New England Coast Road Trip – Day Two

Mystic River View

While this is definitely a road trip, the distances we are driving each day are short.  This morning we went a whopping ten miles to New London for breakfast. Jake’s diner on State Street was a terrific way to start the day—a veggie omelet filled with heaps of fresh mushrooms and broccoli, excellent coffee, and a charming host.

We meandered around the seaport district to see the historic architecture and a dozen or so large murals.  The day was perfect, warm with a slight breeze and intense blue sky.  Driving on a coastal road, we headed towards Ocean Beach, passing by a couple of lighthouses. One was unusual in that someone had combined the lighthouse with their home, to form a single structure. Without crowds, the Ocean Beach was peaceful and perfect for a stroll on the boardwalk, a nature trail, and the sand.

I’d read about a massive used bookseller, “The Book Barn” in Niantic.  Massive barely begins to describe it, there are dozens of small sheds, a huge house, and multiple annexes around town.  Their slogan “A Bibliophile’s Bliss” is accurate.  While we could have spent hours there, we restrained ourselves.  While in town we had a fresh seafood lunch on a deck facing the sound.

Another short hop and we arrived in Mystic. Tomorrow we’ll explore the Seaport Museum, today we wandered around town. The highlight was watching the Mystic River Bascule Bridge in the center of town open to allow boats to pass through. It’s unusual in that it opens using counterweights (see the video I shot).

The only thing that surprised me about Mystic were the minimal Halloween decorations.  Everywhere else we’ve passed through has been gaga for pumpkins, witches, skeletons, and other seasonally appropriate symbols.  But the water views, quaint buildings, and plethora of boats more than made up for that minor failing.