Puzzled

June 28, 2010

We were in Mystic this weekend, and as is the case with most seaside towns, the shops are — for the most part — lame. But there was a sweet independent bookstore there, Bank Square Books, and we took some time to browse and the kids plopped themselves down in their section and read a bunch of books. I like to patronize independent bookstores, because between Amazon and Barnes and Noble, it’s a wonder any of them can survive. And in a good one, you can find neat little gifts that you haven’t seen elsewhere. Which brings us to today’s recommendation.

Fun on the go

Crocodile Creek makes adorable puzzles — chances are your kids have at least one of their big floor puzzles; people like to give them as gifts, for good reason. I came across these smaller, 24 piece dog puzzles, which come in their own little box and are perfect for taking along to a restaurant or on a plane to keep little ones entertained. It’s double sided, so it’s really 2 puzzles in one. And at the bookstore, it was $2 — what else can you get that’s any good for $2?! There were dinosaurs to choose from too. I found them online here, for $2.95. Still a bargain.

They’re not only great for your own kids, but also make the perfect “we got invited to our friends for dinner and I need something little to bring the kids” gift.

We just booked a trip to Paris, so I also picked the kids up Madeline, to familiarize them with the sites that they’ll be seeing. I used to love that book as a kid. Still a classic!

Etc.

As mentioned, we were in Mystic for the weekend with some friends. (Shout outs to Lupe, Gena, Beth, Andy, AJ, Maddie, Paige, Sydney and Rachel!) It’s a cute town…for a day. The aquarium was kind of underwhelming, and there’s no way for a family to get out of there — between admission, snacks and souvenirs — for under $150. Which is really kind of amazing. (And not in a good way.) We had dinner at S&P Oyster House and all loved it — they were even good with a party of 13, which is never easy. Fried clams (bellies on!) and a lobster rounded out the New England experience.

We headed back this morning and I desperately needed to find Austin water shoes — somehow I sniffed out a Dick’s Sporting Goods Store and a Target off the highway in Milford. (Some people have gay-dar; my talent is finding shopping malls.) Unfortunately Austin has 2 working parents who put off buying water shoes too long, so he ended up with ones that are a size too big. He’ll live.

The city was stifling at over 90 degrees. We decided to go out to dinner and on the way Addison began acting incredibly sluggish and felt warm. I’ll spare you the gory details, but somehow it ended up me having dinner alone with Austin, with throw up on my shirt and pants and under my watch.

All in a day’s work.

Rock on!

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