Travel With RJ

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This afternoon we were down in Mystic, CT to meet an acquaintance on my wife’s. I was browsing the rack of pamphlets for anything that looked interesting. I found one card for a place called Nature’s Art (at the Dinosaur Place). They listed Toys, Beads, Jewelry and Minerals. I thought it might be something my wife would be interested in. She has been really accommodating and tolerating my stops at used bookstores along the way. So I have kept my eye open for things she might like. I thought the place was in Mystic, but it turned out to be in another town named Montville, CT. I found it on a rough map of the area, and it looked like it might be not too far out of are way up to Albany. I looked up Montville up in my GPS, and it wasn’t in there. At least not in the base map.
Using the rough map, we headed up in the direction where Montville should be. But at one point we came to a place where we weren’t sure to go. We were right next to a post office. So I ran in and asked where to find Nature’s Art or The Dinosaur Place. The guy gave me directions that lead me right to it. Our car needed gas, and we needed to get ice for the cooler. We also had some stuff in the car that we didn’t want to bake in the hot sun. So I dropped my wife off at the front door, and headed off to the gas station down the street. I got gas, and ice, and headed back. They have a great big T-Rex statue out front wearing sunglasses, and holding a can of Coke. I parked the car and my wife came out. She said they had a lot of stuff, but it was all stuff you could find elsewhere. Some of it she knew she could find cheaper elsewhere. They had all kinds of geodes, cut and uncut crystals, natural beads, wood beads, fine jewelry with quartz, amber, statuettes, and figurines. They also had lots of stuff for kids. But it was nothing she needed to have right now. So much for our detour.
We did stop in at their ice cream stand. I got a cone, and my wife got a root beer float. Another couple we met there said they had taken their kids to the Dinosaur Place. They were unimpressed, and their kids weren’t impressed either.
They did have good ice cream though. But overall, it wasn’t worth the detour.
The Dinosaur Place is located at 1650 Route 85, Montville, CT 06370. (860) 443-4367.

Today was our third visit to the MIT museum. The last time we here was about 10 years ago. Surprisingly, a lot of it was the same, but a lot has changed too.
We arrived just after 10am. We found free 2 hour parking on the street literally a stones throw from the door. As we walked around the corner to the entrance, we found we could have actually park right in front of the entrance. Oh well.
We walked up the stairs to the museum, and found the front desk. I asked about admittance for two, and the woman said to go in for free. Hmmm… I thought they charged. My wife overheard as we were leaving the woman had misplaced the key to the register, and that was why she let us in for free. I looked up the prices, and it normally costs $5 for adults! Lucky us!!!
The first room had a cool exhibit on robotics and artificial intelligence. That was new and really cool. The room contained a holography exhibit which had been new when we were here last 10 years ago, though it was now a little smaller. The next room contained these cool artwork moving machines. They have been here since our first visit. But they have swapped out some of the machines for new ones. The next room had an exhibit on strobe photography. That had been new when were here last time. The next room had an exhibit about DNA. This stuff was so above my head that I had a hard time being interested in it. The next rooms had stuff all about the history of MIT. Some of it was really cool.
One thing that was missing was the museum of hacks. Hacks are elaborate practical jokes such as decorating a whole building as The Great Pumpkin in the middle of the night. That had always been my favorite part of the museum. I asked the lady at the desk about it, and she said it had been moved to the Stata building on Vassar street. She said there were a bunch of exhibits located over there now. Unfortunately we were scheduled to meet someone in Mystic, CT in the afternoon.
Another thing that changed was the MIT Museum store shrunk to a little display behind the admissions desk. They still had some cool items.
Next time I come back this way, I will stop into the museum again, and maybe get over to the Stata building and check out the exhibits there.
The MIT Museum is located at 265 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139. (617) 253-4444.

We had eaten very well at Captain Carlos Seafood Restaurant for lunch, and had gotten pretty full. We didn’t know if we would have room for dinner. But when it got to be about 8pm, we decided that we should find at least something to eat, or we would be starving in the morning. We were concerned about how late things would be open, and were reassured when we saw online that some places were supposed to be open till 11pm.
So we drove down to the Gloucester waterfront, and parked. We walked along the road for a bit looking for seafood restaurants. There was a big one that we were advised against. We found a few other non-seafood restaurants as well. But we didn’t come to Gloucester to eat Chinese food. LOL! We found a map, and found there were only a few seafood restaurants down here at all. We got back in to car to hunt down The Cupboard, a restaurant in the nearby park. We found a sort walk up style place, that almost looked like a concession stand. Was that The Cupboard? We didn’t see a sign. We decided to head back to Capt. Carlo’s.
We found parking right in front. There were a lot more people here tonight, but we were seated quickly. They brought us some rolls. They were made with a lot of dill. I tried one, and really didn’t care for it. My wife seemed to like them.
Since my wife and I were not overly hungry, we decided to split an entrée. We debated about which one. We were going to ask the waitress, but it took forever for her to come over. I started to tell her about how we weren’t sure what to order, and she asked if we needed more time, and that she could go fill another table’s drink orders. We told her go ahead. While she was gone, we decided on our own to try the Seafood Casserole. It came with a salad and a potato, so we decided to order a second salad. We also decided to split another bowl of clam chowder. When the waitress came over, we ordered our food. For the potato we ordered roasted potatoes.
The clam chowder came out quickly, and was even better than what we had there for lunch. Then the salads came. Eventually the entrée came out. The Seafood Casserole was excellent. The roasted potatoes were also very good.
When were done eating, we waited and waited for our check. The waitress would pass right by us to process other people’s orders. Finally, my wife asked the hostess if we could get our bill. He hostess went in search of the waitress. About three or four minutes the waitress showed up with our bill, we paid and left.
The food was great. Our service tonight kind of sucked though. But it seemed to be just our waitress. Other people who came in about the same time we did got there food before we did, and were gone long before we got out of there. I think our waitress may have been relatively new. At least I hope she was new, because she needs to learn to be more efficient.
With the excellent food, and knowing that service isn’t all like what we had tonight, I
Capt. Carlo’s Seafood Restaurant is located on Harbor Loop in Gloucester, Mass.

We stayed at this campground 12 years ago, and we are here again. It’s just like we remembered it.
As we arrived, the lady came down to greet us. She was very friendly, and showed us on the map the various areas we could stay. Basically any unoccupied spot. We came pre-season, so they have mostly open spots. Next week, they will probably be much fuller. But they were still getting some areas ready for the season. She did recommend a couple areas, and we drove off to look at them. We found a nice spot in the woods, right next to the restrooms and showers. There were some branches fallen on the spot, so I pulled them away, and we set up our tent. Then we went down and told here what spot we chose. The tent spot only cost $26 (no power or water though). Much cheaper than man of the other campgrounds we have encountered during our trip. But I guess the KOA’s are a little newer, and nicer.
The restrooms are old, and nothing fancy. The showers are the same way. Interestingly, the showers cost 25 cents for minutes. I forgot about the pay showers, but when I saw them, I remembered them from 12 years ago. I can’t remember if they cost a quarter back then.
The manager lady was also very helpful in locating a good restaurant in town. She also mentioned that they have WIFI, but I would have to come down by the office to use it.
Cape Ann Camp Site is located at 80 Atlantic St, Gloucester, MA. (978) 283-8683.

My wife and I visited Gloucester, MA about 12 years ago. I am not sure why were came here. I remember that we were scheduled for a whale watch (that ended up being cancelled due to weather). I don’t remember if we came to Gloucester for the whale watch, or if we found the whale watch because we were going to be in Gloucester. Maybe Gloucester was just at a nice stopping point in our trip around New England.
Whatever the case, we really enjoyed our day in Gloucester. So when we were planning our trip around New England, we wanted to stop in Gloucester again.
So today we arrived. We are staying in the same campground we stayed in 12 years ago. The campground hasn’t changed much.
After setting up our tent, we headed off into town. After getting lunch at Capt. Carlo’s Restaurant, we went off to explore the town. It’s not like we remember. We thought there were more little places along the water. My wife wanted to see the Rocky Neck Art Colony, so off we went. We found it easily. We parked, and walked into a few shops, but it was not what my wife was expecting, so we left.
Back in town we drove along Main street. We passed a used bookstore, so we spent some time exploring that. There was another store my wife liked called Local Colors Gallery. But it seems like most of the shops are galleries filled with high priced stuff. Where is the cute little town that we visited 12 years ago? I guess the Gloucester we were expecting to find is only in our memories. I don’t know if we will stop here next time. We may try to find some other cute little town.

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