks you for sharing your family visit with us! It helped me forget about the snow ( for a minute or two anyway ) … Stay warm!
    Deb ( Beach Farmgirl )

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Deb! Darlin’ I was wondering how you are all doing up there! I heard that Massachusetts is more buried than we are! By the way, your area and Plymouth are somewhere I want to visit too! I haven’t made it past Boston yet. Maybe soon. After the thaw…will that ever happen? Think how great that first warm, sunny day will feel! Just a few more weeks, right? Stay warm! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  7. CR LAGROUE says:

    Just read your blog on Mystic. Every time I go out on my patio I see this hideous bird statue and it reminds me of our trip there. As you recall we went to multiple shops there in an attempt to find a statue like the one you had in your living room. All we found was this super ugly bird statue which we found repulsive. Later I called a Mystic shop and they said they had the statue we were looking for. Upon arrival in the mail, I received that totally ugly statue we had rejected. It always reminds me of our frantic shopping trip to Mystic.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Back story here: my brother loved this little sea bird statue I have that I got in Mystic. We went everywhere there – all over the museum shops, and every gift store within miles. When he returned home, he called to see if he could get one…maybe more were coming in. They said yes. We were all so excited but what arrived was a wooden, primitive bird on a stick. Not very pretty at all. Actually, so ugly it is funny. Funny thing is…he still has that bird. And in the end, we found him the statue he wanted. 😉

      Russell, that was fun though… Nicole

  8. CJ Armstrong says:

    Thanks for the “trip”! Looks like a place I’d love to visit. I know you’re buried in snow and are tired of it . . . we’re still waiting for snow. We are afraid we’re looking at another year of severe drought!
    Hang in there!
    CJ

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      CJ, Hi sweetie. I did not realize you all did not get any snow this year! Has it been cold there, or very mild? I wish we could send you some of our snow. We have extra… Big farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  9. Torben Bagh says:

    Hurra Nicole!
    For din flotte artikel og at du nævne den store indsats der blev gjort under 2. verdenskrig for de danske jøder, ved at der i alle havne med fiskerbåde i Danmark, satte fiskere deres liv på spil for a redde de stakkes Jøder og bringe dem i sikkerhed i Sverige Gerda var den mest aktive !!
    Fordi Sverige var Neutralt land. Flot at du huskede det.
    Knus fra Danmark
    Torben

  10. Meredith Williams says:

    Hi Nicole! I love Mystic Seaport! It has been 13 years since we visited ( my pictures show my daughter at about three years old(!). Such great memories you have brought back for me…. Thank you!

  11. Cindy Cope says:

    I pass Mystic everytime I am on the Amtrak train to go visit my daughter in the Boston area from NJ. Maybe sometime I will plan to stop there and take a walk around. Liked your pictures. I am there in Salem now, and I cant believe the amount of snow there is up here!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Cindy, Mystic is definitely worth stopping for! I hear ya about the snow…it is like we got it all it once. The last photo on the blog was just a few days ago, not it is piled even higher. Spring can’t get here fast enough! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  12. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Nicole: I’m really sorry you guys are getting dumped on for snow. We normally have lots of snow here in Minnesota, but we’re having artic temps (below zero) instead. We are 14″ below snow normal. You should hear the complaints. We are a winter sport mecca and the skiers, snowmobilers are really disappointed. We got your snow last year. Its hard to know what to do with it all. Mystic Seaport is a wonderful get away. Wonderful pictures and its fun to see your daughter grow up.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      You are so sweet! I am so thankful for my farmsisters! Right now we have your sub zero temps, too. My dogs are congregated by the wood stove. I hope to someday visit Minnesota. I have never been that direction yet! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  13. Diane Loehr says:

    Hi Nicole –
    OMG I have such cabin fever it is not even funny. Worrying all the time how much more snow we are getting and how my roof will hold up! They are saying now on Sunday that we will have rain and we don’t need that at all. I hope to go to Mystic soon with my daughter. It looks like a great place to go and as I live in Wappingers Falls, NY it is not a far trip to take. Thanks for all the summer photos. It warmed me up on such a very cold day! :)
    Diane

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Diane! I hear you. We are supposed to get that same rain this weekend (ie: ice). Having all this weight on our roofs is a concern when it gets like this. Hopefully we will all dry out!
      I know exactly where Wappinger Falls is! Not far from my area, either. Hopefully we all get spring soon! I am so happy you liked this post, thanks for the comment! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. Beverly Battaglia says:

    I loved the time you took me to Mystic Harbor before Audrey was born, I think in 1998. I loved it and the blueberry ice cream they sold from a horse drawn cart was so memorable! I remember going on the old ship but I do not remember which one it was. I am five two and had to bend over to walk and the beds were terribly small! I still have a couple of items I bought there, one a red Christmas ornament and a jigger that says Mystic on it. Atlanta is 0 degrees today. We are breaking records everyday here. No snow yet.
    Love you

    Mother

  15. Susabelle says:

    I live along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. We get some snow! The east coast has gotten hit hard this year, harder than us. But here, we rarely stay inside, even in terrible weather. There is so much to do outside, and the snow here is dry and powdery and the sun is always shining so it doesn’t feel cold. And we never get ice. Much different than my Midwestern upbringing! But I, too, dream about the fun things we get to do when the weather is nice. Thinking of those helps get through those long, dark days of mid-winter. Our big snows are yet to come – our biggest snows come in March and April. We’re kicking it off right with a big snowfall this weekend – could be a foot or up to two feet!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susabelle!
      I don’t mind the snow so much, either, when it is like you describe. But now it is frozen hard, like a rock, with ice everywhere. Mountains of dirty, salt covered snow are everywhere you go. It’s another record breaking low today! I am so ready for spring! I can’t wait to get outside. I walk my dogs everyday as long as it is over 25 degrees. Can’t remember when that was… think warm thoughts! Stay cozy! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. kim says:

    Great trip to Mystic, thank you for sharing. We were there about 10 years ago, would love to go again. Your photos remind me how interesting that little town is. I have a photo I took of that light house in my kitchen, and one of one of the ships – don’t recall which.
    Snow is coming down here right now, I’m with you have cabin fever and I am over it. Great post.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kim, Isn’t Mystic a wonderful little town? There are so many neat towns here to visit. It makes these long winters so worth it. Spring has to be here soon! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  17. susana says:

    I saw that movie, Mystic Pizza, and loved it. Never Knew there was an actual place. Love the photos. I love these mini trips too. I’m sorry I never got to travel thru Conneticut, beautiful state from your photos. The photos are just great! Thanks for sharing.susana

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Susana, Wasn’t that movie cute? I miss the movies from the 80’s and 90’s. Mystic Pizza was a pizza shop before the movie. We stop there for dinner on the way home from time to time…it’s a fun place with movie memorabilia all throughout and the movie playing on televisions. Thanks for commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Denise Ross says:

    I love your photos Nicole, the history is fascinating. I’ve never lived in a place where it’s snowed as much as where you are, but I’m sure I’d be feeling a little over it by now.
    I hope your daughter is feeling better very soon. Stay well, and I’m sure is not far away for you. I’m actually over our summer now and am looking forward to the cooler weather of autumn.
    Hugs forms Australia
    Denise

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Denise! Thank you so very much! I am so glad you enjoy my posts. I have to admit, we are all getting a bit worn out from all this snow. Two weeks after this post ran, as I answer your comment, it is snowing. We are expecting four inches tonight. Nine more later in the week. Since we can’t control the weather, I am taking the extra indoor-time and working on some new knitting projects! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole PS I’ve never been to Australia, but it is a place I’d love to visit (and my daughter does too, after she did a geography project on Australia).

  19. Mary Ellen Interlandi says:

    Hi Nicole, I just came across the farmgirl/MaryJanesFarm bloggers site. I’m not familiar with how any of this works but I was certainly excited to see someone from Ct. I live by the shoreline in Ct. but lived in Northwestern Ct. and grew up on a dairy farm in central Ct. Does anyone ever get together or plan road trips? I would love to connect with like minded souls. I will google more about MaryJanesFarm to learn more, but if you can clue me in, I’d appreciate it. Thank you, Mary Ellen

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Mary Ellen! Welcome to the world of MaryJanesFarm! I am so glad you took the time to write. Hope you come back to visit the blog, and I will message you privately. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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