Week 5: Underwater

Hey friends,

We’ve got a little more to share about our tour through Connecticut.  First up, we stayed at Mohegan Sun Casino for the night.  Although Mohegan doesn’t offer a full-service RV park like Turningstone, they do have a huge RV parking area with a free shuttle to the casino.  We’re not actually big gamblers (we’ve gambled about $20 total on our two casino visits), but there aren’t a lot of places outside of campgrounds and parks that (1) allow overnight RV parking, and (2) have anything worth seeing.  Mohegan Sun fills both categories nicely, and we had a fun time strolling the grounds, drinking, and imagining the type of person who goes to a casino to buy Tiffany (or Tommy Bahama!).

You may recall from prior posts that we have an affinity for the slots game Kitty Glitter, but we were unable to scratch that itch this time around.  The best we could do was video poker and free drinks, which we tried to enjoy while sadly throwing glitter into the air repeatedly.  The passer-by looked annoyed by all the glitter, but they were probably happy about it, deep down, at least once they stopped coughing.

The final highlight of the evening was a free performance by the band Filter to a large crowd of disinterested problem gamblers.  We didn’t stick around for the entire set, but what we heard was occasional back-catalog type songs (which we’re sure everyone was hoping for), along with long, rambling diatribes about music piracy.  It was all pretty top-notch entertainment, especially when they proclaimed that their new album would be their “best ever” would and sound just like the “modern music” that kids today are listening to (and probably pirating!), then left the stage and refused to come back for an encore.

Rock on, Filter.  Rock on.

The Sub Museum

Our final stop in Connecticut was actually pretty nifty – the Submarine Force Library and Museum, on the grounds of the naval submarine base in Groton, CT.  It is a great museum with a lot of interesting historical submarine exhibits.  Most notably, we got to go into the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine (commissioned 1951) and the first submarine to reach the North Pole.  It was a cool experience and we both geeked out a little.

We snapped a bunch of pictures as usual, and since we don’t really have a lot of “content” for this post, we’re going to post a few here in large size to fill some white space.  Enjoy!

Helmet used by early submarine knights during underwater jousting competitions.

The U.S.S. Nautilus, modeling its good side

You know things are tight inside when even Heather has to duck!

The museum also featured a diorama of sub-mariners in supposedly typical clothing, which we thought looked suspiciously like Tobias Fünke’s never-nude outfit.

There are dozens of them!

The sub museum also has actual working periscopes which go from the ground floor to the roof.  We were able to find our RV in the parking lot!  We know, it looks like we lined ourselves up for a torpedo strike, but of course the sub museum doesn’t fire torpedoes.  Just harmless cannon balls.

A photo posted by @nothingmundane on

A few more pics for the curious and bored:

What’s next:  Currently, we are in Acadia National Park, bathing in glorious Internet at a cafe and recovering from some serious hikes.  Next up:  camping in New Hampshire and Vermont.

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Or else.

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Week 3.5: A Casino, An Art Park & A Lake

Howdy folks!  We slipped on our posting schedule a bit and now have a backlog of travels to get through, so here’s a heads up that this is going to be a longer post.  Lucky you!

A Casino

When we last wrote, we were in the magical hobbit land of Watkins Glen State Park, which we left to spend a night at the (theoretically) magical gambling land of Turning Stone Casino, in upstate New York.  Turning Stone actually has a fantastic RV Park, which just so happens to offer free shuttles to the casino. For some reason, they seem to want to attract well-to-do elderly folks with plenty of stuff in their car to pawn as necessary.

Now, we may not be elderly or particularly well-to-do, but we’re always willing to take a free shuttle bus ride.  So, showing the same business acumen that lead to quitting our career track jobs in NYC to buy an RV, we got dressed to the nines on a Wednesday night and headed in.  It turned out the core demographic was more “sweatpants-wearing chain-smoker and problem gambler” than “swanky cocktail party,” but hey, we didn’t go on this trip just to play by everyone else’s rules.

And friends, once we made it in, we hit it big.  As in, we made enough money from playing our favorite slot machine (Kitty Glitter) with our $10 voucher that we nearly covered the cost of tipping the driver for the free shuttle bus ride!  Of course, we also paid for a nice dinner there, but whatever – gotta spend money to make money.  It’s an investment.

An Art Park

After collecting and then immediately disgorging our winnings, we headed to Albany to visit Jake’s Grandmother and Aunt.  Along the way, we decided to make what turned out to be a not-so-quick stop in Cazenovia, New York to check out Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.  We didn’t know about it before it popped up in one of our “things to do” apps, but it turned out it was recognized as #2 in National Geographic’s “Top Ten Sculpture Parks and Trails.”  The park was only about 30 terrifying minutes away by motorhome over small mountain roads, and it was definitely worth the trip.

The park was created over decades by Dorothy and Bob Riester at their summer home, and currently is home to several artists in residence. The park is huge, beautifully maintained, and completely open to the public ($5 suggested donation).  Cool, funky sculptures are sprinkled throughout the park, accessible by carefully cultivated paths through forests and tall grasses.  We were there for several hours and only got a taste of the park, but what we saw was pretty extraordinary.  We would highly recommend anyone in the area take a look, or just follow along with our captioned tour below.

A Lake

After the art park, we made it to Albany and took a boat ride on Lake George in upstate New York.   We went with Jake’s father, aunt, and grandmother, and spent the entire time hanging out at one end of the boat because they had a DJ (why??) and that DJ was incredibly, almost aggressively terrible (again, why??).

Luckily, they served beer, so everything worked out in the end.  Below are some photos.

While we were in Albany we also got to play with these guys and test out our skills at photographing animals. We don’t think it is necessary to say just how many other photos we took trying to get a good picture of these energetic pups. So we’ll just say hooray for digital film!

What’s next:  Currently, we are in Connecticut near Hopeville Pond State Park, honing our profound hatred of mosquitoes.  Tomorrow, we’re going to spend the night at Mohegan Sun Casino – we’re coming for you, Kitty Glitter!  We’re then spending a week in Rhode Island at a private RV park to try to get this website in better shape.

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