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For a Delightful Afternoon in New London

After my marvelous breakfast ( I was off to the races. Well not technically, technically I was off to the docks. As I drove towards New London, Connecticut I was taking in the sites. There were many delightful little shops, beautiful art showcased on buildings, and I could see we were coming upon the water. New London gave off this old town vibe while seemingly acting perfectly modern.   

“The city of New London, Connecticut, has been an important port since the Revolutionary War, when it served as a base for American privateers raiding British Ships. In the 19th century, the revenues brought into the city by whalers helped build what now forms the city's charming center, filled with historic homes, taverns and shops.”

Or so says Trip Advisor.

It was a simply wonderful environment to find myself in. I hadn’t planned on being there for long and as I would find out later that was a mistake.

I was in New London for one reason, a lighthouse cruise. I was meeting up with some very dear friends and we were planning on taking this cruise as a way to spend a gorgeous day on the water.

Cross Sound Ferry runs a Lighthouse Cruise out of New London every Saturday afternoon. These two hour tour surveys a total of eight lighthouses as well as some local sites: New London Harbor Light, Avery Point Lighthouse, New London Ledge Lighthouse, North Dumpling Light, Race Rock Light, Bug Light, Orient Point Lighthouse, Plum Island Lighthouse, Little Gull Light, as well as Fort Griswold, General Dynamic’s Electric Boat Division, Fort Trumbull, and finally New London’s historic waterfront.

When we got on the boat we took seats on the upper deck. I was anxious to feel the salt water against my skin. On land it was incredibly humid but when you are out to sea it’s easy to forget that feeling. Boat rides also allow me to forget where I was coming from and where I was going, focusing instead on only the present. There is something so serene and peaceful about being on the water seeing the beauty of where you are.

The lighthouses were all different but all amazing. Truth be told I would have been fine just sailing around without any sites. I enjoyed it that much. The only disappointment I am afraid lies within myself. I underestimated the heat and open water effect and got a sunburn of which still has my skin peeling all these weeks later.

After this boat ride the only thing I could think of was getting something cold to drink. The heat and sunburn made the struggle real.

Unfamiliar with the area I just drove around for a few moments trying to get my bearings. This peaceful little town was on fire. The tiny streets could barely keep up with the traffic. On one chaotic street I pulled over just to pick a shop randomly that would hopefully have something cold. It turns out that shop was Berry’s Ice Cream Candy Bar, lucky me.

I found out after one sip of their strawberry milkshake that the ice cream Gods were upon me. I also tried the blackberry protein shake but there was something a miss. The chunks of fresh blackberries were a hit for me but there was some kind of aftertaste of which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. After a few minutes I was over it. Surprisingly the milkshake was probably the best I’ve ever had. Shakes are not a typical beverage order for me because I do not like anything too heavy. This drink was all the right amounts of sweet, creaminess, and weight. It was a treat that was also refreshing. Since I have been home I had a strawberry shake and it was nowhere as delicious as the one at Berry’s. It was a damn shame.

With the shakes in my hand I prepared to leave New London. It was then that I noticed all of the brilliant artwork around me. There was a building with Disney characters all over it and off in the distance a statute that looked like it belonged in Greece. Everywhere I looked there were such different but beautiful surroundings. I have a feeling this is only the tip of the iceberg. It was literally just one street. I will have to further investigate street art on my next visit.

Naturally already thinking about my next trip to New London.

These are the things currently at the top of my list, in order of their importance to me.

1.   The Recovery Room Restaurant simply because I like the name.
2.   Pequot Church because I like seeing them wherever I go.
3.   Monte Cristo Cottage as it is the site of where “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” was written.
4.   Whaling Wall looks cool especially if it has finally been completed.
5.   Lastly, Nathan Hale School House which has survived since before the Revolutionary War as this town was a base for the British.

My quick trip popping in and out of New London has left me craving more. More ice cream shakes, more food from the restaurants I drove past, and more of well, just about everything!

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