Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boston, goodbye

What an amazing time we've had in Boston.  I feel like we grew so much as individuals, and as a a family.  I saw Halle's confidence grow as she made new friends in Primary, had new experiences, and tried hard not to be shy when talking to adults.  Josh was able to have long, intense days and keep a good attitude the whole time, and keep his emotions mostly in check when dealing with hard things. Blake did so well at being independent and scootering all around town without whining and without always needing to stop and rest.
I feel like I grew in a million ways.  I spent two weeks alone with the kids in a new city, and was able to keep my temper and my exhaustion in check and create a really fun experience for all of us.  I tried harder to be present and engaged with the kids each day.  And I drove a car in Manhattan.
Boston, we will miss you.  Our hearts will always carry special memories of our summer in this beautiful city.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


 Josh: Some day in July.
Zoom, rum, pow! Our plane takes off.  we are going home.  We had to wake up at 4:30 am. We took an uber (to the airport) I played my screen.
 Blake: I love feeding the birds.  1 climbed on my arm.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

It’s decided

She at Harvard:


He at MIT:


And they’ll share an apartment in the middle on Banks Street.

Canoeing the Charles and a disappointment

Our last Saturday in Boston!  It started with Rusty running 18 miles and ended with all of us in our beds, totally spent. 


Next we were off to the MIT museum.  This was really fun!  Robotics, Holograms, and kinetic art held us captive.  Ice Cream at Toscanini’s rounded out the morning.
We had a fun afternoon in store.  Canoeing on the Charles.  It was a spectacular, sunny day, perfect for being on the water.  Or, in the water, as we spent most of the time splashing and playing in the river. Come to find out, swimming in the Charles is prohibited, and carries a $200 fine if caught.  Oops…



Last on the agenda was the Water Fires in Providence, RI.  We thought it would be fun to hit one more East Coast state, since it’s only an hour away.  But, with Sweet, Sweet Freedom having been returned a few days before, we needed to take the train.  Earlier in the day we’d had a family discussion about our plans.  Josh didn’t want to go boating, and I wasn’t sure I had the energy to go to RI, so we decided if Josh could have a good attitude boating, I could have a good attitude about RI.  He was so excited to go, and kept talking about it all day.  We set off with what we assumed was plenty of time to catch the train.  Of course, we are always slower than we think, and we ended up missing the subway at Harvard Square to take us to the trains at South Station.  We knew that now our timing was going to be very, very tight.  But Josh kept saying, “We can make it!  I just know we can.”  We got to the station and ran to purchase tickets.  Tickets in hand we ran to the platform.  I spotted our train and started running as fast as I could, the kids and Rusty trailing behind.  The train starts to move….I’m almost there.  I can see the conductor and I put my hands together in a begging position.  He shrugs his shoulders and the train speeds away.  Blake and Josh are immediately in tears and Blake says, “That conductor is the biggest jerk ever, right Mom?”  And Josh’s little faith was totally crushed.  He kept saying, “I was so sure we would make it.  I kept hoping the whole time!”  My heart hurt for him.  The other two were ready to call it a day and headed back home.  Josh said that if we rode to the end of the Orange Line that would make him feel better because then he would have been to the end of every subway line.  So that’s exactly what he and I did.  IMG_5123

We set out today to shatter our step record.  I don’t know how we’ll ever top this:


Regina Pizziaria

We were all ready for a little less chaotic day.  So, we took the morning easy, and then headed to Harvard Square to fulfill Josh’s Boston wish.  To ride the Red T to the end of the line.  We purchased our Dunkin Donuts and headed out.  We arrived in Alwife, hopped off, ate our donut, and jumped back on the same train, now headed in the opposite direction.  Josh was thrilled.

Josh was the only one who had any souvenir money left, and so we stopped at a shop on our way home to see if anything caught his fancy.  Is anyone surprised to learn that we have adpoted a 3rd (and final) family member?  Meet Lobstie:


The afternoon was spent at the park building a house for the animals and feeding them cookies.


The off to the North End for dinner.  We picked up some delicious pizzas from the famous and very long lined Pizzaria Regina and also pastries from Bova and hit the park.  It was an absolutely beautiful night, complete with a full moon and whoopie pies as big as Blake’s head.

PicMonkey CollageIMG_5093

Today we took 21,000 steps, although I forgot to take a picture.

Cape Cod

We got up “early” (around 8am) to get ready for the drive to Cape Cod.  Rusty had a tentative work meeting in Nantucket, and the ferry from the Cape to Nantucket was scheduled to leave at 11.  It was still undecided if we would come with him, or just stay in Hyannis.  Of course, there was tons of traffic, and Google Maps estimated we would be at the harbor at 10:57.  That was definitely not enough time to get all of us on a ferry, so we dropped Rusty off and he ran to purchase his ticket.  At the ticket counter they radioed the boat to wait, saying, “We have a runner!” 

The kids and I grabbed lunch and then headed to Veterans Park Beach.  It was right near a beautiful memorial for John F. Kennedy. (More on the Kennedy’s later) The ocean water was as smooth as glass, which was a disappointment to the kids. Come to find out, it’s not usually like that. The preceding days had huge waves crashing on the shoreline. Good thing there were sea shells to gather!  The kids hunted and gathered 100’s of only the finest shells.  There are plans to use them as currency in their stuffed animal games. 

After a few hours of swimming in the ocean and gathering shells, we were ready for our next adventure.  We went to the boat harbor in hopes of securing some sort of boating tour.  We found a lighthouse tour—perfect.  We hopped aboard and headed out.  The lighthouses were kind of a disappointment, we never really got close enough to see them properly, but it was way fun to be out in the boat.  The highlight of the trip was seeing all the beautiful sail boats (most of them belonging to the Kennedy Family) and the Kennedy compound.  The kids were like, “Kenne-who??” But they were all ears as the tour guide pointed out the home owned by Taylor Swift when she was dating Connor Kennedy.

boat CollageIMG_5044

We amused ourselves in the harbor until Rusty’s ferry came back from Nantucket.
PicMonkey Collage

I had promised the kids ice cream earlier in the day, and they weren’t letting me forget it.  And of course, we passed a carousel along the way, and the kids and the animals definitely needed a ride.  (What’s that you say? The stuffed animals came to Cape Cod?  Yes, yes, they did. Halle totes them all around in her backpack so they don’t have to miss out.  Apparently they get bored sitting back in the apartment all day)
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We decided to hit up one more beach before dinner.  Craig’s beach was quite pretty.  It is a huge sandy strip and the water wasn’t too freezing.  There was lots more playing in the water, but the sea shells on this beach weren’t as pretty.


As it as getting close to time to go we told the kids to go grab their clean, dry clothes from the car and get dressed.  Rusty and I were still hanging out on the beach.  He commented that if they were able to get that done without our help that we will have officially transitioned from the parents of little kids to the parents of big kids.  We laughed a little, sure at any moment someone would be hollering for help. 


It’s official.  The transition is complete.  We are a family with big, independent kids!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Franklin Park Zoo

Compared to the Denver Zoo, this place was a ghost town!  Also, much, much shadier.  The best part?  Feeding the Finches at the Aussie Aviary


And this really cool carousel and park.IMG_4975 - Copy

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Look closely and you will see our animal siblings rode the carousel with us.IMG_4974 - Copy

The zoo also brought with it a special adoption.  Meet Johnny, the Pygmy Hippo.  Blake told the story of his adoption.  It went something like this, “ Johnny woke up today hoping it would be the day when someone would take him home.  I walked into the store and picked him up off the shelf.  And that’s the end of the story!”

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Later that evening we picnicked at the Esplanade

And enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Charles, and some striking night time views of Boston as we scootered home over the Harvard Bridge.


Today we took a respectable 26,269 steps.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

I was pretty skeptical of this museum, but it turned out to be one of the most fun Revolution themed things we’ve done on this trip.  You start out with an identity card, and take a seat in the “Old South Meeting house.” We were given feathers to disguise ourselves from the British Soldiers.  Sam Adams stands to address the crowd, riling everyone up in the name of unjust taxes, tyranny, and the promise of a better America free from British Rule. We then boarded the ship and threw the tea into the harbor.  All of this was met with the stamping of feet and jubilant cries of “huzzah!” We were then regaled with tales of the colonists from our identity cards.  We were able to see one of only two remaining tea chests and then watch a Harry Potter-esque conversation between the talking and moving portraits of King Gerorge III and Sam Adams.  It ended with a video of the battle of Lexington and Concord and then the whole crowd singing “My Country Tis of Thee.”  Although the whole thing was quite contrived, I have to admit to feeling pretty darn patriotic by the end! 

It also caused me to reflect on the acts of the Sons of Liberty.  At that time, what they were doing was considered treason, and proponents of the revolution were the minority of people in the colonies.  Looking back today, if they would have stuck with the status quo who knows what our country would look like.  I am thankful for men and women who were willing to push boundaries and stand up and act on those beliefs.  I hope in my life I can embody some of those same qualities.