above image: Barn Island @italirican2003 Bluff Point State Park Popular walking, mountain biking, picnic, fishing…
When two of my favorite gals have birthdays on the same day, we meet in Mystic for a special date. My “gals” are my 9 year-old granddaughter and her mom (my daughter). They’re up for the adventure of the ropes course and zip lines at Fields of Fire. 5 courses, 76 elevated obstacles and 14 zip lines await!
We practice using the clips, belays and body harness two feet off the ground. A reassuring “click” confirms a safe connection. The “smart belay” sensors prevent both from being unclipped at the same time. Additional safety features along with well-trained crew members on the ground means we’re probably safer up in the air than we would be at a typical playground.
A 30 foot ascent up a rustic ladder to the first platform starts the adventure. I hook onto the first obstacle and go. Grace and her mom follow. Having an adult at each end of the obstacle provides my awkward but successful example of how to traverse the obstacles along with encouragement and help. Before long, Grace is hooking and unhooking to safety harnesses and obstacles like a pro. Some obstacles are easier for the adults and others are easier for our 9 year-old companion. All are challenging and fun.
Arm strength, leg strength, and balance are key to success and it isn’t long before we’re sweating through an entire yellow section of the course and are rewarded by an exhilarating zip line finish down to the ground. Completing each challenge boosts self-confidence. Our second beginner course is a bit easier with an even longer zip line finish. Two hours have passed in a flash but we’ve accomplished something difficult while creating priceless memories.
We leave without trying the third beginner course, an intermediate course and or the expert level black course which has an 80% failure rate. The harder courses now have detours down to easier courses which encourages more climbers to challenge themselves. Above us, a young couple tackles the black course with mixed results but both are laughing and smiling.
Pink Basil, in Olde Mistick Village, is the perfect place for three slightly-sweaty gals to relax on a shaded outdoor patio and savor great food. Sushi, curry and pot stickers are satisfying but not heavy. The Crunchy tuna roll is a delicious work of art. Nonya Curry is a delectable mixture of cooked carrots, cabbage, green beans and tofu topped with the creamy, spicy coconut sauce, battered eggplant and okra. I’m not usually a fan of either okra or tofu but this dish completely wins me over. It is available with a choice of seafood, beef, pork, shrimp, squid, soft shell crab, or duck. I will eat anything that is smothered in this delectable sauce! Grace is a pro at eating pot stickers and avocado roll sushi with chopsticks. Each bite disappears in a flash.
Last week my brother and I ate indoors and enjoyed Drawbridge Fried Rice with chicken, Mee Goreng (lo mein nooidles with mixed vegetables and perfectly-cooked seafood), and the delectable Nona Curry which motivates my reorder. All of the food is delicious and I’m already planning my next take-out order. Good thing there’s lots of easy parking. Tom savored a sweet, spicy creamy Thai iced tea with his meal declaring it delicious. He’ll order that on his next trip. Our service is fabulous on both my visits.
Pink Basil owner, Tai Au’s segment on Channel 8’s Connecticut Style program featured Laap Salad. Laos-style spicy ground chicken is served warm with finely diced vegetables, and spicy lime dressing over lettuce with a side of sticky rice. Who knew ground chicken could be so sexy? I don’t even need the rice. The flavors are exotic and irresistible. They also happen to be gluten-free, dairy-free and incredibly healthy. Think of this as a summer version of chicken soup but much easier to transport and share.
Healthy fresh vegetables are the foundation of Thai food. Pink Basil draws from Thai and the best Asian cuisines to create a diverse, satisfying menu. Special KETO and gluten-free items are available and all dishes may be adjusted to your preferred heat level.
Our time together is ending but no birthday is complete without a fabulous dessert. Award-winning cupcakes from nearby Bleu Squid Breakfast & Bakery Cafe round out the meal and our day of celebration. Hugs, smiles, and memories linger and we’re already planning our next uniquely-Mystic date. Fun lives here but anyone can visit.
- Put your phone in a DEEP pocket and use the portable toilets prior to climbing.
- Please check the website for specific age and weight guidelines.
- Fields of Fire hosts night-climbing, parties, corporate outings, and field trips. They have fun ground-level team-development and silent entertainment (500 head phones & 5 channels of music or programming on site or at other locations). A huge screen in the tent recently projected the 7th game of the Bruins’ Stanley Cup to a private group. Huge bonfires are safe and there’s plenty of parking and room on 50 wooded acres for hundreds of guests at a time.
- Bonus 10% discount with military ID.