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Beer, Books, Connecticut, Day Trip, Mystic, Niantic, RI

Weekend Rewind

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Warning!  If you love beer, books, and rubber ducks, this post is for you.

I am officially on vacation.  The first real vacation I’ve taken in a long time.  It feels great, incase you were wondering.  I’m not taking a destination vacation, but I have filled my schedule.  This past Saturday, my friend Sam joined me for my first day of freedom, and we packed a lot in.

We were heading to the Connecticut/Rhode Island border for Pawcatuck’s 18th Annual Duck Race.  The towns of Pawcatuck and Westerly, RI actually work together to put on the event as it spans over a bridge and into Rhode Island.  Proceeds of the event benefit the local schools.  Look into it if you’re in the area next year.  Also, If you have no idea what a duck race is, fear not, I’ve got plenty of pictures for you and a quick explanation.

Step 1: Sponsor (buy) a rubber duck

Step 2: Watch the ducks get dumped into the river

Step 3: If you’re me you watch your duck (you actually don’t know which one is yours because there are literally 20,000 rubber ducks) get stuck in the little balls attached to the duck race track, otherwise they float to a little tube where winners are announced

Now you know what a duck race is.

Before we actually made it to the race we stopped over in Mystic, because you don’t drive by Mystic, you stop in and pay it proper respect.  We got iced lattes at the Green Marble and sat for awhile in the alley outside catching up, then we walked the downtown and bridge.

When we finally made our way to the actual event we parked on the Pawcatuck side and walked a few blocks since parking wasn’t terrible, but it was pretty busy, especially on a beautiful spring Saturday.  My GPS had us go through Rhode Island first and we spotted a brewery I’d been dying to go to.  Thankfully, I had a fellow beer lover on today’s adventure so once the race finished we promptly made our way to Grey Sail Brewing.

Grey Sail is located right by the train station just on the edge of the downtown area of Westerly, RI.  If you’ve heard of them before, it’s because you’ve had or heard of their DIPA (double IPA, in beer terms this means it’s a very hoppy beer), Captain’s Daughter.  Everything we sampled that day was incredible, but of course if you’re handing out metals, Captain’s Daughter gets it.  As usually happens in the beer world, from my experience, we ended up next to people from the town next to us (we were over an hour away from home) and then my high school best friend’s sister came in.

After our tasting we headed back into downtown Westerly stopping in an awesome bookstore/cafe, Savoy.  Then we stopped for a late lunch at The Barley Malt.  The Barley Malt makes specialty pretzels and sandwiches.  The sandwiches come on pretzels.  Go and thank me later.

On our way home our final stop of the day was The Book Barn in Niantic, CT.  I’ve spoken about this magical place before when I first started my blog, but I’ll praise them again.  It is a book lovers paradise.  The main location is filled with carts and shelves and sheds filled with books.  They have goats you can feed and cats that roam the property or curl up with you while you read.  There’s jungle gyms and pirate boats for kids and free coffee and comfy chairs for adults.  We even stopped in their other downtown Niantic locations, which face the ocean.  Of course I left with plenty of books.

It was a busy day, but a fun day.  Sunday I kept low key, Netflix (SIXTEEN CANDLES IS UP!) and lunch with another good friend.  The rest of this week is jam-packed filled with fun.  It’s PK’s birthday Wednesday and we’re headed to Yankee Stadium Friday.  Stay tuned.

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