Road Trip Review Day 3: Mystic, Westerly, Boston

Our lovely stay in Mystic, Connecticut's Hampton Inn and Suites gave way to another great day that took us up to Boston, Massachusetts. We wandered the streets of Mystic in the morning. It's a beautiful port city containing the world's most famous pizza joint, Mystic Pizza, or at least that's what they say. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning so, even though the shops weren't open for the day and there were few breakfast offerings, we thoroughly enjoyed our stroll around the quaint streets and imagined a relaxing week-long Mystic vacation in the future.

Then we headed on the road toward Rhode Island. Since it is the Ocean State, we figured it'd be a good place to hit the beach. We went to the beaches in Westerly, one of the most Eastern towns in the state. It was such a refreshing ocean locale. I'm used to the crowded with people, over-developed and polluted shores of Ocean City, MD. Though I'm sure much of the lack of people could be attributed to the fact that it isn't quite beach season yet in early June, the Rhode Island beaches were still private, quiet, and gorgeous. There were plenty of lots you had to pay for to park in, so we just kept driving to see what we came to. The state park charged $12 for out-of-state vehicles to access the beach, so we zipped on past. As the road we were traveling turned into more of a residential area, we found a 30-minute-parking-limit area where you could stop for free and admire the coast. There was a beach of sorts but it was piled with boulders and was extremely narrow, which I imagine our earlier but more costly offerings were not. Nonetheless, as we clambered down the rocks to the shore we realized it was too cold to simply sit on the beach all day, but we could definitely take in this gorgeous view for free and feel fully satisfied. So Mike and I had a half hour of fun climbing on the rocks, taking picture and video, and attempting to dip our feet in the ice cold water. It was a nice little stop that invigorated us on our search for a lunch spot.

It's about time I started to utilize my camera's self-timer feature!

This search for lunch was an extremely disappointing one at that. We headed into nearby Providence to check out the city and hopefully find a nice healthy lunch option. We went with little planning or forethought, which maybe explains why we were so vastly disappointed, but nothing struck our fancy. We drove through East Providence, a cute area with nothing more than pizza joints and local businesses. Then we headed to the Main St through RISD but were a little underwhelmed by our options there, especially since so many of the store fronts seemed to be empty. So we continued on through and made it to Pawtucket, which was another disappointment. Finally we decided to just hop back on 95 and drive. It was nearly an hour and a half after we set out on our journey for the perfect lunch when we finally came to a shopping center with a Dunkin Donuts and an Italian fast food place called Papa Gino's. Gino's it was. We would have preferred a small town, an independently-owned restaurant, something with a little more personality. But we were hungry and tired and desperate. The food wasn't bad and at least they offered free lollipops!

When we hit the road again we decided to drive into Boston, another scary venture if you know a thing or two about the streets of Boston, to stay at a Howard Johnson just a block from Fenway Park. This HoJo was connected to a Chinese restaurant and made for an interesting night. The coupon we saw advertised $99 a night rooms, but add on the unadvertised $20 parking fee and tax and the room, the worst that we stayed in, cost more than any other at $139 total. It offered us plenty of laughs though from the mirrored wall in our room to the brownish-green color of the cloudy pool water that a staff member relentlessly and fruitlessly tried to clean of floating debris.

A glimpse of Fenway from the HoJo window.
Despite the glare in this photo, this HoJo pool would never in any context be an appealing place to swim. 

After our early check-in we roamed the streets of Fenway and Mike, loyal Orioles fan that he is, thought it'd be a good idea to buy a Red Sox's hat. We had dinner at a lovely and delicious Indian restaurant, then headed to Harvard Square with the intention of hitting a comedy show. Traffic had another plan in mind for us so we ended up strolling the grounds in and around the college, browsing through cavernous bookstores, and sipping tea in a cute coffee spot in town. It was a picturesque but strangely surreal place. Thoughts of my recent college days came to mind but any comparisons to Harvard's campus were shattered by the tourists (Mike and myself at times included) taking pictures of the buildings, statues, and the like. It was a gorgeous place and we really enjoyed the Harvard Square area, which only further escalated our already-high opinion of Boston, even if our accommodations weren't the best we had seen.

Crossing the Harvard Bridge on our way to Harvard Square.

The only photo on Harvard's campus that is good enough to share. I'll blame it on the dusk lighting. But it truly is a gorgeous and majestic university campus.


  1. What a lovely time by the coast!! You and your hubby are so cute.

  2. ahhhh i know exactly where you were in mystic! i go there every summer because my grandparents live 5 minutes away! my favorite store on the planet is there called whyevernot. too bad they were closed! i looove the pizza at mp and the drawbridge (and ice cream store next to it) are so great. hope you have a great trip!!


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