My best friend from high school, Vee, and her hubby, R, purchased their first house while I was in Korea. They invited me over to hang out for a sunny weekend of fun. I opted for an early morning train ride via Metro North instead of driving the 3 hours to Connecticut. What a great choice. No gas, no tolls, and no road rage from lunatic drivers escaping the city for the weekend.
I arrived around lunchtime on Friday and we went into New Haven for Cuban food at Zafra.
The conversation was a great mix of intellectual banter and not taking ourselves too seriously. The meat was tender and flavorful. The yucca was finger-licking good. The flan was delightfully creamy.
But the star of the meal was undoubtedly the mojitos – made with smooth rum, real limes, fresh mint, and a stick of sugar cane.
Many of you are likely reading this thinking, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be made? Yes, dammit. It sure is. But I’ve been deprived of the real thing while living in Kimchiland for a year. As far as I was concerned, at that point, those were the best damn mojitos I’ve ever had. Sorry. Where was I? Oh, yes. The weekend with friends.
Saturday morning found us bright eyed and bushy-tailed over breakfast. I had the wonderful idea to photograph some lighthouses, but not before Vee made us get out and exercise. Only she could get me to jog uphill both ways (yes, seriously) on my day off. At that point, I was doing two-a-day workouts and had killed my legs and abs 24 hours prior. Saturday was the first day I could squat without pain. But it was worth it. We jogged to a cemetery/nature reserve and R, the history and nature buff, gave me some quirky factoids that only a nerd like me would enjoy. I even found a bit of quirk on the sidewalk.
Our mandated exercise complete, we visited this place for lunch.
Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock is a laid back seafood spot in New London, CT. Order your food, grab a picnic bench, and wait for your name to be called when your order is ready. The lobster rolls and lobster bisque were divine!
Our next stop was to visit a nearby lighthouse. Unfortunately, the visitor center was closed, only took tour appointments for a random Wednesday morning, and was located on private property. Fortunately, someone left the beach access gate open. Score!
I enjoy visiting lighthouses because to get near them, you’re usually rewarded with awesome views of the ocean. To me, there’s something very calming about being near big bodies of water.
Plus, who doesn’t like taking pictures on the beach?
Perhaps equal to my love for lighthouses is my affinity toward forts. We made another stop to Fort Trumbull where several more lighthouses could be seen.
Because we arrived before the summer season, the visitor center here was also closed. No matter. Many of the displays were near the windows so we could see what we wanted while still enjoying the sunshine. I’d definitely go back and visit when they’re open. I also think it would be a sweet place to host a wedding or event.
And just when I thought the day couldn’t get any cooler, R parked the car here.
I’ve always wanted to visit Mohegan Sun Casino to see what all the fuss was about. It did not disappoint. Then again, I’m very easy to please. I don’t enjoy throwing away all of my hard earned money, but I do enjoy some lightweight gambling. I like feeling the energy on the casino floor. On the rare occasion when I’m in a casino, I usually spend a small amount ($20 – $60) on slot machines before I walk away – win or lose. That being said, I’m glad that casinos have much more to offer than gambling. Once we had our fill of the slots, we went to the shopping and restaurant area.
Did you know there’s a Dale Chihuly piece in Mohegan Sun?
I like his artwork because of his use of delicate glass and vibrant colors. If you think this one is cool, you should also check out the Chihuly in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Interesting factoid: one of the best ways to clean these pieces is to use a Swiffer.
Art pitstop completed, we sat down at Vista Lounge to enjoy some cocktails and a view of the casino floor.
On our way out, Vee wanted to have a look in the Puma store. That look turned into each of us purchasing a pair of shoes. These are my new cross trainers.
I love the pattern and the fact that they were deeply discounted due to a sale.
We ended the night with a mad dash to Whole Foods before they closed for some BBQ supplies. Why we chose to start grilling after 9pm was beyond me, but it was worth it. Vee and her hubby had just purchased their grill and I was happy to be the proud recipient of its inaugural meal.
And what would a BBQ be without libations?
I’ve got to figure out how to get my hands on a bottle of that rum. I’m not sure if it was the strong yet smooth flavor that I loved, or the fact that it miraculously made it into the country despite our current embargo. Big ups to Duty Free and customs. 🙂
Vee and R were such great hosts and I can’t wait to visit them again during the official summer season.
If you’ve made it this far in the post, you’re a champ. I took a few breaks writing it, so good on you for reading it til the end. Coming up, I have a few more outings to recap. No worries. Those will be infinitely shorter.