Mystic to Concord

Mystic to Concord

Our next main stop after Mystic was Portland Maine, however it is a bit of a drive. So we found a few things in the in-between that might be interesting to see and decided on a night in Concord New Hampshire. This is the chronicle of our drive from Mystic to Concord.  As a side note if you don’t have a blog you may not realize that there are some SUPER annoying rules that have to be followed in order for google and other search engines to pick up your content. One of them is repeating the exact title of your article many times in the body as well as making sure they are bold, italic and underlined, which is why sometimes I have to write super cheesy dumb things. Moving on.

Mystic to Concord was one of the more interesting aspects of your trip in that I knew approximately nothing about this part of New England and thus had zero expectations. The night before we left I found a abandoned hospital building that I wanted to drive by. So before hitting the road properly we stopped at ‘Young Buns’ in Mystic which had gluten free doughnuts. Thus heading out armed with sugar and coffee we made our way to our first stop in Waterford Connecticut, the Seaside Sanitorium. The hospital was built in the 1930s in the Tudor Revival style as a children’s tuberculosis facility, though they also had wards dedicated to elderly and mental care. It was two buildings a rather beautiful but smaller dorm style building and a larger more hopsital like facility that had some less than lovely additions to it over the years. The hospital began to fall into disuse as early as the 1940s because of advancements in TB treatment, after which it became a full time elderly care hospital until the 60s. After which it became a rather notoriously known mental facility which was shut down in the 90s due to irrefutable evidence of abuse and mistreatment. In 2014 the property was bought by the state with the intention preserving it as a state park and land mark. Today the buildings remain untouched and gated but the grounds were very lovely. We enjoyed our coffee and doughnuts and the carried on our merry way.

After Waterford we took a detour around New Haven to look at Yale. Unfortunately the entire campus was closed off to visitors and the weather was not terribly friendly. We took a couple loops admiring what we could see and then hit the road again with a more substantial meal on our mind. We ended up finding a brunch location in Hartford. Hartford looked like a really cool town and I wish we could have had more time to look around but we had a lot of miles to put under us so we kept moving toward Concord. About halfway through the day we stopped at an Aldi’s in Worcester. Another town I wish we had more time to explore. All I really got was the view from the freeway but the density of turn of the century brick building made for quite a sight.




We finally got to Concord around dinner time. Which gave us about an hour to explore the area a bit before we lost light. The most interesting thing I randomly found was a rather large First Church of Christ Scientist, or Christian Science. You have probably seen Christian Science reading rooms around, it seems like most towns have them but this was the first church I have ever stubbled on. Mary Baker Eddy the founder was from Boston so I suppose it shouldn’t have been a suprise that the churches would be more prominent on the East Coast. If you don’t know much about the movement but have any fascination with weird twisted history I would highly suggest doing some digging. If you can handle really crude jokes ‘The Last Podcast on the Left’ has an excellent series on her. Our real reason for stopping in Concord was to seen the State House, which happens to be oldest state capitol in which both houses of the legislature meet in their original chambers. It was a beautiful building though not exactly showing off on such a grey day. And sadly as is the theme of so many trips the last couple years, closed for pandemic reasons.


We had a nice dinner in an Irish Pub type place, hit the local book store and then made our way back to the Hampton Inn Concord/Bow hotel. It turned out to be one of my favorite hotels. Very newly remolded, quiet, clean and easy to find. All in all our very long drive from Mystic to Concord was a success. Next stop was Portland Maine.

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Mystic Connecticut

We had planned two nights in Mystic Connecticut but only one full day. I had been wanting to go to Mystic for ages because of my love of the 1980s Julia Roberts romcom ‘Mystic Pizza’ and my travel buddy wanted to go because of its history in wooden ship buildings. I honestly had a very difficult time booking a place to stay here. There were a lot of really beautiful inns to stay at if you were willing to pay several hundred dollars a night and a lot of hotels that cost about 40 dollars a night. But not much in the middle. I ended up choosing the Quality Inn as I have stayed at this chain of hotels before and while they aren’t fancy they are usually very clean. Usually. I don’t generally like to publish my bad travel experiences, so lets us say if you go to Mystic try to stay somewhere else. But despite being disappointed in my room I still had an excellent time.



We got in late, so we decided to stay in the first night snacking on our left over tea goodies and played cards until bed. The next morning we drove the short distance into town and had breakfast at the Shipwrights Daughter. A very nice restaurant attached to one of the aforementioned expensive hotels. I had avocado toast and eggs as it was the only gluten free thing on the menu and drank way too much of their incredibly good coffee. After breakfast we began our wander about town.



We walked across the bridge into the main shopping area taking note of anything we wanted to see later on once things opened up a bit more. Then back across the Mystic River Bascule Bridge to our car and up to the Mystic Seaport Museum. Which is really more of a village than a simple museum. Not everything was open unfortunately this was still only about two weeks after businesses were opening up again after the pandemic. There were about 50 buildings that made up the museum as a whole plus several ships that you could tour including the Charles W Morgan the oldest surviving (non wreaked) 19th century wooden whaling ship built in New England.



The buildings you could tour under normal times included various shops where different parts of a ship were build, shops, candle makers, wooden barrel makers, a chapel, school house and several storage rooms. Other than a group of photography students we were the only people there for most of our time. We spent a good couple hours there going into any open exhibit and boat that would have us. As well as probably an hour scouring the boat themed bookshop attached to the ticketing building. Even if commercial boating isn’t your thing I would highly recommend the outing if you ever find yourself in the area.



After the museum we were very hungry so I convinced my travel buddy to have lunch at Mystic Pizza. They had gluten free options which we fully took advantage of. It was a bit of a gloomy cold day compared to the day before so we were happy to be tucked away in a warm corner to eat all of our pizza (and I do mean all of it) while looking at all the movie memorabilia on the wall. After lunch we hit yet another bookshop and then decided to wander around a local cemetery until dinner. By the time dinner hit the weather was completely miserable and all we could think about was finding somewhere warm that served soup.




I found the Captain Daniel Packer Inne right about the time we were about to give up and get hamburgers instead. The inn was built and run by Daniel Packer in 1756 and served as a inn until part of the building burned and a young girl died (according to our waiter). Between then and the 90s the building was mostly used as a family home, a haunted family home (again according to our waiter) until it was bought and restored as a restaurant. We ate upstairs next to two delightfully large fireplaces which were lit right after I took the picture to ward off the very chilly night. The dining space was very small but cozy and wonderful. The downstairs was more of a traditional British pub with stone walls, low ceilings and a blazing fire.  We had French Onion Soup and baked brussel sprouts which we are still constantly talking about a year later. It was delicious. After stuffing ourselves to the brim with the cozy atmosphere and dinner we went back to our rooms and got an early night sleep. The next morning we had a lot of driving to do and we wanted to get a head start. I loved just about everything about Mystic Connecticut and cannot wait to go back someday, but maybe later the spring when its a bit warmer.

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