Monday, January 22, 2018

Sons and Daughters of Liberty

I was so excited to have the chance to explore Boston.  I've never been there but took an interest in the Boston Tea Party as a child.  I think I thought it was so brave and courageous of those people to rebel and stand up for themselves.  We had a campground about 45 minutes outside of the city, about 20 minutes from a train station, so we made 2 trips into the heart of Boston.

We decided to fork out the money for the Tea Party reenactment based on the reviews online.  Everyone raved about it!  They gave AJ a hard time for wearing red to such an event.  It went over his head, but I think the boys grasped a little bit about what they heard and saw.  They definitely enjoyed tossing "tea" into the harbor from the ship we were on.

We had to decide between Plymouth Rock, another day in Boston or going out to the Cape.  We opted for another day in Boston where we saw the beautiful botanical gardens, a historic cobble stone street and the Cheers bar.  It was uncharacteristically hot in Boston for this time of year, but it was a really fun experience that didn't disappoint.

In between our 2 Boston days we drove down to Rhode Island to tour The Breakers Mansion, a Vanderbilt property.  To our surprise the boys really enjoyed the audio-tour (they have a great family friendly one).  Baby A was more interested in seeing how many ropes she could slip past, leaving Jon and I scrambling to grab her before she did some multi-million dollar damage.  I found it ironic that we were touring a massive home that someone once lived in while we, ourselves, are living in one of the smallest homes possible.  I can't even imagine living with all that space, and all those chandeliers.

Friday, January 19, 2018

New England

I'm not entirely sure how to share about our journey through New England, except for this: I wish we had more time.  From the moment we crossed the border into New Hampshire we were met with beauty and outdoors that make you want to go exploring.  
     Crossing the border back into the U.S. was the typical process.  A series of simple questions made to feel intimidating through tone and choice of words from a sunglasses shielded customs agent who proceeded to make us go into our trailer to remove all of the produce, including items purchased in the U.S. a few days prior.  Once released we quickly turned east following a side road along gorgeous farm land in the greenest of rolling hills.  I imagine Ireland offers a similar experience.  Ironically, this side road is less than 50 feet from the Canadian border, which has no fence whatsoever.  On the right are Vermont farms, and to the left, sitting there in Canada, is a neighborhood of suburban style housing with backyards butting up to the border - with no fences at all!  What was the whole point of grilling me at the border if Canadians can simply walk out of their backyard to buy maple syrup across the street from the farm stand in the United States with no border enforcement at all?  

    Our first stop was a rustic campground in White Forest National Forest, on the narrow north end of New Hampshire.  Though only their for one night, we managed a short and unremarkable hike near the campsite.  Unremarkable as it was, a hike is always a great way to start the day before being on the road for hours and hours.  The end of a long day on the road brought us to Bar Harbor, Maine.  Between Acadia National Park and the actual town itself, this small island alone offered more to see and do then our 3 night stay would allow.  We enjoyed an absolutely incredible hike on Acadia's eastern shoreline, with wave crashed sheer cliffs and beautiful views throughout.  We enjoyed our first Maine lobster dinner, a short bike ride from our campground to a typical outdoor-seating only lobster pound restaurant.  We decided to bike it all home and eat there, avoiding the ever present mosquitoes.  Each of the three children tried the lobster and steamed clams.  
     Said AJ after one bite of the lobster, "This is good.  I like Maine lobster!" 

     "Would you like some more?"

     "No, no more."  After a single bite.  I'm not exactly sure why he said he likes it.

Following Bar Harbor we made our way to Kennebunk(port).  Beautiful Bed and Breakfasts line the road the entire way along the coast, and I understood why the slogan "Vacationland" is displayed on Maine's license plates.  It really is a wonderful place to visit, when the season is right.  I'm convinced that absent tourism, Maine would be a few small fishing towns and the rare trapper living deep in the woods.  I guess it's still that, but there are just so many B&Bs its ridiculous.  

Our final visits were to Boston and Newport, Rhode Island.  But perhaps those locations will be better shared in a separate post.  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

From a Child's Mind

[When asked if the boys would like to contribute by doing their own blog post, this is what they shared]  :)

AJ: Do you remember the campground where I first started kindergarten?  It had a road over here and woods and a lake down below [it was a river] and we walked over for school and when you came to meet us we were already coming back?  There were two mule deer in the green space, but no horns.
     What about the museum of the town that we just saw?  The town last night.  I mean the other night.  [Montreal]  In the museum there were blocks, a house thing, a trigger thing that brings blocks up that look like a Skya neck thing [robot arm].  And there's very cool stuff that has train tracks that you put balls on that do loop-a-loops and turn.  But sometimes they don't make it.

LJ: We dumped the balls down and they went in a loopy loop and then we grabbed the balls again.  Just... fun in the museum.

[Anything else, guys?]

AJ: When we was going to see those big faces on the rocks [Mt. Rushmore] and we saw white tailed deer.

[LJ, what was your favorite?]

LJ: White water rafting!  Cuz we was floating.  And them big waves were fun!   AAAAHHHGGGG!!!