Fall is absolutely one of the most beautiful times of the year. There is nothing like the cool weather, the color of fall leaves, and a warm cozy sweater. Even as a born and raised Midwesterner, who has lived all four seasons her whole life, I think of New England when it comes to fall. One of my favorite New England towns is Mystic, Connecticut. I found it a beautiful, romantic, and relaxing. It’s a relaxing trip because the town offers so much, yet it’s at your own pace. Mystic is two hours south of Boston and approximately five hours from the Philadelphia area. They offer an Amtrak station and are right off of I-95 making it easily accessible. I sent my daughter Amanda and her husband Jimmy there as a stop before reaching Boston and Salem.
I received a text that they had arrived. Of course, Amanda didn’t provide any details or follow-up, so I had to wait until the next morning. The kids called and I was regaled with descriptions of their wonderful evening. They stopped in Groton, Connecticut which is approximately 10 minutes from Mystic and found a charming seaside inn and an excellent restaurant.
Thames Inn and Marina sits on The Thames River not far from the Atlantic. Part of the inn’s charm is how clean it is. The room comes equipped with a full kitchen and the only drawback was, according to Amanda, is the lack of cups. They also couldn’t compliment Wayne, the manager, enough. They found him delightful and really nice. Their Facebook quote is “Please come and stay with us. We treat you like family!” It sounds like they stand behind their words. Their Facebook page is sparse but does offer contact information. You can find the Thames Inn at http://thamesinn.net/ or on any of the major hotel booking sites. For the price, this place could not be beat.
A quick walk from the inn, Amanda and Jimmy found an Italian restaurant that caused their mouths to water and food to disappear at an alarming rate. Paul’s Pasta Shop has a view of the marina and Amanda mentioned that they watched fisherman coming in from a day at sea. The atmosphere is causal, and they do not take reservations. They are open from 11AM to 9PM Tuesday through Sunday. They have won numerous Readers’ Choice Awards in Connecticut Magazine such as Best Italian, Best Vegetarian and Best Value, also in The New London Day’s” Best of ” Awards.
Amanda is a foodie and Jimmy loves to eat. They became word warriors…. better living through adjectives. Lucious, well-seasoned, buttery, robust, generous, delicious, and generous. They had Dorothy’s 5 cheese lasagna, Dorothy’s meat lasagna, breaded chicken alfredo with shrimp, and meatballs. Amanda described the alfredo sauce as buttery and the cheese lasagna as Little Italy perfect. Jimmy said the shrimp wasn’t overcooked, the chicken tender and the meatballs juicy and flavorful. Their pasta is homemade and can be bought on site.
The next morning, Amanda and Jimmy drove the 10 minutes to Mystic. The fell in love with the charm of the town and wanted to spend some time there. Since Jimmy is a Julia Roberts fan, I suggested Mystic Pizza, but it was too early. I recommend Mystic Pizza for the movie travel aspect and the memorabilia since the pizza rates a consistently 3.5 to 4.0. I was on the phone with them looking for a breakfast as they were driving through town. Mystic Market came up. Amanda described it as an upscale deli. She had tea and an asiago bagel. Jimmy has a chicken salad sandwich. Again, good food had by all. With that they hit the road to Boston.
I love this area. I find it charming and relaxing. Sometimes, I forget to just be and Mystic allows that for me. Bob and I have been best friends for 20 years and have enjoyed a plethora of trips and adventures. We traveled from Gloucester, through Salem and Boston via Mystic and Plymouth. Bob and I went several years ago, and we thought it was one of the most romantic areas we had ever been. It’s a shame we were with each other and not significant others. I highly recommend this as a stop along the way or a long weekend. Enjoy!!!