Mystic was a treat. The pizza, Julia Roberts, the town was great. Most of it is untouched by national retail chanes. The restaurants, shops and ice cream were all local. We camped in Old Mystic. Camping is under-rated these days. On the other hand, camping used to be $10 a night.

Though often referred to as a town, Mystic is not a municipality. Rather, it is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River). The population was 4,001 at the 2000 census.

Historically a leading seaport of the area, the story of the town's nautical connection is told at the Mystic Seaport, the world's largest maritime museum, which has preserved both a number of sailing ships (most notably the whaler Charles W. Morgan) and the seaport buildings ashore. The town is located on the Mystic River, which flows into Long Island Sound, providing access to the sea. The Mystic River Bascule Bridge crosses the river in the center of town.

The town is also home to the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, and notable for its research department, dedication to marine life rehabilitation and not captivity, and its popular beluga whales.

The 1988 film Mystic Pizza got its name from a restaurant in Mystic, which is still open and is popular with tourists. Scenes in Mystic Pizza were shot in Mystic and nearby towns.

In 1997, Steven Spielberg shot various scenes for the movie Amistad at Mystic Seaport.

One commercial was filmed in 2005 at Mystic Seaport for FedEx. It was based on the lobstering business in New England. The commercial was aired in the Orange Bowl.

Sore Tushies & Bad Flan

(But it's not 10 degrees here.) Six hours on planes, 5 out of breath minutes running through Houston's airport, 4 hours of crazy Costa Rican city driving and beautiful rain forest driving, 3 hours of sleep the night before, 2 people extremely happy to be out of Ohio and in Costa Rica where it's 80 degrees and sunny, and 1 realy bad flan. To see the bad flan and other travel pictures, click on the Flickr/pictures on this page.